There’s a beautifully simple, windy road that celebrities, billionaires and increasingly more tech founders drive along when they visit Napa Valley. Not wide enough for any tourist bus to pass, the road is also too steep and out of the way for even the most savvy wine adventurer to find on their own. There are no signs along this road, only an unidentified map near the base of the hill bearing a few cryptic numbers and black squiggles. This is the road to one of the world’s most elusive and coveted industry insider wineries: The secret wineries of Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley and David Arthur is one of them.
A Napa Valley classic. A collector’s staple. Best from 2014 – 2020 this age-worthy Chardonnay is exquisitely crafted using hand-picked, hand-sorted grapes from the very best vineyards in Napa. This is not an over-oaked Chardonnay at all, instead, carefully balanced and restrained, the fruit flavors shine and the finesse of fruit flavors is outstanding. Only 539 cases produced.
In 1950, a young couple by the name of Don and Anne Long spent their weekends hiking up a hill ascending almost 1,800 feet to admire the view of the Napa Valley floor beneath. A breathtaking sight, they purchased 950 acres on that hill for $350,000. Today, known as Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley, that is not enough money to buy any land up there, but it may secure a few cases of wine. Maybe. Wine auctions for these wines at the 2014 Premiere Napa Valley Auction saw prices of up to $70,000 for 4 or 5 cases of wine!
The Longs built the David Arthur winery in 1985 and since then have commanded multiple-year-long wait lists for members to acquire a small allocation, usually three to six bottles. The name David Arthur is certainly well known, as are the names of their neighbors; Colgin, Bryant Family, Ovid, Continuum, but the location of that hill remains a well-kept secret. (Except we know exactly where it is having just come back from there last month. And for our members we’re happy to share the location and even help you set up a tasting with them in person should you find yourself in California.)
Light pale straw color with bright aromas of gravenstein apple, pineapple and guava, followed by stone fruit, lightly toasted oak and filberts. The palate is broad and expansive throughout with a subtle briny minerality. The finish is persistent with flavors of Asian pear, white figs, and baked apple.