August 31, 2023
All year long we look forward to releasing our Halloween Wines.
For 13 years now, we’ve paid tribute to our ghostly history by producing special Halloween wine bottles for our Wine Club and Mailing List Members. We enjoy giving our Wine Club Members exclusive access to wines crafted with our Napa Valley estate-grown Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Read more about our tips on throwing the spookiest Halloween Party!
This year, General Manager Nat Komes, the creative spirit behind this annual endeavor, worked with comic book illustrator, graphic novelist and digital comics pioneer, Steve Ellis. Steve has created All Hallows’ Eve labels for us before, and he and Nat continue to outdo themselves. With a full harvest moon in the background, a black crow scolds a pumpkin-headed figure who seems to have fallen asleep beneath a grapevine. Is it the winemaker, worn out from the long days and nights of harvest? Or is it a disheveled stranger who wandered into the vineyard to take a nap? A fallen scarecrow? We’ll leave it to you to decide!
This limited-production Cabernet Franc is powerful and full bodied, with ripe currant, wild blackberry and black cherry fruit that will have you shivering with delight. Ancillary notes of fresh herbs, black tea and brown sugar lend complexity to the wine, and there’s a lovely integration of seductive vanilla oak. Lush and giving on the palate, this is a finely balanced Cabernet Franc with polished tannins and a hauntingly long finish.
Napa Valley is home to a number of “ghost wineries” – wineries built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20th century due to the vine disease phylloxera, the Great Depression, and of course Prohibition. One of these ghost wineries happens to be the home of John Komes. Originally constructed in 1885, the Charles Brockhoff Winery was an active winemaking operation for over twenty years until Prohibition forced the family out of business. It remained abandoned until the 1930s when Louis M. Martini arrived in Napa Valley, using the building mostly for storage. When his parents, Jerry and Flora Komes, purchased the property in 1977, John completely renovated the old stone winery. He lives there with his wife, Carrie, to this day. Every year we bottle a small amount of Malbec in honor of the property’s illustrious history.
Our 2021 Ghost Winery Malbec shows gorgeous purity and focus, with a dense core of ripe black cherry, cassis and violet-tinged floral notes that mingle with hints of cedar and dark chocolate. Notes of worn leather, espresso and toasty oak round out the supple, harmonious palate. The wine finishes with firm tannins and persistent notes of spice and wild berry.
Join our Wine Club to ensure an annual allocation of these limited, popular releases. Learn more about the many benefits of membership.