Edition 31 | September 2020

Hello Mountain Wine Club!

Most of you know me as a Napa Valley-focused winemaker, but for the last few years,
I’ve also been working on a passion project, growing fruit in one of the most historic and beloved vineyard sites in South Australia — Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard in McLaren Vale — and crafting Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a blend of Cabernet and Shiraz.

This is the First time that we’ve included a non-Napa wine in the Mountain Wine Club, and I can’t wait for you to try it. This shipment includes the 2016 Hickinbotham The Peake Cabernet Shiraz and 2017 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon. For those of you that live in states that don’t allow the importation of international wine, instead of The Peake we’ve substituted an extremely rare library wine that I know you will love — 2003 La Jota Vineyard Co. Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Peake was named for the founder of the township of Clarendon, Sir Edward John Peake. I’ve been making wine in Australia long enough now that I have a sense of the land, the country, and the culture, but what really tied me into Australia was making The Peake. Cabernet Shiraz is classic Australia. Long before Merlot showed up, Shiraz was here, and the Australians were blending it with Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2017 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunner. It’s blended with just a little Malbec (from the 2018 vintage), Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot to give it a full-bodied freshness. All the fruit comes from Mt. Veeder, so this wine is a great example of the amazing quality coming from that location and elevation.

The 2003 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon has the benefit of aging for over a decade, and it’s drinking beautifully right now. This was a great wine in 2003 and it’s only gotten better. You can drink it now or continue to cellar it for a few years. I can’t wait to hear what you think of these wines, and I hope to see you soon at the estate.

2017 Mt. Brave
Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, CA

Mt. Brave Vineyard, Veeder Peak Vineyard


20 months in French oak (94% new)

Harvest Date

September 22 - October 7, 2017


94% Cabernet Sauvignon,
2% Mlabec,
2% Cabernet Franc,
2% Petit Verdot

2017 Mt. Brave Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Hickinbotham
The Peake Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz

McLaren Vale, Australia

A gastronomic luxury of rare style and intensity, this beautiful wine is fine, supple and utterly satisfying; evoking notes of blackberry, ripe fig, and Arabic coffee. It retains an unlikely softness given its serious long-term potential; its silky elegance is deceptive: there's enough form in this bottle to carry it for decades.


Claredon Vineyard




15 months in French oak

Harvest Date

March - March 15, 2016


57% Cabernet Sauvignon,
43% Shiraz


97 points
James Halliday
Halliday Wine Companion, August 2018

2016 Hickinbotham The Peak Cabernet-Shiraz Blend

2003 La Jota Vineyard Co.
Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, CA

Chris Carpenter


Howell Mountain, Napa Valley


La Jota Vineyard


86.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% Merlot

La Jota Howell Mountain bottle shot
View of La Jota Vineyard from Howell Mountain