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Premium Wine Club

Each Quarter Sommelier Josh French will select 6 premium wines for you to select from. For only $100 each quarter, you will select 2 wines from the premium list to enjoy. Your two wines on average would cost $150 or more at the restaurant. Scroll down to view the Fall 2019 Selection.

Premium Club Members Enjoy:

  • Two bottles from our premium wine selection, quarterly
  • For every dollar spent at the Rack House earn points towards a $25 gift card
  • Receive a $25 Gift Card for every $250 spent
  • Points received on all purchases made at Tompkins by The Rack House
  • Only for members plus one. Points will not be rewarded for parties larger than two, including the member
  • Points not rewarded for payment of private banquet room events
  • During the member’s birthday month, $15 will be given towards any purchase at Tompkins by The Rack House®
  • Discounts and access to off-menu bottles of wine
  • Discounts on Wine Club Dinners and other special events
  • Pre-sale access to special events

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Tompkins Sommelier Selection - Fall 2019

ROAR “Santa Lucia Highlands” Chardonnay 2017

ROAR Wines is a small family winery specializing in small lots of Santa Lucia Highland’s Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. Both Gary and Rosella Franscioni grew up in California’s agricultural heartland where Gary’s family has farmed for over 100 years. After graduating from Cal Poly with a degree in agribusiness, Gary took over the running of the family farm business, which owned and managed over 200 acres of row crops in the Salinas Valley. Recognizing the region’s potential for premium wine grapes, they planted their first vineyard in 1996 and named it for Rosella. In 1997 they planted the Garys’ Vineyard in partnership with their good friends and fellow grape growers, the Pisoni family. Since then they’ve planted two more vineyards; the “high-altitude” Sierra Mar Vineyard located at 1000ft above the valley floor and the Soberanes Vineyard, located on one of the region’s oldest land grants.

 In 2001, after working with several wineries to develop the pedigree of the vineyards and the region, they began making their own wine. “As third generation growers, the goal with ROAR Wines is to make small lots of wine that are a pure reflection of the Santa Lucia Highlands, and in particular, the signature flavors of the vines,” says Gary. The name ROAR comes from the sound of the Monterey Bay winds that roar through the vineyards, as well as the thrilling sound of a roaring crowd.

Lifted citrus and floral aromas open the gates to a rich depth of textured fruit. White peach and lemon cream fill the palate, enveloped by woodsy herbs, green tea, and jasmine. These fruit and floral elements continue to blossom over time, as a thread of graphite emerges to wind through a bright fruit finish layered with hints of crème brulée and honey.

Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2017

The unusual style of our Sauvignon Blanc has been created by a confluence of factors. A key component of this wine is the highly floral Sauvignon Musqué selection from Sancerre, which comprises one-third of the blend. The Shenandoah clone balances this out nicely with its classic herbal, somewhat grassy character. For the first time, a substantial proportion of grapes were harvested from their own young estate vineyards — nearly 30 percent. 18 percent new barrels were used to help to moderate green flavors. Elevage in barrel also allows for our biweekly lees-stirring, vital to developing rich mouthfeel. There is a bright, shimmering, green-gold hue of this Sauvignon Blanc. Its enticing aroma is highly perfumed with honeysuckle, citrus blossom, white rose and gardenia. Honeydew melon, nectarine, ripe Rainier cherry, tangerine, Kaffir lime and summer hay add complexity, along with hints of sweet oak and toasted hazelnut. On the palate, vibrant acidity is finely balanced with a rich, creamy mouthfeel creating a unique textural experience — reminiscent of a refreshing blood orange sorbet. The finish is broad and lingers with sweet pink grapefruit and Meyer lemon zest.

Champagne Le Mesnil, Champagne Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs N/V

The Le Mesnil co-operative was established in 1937 in the heart of the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil Sur Oger in the Côtes des Blancs, which is widely regarded as the source of the region’s best Chardonnay. Currently, the winery is owned by the Union des Propriétaires-Récoltants, who collectively own around 754 acres of vineyard, with winemaker Gilles Margue at the helm. Margue, who joined the winery in 2001 and was promoted in 2005, has a National Diploma in Oenology and has worked internationally in California, New Zealand, and in South Africa.

Vineyards are located half on the plains and half on the hillsides, taking full advantage of the sun. Under Gilles Marguet, the principles of “la lutte raisonnée” are applied, limiting the use of chemicals, and yields are restricted by pruning to 4-5 buds in each cane. The vineyards all have excellent hydric qualities due to the base layer of chalk in the soil, which retains water even during droughts, thus allowing the Chardonnay to reach its full potential. 100% of the vineyards are ranked Grand Cru.

Every step of the vinification process is carried out with the utmost respect. Modern and well equipped cellars allow them to work according to time respected traditions, whilst enabling them to closely monitor each cuvee. Wines are aged for a minimum of three years in the co-operative’s chalk cellars, resulting in Champagne that is finessed and ethereal, with fine acidity. Following release, non-vintage wines can be cellared for three to five years and vintage wines for up to twenty years depending on the vintage. Their Le Mesnil Non-Vintage cuvee recently won a gold medal at the “Chardonnay du Monde” competition in 2015.

