The McBride Sisters Wine Collection is a story of two sisters and their passion for wine. Though continents apart, Robin and Andréa were coincidentally raised in wine regions: Monterey, California and Marlborough, New Zealand. They independently developed an appreciation for the craft of fine winemaking. Living across the world from one another, Robin and Andréa were unaware of the other for nearly half their lives. Despite the 7,000 miles that separated them, the sisters would eventually find their way to each other in 1999. Upon meeting, Robin and Andréa quickly discovered they shared the same passion for wine and had remarkably similar upbringings growing up amongst the vineyards. Robin and Andréa created the McBride Sisters Wine Collection to unite their parallel lives and passions. Now the largest African American-owned wine company in the United States, the collection of wines represents a genuine sense of place. Both the New Zealand and Central Coast of California wines are true expressions of each region’s terroir and the McBride sisters’ signature style: a blend of old-world elegance with new-world finesse.
The history of Château Puech-Haut is, above all, the story of Gérard Bru, a visionary man who built his vineyard just as he built his own life: starting from nothing and creating and achieving a dream without question. In 1980, Bru bought a parcel that was planted to olive trees and was not part of the Languedoc A.O.C. classification. Bru was impressed with the area’s unique terroir and believed it was ideal for growing premium grapes, with its clay and limestone soils topped with a layer of rounded pebbles. The property was converted from olives to grapes and the property’s farmhouse evolved to Château Puech-Haut, producing its first wines a few years later.
The wines of Château Puech-Haut are all full of history and endowed with a singular identity with strong character. In summarizing the Estate’s philosophy, Gérard Bru states, “Our objective is clear: produce the greatest wines by respecting and captivating our various terroirs."
About the Region: Marlborough, NZ is in the northern part of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the largest wine producing region in NZ, accounting for three quarters of the country's wine production. Sauvignon Blanc from this region is recognized as the best in the world by many wine experts. The dominant red grape grown in this region is Pinot Noir.
About the winemaking: McBride Sister's Brut Rosé is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir was mainly sourced from Kelly’s Creek Vineyard in Spring Creek, Marlborough. (Fun fact: Andréa helped plant these vines as a child!). Not only is it one of less than a handful of sparkling wines produced by African Americans, but it is also the first Brut Rosé that comes out of New Zealand into the U.S. market. It is made in the Chamant method, which is the process where wine undergoes first or secondary fermentation in large pressurized stainless-steel tanks rather than individual bottles and is bottled under pressure in a continuous process. It is then fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. There are 3.5 grams of residual sugar.
The family crest on the label was created by Robin and Andréa. Breaking it down, Robin shares that the peacock at the top symbolizes their father while the two lionesses on the sides represent their mothers. Next, you’ll see the M and S intertwined together in the middle for McBride Sisters. Look closely and you’ll see that the S is in a curly font, a resemblance of the sisters’ curly locks. The crest is complete with the year 1999 which is the year they met and their journey as sisters began.
Tasting notes: This beautifully salmon-colored wine is delicately structured with gentle notes of rose petals and strawberries and cream. The red fruits carry through the palate with cranberry, peach, strawberry, and raspberry notes taking center stage. There is a hint of toasty complexity and creamy richness that makes this versatile wine work so well in the cooler months. There is a dry finish with lingering hints of spice which really wakes up your palate.
About the Winery: Nestled on the shores of the Mediterranean and the foothills of the Cevennes region of southern France, Chateau Puech-Haut’s vineyards span 625 acres in Côteaux du Languedoc AOC, including 230 acres in Saint Drézéry and 55 acres in Pic Saint Loup. The name 'argali' is the Mongolian word for wild sheep, and it is the largest species of wild sheep. This species has been discovered by Marco Polo and lives in central Asia but is endangered today.
About the winemaking: The grapes are harvested and brought into the winery very early in the morning (2 to 8 AM) and then gently transferred to Bucher press machines. After a soft press, the juice goes into stainless-steel tanks to fine the juice. Alcoholic fermentation and aging on lees are done in the same tanks, which are fully thermoregulated stainless steel vats. This allows the press juice and aromatic parts to retain all their qualities.
Tasting notes: This Chateau Puech-Haut is a lovely pale color. It is complex and flattering citrus nose. It offers clean, crisp notes of white peach, strawberries and hint of flowers in the mouth. Blend: 60% Grenache, 40% Cinsault