Saturday Offer - 6/3/2023

Larkmead’s Legend Lives On

Hello Collectors,

A month out from the most iconic American holiday, we’re bringing you one of the most iconic American Cabernet producers. When a Napa Valley legend like Robert Mondavi uses words like “mentor” to describe you, and André Tchelistcheff considers your property one of the best places to make wine, you are doing a lot of things right. Over the last 30 years, the Baker family has built a tremendous following, and we are thrilled to offer you a vast array of their wines today. 

This winery’s rich history begins in 1895, when the Salmina family started producing wine from the property now known as Larkmead. They ran a bustling business that was able to survive Prohibition by selling fruit and making sacramental wine. After Prohibition’s repeal, they began making wines under their own label again, and Tchelistcheff ranked it with Beaulieu Vineyard, Inglenook, and Beringer as one of the best places to make wine in Napa Valley. 

Ownership changed over to the Solari family in 1948, and Larkmead continued ascending. Larry Solari went on to a very distinguished career in Napa, becoming CEO for other historic wineries like Inglenook and BV, eventually becoming Chairman of the Wine Institute. He was also considered a mentor by Robert Mondavi, an extraordinary and rare moniker. 

Larry’s daughter married Cam Baker, and together they have run Larkmead’s 110-acre estate since 1992. Andy Smith (now of DuMOL fame) helped propel the winery into the Napa limelight, thanks to early praise from Robert Parker, who said, “I have been raving about these wines over the last decade, but I am not sure they are on Cabernet lovers’ radar to the extent they merit.” Dan Petroski followed Smith admirably, also garnering similar praise from Mr. Parker, who wrote, “Proprietor Cam Baker and his winemaker Dan Petroski continue to prove irrefutably what a first growth terroir Larkmead possesses.” 

For those unfamiliar with Larkmead’s style, it’s one of the rare Napa Valley producers that walks the line between old and new school. They have the fruit and generosity that you’d expect from modern California, but the structure, minerality, and age-worthiness reminiscent of a California long gone. As Parker said, “These are highly individualistic wines loaded with true personality and class. Pricing remains exceedingly fair by Napa Valley standards, considering the quality of what is in the bottle.” 

Today’s offer highlights the last half-decade from this historic estate. With over 70 years of continuous and painstaking family investment, we can safely call Larkmead one of the greatest estates of Napa Valley. And for all that history, prestige, and quality, the prices we’re offering you today are extremely sharp. So sharp, we recommend you act quickly, as these will undoubtedly start disappearing before long. 

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