Mission Codename Tear it up
Some inventions - like the Choco Taco, the wheel, and the Prisoner wine are so revolutionary and life-changing, it’s hard to imagine life before them.
Truthfully, we might put Disciples above them all.
This is, without fail, one of the best wines you’ll taste - assuming you love “bold, extroverted, and unabashedly Californian” style reds (as Crane Assembly describes it). Every new release has us feeling like Charlie Bucket with the Golden Ticket. It’s just so irresistibly delicious, so fantastically complex, you can’t help but wonder how the hell they did it.
If you like The Prisoner, or other similarly styled, hard-charging Zin blends, you NEED this in your life.
But honestly comparing it to The Prisoner is doing it a disservice.
It’s SO much more. If The Prisoner was like inventing the wheel, this is like a GT350. If The Prisoner was like Tom Brady in the 2001 season, Disciples is like him getting #7 in 2020. Evolved, improved, more sophisticated, and ready to tear it up.
That’s just what Dave Phinney does though. First, he changed the game with The Prisoner. Then he leveled up to new heights with The Crane Assembly. And let’s not forget his partner in winemaking - the illustrious Kevin Fox - who has worked alongside him at Orin Swift to make these incredible wines.
The winemaker is only half the story though. The heart of the wine comes from impeccable vineyard sources – including the historic Old Crane Estate, Tofanelli in Calistoga, and Morisoli in Rutherford.
In fact, there is only one other vineyard in Napa Valley today as old as G.B. Crane. And as Robert Parker noted “it was largely a blend of grapes often referred to as ‘mixed blacks.’ There are now 8 acres in production, four containing the original plantings and the rest planted from 1930 onward. Phinney and a group of his friends purchased the vineyard in 2012… serious consumers should be thrilled. The Zinfandel plantings date from the 1880s and were better known as the source for Biale’s Old Crane… terrific body, length, richness, and viscosity. It is a sensational Zinfandel…These treasured heritage sites, with some vines from 1880, crank out impossibly concentrated gnarly old vine fruit.”
Ok, but what about the wine? I’ve had every vintage of Disciples, and let me tell you this is the BEST yet.
How many red fruits can you name? This has them ALL. Ripe raspberry, red licorice, red plums, SO MUCH juicy sweet strawberry, red currant, cassis. What else?! Traces of blackberry, vanilla creme, and…is that sweet Thai basil? Mexican chocolate? Number 2 pencil?The complexity sets this apart from typical Zin blends, that’s for sure. With a polished, glycerin-like mouthfeel and soft tannins, it just glides along into an energizer bunny finish.
It is, in a word, hedonistic.
For the inaugural vintage Antonio Galloni lauded “The Crane Assembly is one of the most intriguing projects I have come across…with compelling purity of fruit and terrific balance, the Disciples is a winner. Striking fruit density and alluring aromatic presence add character to this mid-weight, super-classic wine.”
Treat yourself to at least a few bottles. You’ll only regret not getting more - that we promise.
What the Winery Says
2019 'Disciples' Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend
- Consulting winemaker
- Dave Phinney
- Kevin A. Fox
- 45% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 14% Charbono, 10% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Rutherford & Calistoga, Napa Valley
- Mostly Morisoli & Tofamelli Vineyards
- 10 months
- 45% new French oak