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Oak Cliff Cellars

"Art in the Bottle; Friendship in the Glass!"

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October 15, 2014



Dear Wine Thief Club Members:



If you attended our last OCC dinner, you had a preview of this month’s shipment. Included are three of our best wines ever and great wines for the holidays - to enjoy with family and friends or give as gifts:  our long awaited Bordeaux-style blend, La Belle Endormie (“Sleeping Beauty”) 2012, along with our current and next releases of Petite Sirah - Amber View Petite Sirah 2012(Lake County) and  Lovers Lane Petite Sirah 2009  (Mendocino), respectively.  These wines are fabulous, but you have to taste them for yourself.


News from the winery:


  • Harvest 2014   This year’s harvest came early.  Overall, it was an average to slightly-above-average harvest by volume and, with the exception of our Wild Diamond Mourvedre, all of our OCC fruit was picked and undergoing fermentation before October.  We are still waiting to pick the Mourvedre, but it is always the last of the Rhones to fully ripen.  That may be why it is such a luscious, fragrant wine that is always seductive…a real crowd teaser/crowd pleaser.


  • Great Grenache!   Some of you will remember that in the first year we made our Rhone wines (2010) we made a Grenache as well as our Syrah, Mourvedre and Rogues Blend. (If you planned ahead and bought a case or two, you may even have a few bottles of this big, voluptuous wine left in your cellar.) In the two years that followed (2011 & 2012), we did not make a Grenache, but decided to use all of it in our Rogues Blend.  In 2012, the new owners of our Wild Diamond vineyard accommodated our wishes for additional fruit and planted grafted additional vines so that, beginning with the 2014 harvest, we will again produce a Grenache varietal.  As a foreshadowing of what is to come in 2014, we may do a very limited bottling of the 2013 Grenache. 

If you are interested in getting some early in 2015, reserve now.  It will not last long!


  • Pinot More?   Many of you have begged for more of the 2007 Oak Cliff Cellars Pinot Noir from Mendocino.  There is none!  Gone!  Finito!  Good news; after several years of looking for Pinot Noir grapes that would be every bit as distinctive and of the same high quality as the ’07, I am ecstatic to announce that we have just made a 2014 Pinot Noir from the outstanding fruit in the Haynes Vineyard in the Coombsville AVA in Napa Valley! The bad news is that we only picked 2.5 tons this year; so we will have fewer than 150 cases.

Our plan is to release it next fall, but better get your name on the list now!

  •  Help us Build the Club!  Even though we are marginally distributed in Dallas and New Orleans restaurants, the largest portion of our wines are reserved for direct shipping to you, our club members, and for special club events.  We want to expand our production, but remain a small,$ artisan winery.  We can only do that by expanding our Club and we need your help doing that!  Our goal is to add at least 150 new members by early next year. As an incentive and thank you for your help in doing so, we will give you half off your next club shipment for each new member you sign up (next shipment free if you sign up 2)!!!  Just have them sign up on our online secure checkout page at 

Still only costs $1.00 to join!


  • Upcoming OCC Holiday Dinner!    For those of you who have attended either our Winemaker dinners in Napa/Sonoma or our Chef's Table dinners in Dallas or elsewhere, you know that they are always very special events.  At this date, our next dinner is scheduled for December   with world-renowned Stephan Pyles at Stephan Pyles restaurant in downtown Dallas.  Make your reservations early; we expect this dinner to sell out!


  • Deal of the Season!   At our last OCC wine dinner we made a very special offer to those club members who attended: 
    • $250 per case for either our 2009 or 2012 Petite Sirah (or mixed case of the two) - 50% off retail price
    • $400 per case for our 2012 La Belle Endormie' (Sleeping Beauty) - 40% off retail price

These three wines are all exceptional and they are included in your shipment; so naturally we thought it only fair to make this same offer available to the rest of the club.   It is unusual for us to discount new releases like our 2012 Petite Sirah and 2012 La Bell Endormie' this much upon release, but we think they are such incredible wines that we want to encourage you to try they now and order enough to enjoy for the upcoming holiday season.  And the 2009 PS is running out, so first come first serve.


This offer is good only through the end of the month, so don't hesitate to take advantage of it!





As always, we hope you enjoy these very special wines and wish you and yours the very best in the upcoming holiday season! Thanks for your support!








Tasting Notes


2012 La Belle Endormie (266 cases produced, 14.0% alcohol)

When we started Oak Cliff Cellars just over 5 years ago, we did so with the clear intention of not making a Cabernet or Cabernet-based blend for one simple reason:  the sea of Cabs and Cab blends is very large and would be one in which a fledgling, very small winery such as ours would be at a major disadvantage for being able to stay afloat and be recognized and even stand out among the many outstanding Cabs and Cab-blends currently being made.  For that reason, we started out by making lesser known varietals, such as Zin and Petite Sirah,  that would give us better odds at making our mark early.  (Besides, we like those two varietals a lot ourselves.)  But as our fan base has grown, we increasingly get the question, “So do you have a cabernet?” or “When are you going to make a cabernet?”  In 2012, we decided to make a Cabernet-based, Bordeaux style blend – in part, to please our fans, and, in part, to see what we could do.  This blend La Belle Endormie (Sleeping Beauty) was made with fruit from the Wild Diamond Vineyard in Lake County and strikes us as being quite remarkable for a first effort:  raspberry, cranberry, a little blackberry, minerals, pencil shavings, vanilla, coffee and toffee with great structure, full bodied, very long finish.  It is still a very young wine so can sleep for a while, but even now, if awakened gently and decanted for a while before serving, is a beautiful wine indeed.  Try this now:  you will want to stock up at this month’s special price of $400/case + shipping and tax – a 40% savings.


Retail:  $55/btl; $594/case (10% off)

Club:    $44/btl; $528/case (20% off)


2009 Lovers Lane Petite Sirah (150 cases produced, 14.5% alcohol)

Our 2009 Petite Sirah comes from the Lovers Lane vineyard in Mendocino County.  These grapes come from younger vines, only 7 – 8 years old, but produce fruit that is intense and bright.  Bottled in 2011, this wine is just now coming into its own but will be around for several years to come.  A rich, perfumed nose of ripe fruit virtually overwhelms the senses from the moment this very dark wine is opened, only to be followed by the layers of blue/black fruit of blue berries and boysenberries with a hint of dust and chocolate on the finish. Try this wine with wild boar, pheasant or lamb as a wonderful complement to the most savory meat dishes; but also try it with chocolate, blueberries or even crème brulee as a wonderful pairing for dessert.  We have only a few dozen cases left and this wine is fully mature, but will drink very well for the next few years.  If you want an outstanding Petite Sirah to impress friends and colleagues and savor for the holidays, take advantage of our offer through the end of the month and pick up a case or two at 25% off - $250/case + shipping and tax.


Retail:  $42/btl; $454/case (10% off)

Club:    $34/btl; $400/case (20% off)


2012 Am ber View Petite Sirah (134 cases produced, 14.0% alcohol)

A bold, full-bodied wine from blue-black fruit tasting of plum, blueberries and hints of black pepper. Although lower in alcohol that our 2009 PS from Mendocino, this wine has bigger tannins, will take a little longer to mature and should drink beautifully for some time to come.   The perfect wine with game, but also paired with desserts (especially dark chocolate) and cheeses.  Buy some of this wine now to lay down and open up a bottle every few months to see how it evolves beautifully over the next couple of years.  Through the end of the month take advantage of our special case price of $250 + shipping and tax, a savings of over 40%.


Retail:  $38/btl; $410/case (10% off)

Club:    $30/btl; $350/case (20% off)