Arrow and Branch proprietors (and Laguna Beach locals) Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Chateau Cheval Blanc. The couple sought out their Coombsville vineyard property with an eye to producing top-quality Cabernet Franc-based wines from Napa Valley. They bought the Arrow and Branch Vineyard in November 2007, as this vineyard was the source of Tony Soter's renowned and highly rated Little Creek Cabernet Franc. The Contursi's have maintained the organic farming and, through their work with the detail-oriented Viticulturalist Mike Wolf, are continually improving this wonderful vineyard site.
The Contursi's also work with a select few vineyards, whose owners share the same dedication to meticulous farming. Located in Oakville, Vine Hill Ranch vineyard is tucked along the wooded hills of the Mayacama Mountain Range. This premier site has been in a family for several generations and is farmed with precision by Vineyard Manager Mike Wolf. Napa Valley growers—Hopper, Whitton, Hahn, Taddei—have farmed Vine Hill Ranch since 1884, documenting their annual plantings of grapevines, plums, pears and other crops. Following the footsteps of those pioneering families, Bruce Kelham purchased the land in 1959. He was a dedicated preservationist who moved to Napa to cultivate wine grapes after playing a role in establishing the Point Reyes National Seashore. Kelham's descendants, the Phillips family, began cultivating fine wine grapes here in 1959 and, with the founding of Phillips Family Farming. The vineyard is on a sloping grade, and with its deep, loamy soils and mature vines, yield expressive dark and rich fruit flavors with beautiful energy for this single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, with the first vintage from 2017.
JEB DUNNUCK 96+ POINTS - "Coming all from the Clone 4 of Cabernet Sauvignon and a great site in Oakville, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch Vineyard sports an inky purple color as well as a deep, powerful, mineral-laced bouquet that include lots of currants, leafy herbs, crushed rocks, and lead pencil shaving. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age, but it's a magical 2017 that's well worth seeking out."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch is made of 100% Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 100% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it is a little closed to begin, opening out to notions of baked cherries, cassis and mulberries with touches of unsmoked cigars, tar, chargrill and sauteed herbs plus a waft of tapenade. Full-bodied and laden with loads of preserved cherries and savory layers, it has a sturdy frame of chunky tannins and a lively lift to the finish."