February 9th, 2021
Le Chanceux ~ The Lucky One
Vintner – Mother – Awesome Lady
The Back Story: Sue McNerney and I have a special relationship as I was her winemaker for years before she retired… I actually made the wine that we’re presenting to you today.
The story is touching, as a father of a beautiful little girl that I love dearly, this wine touches me as it is a liquid connection between a mother and her 3 daughters, and its beautiful…
As I sit here writing this to you, I can already feel my eyes start to flood and my throat cramping in pain like I’m about to get emotional.
Its such a beautiful project.
A week or 2 ago I pulled one of these 2012’s out of my personal cellar just to see how it was doing and DAYUM it was in such a great place… just singing with balance, purity, and an absolute classic Napa sensibility that would be unmistakable for anyone who knows Napa Cabernet… “with age”. Kinda like Sue, now that I think about it…
This was the impetus for me getting the approval from Sue to offer this wine in our wine club and now this WWF email.
The Name/Story: In 1999 Robert & Susan McNerney purchased a 2 acre property in Coombsville and in 2002 planted one acre of Cabernet Sauvignon… that’s right…
A single acre…
Planted with a vision of sharing their estate wine out of unlabeled “shiners” with family and friends while selling the bulk of the grapes to help provide income for their still young family of five was their goal. But in 2005, they harvested their first real crop for themselves, a whopping 1.5 tons, and from there they were officially in the wine business.
“One woman, one acre, one wine”
In 2007 when it was time to bottle, a name had to be decided on (not easy) and it was their three daughters, Lauren, Ellen & Jennifer who came up with “LE CHANCEUX, French for The Lucky One”. After all, their mother’s mantra during their formative years was always “Do you know how lucky you are….?”
(*I can relate to this as I’ve said the exact same thing to my daughter while driving thru the valley and soaking in its unrelenting beauty.*)
With the bottling of their first wine, Le Chanceux was born and in honor of, and as a legacy to leave their 3 daughters, Belles Filles Vineyard, French for “beautiful daughters” was chosen for the vineyard name.
Out of nowhere, Sue’s husband Bob was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. “We were blindsided and life as we knew it stopped that day. Bob passed away 6 months later after a difficult fight to survive. I had no idea what life would be without him. I sold the grapes that year as I knew I would not be able to deal with harvest or if I’d ever make wine again for that matter.”
A year or so later, Sue decided to get back at it and found some success at charitable auctions around the country. She continued to build her client base and the brand lived on as her connection to Bob, her daughters, and what they created together as a family.
Sue retired from producing wine in 2017 after the fires ravaged Napa and Sonoma. She’s enjoying her daughters and life while selling thru the inventory she and I made together.
Today we proudly offer…
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville ~ Napa Valley
- Barrel fermented in 100% new French oak barrels and barrel aged in 50% new French oak, the integration of oak is perfection.
- Harvested in late September at the peak of phenolic ripeness without being over ripe, the wine was built to be balanced.
- 14.8% alc
- 5.7g/L total acid
Tasting Notes: This wine has a deep garnet color and beautiful perfume of dried roses, lavender and kirsch over core of blueberry preserves and cassis with touches of pencil shavings and truffles. The medium to full-bodied palate is intense and spicy in the mouth with velvety tannins and incredible length.