D.R. Stephens Estate
Napa Valley AVA
A proven entity with numerous accolades that has ascended into the rarified air of highest quality producers in Napa Valley
For a number of years, real estate executive D.R. Stephens lived in the Napa Valley and made many friends. A number of these friends were in the wine business and conversations often included new releases and honors garnered by his friends’ wines.
In 1995, Stephens decided it was time to venture into the wine business himself and purchased a 35-acre site that included an old olive orchard. He set about to grow his own grapes and produce his own wines. The company’s first release of only 140 cases of Chardonnay occurred in 2001 and was immediately recognized as really top quality by both the wine industry and consumers alike.
Fast-forward to today and the D.R. Stephens Estate is a proven entity with numerous accolades, a bevy of highly rated wines and top scores from the wine industry’s assortment of periodicals. D.R. Stephens Estate has ascended into the rarified air of highest quality producers within Napa Valley.
Since starting the winery, D.R. Stephens has done whatever is necessary to make the best possible wines. Today, Justin Stephens (D.R.’s son) is the winery’s managing partner, overseeing a world-class winery team to uphold his father’s vision and goals. Justin also heads his own winery, the successful Hunnicutt Winery where all of the D.R. Stephens Estate wines are produced.
The winemaker for D.R. Stephens Estate is Michael Hirby, a sommelier turned winemaker. Michael was an early associate of Les Behrens (Behrens and Hitchcock) and was the former winemaker at Realm Cellars. He has made wine for several different high-end projects over the years (including his own brand, Relic Wines), all of which have garnered consistently outstanding ratings. The D.R. Stephens team also includes vineyard manager Michael Wolf, whose composite includes the likes of Bond Estates, Duckhorn Vineyards, Harlan Estate, Lewis Cellars, Vineyard 29 and Scarecrow Winery to name a few industry icons.
The D.R. Stephens portfolio includes a fabled Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, each available in extremely limited quantities. This month's Diamond Plus! wine is an excellent bottling and truly a special addition to your cellar. Enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
Included in your shipment is our D.R. Stephens Estate 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon DRII. We have been farming a vineyard in St. Helena, Moose Valley Vineyard, since 1996, and another in Rutherford, Walther River Block, since 2000. Historically, these two vineyards were kept separate throughout the production process and constituted individual vineyard designated bottlings bearing their respective names. With the 2004 vintage, we decided to introduce a third wine that married these two vineyards, hence the “II.”
The 2008 vintage was remarkable in that we experienced one of the coldest spells during bud break history. This was followed by a substantial heat spike in May, accompanied by dry winds while the vines were flowering. Both of these events conspired us to reduce the crop dramatically. Damage throughout Napa ranged from complete vineyard decimation to substantial potential crop loss – no vineyard was unscathed. Fortunately, these factors play a role in quantity, not quality, and after this challenging start, Napa Valley experienced near-perfect growing conditions. Arguably, this natural crop reduction served to concentrate flavors. The 2008 DRII certainly reflects this.
Justin H. Stephens