Moone-Tsai Wines

Moone Tsai

About

We are delighted to present Moone-Tsai's rare and remarkable wines, whose pedigree is rooted in an extraordinary combination of exceptional fruit, terroir, and artisanal winemaking. With a commitment-to and experience-in creating notable wines, including the production of three celebrated #1-rated wines in the world, we created Moone-Tsai Wines with the simple mission of crafting the finest wines that we know-how.

Location Description

Tasting room located on the Brasswood Estate in St. Helena, CA

Features

  • Contact us to schedule appointments for winetasting, and wine-paired lunches ..featuring flights of 4 wines, and facility tour.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 149

Winemaker

Philippe Melka:

Bordeaux-bred, and mentored by the world's most revered wine masters, Philippe brings to winemaking a philosophy that is elegant in its simplicity and bewitching to its beholders.

Charming yet humble, straightforward but genteel, Philippe is quick to credit the masterful influences of Delmas and Masclef from Haut-Brion; Moueix and Berrouet from Petrus; Paul Draper from Ridge; and Michel Rolland from Chateau Le Bon Pasteur. Notwithstanding Philippe's disarming modesty, the imprint he has left wherever he has applied his "touch" is unmistakable.

Having put the likes of Dominus, Hundred Acre, Bryant Family Vineyards, and Dana Estates on the map for discerning cabernet enthusiasts, the fact that Robert Parker named Philippe as one of the world's top nine consulting winemakers is no coincidence.

Philippe is creating extraordinary wines for Moone-Tsai that bear the imprimatur of his celebrated winemaking style and the winery's core artisanal values, all revealed in the classic combination of distinctive vineyard, terroir and fruit. From this, Moone-Tsai proudly presents exceptional wines of concentrated elegance and finesse...beguilingly balanced with strength, power, and subtle exuberance.

History

As with many starry-eyed endeavors, the origins of Moone-Tsai trace from a shared vision that was hatched with the convergence of purpose, passion, pluck, and persistence. Fresh out of Harvard Business School, MaryAnn set her sights on a career in the Napa Valley wine industry. By dint of her bold vision and uncanny knack for getting things done, she found herself knee-deep in helping to create some of Howell Mountain's most acclaimed wines, most notably the establishment of Beringer's legendary Bancroft Ranch Merlots. In subsequent years, while MaryAnn was able to leave her imprimatur on a variety of other acclaimed wine releases and AVAs (including three wines that each received ratings of #1-rated Wine in the World), she never forgot the allure of Howell Mountain.

When Larry and MaryAnn started Moone-Tsai wines in 2003, they created their label with the dream of making rare and remarkable wines bearing the finest fruit from Napa Valley's most heralded vineyards. Guided by this vision, and with Howell Mountain beckoning, Moone-Tsai launched its distinctive, limited production cabernets, chardonnays, and Bordeaux blends - among them, Moone-Tsai's landmark Howell Mountain Hillside Blend.

Coming full circle, MaryAnn and Larry are now pleased to call the magical, mystical Las Posadas district of Howell Mountain their home. With their winery and tasting room operations located down the hill in St. Helena, they are pleased to share their bounty.

As founders and owners who are entrenched in every aspect of our winery operations, we exercise great care to ensure that the wines we produce and present live up to the simple mission that we abide by. Moreover, as devoted residents of our beloved Howell Mountain, we take special pride in sharing wines that bear the "best of the best" fruit from within this celebrated AVA, and additionally from among the most prized vineyard blocks across Napa Valley.

The Team

MaryAnn Tsai - Co-Founder, Owner:

Growing up in a spirited Italian family in Boston, Massachusetts, MaryAnn spent summers helping her grandmother tend a verdant garden featuring rows of vegetables, herbs, and an especially precious vineyard. From the last of these, the family celebrated the rite of winemaking; a tradition that young MaryAnn did not fully appreciate until years later.

During her college years, MaryAnn found herself again ensconced in vineyards; this time in a study-abroad program at the University of Angers, France. Located in the glorious Loire Valley, the idyllic town of Angers epitomized French country living and was the perfect place to spark a willing palate for simple, but well-crafted wines and inspired cuisine. It was here that MaryAnn caught "the bug" that would fuel her interest in wines, and ultimately inspire her move to Napa Valley, her graduation from Harvard Business School, and the launch of a wonderful career in the wine industry.

