In California, less than 3% of the grapes come from vineyards above 1,000 feet in elevation. While these coveted sites are small in number due to the challenges that come with farming mountain vineyards, they are the source for many of America’s most famous wines. In 2020, Acumen cemented its commitment to building one of the New World’s great mountain wine estates when it appointed legendary Winemaker Phillip Titus to oversee its winemaking program. As the winemaker for Pritchard Hill’s iconic Chappellet Vineyard for the past 30 years, Phillip has earned renown as a master at crafting mountain wines. Today, building on the foundation established by winemakers Denis Malbec and Henrik Poulsen, Phillip is writing an exciting new chapter in the Acumen story, crafting wines that embody the grandeur and sophistication of Atlas Peak.
“As a winemaker, and a wine lover, my fascination with Atlas Peak has only grown over the years,” says Phillip. “Those of us who know the mountain vineyards of Napa Valley intimately, know what an extraordinary terroir it offers for growing Bordeaux-varietals. What Acumen has already achieved on Atlas Peak is remarkable. I am excited to work alongside José, Garrett and the Acumen team to establish new benchmarks for the wines of Atlas Peak.”
The Attelas and Edcora vineyards offer a rich and vibrant tapestry of vineyard blocks, with a focus on exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
This provides the Acumen team with a remarkable palette of Atlas Peak fruit during blending, adding to the layered sophistication of the wines.
Acumen offers two captivating expressions of its mountain terroir. Its small-production PEAK wines come from the finest estate vineyard blocks, and are then made as a selection of the best barrels from the best lots. Balancing lovely ripeness from the Napa Valley sun, with mineral and earth tones from Atlas Peak’s rugged mountain terrain, Acumen’s PEAK wines possess a classic sensibility with the elegance and structure necessary for long-term aging. In order to introduce the wines of Atlas Peak to a somewhat wider audience of enthusiasts, Acumen also makes a vibrant and alluring Mountainside tier of wines.
“Both our PEAK and Mountainside wines are rooted in the character of the growing season, and the complexity of our Atlas Peak estate,” adds Phillip. “But they show their roots in different ways. This is the beauty and magic of Atlas Peak—it offers a rare convergence of elements that are ideal for yielding different expressions of the Bordeaux varieties we grow. Our goal is to share the wines from this remarkable mountain with the world, and for Acumen to become the standard bearer for Atlas Peak.”
Diana Schweiger of Acumen Wine joined us on SIP Virtual Wine Tastings with Winemakers series and shared more details about Acumen's estate vineyards, the Atlas Peak AVA, and the entire Acumen Wine portfolio. Diana also presented a special, limited time offer exclusive to Cellar Angels: a wine bundle which includes 3 bottles of the 2015 Mountainside Red and a bottle of their 100-point 2015 Edcora Cabernet Sauvignon. Watch the recording below and join us for more SIP sessions LIVE every Friday at 5pm PT.