The People

Originally from France, wine had been part of Claire Ducrocq Weinkauf’s life for as long as she could remember. It wasn’t until she started working in Chile that her relationship with wine became a professional one, with marketing at the core.

Founded in 2011 by Claire and her good friend, Jennifer Roberts, Picayune Cellars is a négociant style winery dedicated to making wines of outstanding quality that are also of exceptional value. Building on her relationships with some of wine country’s most respected winemakers and growers, the pair assemble wines from Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast for Picayune. The key on the label represents the idea of “Unlocking Secret Wines from California.”

The Juice

This wine is comprised from grapes of the Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast regions – the exact vineyards unknown to the public. It is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 13% Malbec. Aged over the course of 15 months in 60-gallon barrels composed of 20% New French oak, this wine truly is a high-quality pick.

The Dirt

Picayune Cellars serves as a winery, wine tasting room, and mercantile store in downtown Calistoga. The makings of Picayune wines come from Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast. These regions, thanks to their dry Mediterranean climates, are prime for growing high-quality red grapes. Claire keeps the details on which vineyards she sources the wines that comprise the 2018 Picayune Padlock Blend under wraps, so the mystery is part of this bottle’s charm. Wherever these wines originate, her expertise with wine is evident given how exquisite this label is.

The Taste

Padlock meets the eye with an intense fuchsia color; the nose, ripe blackberries and cassis with hints of mocha aromas. In the palate, Padlock opens up on more dark fruits with seductive truffle and dark chocolate notes. The texture is rich and intricate, the tannins are firm. Padlock 2018 is darker and juicier than its predecessor.

The 2018 Picayune Padlock is great to enjoy by itself, or pairs well with red meat and hard cheese. No matter what you choose to accompany this wine, if anything, you will be impressed with the quality that shines through – and at such a good price point, too.

The Spill

The exact origin of the grapes that comprise the Padlock series is top-secret information. According to a few different sources, Picayune has nondisclosure agreements with these sources; all that is known is that these wines originate in the Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast regions. This may be a mystery, but there is one thing that shouldn’t be left unknown: this is a damn-good bottle of wine!

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