Carte Blanche stands for a dedication to producing exclusive, luxury wines in America while taking inspiration from the classical French winemaking tradition. With the concept of "terroir" at its core, Carte Blanche set its sights on Napa Valley, California, with a determination to create unique, world-class wines. The name "Carte Blanche" itself signifies a clean slate, an opportunity to forge a distinctive path in winemaking.
Founded in 2007 by Nicholas Allen, in collaboration with founding Winemaker Luc Morlet in 2008, Carte Blanche embarked on a journey to select specific vineyard sites, each possessing its unique personality, to create wines distinguished by precision, balance, and distinction. The story of Carte Blanche is interwoven with a rich family heritage in the world of wine. Dating back almost a century, the Dillon family, known for acquiring Chateau Haut-Brion in 1935 and Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion in 1983, has played a significant role in the wine industry. It was within this wine-centric environment that the passion for winemaking was ignited. Growing up on a farm in Bedminster, New Jersey, surrounded by generations of family history, wine became a symbol of celebration and tradition. The inheritance of this proud family legacy, passed down through generations, kindled the spark of interest in wine production. A pivotal moment came when a grandmother's gift of a wax seal with initials became the vintner's mark for Nicholas Allen Wines. This mark symbolized the fusion of art and technology, the alliance between winemaker and nature.
Carte Blanche's philosophy revolves around a profound respect for the terroir, acknowledging the responsibility to honour the gifts of the earth. In 2014, the winery welcomed Helen Keplinger as its new winemaker, reinforcing the commitment to this mantra. Each vintage becomes a celebration of Carte Blanche, a canvas for artistic expression that captures the essence of singular or multiple vineyards, varietals, and appellations. Rooted in hands-on viticulture, meticulous vineyard management, and a fusion of classical winemaking techniques adapted to the unique terroir of Northern California. Each bottle of Carte Blanche wine encapsulates the essence of the vintage, the grape varietal, and the land from which it springs.
Recent accolades attest to the exceptional quality of Carte Blanche wines. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard received a 97-point rating from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, exemplifying the plush and velvety characteristics of Napa Cabernet. With its deep, intense flavour profile, softened by a long, elegant finish, this wine is a testament to Carte Blanche's commitment to excellence.
Despite the fact that Carte Blanche has only existed for a relatively short time, it has already received several top scores and reviews from renowned critics. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon received 94 points from both Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate and from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The same cuvée even scored 95 Parker points in 2014 and 2016 and no less than 97 in 2015.Read more