In 2018, we began making Cabernet Sauvignon with the Murphy family and Dieter Cronje at Presqu’ile Winery and bottled it as a private label for a New York City Michelin-starred restaurant. The response was outstanding so in 2020, we contracted additional vineyards to produce just over 1,000 cases. Given that it didn’t fit into the Provençal origins of our “Railsback Frères” label, we named it “Roman Ceremony” a celebration of the birthplace of wine.
The Cabernet Sauvignon for this project was sourced in a partnership with two organic vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. One is within the Happy Canyon AVA with a south-facing orientation on gravelly loam and studded with diverse rocky galets. The second is in the Los Olivos AVA on a bench-like terrace of fine, sandy loam with clay subsoil, and was planted to budwood from Cheval Blanc and is lovingly farmed with the application of a biodynamic worm compost tea. The combination of these two terroirs is perfectly suited to Bordelaise varietals, offering a Cabernet Sauvignon with elegance and grace.
The 2020 vintage enjoyed optimal ripeness, temperedby the transverse valley of Santa Barbara County which protected our vines from the fire damage so unfortunate ingrowing areas to the north and south. While considered a riper-style vintage than others in recent history, the team harvested on the earlier side (between 23.3 and 23.9 Brix) and after tasting from the barrel at the beginning of this year, the juiciness, accessible style, and use of only neutral barrels for a release at the beginning of July. With classic notes of black cherry, chocolate, mint and peppercorns, this inaugural release of Roman Ceremony is a Cabernet Sauvignon meant to be enjoyed tonight!