Story By: Charlene Peters//  Photos By: Sandoval Media

Bottles of Balance and Integrity

The lavish setting inside the recently opened New Frontier Wine Co. in downtown Napa sets the stage for its 100-point wine-tasting experience. Everyone is invited to taste at this un- trammeled, casual winery environment to perch on a $3,000 azure leather chair while bending an elbow to sip top-rated wines of the world.

Plan to be stunned by the option to order a glass for just $15 or sign up for a pilgrim- age of sips that range from $45 to $150 for a formal tasting experience. Even better, the hours at this tasting room are in line with a social club — noon to 7 pm, a schedule unheard of for most wineries in California.

“You don’t come here by accident,” said Jim Silver, who is also a wine importer in this business. “You come here specifically for the wine.”

The stellar portfolio at New Frontier Wine Co., which was recalibrated by Silver, includes the Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate wine label, now Lithology, and labels Justice, Waypoint, Pursuit, and Renwood, the latter a popular, nationally distributed zinfandel. His mission? To develop a brand identity that caters to those who seek a sensory discovery through the adventure of wine tasting. His sleek roundup of assorted wine labels is crafted by soulful masters in the business who perform a concerto of up to 40 carefully blended wines to create a sensation in every bottle.

While in the tasting room, guests might meet two esteemed wine industry greats involved in the business. Michel Rolland and Philippe Melka are often on-site, collaborating with winemaker Matt Sands to finesse the final versions.

“I sit with Philippe on my left shoulder and Michel on my right, they’re like songwriters,” said Silver, with a reverence for Rolland’s ability to go through dozens of lots prepared by Sands. Rolland identifies missing components and requests more lots on the table before handing over his picks for Melka’s input. “Rolland’s accuracy is intimidating. It’s like watching a virtuoso. He just about invented balance.”

The grapes for these outstanding labels are curated from legendary terroirs such as Beckstoffer’s To Kalon, Dr. Crane, Las Piedras, Georges III vineyards, and Ritchie Vineyard, to name a handful. Once the grapes are harvested, fermented, and crushed, the juice sits in varying toast levels of oak and non-oaked puncheons while some age in concrete eggs. Finally, the hierarchal task of vinification is where Sands completes 80 percent of the winemaking before the maestros gather to blend and fine-tune from upwards of 40 individual lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, resulting in more than a dozen of the finest wines imaginable. These wines are orchestrated by greats such as Rolland and Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, Matt Sands, Alberto Antonini, Joe Shebl, and Juan Pablo Murgia.

What does this mean for wine connoisseurs? There is no longer a need to secure allocation or purchase top-rated wines overseas; everyone can afford to purchase a bottle from New Frontier Wine Co. Prices climb from $25 to $425 for global tastes that will soon include Uruguay.


707-690-9923 // 1040 Main Street, Napa