Antigua Dessert Wine was initially crafted at Beaulieu Vineyards by iconic Napa Valley winemaker André Tchelistcheff in the 1960s. Antigua is produced using the solera process, a system of fractional blending over a number of vintages—in this case, over decades.
Golden/amber in color from its long aging in French oak, the wine is a complex combination of nuts and orange-peel aromas. Thick and rich in the mouth, the nuts and orange-peel theme continues from the entry through the long finish, highlighted by the many subtleties from the fine brandy and time in the barrel.
The first post-Prohibition winery built in the Napa Valley, Merryvale has a colorful history. It began life as Sunny Saint Helena Winery in 1933, and by 1937, Cesare Mondavi was a partner. It was here that his sons, Peter and Robert Mondavi, both learned how to make wine. Sunny Saint Helena was mostly a co-op, bulk producer, and storage facility over the years, and in 1988 it was revived as a luxury producer by Bill Harlan and several partners. By 1991 the winery was renamed Merryvale, and the Schlatter family of Switzerland became partners. Today our friend René Schlatter, who has lived and worked in the US for over 30 years, is the owner and CEO. Merryvale is important to us because the expert winemaking team of Simon Faury and Michael Costley are relentless in their pursuit of pure, sustainably farmed, expressive wines. Faury has worked extensively in France and Italy, as well as Napa Valley icons like Robert Mondavi and Harlan Estate. Grapes are picked by hand and fermented in many small batches, which give Foster and Faury total control over quality in the final blends.