Cheval Blanc and Bryant Alum’s Own Napa Red Blend
The most sought after producers in Napa Valley often grow more fruit than they need, but only those with the best connections can get their hands on it. So when former Bryant assistant winemaker and Philippe Melka protégé Anna Monticelli teamed up with renowned wine broker Kimberly Jones, they began calling in some favors. Together, they gained access to parcels from blocks growing right alongside those destined for the elite bottles everyone chases at auction. The result is the 2014 Tether Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — a richly layered red blend that Robert Parker described as “deep, elegant, expressive wine.”
Partnered under the name Tether, Jones and Monticelli form a dynamic partnership stacked with winemaking expertise and a deep rolodex of valley contacts. Robert Parker wasn’t exaggerating when he said Jones represents “many of the best producers” in California; her clients include Blankiet, Clos du Val, Hourglass, Scarecrow, Maybach, O’Shaughnessy, and Ovid, to name just a few. The other half of Tether, Anna Monticelli, provides the winemaking talent. She spent her first vintage at Cheval Blanc, followed by nearly five years under superstar Philippe Melka at Bryant Family as assistant winemaker.
While an NDA prevents us from disclosing exactly where the fruit for this wine comes from, Monticelli told us that there’s a portion of Howell Mountain and St. Helena grapes in the blend, and that the wine is entirely from volcanic or loam-influenced benchland vineyards. Tether is aged in 100% French oak, of which 80% is new. A classic Left Bank-inspired final assemblage, the finished Tether is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec.