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In 1874 Jean Laurent, an immigrant from Bordeaux, France, started his Laurent Winery on the current site of Markham Vineyards. Laurent's first winery was an insignificant wooden structure, which he replaced with a 6000 square foot stone winery in 1879 to meet the demands of his growing winery production. Laurent was one of the top-ten wine producers in Napa County. In 1890, Laurent died at the young age of 53 and over the next 87 years the Laurent winery changed ownership many times.
Bruce Markham arrived in the Napa Valley almost 100 years after Laurent, also looking to start a winery. Markham bought the Yountville vineyard in 1975, the Calistoga vineyard in 1976, the old Laurent Winery in 1977 and the Oak Knoll vineyard in 1978. With almost 225 planted acres and a winery, Bruce Markham founded Markham Vineyards in 1978 and the old Laurent Winery was reborn.
Markham focused on Cabernet Sauvignon in its early days and introduced the Markham Merlot with the 1980 vintage. Between 1978 to 1988 the winery's production increased from 3,500 cases to 20,000 The wine quality and praise from wine critics and consumers increased as well.
In 1988, the old Laurent Winery once again rose like a phoenix to take on another new life. The winery was sold to Mercian Corporation and began an ambitious four-year, multi-million dollar renovation, expansion and vineyard-replanting program. These efforts would be more than double the capacity and make Markham one of the most advanced, stunning winemaking facilities in the country. Even through the dust of the renovation, Markham was able to produce three of the number-one rated wines from California, as judged by Wine Spectator magazine.
Bright Ruby grapefruit zest and honeyed pear aromas combine with mineral and almond highlights in this distinctively California Sauvignon Blanc. Rich flavors of honeydew melon and peach along with a refreshing streak of citrus will marry deliciously with foods ranging from spicy, Asian-influenced fare to tropically-inspired fish entrees. Chill and enjoy!
Creme carmel, tarte tartin, and lemon curd all make appearances in the dessert-like aromas of this Chardonnay. As the wine warms in the glass, its complexity is further enhanced. Crisp green apple flavors are lively, yet fleshy and ripe. Vanilla oak marries well on the palate with mineral and pear notes, turning toasty on the finish.
Aromas of sour cherries, toasted hazelnuts and vanilla cream might sound decadent enough for dessert, but you'll be surprised how perfectly this rich wine works with dinner. Stash a few bottles away to experience what time does to its dense, velvety structure, but by all means enjoy some now for its precious, blackberry fruit.
Richly complex, this wine is a perfect example of Napa Valley terroir. Black fruit, married with briar and anise, gives way to a distinct mineral quality. Toasty vanilla oak, round (but muscular) tannins and balanced acidity complete the texture. Enjoy our first New Millennium Cabernet after 2005.
Old vines do make a difference! With a combined average vine age of over 35 years, our 2001 Zinfandel is wonderfully aromatic, bursting with raspberry jam and spicy vanilla oak. Juicy flavors of creamy, strawberry fruit are balanced nicely with velvety tannins. This old vine Zin is one sassy mouthful.
Summer! Fragrant black plums, so ripe it perfumes the air, lends a syrupy concentration to this old vine, dry-farmed Petite Sirah. Notes of dense espresso and vanilla toast complete the picture. There is absolutely nothing Petite about this Napa Valley Classic!
Full of ripe plum jam laced with vanilla oak, this Pinot Noir has a split personality. Its creamy texture, lush cherry fruit and smoky, maple syrup flavors present a wine delicious in youth. However, fans of mature Pinot Noir may want to tuck a few bottles away as a bright, raspberry fruit acidity and a surprisingly dense core of fine tannins indicate that this wine can go the distance.
Rich and luxurious, this wine feels like slipping into a thick velvet robe after a day at the spa. Flamboyant layers of ripe, juicy berries, toasty vanilla oak and milk chocolate mask the integrated lush tannins. Tempting for immediate satisfaction, however a little restraint should reward nicely as this wine was built to age. Definitely a BAM!
This Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is power and grace in one amazing wine. Opening with dried blueberries, the aromas quickly evolve into juicy, cherry jam punctuated with spicy vanilla oak. Ripe fruit flavors play nicely against the sweet new oak and lively Yountville acidity. The tannins are silky for immediate luxury but promise long life with their smooth, chalky textured finish.