April Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubAudere wine bottleHertelendy Vineyards
Audēre Red Blend 2018
(glow-in-the-dark label)
Napa Valley, California


In Latin, Audēre means to dare or to risk. This unique Bordeaux blend is a risk-taker as it defies conventional winemaking methods and boldly stands out. This blend hails from ultra premium, volcanic Napa areas, such as Pritchard Hill, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak and Hertelendy’s very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (planted in 1993 at 1365 feet, 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA). Enjoy a burst of flavor, serious tannins, and a full-bodied mouth feel… plus, the label glows in the dark! 

Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 39% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Dates: September 26, 2018 – October 30, 2018
Release Date: October 10, 2022
Cooperage: 23 months in 90% French & Hungarian Oak
Growing Season: 2018 was an extraordinary year with the most predictable weather conditions and no heat spikes, which resulted in the longest hang-time on the vines. Vintner, Ralph Hertelendy believes it was the best vintage of the decade.
Cases Produced: 329
Winemakers: Ralph Hertelendy & Phillip Corallo-Titus

“The 2018 ‘Audere’ is another fantastic wine from Hertelendy in this vintage and similar to last years release, this is the most accessible wine from this outstanding lineup. It begins with seductive aromas of ripe blackberries, black cherries currants which are joined by exotic spices, violets, wet gravel, tobacco and hints of earthy nuances all developing in the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied and well-structured with beautifully polished tannins. It displays outstanding concentration and overall balance with a long seamless finish leaving behind flavors of black fruits, tobacco, violets and spices all leave a lasting impression. This is already fantastic, however it also has the structure to take on additional bottle age and evolve gracefully for years to come.” — 95 Points, International Wine Report

2017_SMB_Bottle ImageHertelendy Vineyards
Signature Mountain Blend 2017
Napa Valley, California


Composed of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, this limited case production (6 barrels) is the closest wine in Hertelendy Vineyard’s program that could be called an “Estate Wine”, as most of the blend comes from their very own Rockwell Ridge Estate Vineyard (located 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA). It is a delectable representation of what their Estate Rockwell Ridge Vineyard (blended with Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill & Atlas Peak fruit (can produce). 

Analysis: 14.7% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 49% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec, 1% Petite Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Dates: September 7, 2017 – October 7, 2017
Release Date: February 22, 2021
Cooperage: 23 months in 90% new French & Hungarian Oak
Growing Season: 2017 was a great vintage overall where record-setting winter rains ended their five year drought. A lengthy, moderately warm summer created idyllic conditions for density, ripeness, and concentration. However, the winery lost 50% of their total yield to the fires.
Cases Produced: 150 (6 barrels)
Winemakers: Ralph Hertelendy & Phillip Corallo-Titus


  • 96 Points & Double Gold Medal in the Sunset International Wine Competition
  • “The 2017 Signature Mountain Blend is another stellar wine from Hertelendy in this vintage. This instantly begins to impress as it displays wonderful purity and freshness, releasing gorgeous nuances of ripe cassis, dark cherries and blueberries, which are followed by exotic spices, dark florals, licorice, fresh sage and underlying hints of espresso all taking shape. On the palate this is full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with outstanding concentration and a layered mouthfeel that continues seamlessly through the finish. This is a simply sensational wine that is drinking incredibly well now, but should also hold up beautifully for decades and become even more compelling over time. “— 95 Points, International Wine Report
  • “Coming from the estate property on Howell Mountain, the Bordeaux blend 2017 Signature Mountain Blend has a perfumed, floral, incense, vanilla, and violets tinged bouquet that’s supported by plenty of blue fruits. Playing in the medium to full-bodied end of the spectrum, it has good acidity, a firm, tight, compact feel on the palate, ripe tannins, and outstanding length.” — 93 Points, Jeb Dunnuck

Hertelendy Vineyards is a luxurious, boutique winery that specializes in producing Bordeaux blends from the most ultra premium terroirs that Napa Valley has to offer. Their ancestors have been making wines in Hungary since the 1700’s, and mountainous, volcanic terroir has always been a Hertelendy winemaking tradition. In 2013, Hertelendy Vineyards was founded by Ralph Hertelendy, who acquired this 4 acre vineyard on the slopes of Howell Mountain. Today, Ralph, and Winemaking Consultant, Phillip Corallo-Titus continuously work together to create wines that meet in the middle of their styles – creating beautiful, compromising expressions that otherwise wouldn’t have been made. Learn more about their story here.

Photos, video and information © Hertelendy– All Rights Reserved.

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