Hired by Mike Moone to join Beringer Wine Estates in 1989, MaryAnn realized a long-standing dream to live and work in the legendary Napa Valley. During this time, and over the next 20+ years, she was involved with producing notable wines and brands, three of which earned the distinction of being named as "Wine Spectator's #1-rated Wine in the World". With the creation of Moone-Tsai wines in 2006, MaryAnn and Larry have set their sights on earning a fourth #1 rating...under the Moone-Tsai banner. Alongside their shared pursuit of this grand-vins endeavor, MaryAnn and Larry are especially proud to raise their two daughters in the fabled Napa Valley wine country that they are pleased to call home.

Larry Tsai - Co-Founder, Owner:

As a first generation Chinese-American boy growing up in the lively North Shore neighborhoods of New York's Long Island, Larry held a peculiar fascination for the "yin-yang" that one might confer upon the daily experience. Indeed, in an environment where conventions frequently compelled forced choices (Yankees v. Mets; Ginger v. Maryann; dim sum vs. lox & bagels; etc.), he often instead strayed to permutations of the many possibilities lying therein, and beyond.

While this fascination might have led him to distraction, he was able to synthesize this into a world view that would prepare him for the many opportunities that awaited him in college, and later, in his professional and personal life. After earning degrees at Princeton and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Larry embarked on a variegated career that enabled him to indulge his intertwining interests in wine, food, and the arts.

By way of his experiences across Fortune 500 companies, and atop emerging gourmet/food/lifestyle enterprises and Napa Valley non-profits; Larry has combined his management skills with a calling to create and deliver extraordinary wines and experiences that support the Moone-Tsai credo.

Since taking the winery's helm in 2010, Larry has moved Moone-Tsai from its single-cabernet-infancy to the brand's current annual production of seven acclaimed wines across 3,000 cases, with distribution in selected U.S. markets and abroad. Along the way, he has found that the simple pleasure of connecting with people who enjoy well-crafted wines is nothing less than divine. Teaching and tasting with the newly impassioned to the more studied and discerning; from Baton Rouge to Bali, Seoul to Sun Valley, Jackson Hole to Jakarta, and Manhattan to Mumbai; he is reminded of the axiom that posits how adept that Napa Valley wines can be in bringing together people over good times and fine conversation.

Mike Moone - Co-Founder, Emeritus:

With his passion for ideas, tireless imagination, and a contagious joie de vivre, Mike burnished a reputation as one of Napa Valley's iconic visionaries and enterprise-builders. After making his mark in a variety of CEO roles, Mike connected his long-standing passion for wine to building a series of wine-enterprises in the Napa Valley, including Beringer Vineyards, Silverado Partners, and with MaryAnn and Larry, as co-founders of Moone-Tsai wines. While Mike is no longer involved with Moone-Tsai, he dedicates much of his retirement energies to family, golf, travel, and his latest personal wine endeavor, Thousand Vines.

Stephen Gage - Director, Hospitality and Sales:

Stephen comes to us with extensive experience in winery hospitality-management and operations, having built the retail operations and DTC related businesses for Miner Family Vineyards over a 14 year period, and more recently at Mi Sueño Winery.

In this role, Stephen will be responsible for managing all aspects of our hospitality/tasting room operations, customer service, order fulfillment, and related DTC initiatives. When he's not pouring wine or hosting guests in the cave, you may find him out on the golf course or enjoying live music, but always with a great glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in hand.

Jasper - Director of Mousekeeping:

As the property’s honored Leonis-in-Domicilio (“Lion in residence”), Jasper is charged with keeping Las Posadas’ unwelcomed guests under strict control (“mus-non-grata”). For these thankless endeavors, he is entitled to regular rewards of cabernet and kibble. While felines are known to hit the catnip now and then, Jasper inclines to the softer side of sobriety.

Practices & Techniques

With our mission to craft the finest wines we-know-how, our philosophy is rooted in our approach to winemaking. Straightforward in concept, but requiring meticulous attention to detail, we leverage our long-standing grower relationships to secure extraordinary fruit available from Napa Valley's most notable vineyards and districts, including Howell Mountain, Oakville's To Kalon, Coombsville's Caldwell Vineyard, along with coveted blocks on Pritchard Hill, St. Helena and Bald Mountain.

With the "best of the best" fruit at the wine's core, our winemaker Philippe Melka then painstakingly plies his craft; making sure that: "Where possible...the winemaking techniques in the cellar can create a wine that tells the story of the vineyard." Carrying this approach through every aspect of winemaking, from harvest, to declassification, blending, and barrel/bottle-aging; the end result is a stunning reflection of a core philosophy grounded in a simple, elegant design, and practiced with ardor, persistence, and inspired winemaking.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Cor Leonis Cabernet: Draws its prized fruit from Oakville's heralded To Kalon Vineyard, Pritchard Hill, and Caldwell Vineyard's legendary Block-15 – whose vines have flourished in the rocky, volcanic soils of the heralded Coombsville District for over 30 years.

