The name Roy Raymond is well known and respected in Napa Valley. Considered one of architects in the early years of the valley’s wine trade, Roy started working for Beringer Vineyards in 1933 and stayed there for 37 years. He married Ott Beringer’s daughter, Martha Jane Beringer in 1936 and had two sons, Walter and Roy Jr who eventually followed in their father’s footsteps. Roy served two terms as president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association as well as serving on St. Helena’s City Council and the Napa Valley Economic Council. He was as vested in Napa Valley as much as any other vintner in the region.
In 1970 when the Nestle corporation bought Beringer, Roy left the winery and with his sons, bought 90 acres in Rutherford and founded Raymond Vineyards and Cellars. Their first harvest was 1974 and in short time Roy’s name became synonymous with making Cabernet Sauvignon that express richness but with a certain satin texture and opulence of fruit. This was his thumbprint and a style that has been the hallmark of Raymond’s Cabernets through the years.
In 1988 the Raymond’s sold the winery to Kirin International but remained as operators and continued business as usual. In 1998 Roy died leaving Walter and Roy Jr to run the operation until 2009 when Jean-Charles Boissett of Boissett Family Estates purchased the winery. Boissett brought a much-needed influx of capitol to Raymond with numerous upgrades to the facility and vineyards but in keeping with the wine style that the Raymond’s established over the years.
With a great vision for the future Boissett hires the exceptional talent of Philippe Melka as a consulting enologist and steals away Stephanie Putnam from Far Niente winery as Raymond’s full- time winemaker. Stewards of the land, Boissett is transitioning all of Raymond vineyards to all Bio-Dynamic production. Great fruit makes great wine. The rather flamboyant Jean-Charles creates the “Red Room” with a “reservations only” tasting experience in an opulent space draped in red velvet and adorned with Baccarat Chandeliers.
Paying homage to the Raymond family and the operations 40th anniversary, the winery has released a special 2014 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 2 % Petit Sirah and 2% Malbec sourced from Raymond’s certified Organic and Bio-Dynamic vineyards in Rutherford and St Helena. The wine was nurtured for 19 months in French oak (30% new) and bottled un-filtered to preserve certain textural components. On release the wine garners 93 Points from The Wine Advocate and 92 Points from The Wine Spectator. It is a multi-faceted Cabernet with expressive fruit, silky tannins and a range of spice nuances that will keep your attention till the last drop. To add a bit of Boissett flair, the bottle is finished with a flashy red satin label.
This wine pays tribute to a winemaking family that has played an important part of bringing Napa Valley wines to the stature they have today. It also celebrates a bright future in preserving the Raymond name for generations to come. If you were someone who enjoyed the special release of the Caymus 40th anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon at $65.00 a bottle then you are going to LOVE the 2014 Raymond Special Reserve 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon at only $34.99 a bottle. It delivers big and is a wine that you can enjoy today with promise for development for a number of years to come.