They say the address is everything when it comes to selling real estate, and it is very nearly as important when it comes to selling wine. Cosentino may be on the wrong side of Highway 29, but it is the first winery you can reach as you travel north (or the last as you travel homewards) and it is next to that Epicurean magnet, Mustards. It is no coincidence, then, that former Central Valley wholesaler Mitch Cosentino found this tiny block upon which to erect his winery and plant four acres of grapes (Merlot) in 1990, having commenced winemaking a decade earlier in a rented corner of a Modesto warehouse. His initial wines were strictly Central Valley efforts, featuring such delicacies as Robin's Glow under the Crystal Valley Cellars label. Bit his first serious wine, a 1982 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, was a gold medal winner, and since that time Cosentino's wines have built up a formidable record of success in shows around the country, and in critical reviews.

Cosentino concentrates on making wines in small batches (typically 1,000 to 1,500 case lots) and either giving them exotic brand names or pioneering varietals such as Cabernet Franc. Thus he offers The Sculptor, a Napa Valley Chardonnay so named because Cosentino sees it as a very precise and singular wine. Then there is The Poet, a Meritage blend named because it allows the free and fanciful use of ideas -- thus the 1988 was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot drawn from 13 different vineyards, aged in both French and American oak. Then there is Cos, a wine which incurred the legal of Chateau Cos-d'Estournel, involving Cosentino in litigation running through 1992, a wine provocatively described as a special Pauillac (Bordeaux) style in the Cosentino newsletter. If all this is not enough there is The Zin (an unfined and unfiltered Sonoma County Zinfandel) and The Neb, a similarly treated Sonoma Valley Nebbiolo.

From - "The Wine Atlas of California" James Halliday, Viking Press

Cosentino Crystal Valley Winery / 7415 Saint Helena Hwy. / Yountville,CA  94599 / 707-944-1220

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