Attack of the (Secret) Clone

The Secret Clone Cabernet Sauvignon was discovered on the Pope Valley property that has been a key grape source since 1993. This clone was planted by the then owner Carl Sciambra around 1996. He was given the budwood from another Winery and vineyard owner. Initially, they called it the “Parma” clone, but when we purchased the property in 1999 we did some research and found no such viagra fedex overnight shipping clone. We have a Chardonnay block as well and have a special deal for you at the bottom of this post.

The Source

In 2000, we made the first wine from the original block. It was exceptional and unique. When I asked the winemaker who had given the budwood to Carl, he, nervously, claimed that he didn’t remember giving anything to Carl. He said that maybe it was clone 7 but, conveniently, really couldn’t recall. The bottom line was the original source probably didn’t think that Carl would sell the property and it would go undetected. All Carl knew was that these vines came from Italy. It produces really tiny berries and has a different acid structure than other Cabernets but it is clearly Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus it was a Secret and seemingly no one knew the answer or if they did they weren’t talking. This usually indicates that the budwood was likely “suit-cased” into the country, not through proper approved means.

What We DO Know

We have since learned that the original source has a close relationship with a very famous western Tuscan winery that uses Cabernet Sauvignon as their principal grape. In the end it is still a secret, so we named it the Secret Clone. It made its first appearance under this moniker at the 2002 Napa Valley Vintners Annual Wine Auction in the Barrel Auction, where it became an instant sensation and was one of the top three lots. This vintage along with the 2005 and 2006 are exceptional. We planted a small block of Secret Clone at the Cosentino Winery a few years ago and, as far as we know, this clone only exists in small blocks in three other locations in the U.S.


In the same vineyard, there is also a small block of Chardonnay vines. We know just a little more about these vines in that the clones are

from Chablis, but we’re choosing to leave it at that because in this dreamworld of wine, it’s good to leave a little something to the imagination and let the wine speak for itself. Lucky for you, there are still a few cases left (less than 50) of this fantastic juice:

The small crop used for our 2005 Secret Clone Chardonnay produces fruit with intense flavor and superior balance. The high acidic style shows lemon and limes, with floral and limestone aromas similar to an Australian Chablis’s rich, full-bodied style. This wine was designed to develop and age for several years

2005 Secret Clone Chardonnay

91 pts from Wine Enthusiast

Only Available in 6-bottle packs

Was $144, NOW only $69


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Learn More!


- Mitch

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Author:Mitch (Winemaker)

In 1980, Mitch Cosentino began making wine from small lots in Modesto, California. Moving his operation to Napa Valley nearly 10 years later, he pursued his dream of becoming a great Napa winemaker. His highly skilled and artistic style of winemaking has enabled him to craft award winning wines with an old world attitude. On the rare occasions that Mitch isn't at the winery, he can be found honing his skills on the golf course.

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