Napa Valley AVA
"I was my specific intention to produce a wine that would stand up to its namesake cut of meat and the incredible flavors it produced."
One usually refers to a porterhouse as an exceptionally fine cut of steak. That allusion is certainly the correct reference point to this month’s Platinum Wine Club selection, the Porterhouse 2016 Reserve Red Blend from Porterhouse Winery.
“Both my grandfather and great grandfather (William Comartin Jr. and Sr.) were butchers in Lodi, California,” recalled owner Adam Comartin during a recent interview. “When I was young, I always hung around them and they told me that the finest steaks were always the porterhouses, so I wanted to honor them with the name of our winery.”
Comartin backpacked his way through Europe at the age of 19 to learn about wines and the great growing regions of Europe. A visit to Italy’s Piedmonte region led him to the fact that he truly enjoyed Barolos and Barbarescos and it caused a life changing decision.
“I was in an undeclared major at UC Davis,” he related. “As soon as I returned to the States, I changed my major to viticulture and enology. It was the best decision I ever made for myself.”
Comartin and his wife Jennifer traveled to Australia after graduation in 2004 to experience the wonders of Australian viticulture just outside the country’s heralded Barossa Valley. He was introduced to the Grenache varietal and made a decision to one day make the finest Grenache in the entire world.
Comartin is now 36, and another graduate from the university that is home to numerous internationally known winemakers and winery owners. At Porterhouse Winery, Comartin happily fulfills both roles.
Along the way, Adam Comartin held posts at the likes of Jesse’s Grove Winery of Lodi and the huge R.H. Phillips Vineyard and Winery in Esparto, California. His big break came when he joined the winemaking staff at the most successful Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, a mainstay of California’s Central Coast region.
“While I was working at Testarossa in 2006, I actually started making small amounts of wine under the aegis of Comartin Cellars,” explained Adam Comartin. “One of our most successful wines was our Porterhouse Reserve Blend. It became a hit with the drinking public and we decided to give it a stage of its own.”
The first release of Porterhouse Winery came last year, a smallish 684 cases of three exceptional wines. The initial production of the Porterhouse 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon was only 234 cases and was immediately hailed by both wine industry periodicals and wine afficionados throughout the county.
“The style of these wines, full-bodied, rich and tasteful, really resonated with everyone who tasted them,” informed Comartin. “When I made the Cabernet Sauvignon, it was my specific intention to produce a wine that would stand up to its namesake cut of meat and the incredible flavors it produced. It was intended as a dinner wine from its inception.”
Porterhouse Winery sources its grapes from top quality farmers with a variety of contracts. “We start with a one-year trial with the fruit and if it meets our specifications and needs, we generally wind up with 3-year contracts or longer,” he went on.
The Porterhouse label is a thing of beauty thanks to Comartin’s sister-in-law, Katie Comartin. “As a successful graphic designer, it was Katie’s idea to create a Porterhouse culture and thus the enlarged ‘PH’ that runs the entire length of the label. The red lettering signifies the combination of wine and meat and solidifies our effort to blend the tasting and eating experience,” Adam Comartin pointed out.
It is the aim of Porterhouse Winery to expand its red portfolio with a Pinot Noir sometime later this year. All wines will be rich, full wines that are food accommodating according to the winemaker.
Porterhouse Winery is also in the market for a tasting facility in proximity to its winery that is located in San Carlos. Comartin hopes to be able to announce a location within the near future for his loyal following.
Porterhouse Winery is a prime example of its owners’ ability to realize a segment of its wine portfolio could be capable of individual status and the ability to grow itself into a top-caliber brand. Many small wineries have such an opportunity but never take the step of development necessary for expanded success. We salute Adam and Jennifer Comartin for their insight in bringing Porterhouse Winery into the limelight of California’s heralded wine community. Next time you enjoy a great steak, try the Porterhouse 2016 Red Blend. We know you will not be disappointed.
Dear Platinum Club Members
We are delighted to share with you our 2016 Reserve Red Blend, as well as the Porterhouse Winery story!
I have a rich family history in the butcher business that started with my great Grandfather in the 1940’s. Growing up, my grandfather proclaimed the Porterhouse cut as the finest. And when I pursued my career in wine, this was always in the back of my mind - an absolute dedication to producing only the finest wines. With this, Porterhouse Winery was born.
Over the years, we have enjoyed making many Porterhouse wines, but this is the inaugural release of our new Reserve black label. It is a blend selection of predominantly Petite Sirah, along with Syrah and Grenache - the top seven barrels of the 2016 vintage!
The limited production blend was given extended aging (4 years) in French oak barrels (20% new barrels) to provide a delicate finish and silky tannins.
Thank you for the opportunity to share our passion and wine with you! We hope you enjoy at the table with your favorite people!
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
I grew up around my grandfather’s butcher shop they ran for 50 years, serving our neighborhood fine steaks and meats. My grandfathers would always tell me the Porterhouse cut was the finest. Once I pursued the winemaking business, with this in mind, we launched Porterhouse Winery with a vision to produce only the finest wines.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is from the slopes of Napa Valley and a combination of select vineyard sites. After extended elevage or aging for 40 months in French oak, we carefully blended the highest quality 10 barrels to produce only 234 cases.
Although this wine has enough structure to age to 2023 and beyond, it has been made with balance and finesse in mind, and is ready to drink now.
I hope you enjoy our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with a nice steak dinner and your favorite companions. Cheers!
Winemaker & President