' Moone Tsai - Current Releases

Current Releases


As some may recall, a series of surprises unfolded during the 2017 growing season, among them, abundant winter rains, a Labor Day heat-spike, and unprecedented windstorms that spawned the rampage of Northern California’s wildfires starting on October 7th. While we have gratefully left behind the effects of this historic event; Mother Nature has reminded us of her good graces, i.e., that allowed us to harvest 90% of the crop before the fires hit. This fortuitous sequence permits us to present our remarkable twelfth Cor Leonis Cabernet release, a splendid example of how Mother Nature can transform miracles from calamity.

Deep dark-ruby in the glass, the wine’s olfactory greeting is marked by blackberry, black cherry, and notes of sweet cedar and cigar box. At the outset, the wine’s attack offers hints of black fruit, plum, clove and an earthy freshness. Aged twenty-two months in 42% new French Oak, the mid-palate entices with a sinewy structure marked by grainy tannins, and a deliberate acidity. Further accented with notes of sage, stone and toasted cardamom, the wine is coy and complex, arcing to a satisfying finish of length and resolve. Guardedly assertive, with an underlying vibrancy; the wine is a striking juxtaposition of strength, pluck and intrigue, … reminiscent of the immensely talented actress, Julia Garner, who in her Emmy-award winning role as Ruth Langmore in Ozark, is turning everyone’s head to see what comes next.

Vineyards: Our 2017 vintage demonstrates a remarkable range and complexity befitting its origins from a trifecta of Napa Valley’s most celebrated vineyard blocks. This richly expressive wine draws its prized fruit from Pritchard Hill, St. Helena, and Caldwell Vineyard’s legendary Block-15 – whose vines have flourished in the rocky, volcanic soils of the heralded Coombsville District for over 30 years.
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$249.00 per Bottle
The nearly ideal conditions that characterized Napa Valley’s 2018 growing season are on display with our lovingly rendered Napa Valley Chardonnay. Borne from our highly favored Bald Mountain site – a bowl-shaped vineyard at 1100 feet of elevation…half located in Napa County; the other half – Sonoma-side, this pleasing edition commemorates the tenth anniversary of Phililppe Melka’s first-ever chardonnay, an affirmation of what can happen when extraordinary Bordeaux talent meets Burgundian-style, New World fruit. A “collision” such as this can and does translate to a distinctive, gorgeous expression of artistry and inspiration, as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate attests:

- “The 2018 Chardonnay Napa Valley prances out of the glass with bold, showy pink grapefruit, fresh pineapple and ripe pears notes plus nuances of almond croissant, allspice and lime blossoms. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is gracefully constructed with layers of citrus and savory flavors, a silken texture and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering zesty note.” – 93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
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$79.00 per Bottle
The “textbook” growing season that marked 2018 allowed winemaker Philippe Melka to craft an array of exceptional wines that bear our lionized emblem. Starting with abundant rainfall in February, followed by a moderately late bud break and flowering; gloriously ideal conditions through the spring allowed for a plentiful and even fruit set, followed by a mild summer and fall. Under these nearly ideal conditions, heavenly hangtime allowed the fruit to accumulate delightful flavor complexity with oh-so-gradual increases in sugar…to yield a crop marked by exceptional quality and quantity.

Deep ruby in the glass, our 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet is fragrant with black fruit, cedar and rose petal. While softly alluring on the nose, the wine’s attack is assertive and vigorous, without being noisy or domineering. Concentrated notes of black cherry, boysenberry, earth, and graphite initially predominate, giving way to feints of black tea and cherry cola. Aged twenty months in 56% new French Oak, this expressive wine displays a bright acidity, chalky tannins, and a lightly chiseled muscularity all the way through to a fine, triumphant finish. Deftly potent and deceptively agile, the wine registers with immediate impact, much in the way that the Arizona Cardinals’ prodigiously talented playmaker, QB Kyler Murray continues to do…since entering the NFL after claiming the Heisman Trophy in 2018.

