Derenoncourt California


We are pleased to announce the official release of our 2009 vintage – Stéphane’s most astounding line-up yet!  These highly-limited wines are available on a first-come, first-served basis while inventory remains.
You may order by purchasing online here, contacting us by email ( or phone (707.363.7990).

2009 Vintage

Warm, generous, and supple. Perfumed, silky and radiant. These are the virtues of the best wines from 2009. But too few achieved these heights due to a pair of torrid rainstorms in October that interrupted an otherwise perfect growing season of cool, even ripening. Those with top terroir, meticulous vineyard practices, and – critically – experience with unpredictable harvest weather were able to make beautiful, ripe, and balanced wines. Benefitting from two decades wrestling the fickle climate gods in Bordeaux, Stéphane brought uncommon skill, sensitivity and patience to this vintage and managed to make a range of wines that we believe is his most compelling to date.

2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Tache d’encre

Class wedded with power – it’s impossible to talk about this wine without using those words. Embodying a James Bond-like rugged sophistication, this relentlessly original expression of mountaintop Cabernet draws you in with its lush aromas, ripe concentration, intense minerality, and – above all – its spirit of adventure. From a tiny plot of terraced vines overlooking Pope Valley near Ink Grade Road, the Tache d’encre (French for “ink stain”) boasts a mélange of fresh berry pie, black currants and toothy tannins coupled with bright acidity, culminating in a warming, tactile finish of cloves, sage, and dried bing cherries. A true vin de terroir, this Cabernet is built for the long-haul, promising decades of pleasure for those patient enough to wait.

160 cases produced. Sold Out.

“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Tache d’Encre flows across the palate with serious depth...This opulent, full-bodied dark rich and totally inviting. ...There is a lot to like in this outrageously beautiful wine.“ – 95+ points
– The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2012 (Antonio Galloni)

2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

How does one marshal the words necessary to depict an experience of the sublime? Like trying to convey the beauty of a concerto by way of a printed score, this heart-stopping Cabernet is one of those rare wines that seem to defy description. Sourced from a tiny parcel in one of Napa’s most hallowed vineyards, nestled among pine and redwoods high atop Howell Mountain, the wine offers a masterclass in Cabernet: profound richness lifted by luscious acidity, supple tannins enveloping the mouth like warm satin, power wedded with precision, stately and pure – and a finish that resonates through the palate like the final chord of Beethoven’s Ninth ringing through a cathedral. Offering flavors of freshly picked blackberries, minced mint leaves, and ground espresso beans, this is one of Stéphane’s most stirring wine yet.

95 cases produced. 

“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is loaded with dark, brooding intensity. Graphite, pencil shavings, mint, plums and black cherries emerge from a wall of powerful, yet well balanced tannins. Layers of rich, blue and black fruit flow through to the effortless, full-bodied finish...quite striking.“– 94 points
– The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2012 (Antonio Galloni)

2009 Napa Valley Merlot, Stagecoach Vineyard

Vivid, voluptuous and inviting, this gem from Stagecoach Vineyard’s rocky soil 2,000 feet up Atlas Peak offers a glimpse of Merlot the way it’s meant to be. Stéphane knows the nuances of Merlot better than anyone, and he has an unsurpassed ability to bring out its very best. That means cultivating a lively freshness that invigorates a lush and deep core of sweet red fruit, resulting in sensations of pure pleasure. With a generous and soaring bouquet of wildflowers, cherries and sweet basil, and flavors of creamy oak, freshly-picked berries and savory herbs blending into soft folds of velvety tannin, this sensual wine is the kind of seduction that leads to addiction. Drink at your own peril.

140 cases produced. Sold Out.

2009 Napa Valley Là-Haut

Brooding and mysterious, this broad-shouldered blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon from our two favorite Howell Mountain vineyards is unique among Napa wines. From the dark aromas of smoked meats, pipe tobacco and bing cherry skins, to the grippy tannins carrying dense flavors of black currants, camphor and grilled herbs, to the rich and savory finish, an alluring aura of secrecy pervades this wine, compelling the taster to come back sip after sip as the wine unfolds its full nature over the course of an evening.

190 cases produced. 

2009 Napa Valley Terres Mêlées

Inspired by the famous wines of St. Émilion where Stéphane built his career, this blend of Cab Franc, Merlot and Cabernet seasons the generosity of Atlas Peak with the intensity of Howell Mountain in one seamless experience. A complex bouquet of cherry compote, roses and chocolate lead to a layered palate of ripe red fruit, ground white pepper and fresh vanilla bean framed by chewy tannins and tangy acidity. Finishing long and rich with the essence of wildflowers and incense, the Terres Mêlées showcases harmony and depth crafted by a master vintner.

290 cases produced. 

“The Terres Mêlées wraps around the palate with serious depth and richness...Plenty of the trademark textural polish. Expressive Cabernet Franc aromatics add lift and a measure of elegance to this expressive, highly nuanced red. Mocha, espresso and sweet grilled herbs are some of notes that linger on the finish.“
– 93 points

–The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2012 (Antonio Galloni)

2009 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Charlie Smith Vineyard

High above the fog line in the Sonoma mountains lies a secluded vineyard offering succulent fruit and breathtaking views. The valley below is covered by a sea of white clouds as far as the eye can see, while up among Charlie Smith’s terraced vines the morning sun warms the grapes glistening with dew. Stéphane has harnessed the natural potential of this stunning property to craft a wine of immense beauty and allure. Its sweet and pure aromas unfold in the glass with cassis and red currants, delicate white smoke, and wintergreen, while its voluptuously textured mouth-feel supports sexy and savory flavors of crushed blackberries, violet and polished new leather.

190 cases produced. 

2009 Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills Vineyard

Our popular entry-level Cabernet from the volcanic soil near Clear Lake is back after a one-vintage hiatus, and in 2009 this wine is hitting new heights of depth and complexity. Harvested at optimum ripeness before the October rains, the grapes’ remarkable concentration and ample acidity gave a wine that strikes the perfect balance between brightness and richness. An enticing nose of fresh plum, caramel sauce and vanilla give way to buoyant yet dense flavors of candied cherries, ground black pepper, and cinnamon, overlaid with lively tannins and a dark minerality. A joy to drink.

880 cases produced. 



Order the 2009 vintage online here.