This particular cuvee is made by blending various parcels of Chardonnay qualities which give the wines their complex and mouth-waterring flavours. This seductive Champagne is a reflection of the house style of Le Mesnil and is perfect throughout a meal, from aperitif to dessert and indeed at any time of the day or night. The Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru and comes from 2014 with 90%, 5% harvest 2013, and 5% harvest 2010. Bottling then occurred in April 2015, minimum 3 years of aging in cellar. Disgorging occurred in 2018 as BRUT (sugar dosage 9.6 g/l). This wine appears light, green-tinged yellow. Mineral-accented aromas and flavors of candied orange, pear, white flowers, and ginger. Juicy and precise, presenting lively citrus and orchard fruit flavors underscored by chalky minerality. Dry and incisive on the finish, which shows outstanding clarity and persistence.

Von Strasser “Diamond Mountain” Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Diamond Mountain District is a relatively small AVA at the northern end of Napa Valley. The eponymous Diamond Mountain forms part of the Mayacamas Mountains, which divide Napa from Sonoma Valley. Like most of the rest of the famous area, Diamond Mountain District’s wines are based largely on Cabernet Sauvignon, making big, bold red wines with good structure and a lot of potential for cellaring.

Rudy and Rita von Strasser set out looking for a vineyard property to make their home. Having already developed a deep passion and talent for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Rudy was committed that the property must be in a microclimate blessed with the ability to grow and produce the finest red wines in Napa Valley; wines worthy to carry the von Strasser family name. Serendipitously, the old Roddis Estate Winery on Diamond Mountain had just been put on the market, and in the spring of 1990, the von Strasser label was born.

The history of the property reads like a who’s who of early California Cabernet History. After being denied a permit to turn his estate into a golf course, William Bounsall decided to subdivide his property, and in 1968 sold 1/3 of his property to Albert Brounstein. Canadian born, Al pioneered the modern decade of winemaking in this AVA by planting Cabernet Sauvignon in three distinct vineyard sites and bottling each separately under the name Diamond Creek Vineyards. The next year, 1969, Bounsall himself decided to get into the grape business and planted 2 acres to Cabernet Sauvignon with bud-wood from the famous Martha’s Vineyard. In 1978, Bill Roddis bought the Bounsall ranch and started Roddis Cellars. The wines were made by Andre Tcheistcheff, and in their days where considered by many to be the biggest wines made in the Napa Valley. In 1985, the winery was sold to the Gilby family (British gin), who used it as a corporate retreat. The vineyards, now totaling about 7 acres, were leased to Pine Ridge Winery, who bottled the grapes separately as their “Diamond Mountain” Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1990, Rudy and Rita von Strasser bought the property and began the fulfilling task of renovating and modernizing the estate and the vineyards to make the property one of the gems of Diamond Mountain.

The building that houses the winery is an historic barn that was built in the late 1880’s. Through careful planning it has been remodeled into a modern winemaking facility while retaining its working-ranch charm. To take full advantage of the hillside location and to better control the variables of winemaking, the von Strassers added caves to their property. Dug into the virgin hills, these caves retain an ideal climate for barrel aging, and average temperature of 55 degrees and an average humidity of 80% initial taste read “coffee and chocolate followed by red currant on the nose that leads to a  powerful and intense burst on the palate. The strength of the palate is moderated by detailing a stony mineral flavor, with freshness to shift the dark blueberry-skin chewiness of the tannins.

Clos des Brusquières, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016

 The Clos des Brusquières is an old property, owned by the Courtil-Thibaut family, whose cellars are located in what appears to be a family house on the edge of the village. It’s a very low-key operation, run by Claude and his two sons, David and Jérome. Inherited from his grandfather, Claude’s father died when he was only three years old and so the vineyard was rented out for several years until he was old enough to take control. The domaine extends to some 10 hectares of vines, divided into numerous parcels, including one within the walls of the château itself. The vineyards include all thirteen varieties permitted in the appellation but, like Bonneau, there is a strong reliance on Grenache, which accounts for up to 80% of the blend. The white varieties are simply vinified with the red grapes, since there is only one single red expression of Châteauneuf-du-Pape produced here. Initially the nose gives off things like vanilla, toast, tobacco, red fruit, cedar. It’s layered with subtle thyme, clove , cinnamon , black pepper, and dust. Moving to the taste the wine gives the palate black currant, blackberry, leather, blueberry, blackberry, and violet. The vanilla from the oak is evident along with the smoke and toast that was on the nose.

Plumpjack Merlot 2016

The 2016 vintage was yet another drought year – the fifth in a row in the Napa Valley. Though the little rain that did fall came at the right time. The vines got a healthy dose of water before and after budbreak, when they need the water for a burst of growth. The spring and early summer were warm and dry, and the days grew hotter as summer progressed. It seemed as though we would have another early harvest due to the heat of late-August and early-September. However, the days cooled enough for the grapes to mature more slowly, allowing flavor to develop and tannin to mature prior to harvesting. After pressing, the wine was moved into oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation. 75% of these barrels were new barrels and the balance were once-filled barrels. 88% of their Merlot barrels were French Oak Bordeaux barrels and 12% were American Oak barrels. A touch of Malbec was added to the blend to add depth and weight to the palate. The Merlot was aged for 19 months before bottling. The mild climate and alluvial soils of the Oak Knoll District lend this wine great balance and structure. The alluvial soils bring darker fruits to the nose and palate, and give this wine its structure and concentration. The 2016 vintage has layers of aromatics ranging from black cherry, plum, and raspberry to graham cracker, vanilla, butterscotch, and sweet hickory smoke. These flavors extend to the palate, which has a rich and silky entry with bright acidity and firm structure, resulting in great tension, balance, and persistence on the finish.