The backbone of this remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from Atlas Peak and Soda Canyon, an area located in southeast Napa Valley where soils are characterized by a blend of volcanic and granite-like sub-soil. The most prominent of these vineyard blocks is planted at the base of Atlas Peak on the eastern ridge of the valley, at an elevation of 842 feet. Grapes from this area enjoy both the structure characteristic of hillsides, and the rich flavors that mark valley floor fruit. Western exposure provides afternoon sun for the 2,000 vines that are densely planted in soil with extremely low fertility…which invites the vines to grow deeper roots that seek nutrients and allow for intense fruit and a softer structure.
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$99.00 per Bottle
After inspecting the wine’s deep ruby hues, one is quickly drawn to its alluring aromatics of bold mountain fruit, redolent with black cherry, plum and hints of earth and savory sage. The attack does not demur, expounding with notes of crushed blackberries, cassis, graphite, cedar and baking spices in an arcing narrative that announces the fabled story of Howell Mountain itself, from which the rich history and great traditions of Napa Valley winemaking originate. Aged 22 months in 42% new French Oak, the wine divulges a delicious dialectic of depth, density, and dimension; striking, and strident upon introduction; knowingly forthright with grainy tannins through the mid-palate, only to finish satisfyingly in wizened and soulful repose. While comparisons may be made between artisan winemaking and the care applied to establishing a well patinaed leather jacket (Steve McQueen’s favorite Belstaff Racer; or Marlon Brando’s Schott One Perfecto made famous in The Wild One), one cannot help but hear the incomparable Joe Walsh beckoning us with his oft-touted refrain*, …customarily offered in concert with a toast made to fine friends and family over a thoughtfully prepared meal, tasty wines and easy conversation:

I go to parties sometimes until four
It's hard to leave when you can't find the door
It's tough to handle this fortune and fame
Everybody's so different, I haven't changed

They say I'm lazy but it takes all my time
(Everybody say oh yeah, oh yeah)
I keep on goin' guess I'll never know why
*Life's been good to me so far
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$139.00 per Bottle
 Deeply dark ruby with an alluringly inky opacity in the glass; our first-ever Moone Tsai Petite Sirah reveals itself as a beguiling siren that will compel double-takes from first glimpse to final finish. Gorgeously expressive on the nose, the wine invites immediate attention…teasing the nose with sultry suggestions of black and blue fruits, violets, and earth. The wine’s attack does not demur, taking hold with hints of ripe black plum, black cherry, kirsch, licorice, and lightly toasted oak. Fine supple tannins and a pleasing acidity complete the wine, with 42% new French oak (22 months) framing a superbly balanced, lusciously layered wine that finishes with a teasing sensuality and élan. While comparisons to remarkably memorable divas might inspire some debate, we suggest pairing this Palisades-pleaser with some recorded selections from the especially fair and fetching Grammy-Award-winning songstress, the incomparable Diana Krall.
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$99.00 per Bottle
Lemon/straw-hued upon inspection, our 2018 vintage of this coveted chardonnay speaks glowingly to its fabled Sonoma Coast origins just miles from the Russian River and the cooling influences of the Pacific Ocean. Demure on the nose, notes of star jasmine invite inspection, giving way to hints of tropical fruit and ripe pear. The wine’s attack encourages further examination, greeting the palate with nods to white nectarine, lilikoi, sweet oak and a suggestion of (Oh!) bananas foster. Whole cluster-pressed, barrel-fermented (partial malolactic fermentation), and aged 16-months sur lie in 45% new French oak, the wine displays a notable freshness and focus through a pleasing acidity and delicate structure. Radiant with aplomb and grace, one is reminded of a young Gwyneth Paltrow in her Oscar-winning role as Viola de Lesseps in the fanciful depiction of love behind the curtain, Shakespeare in Love. Summoned by unforeseen circumstances to rescue the doomed premiere of Romeo & Juliet, Viola is compelled to walk-on to a proscribed stage debut, and does so, unflinchingly in Act-1, Scene-3,…the crescendo to this film’s fanciful narrative, that in 1999, triumphantly went on to claim seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
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$89.00 per Bottle

While the whimsy of Mother Nature was on full display during the 2017 growing season, the hallmarks of brilliant fruit borne by the remarkable Ritchie Vineyard in the storied Russian River Valley glisten gloriously in the glass. Hints of floral aromas combine with a subtle grassiness and citrus notes to announce the wine’s arrival. Beyond this olfactory greeting, the wine further entices with suggestions of white nectarine, lilikoi, toast, and lemon zest. Barrel-fermented and aged 16-months in 37% new French Oak, the wine is delicately oaked, and further reveals a soft layering of texture and flavors, enhanced by a pleasing acidity and subtle richness. Showing an alluring depth and nuanced complexity at this delightful stage of gilded youthfulness, this charming chardonnay brings to mind our older daughter, Paige, for whom this most remarkable wine is named.

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$99.00 per Bottle
The bright ruby red hues Corinne Cuvée’s inaugural vintage signal the arrival of Moone Tsai’s foray into pinot noir. Aromas of ripe red fruits, complemented by hints of rose petal and fresh herbs mark the wine’s alluring nose. This salutation extends on the attack, inviting inspection by way of ripe wild cherry and raspberry notes, accented by suggestions of black tea, earth and shaved graphite. Fermented in open-top stainless-steel tanks, and aged 16-months in 70% new French Oak, the wine reveals a soft layering of texture, flavors and a delicate acidity. True to its namesake, Corinne, this memorable first offering is pretty and bright, with a fetching freshness, and vitality that will enhance any occasion with delightful anticipation.
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$99.00 per Bottle