Gravel Series

Passion Rooted in Authenticity

Gravel Series Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

“Growing up at Round Pond, my brother Miles and I played in the vineyards and learned respect and appreciation for the land from our mother and father. Today, as owners, we are proud to continue their hard work with an eye to the future. Offering a second generation of energy and dedication, we have focused on the creation of our family’s estate wine program, and the production of artisan gourmet foods from the abundance of Round Pond’s orchards and vineyards. Our goal has always been to coax the purest and most unique aspects out of the soil and into our wines, and ten years into this endeavor, in 2012, we vinified a new series based exclusively from three unique gravel streaks running throughout our Rutherford Home Ranch and Oakville M-Bar properties. Today, these designated superior vines – picked for their ability to yield powerful yet elegant wines – and superlative winemaking have come together in the Round Pond Gravel Series.”

– Ryan Bracher MacDonnell

Secret Garden

Secret Garden wine

The Secret Garden is a hidden oasis and historic vineyard, MBar Ranch, that sits at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain Range in Napa Valley’s famed Oakville bench.  This wine’s remarkable pedigree and the opportunity to share it amongst family and friends led us to seek out this special vineyard.  Wonderfully gravelly earth and meticulously farmed grapes produce a wine of complexity, nuance, elegance, and femininity.

We dedicate this wine to our Mother – an incredible role model for all the women in our family – whose strength is legendary and eye for beauty remarkable.

93-96 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous ’13

94 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous ’14 

94 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous  ’15

Scholar’s Gate

Scholar's Gate wine

Traditionally a mark of respect to honor the accomplishments of the first family scholar, the Scholar’s Gate is a tribute to perseverance, determination and the power of hard work.  This wine applauds the success of all who strive to achieve great things, overcome challenges, and be extraordinary.

Selected from microsites in the northern corner of our Rutherford vineyards, this wine is big, bold, structured, intense and beautiful.

We dedicate this wine to our Father and his belief that through hard work you can achieve anything.

93 points
Wine Spectator ’13

95 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous ’14

95 points
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate  ’15

The Vow

The Vow wine

Composed of the finest selections from Round Pond Estate, the Vow is sourced from a narrow strip of gravel that runs through the South East corner of our Rutherford vineyard.  This wine is well structured, expressive, dark and serious.  The Vow represents our commitment to past and future generations, to Rutherford and its place in producing outstanding Cabernets.

We dedicate this wine to our siblings, with whom we walk through life and strive to make a difference for the next generation.

94 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous ’12

94 points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous ’14

95+ points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous  ’15

Thomas Rivers Brown

The wines produced under the Gravel Series label are a collaborative effort between the MacDonnell family and Consulting Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. The MacDonnell family’s 40-year tradition of growing world class Rutherford Cabernet combined with Thomas’ skillful palate and exceptional blending, result in a very special series of wines.

Thomas Rivers Brown built his career consulting for outstanding Cabernet houses in the Napa Valley, including Schrader Cellars, Maybach, and Outpost and has received numerous accolades including Food & Wine Magazine’s Winemaker of the Year award and multiple 100-point scores from Wine Spectator and the Wine Advocate.

Thomas RIvers Brown

The Vineyards

Secret Garden

Secret Garden

The soil of our Oakville site lies on a gravelly base overlaid with alluvial soils washed down from the Mayacamas mountain range.  The gravelly foundation provides excellent water drainage, while a subtle slope allows excess water to flow into the Napa River; a perfect combination for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.  This site experiences more maritime influence, with the fog layer lingering later in the morning and arriving earlier in the evening, leading to slightly cooler days and nights.  These mild conditions produce wines with an elegant flavor profile and structure.

Scholar's Gate

Scholar’s Gate

The northeastern section of our Rutherford property, the Red Barn Vineyard, features a gravel streak meandering through three blocks. In these microsites, less water is retained during the growing season, creating stress in the vine.  This “hydro stress” starts very early in the spring, forcing the vine to focus on ripening the fruit, not on the vine growth itself.  Meticulously farmed and delivering lower yields of tiny berries, these blocks produce beautifully concentrated flavors, rich aromatics, and ripe tannins.

The Vow

The Vow

The southeast portion of our Rutherford property, Block 11B, has a gravel riverbed running throughout, with soils that are extremely porous and retain less water during the growing season. The stress in the vine (called “hydro stress”) starts very early in the spring, forcing the vine to focus on ripening the fruit, not on the growth of the vine itself. We farm these individual vines with great care throughout the season to produce this deeply concentrated and intensely structured wine.

Gravel Series Membership

Gravel Series Membership offers access to the highly-allocated, small-production Gravel Series Cabernet Sauvignon’s while they are still in barrel, through an automatic, recurring futures reservation.

Futures allocations occur three times annually in Spring (Secret Garden), Summer (The Vow), and Fall (Scholars Gate). Wines ship upon release in October of the following year.

Contact

For questions or to inquire about a Gravel Series tasting experience or to purchase Gravel Series wines, please contact us:

707-302-2515

gravelconcierge@roundpond.com