Brassfield Estate and Winery, the Gem of the High Valley AVA

By Matt Palaferri – For those who have never had wines from Brassfield Estate, go find a bottle and treat yourself to some fantastic and truly distinctive wines. The Estate sits on some of the most unique land in California, which includes a dormant volcano. It’s in the western section of High Valley where the higher blocks rise to nearly 3,000 feet.

The first time I met Jerry Brassfield, who purchased 1,600 hundred acres as a cattle ranch and wildlife preserve, I knew he was my kind of guy. He’s funny, passionate and loves everything about wine and is making it the right way. Since then, the estate has grown to 2,700 acres of pristine land with vineyards and protected wildlife throughout. I have visited the property on a couple of different occasions and am blown away with the tranquil surroundings. Winemaker Matt Hughes focuses on sustainable farming, classic techniques and letting these beautiful grapes shine by letting them be, wait for it, what they are supposed to be and taste like! Matt lets the varietal shine and encourages good ol’ Mother Nature to do her thing. If I wanted a pinot that tasted like Syrah or Zin, I would order a bottle of Syrah or zin. I like wines that are varietally correct and Brassfield Estate is doing it the right way. I’ve chosen three wines that I think are fantastic and hope you do too.

Brassfield Estate Pinot GrisPinot Gris

It’s time for summer and that means some wines you can sit on the patio with and have a bottle or two. It’s 100 percent Gris that has hints of key lime, honey, stone fruit and minerality that screams for oysters or any other kind of fish. The vineyards are on the valley floor of the High Valley at 1,800 feet, giving this wine ripeness and great acidity. Guys. It’s summertime; try a bottle of this Gris. No one will tell on you for watching a ballgame with Pinot Gris in your beer glass!

Brassfield Estate Sauvignon BlancSauvignon Blanc

There’s probably not another grape I enjoy year round as much as SB. Brassfield Estate SB is 100 percent with its own style, which Matt Hughes handcrafted perfectly. Fermentation takes place in steel and then it is transferred to French oak barrels, which creates so many intense layers to this wine. There are so many things that jump out from the nose to the finish that your taste buds will be in overdrive. This wine will not disappoint with any crowd you have around. But, frankly, just get a bottle and drink it. Then open a second and share that one.

Brassfield Estate EruptionEruption

Amazing. This wine over delivers like no other. The vines are located on Volcano Ridge Vineyard (hence the name Eruption, see what they did there?) on steep slopes of an extinct cinder cone. The soils are ideal to stress the vines and make it one intense, but balanced red blend. If there is a wine that you want to have with some grilled meats, and have your guests rave over, this is your bottle. It’s a blend of Malbec, Syrah, Zin, Petite Sirah, and Mourvedre. It’s full-bodied with dark fruit, baking spices, and blueberries. Every time I put my nose to this wine it reminds me of my wife’s berry cobbler. Big roasted berries and a soft finish makes this wine so fun to open with other fans of good wine. It’s a pleaser for sure.

Until next time!

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