Napa Wines - Red - Brown Estate
Brown Estate‘s wines reflect a “sense of place rather than palate”. This is the first time on this project we’ve heard terroir expressed like this – in such a eloquent way. This is nice to hear especially when your primary wine is Zinfandel which is a varietal that is so often over manipulated, especially in the vineyard. The Browns let their wines speak for themselves; these are wines that are elegant and balanced and after trying their wines, perhaps you will see this varietal in a new light.
In 1980 Dr. Bassett Brown (died in 2019) and his wife Marcela located this fairly remote (by Napa standards) piece of property through a recommendation of a family friend who was already living in the Napa Valley (Howell Mountain).
They Browns planted their first 10 acres in 1985 and sold the fruit for a number of years. Today 50 acres of vines are planted on the their approximately 450 acre property. Their children Deneen and David Brown tasted wines made at wineries that were purchasing their grapes. Recognizing a strong demand for their own grapes – they soon realized the quality of wines their estate vineyards were producing. Along with some encouragement from one of their vineyard ‘neighbors’ the Nichelini’s, they decided to begin producing their own wine. The first few vintages were produced at Rombauer (when that winery was offering custom crush services for a number of premium clients).
Winemaker David Brown has produced every vintage – he learned by doing through winery work for some of the producers that were purchasing their grapes. And early on, Zin Master, Duane Dappen was also making his D Cubed Cellars wines at Rombauer and provided consulting advice. Sister Coral later joined the family team.