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Much of the fruit for this wine was sourced from the Caldwell Vineyard in Coombsville, an area of southeast Napa Valley where soils are characterized by a unique blend of red volcanic soils and clay. The vineyard is planted on a gently sloping plateau, and the comparatively temperate climate of the area, versus the warmer territory up valley, serves to lengthen the growing season. The grapes are allowed to achieve full ripeness without the pressure of heat extremes common in warmer areas, and low vigor soils throughout the vineyard create small, dense clusters.

Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: The grapes that made this wine were grown in an east-facing hillside Howell Mountain vineyard perched 2100 feet above the Napa Valley floor. The terraced vineyard is planted on an extreme slope, producing thick-skinned clusters capable of creating a wine with intensity, structure, elegance, and weight.

Napa Valley Chardonnay: Bald Mountain, a neighbor of Mount Veeder, is situated in the Mayacamas Mountains on the western border of the Napa Valley. The south-facing vineyard sits at nearly 1600 feet above sea level, and offers stunning views of both the Sonoma and Napa Valleys, as well as of Marin's Mt. Tamalpais to the south. Cool sunshine is abundant throughout the growing season, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly while varietal character evolves completely.

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay: The backbone of this wine hails from the Charles Heintz Vineyard located in Occidental, near the rocky Sonoma County coastline. The 30-year-old Chardonnay vines are planted on deep, desirable Gold Ridge Sandy Loam top-soils – to which many attribute the unique varietal expression shown by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in the Sonoma Coast and Russian River appellations. The nearby Pacific brings deep and cooling fog over the vineyard nightly during the growing season, encouraging patient ripening and the development of delicate flavors.

Awards

• Winemaker-Philippe Melka: Named by Robert Parker as “…one of the top 9 winemakers in the world…”
• “The star among current releases …with a structure that is as precise, supple, and vibrant as Bach’s cello suite.” – Robb Report
• Enjoyed by discerning collectors at The White House, 10 Downing Street, The Imperial Palace of Japan


• 2016 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: “…full-bodied, vibrant, expressive” - 98+ points – Robert Parker

• 2016 Cor Leonis Cabernet Sauvignon: “…exuberant, full, rich and powerful with velvety tannins”- 96 points – Robert Parker

• 2016 Paige Cuvée Chardonnay: “…delicate nuances of grapefruit, lemongrass and spiced apple”- 95 points – Robert Parker

• 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet: “full-bodied, firm, grainy; lively great intensity of black, blue fruits” – 93+ points – Robert Parker

• 2015 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: “Big, rich, with firm, fine tannins;…offers tons of layers” – 96 points – Robert Parker

• 2015 Cor Leonis Cabernet Sauvignon: “Rich, …lovely, velvety, delicious, …A BLOCKBUSTER!” – 95 points- Robert Parker

• 2014 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: “…a beauty…with terrific minerality, gorgeous density, and an intense, full-bodied mouthfeel” – Robert Parker; 96 points

• 2014 Cor Leonis Cabernet: “a nuanced, deep wine that marries finesse with power …” 95 points – Antonio Galloni

• 2013 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: “…a magnificent wine…” 96 points – Robert Parker

• 2013 Cor Leonis Cabernet Sauvignon: “… seamless, voluptuously textured …” 95 points – Robert Parker

• 2012 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: “…incredible depth, majestic texture, a finish lasting 50 seconds”- 96 points – Robert Parker

• 2012 Cor Leonis Cabernet Sauvignon: “… opulent, full-bodied-rich …” 94 points – Robert Parker

• 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay: “Masterful, full-bodied and impeccably balanced” 97 points – California Connoisseurs’ Guide

• 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay: “…a wine of grand depth and breadth, its near-profligate richness is matched by very careful construction, enthusiastically recommended without caveat or condition.” 95 points – California Connoisseurs’ Guide

• 2010 Cor Leonis Cabernet Sauvignon: “Strikingly beautiful, … vibrant, gorgeous”; 94 points – Robert Parker

• 2010 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend: “Spectacular… terrific aromatics, richness and full-bodied”- 95 points – Robert Parker

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Hours

Daily: Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Address

3111 St. Helena Highway-North
St Helena, California 94574
United States

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