The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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66  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 COVER STORY In order to do this, he adopted the French négociant model: using purchased lots from prime vineyards in areas such as Stag's Leap, Oakville and Rutherford and blending them together to create optimal—and optimally priced—Napa Valley wines. The wines, which are beautifully packaged with labels that Carr designed himself in collaboration with Napa Valley graphic artist Pete Nixon, have found a ready acceptance in the on-premise world. "I always believed that brands were built in restaurants. That was my formula, and it proved to be right," says Carr. Today, 55 percent of the volume is sold on-premise. The Joseph Carr label is found in all 50 states, the Caribbean and Canada. One of Carr's proudest moments came when he walked into Bobby Flay's prestigious New York City restaurant, Bar Americain, and spotted a Joseph Carr wine sitting on a cus- tomer's table. "The realization that this was something I created made me very happy," he says with audible emotion. The Right Man for the Job In 2010, Carr partnered with one of the most respected winemakers in the world: Aaron Pott. Carr and Pott had known each other for many years, sharing a high level of wine knowledge and an affinity for French wines ("We bonded over Burgundy," says Pott). They also both had a lot of enthusiasm for bringing great wines to consumers at more accessible prices. Pott brings incredible skills to the job. Studying enology at the University of California Davis, he delved into all aspects of winemaking, including prac- tical application by working part-time in the research laboratory at Robert Mondavi Winery. After completing a Master's degree in viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France, Pott immediately took the posi- tion of Assistant winemaker at Newton Vineyard, under John Kongsgaard. It was at Newton where Pott was intro- duced to Michel Rolland. At many tastings with John Kongsgaard and Michel Rolland, Pott asked Rolland to help find him a job in France. Rolland soon sent word that he had found the ideal position: winemaker at Château Troplong Mondot, Premier Grand Cru Classé St. Emilion. Pott would later become Winemaker and General Manager of Château La Tour Figeac Grand Cru Classé St. Émilion. He later returned to the U.S., and in 2004 accepted the position as Winemaker and General Manager at Quintessa. In 2012, Pott was named "Winemaker of the Year" by Food & Wine magazine in recognition of his classic winemaking philosophy and unparalleled resumé, which includes 45 wines scoring 90+ points by Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, 15 of those receiving scores of 93–96 points. Today, Pott makes wine for many of Napa's very best proprietors, includ- ing Blackbird, Fisher, Quixote and Seven Stones, as well as his own Pott Wines. Good soil and site are my greatest influences as a winemaker.¨ -Aaron Pott Longtime friends, founder Joseph Carr (left) and winemaker Aaron Pott collaborate to make the Joseph Carr wines. "Balance is a word we talk about almost every day," says Carr. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSEPH CARR WINE

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