Perliss Vineyards has been quietly building a loyal following in the US amongst collectors and a handful of top restaurants across the country. Anthony Perliss is a man dedicated to his pursuit of making something special with his small but blessed piece of terroir in the Northern Napa Valley. When we say small, we mean that his wines are limited to less than 1000 bottles per cuvee and sold almost exclusively by mailing list.
Shaded by Mount St Helena which adds to the picturesque backdrop of the vineyard in the heart of the Calistoga AVA, they are 100% organic and naturally managed, with ladybugs the only pesticides you will ever find. The 2.6 acre vineyard which was only planted in 2008 comprises of volcanic and loamy soils on a steep west-facing slope.
Adding to this naturalistic environment are handmade clay amphorae which is the choice of vessel to age some of their wines, allowing good aeration of the wines without additional tannins and wood flavors that can often be found in wines that spend too much time in oak. Winemaker Aaron Pott achieves a beautiful balance in crafting seductive, elegant, and superbly refined Cabernet Sauvignon that shows so much versatility in the traditionally warm climate of this AVA. With his vast experience training with the likes of John Konsgaard and Michel Rolland, his skills as a winemaker are complemented by the senior roles he has taken up in wineries such as Chateau Troplong Mondot and La Tour Figeac, allowing him to freely express Cabernet according to the terroir. Supplementing the range is a Bordeaux-styled white with his “Serpents” Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend, this dry white is naturally fermented from the vineyards native yeasts, and aged 16 months in amphorae and neutral French oak which results in a beautifully fragrant, aromatic and honeyed, floral dry white.
Perliss is no doubt one of the great hidden gems of the Calistoga AVA, and the painfully small quantities produced only makes these wines even more special.