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Somerston Estate Priest Ranch
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Priest Ranch
March 2, 2021 | Priest Ranch

Priest Ranch: Behind the Black Label

There’s no doubt we pour love and a sense of purpose into each of our wines. We’re dedicated to ensuring the highest quality in even the most subtle nuances – from our vineyard to the wine in-glass. Each block of our estate has its own characteristics; therefore, attention to detail for all of these variations is of the utmost importance to us.

Though we have a great appreciation for all of our wines, there are four that make up our “black label” series – what we consider to be the luxury tier of our collection. These include our 2018 Peacemaker, 2014 Coach Gun, 2016 Double Barrel, and 2018 Snake Oil. We’re excited to profile each of these wines– most notably, our brand new 2018 Peacemaker!

2018 Priest Ranch Peacemaker

The first half of 2018 brought us moderate temperatures, allowing for a long growing season. We had a majority of our rainfall in February, followed by a wet spring. Then summer brought consistent temperatures with little heat spikes, but this weather allowed for longer hang time and ripen fruit at a balanced rate.

The 2018 Peacemaker – the newest addition to our collection – is a red blend that was aged for 24 months in 75% new French oak and 25% in once-used French oak barrels. The wine was bottled, unfined, and unfiltered.

A lovely waft of barrel toast greets the nose with cedar, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, and toasted vanilla, followed by spiced plum and red currant aromas. Bright red fruits lead on both the nose and palate with a luscious, vibrant entry built on flavors of cranberry sauce, pomegranate, Bing cherry, and plum. 

A lovely balance of fruit and earth, it’s a richly layered wine with smooth tannins and nice acidity that complement the grip.

2018 Priest Ranch Snake Oil

Our 2018 Snake Oil was handpicked, sorted, and fermented naturally, then aged for 24 months in 75% new French oak barrels and 25% once-used French oak barrels. In 2018, the grapes for this wine were chosen from three hillside blocks.

With the same growing season as our Peacemaker, our estate’s 2018 harvest began in late August and resulted in exceptional quality.

On the nose, there are complex aromas of earth and spice with notes of warm chocolate mocha. Hints of blueberry, black cherries, and berry cobbler immediately scream from the glass. This wine has muscular tannins that grip at the beginning and linger to a silky, long finish. While it’s drinkable now, you can cellar for 10 to 15 years.

Enjoy this with Garlic Crusted Prime Beef Tenderloin for a truly mouthwatering pairing!

2014 Priest Ranch Coach Gun

The 2014 vintage was a classic, near-perfect growing season with warm days and cool nights. After veraison, the mild summer and warm weather caused the fruit to develop with good balance, great flavors, bright acidity, and mature, well-developed tannins.

Our 2014 Coach Gun’s fruit was handpicked, sorted, and fermented naturally, then aged for 28 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Our winemaking team refined the blend over the course of the first year of aging, and the final wine was determined just months before bottling.

This wine delivers scents of vanilla bean and black cherry on the nose. On the palate, there are hints of licorice, blackberry, and roasted coffee beans. The wine is rich in color and delivers velvety soft tannins on the finish.


2016 Priest Ranch Double Barrel

Last but certainly far from least, our Double Barrel is a red blend consisting of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Malbec. Our winemaking team chooses two varietals that they believe will complement each other to create a wine that never disappoints. To date, no two vintages have been the same.

All of the fruit for this wine is grown on our estate high in the Napa Valley’s eastern hills. The elevations of our vineyards range from 850 to 1,615 ft., providing us high-quality mountain fruit. From vine to bottle, this wine is handcrafted with keen attention to detail every step of the way.

Deep berry and toasty flavors jump off the palate when you savor this wine. Intense, rich herbal flavors show through in this full-bodied wine, making it a great addition to any hearty meal. We especially love it with our Korean Spiced Bacon!

No matter which of our black label reds you choose to enjoy – whether with a flavorful meal or simply on its own – we hope you taste the unique features and subtleties of each wine. Not a fan of red wines? We have beautiful white wines, too! Click here to explore our entire collection, and be sure to share your experience with us on Facebook and Instagram.  


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