Crocker & Starr Winery. Known for exquisite estate-grown, hand-crafted wines.

March 29, 2012
John Compsini, Sonoma County Food & Wine Examiner

Great Wines in Historic St. Helena

Crocker & Starr is owned by Charlie Crocker (Crocker Bank, etc) and Pam Starr winemaker since inception) and was established as a bonded winery in 1997. Charlie has owned and farmed the 100 acres of vineyards in St. Helena since the early 1970s. First release, a Cabernet Franc, was released in 1999. Ms Starr has worked in the industry for years including being winemaker at Carmenet and Spottswoode. They produce about 1000 cases – total – of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has intense flavors and structure and can continue to age for years to come. The 2009 Cab Franc has such dark plum colors that it almost appears black. The cola flavors and aroma were evident with a tobacco tone throughout. This wine can remain on your shelf for another 15 years.

2009 Cabernet Franc
Wine Advocate #198, Dec 2011
Antonio Galloni
Rating: 92
Maturity: 2014 – 2024
Price: $62
Review: The 2009 Cabernet Franc emerges from the glass with pure varietal warmth and expressive generosity. Mocha, espresso, exotic spices and dark red berries flow effortlessly to the long, rich finish. Today the tannins are a bit firm but with another year in bottle this will drink beautifully. In 2009 the percentage of Cabernet Franc is up to 97%. A small addition of 2% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot rounds out the blend. The 2009 was aged in 70% new oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Advocate #198, Dec 2011
Antonio Galloni
Rating: 94
Maturity: 2014 – 2024
Price: $90
Review: The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautiful wine. Floral notes are woven nicely throughout a core of explosive dark red fruit. Mint, spices and sweet tobacco wrap around the silky, floral-infused finish. The 2009 needs time to absorb its oak, but it appears to have enough density for that to happen. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Advocate #198, Dec 2011
Antonio Galloni
Rating: 91
Maturity: 2013 – 2023
Price: $90
Review: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon emerges from the glass with dark plums, cherries, tobacco, flowers and mint. It shows lovely textural depth and sweetness through to the enveloping, layered finish. The 2008 was aged in 85% new oak barrels. Based on this tasting, a little less new oak might allow more varietal complexity and nuance to come through. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.
2007 Crocker and Starr Sauvignon Blanc
Robert Parker, Dec 2008
Rating: 90
Maturity: 2008-2010
Review: This producer’s impressive offerings include a steely, crisp, dry, pure 2007 Sauvignon Blanc. It reveals Sauvignon’s tell-tale fig, melon, lemon grass, and lemon oil characteristics, along with a richly fruity, nicely textured, dry, medium-bodied personality. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years.

2006 Crocker and Starr Cabernet Franc
Robert Parker, Dec 2008
Rating: 91
Maturity: 2008-2018
Review: Pam Starr always does a terrific job with Cabernet Franc, and her 2006, from a St. Helena Vineyard, reveals an exceptionally fragrant perfume of subtle mint intermixed with red and black currants, raspberries, and new saddle leather. With sweet tannins, admirable ripeness, and excellent fruit as well as purity, it can be enjoyed over the next 7-10 years.

2005 Crocker and Starr Stone Place Proprietary Red Wine
Robert Parker, Dec 2008
Rating: 94
Maturity: 2008-2028
Review: The stunning 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place exhibits a dense ruby/purple color, a sweet kiss of licorice, black currants, bay leaf, and spring flowers, stunning fruit, full body, a powerful style, and beautiful equilibrium and sweet tannin in the finish. Already approachable, it should evolve for 15-20 years.

Off the Easel
Fall 2010
A Sip of “Starr” Quality with Crocker & Starr Wines
While the beautiful and bright fruit, exotic spices and lush flavors are evident when enjoying Crocker & Starr wines—it’s the intrigue of a stunning collaboration between an extraordinary winemaker and legendary family estate in the Napa Valley that enhances the wine with every sip.
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Sommelier Journal
July 31, 2010
Notebook – Hot Picks
California Sauvignon Blancs are another ball of wax. When they’re bad or aver age, they can be annoyingly fat and fruity, but when they’re great, they can be downright hedonistic, while remaining crisp and dry.
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March 29, 2009
The Other Cabernet
“The profile of a Cab Franc drinker? They usually have a great cellar,” says Pam Starr, who makes a smoky, ripe Franc under her Crocker & Starr label.
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November 1, 2000
From the Grapes to the Barrel, These Winemakers Set the Pace
There was little doubt Pam Starr would end up doing something that involved taste and smell. As a child, she assembled a taste panel to judge the spices in her mother’s kitchen cabinet. During her years at the University of California at Davis, she worked as a flavor technician for a spice company.
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June 12, 2008
Young women winemakers rise to top of Napa Valley
Behind that $150 bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, wine drinkers may be surprised to find a young woman. In the most prestigious and expensive wine region in the United States, winery proprietors are turning their prized grapes and reputations to a new generation of women winemakers hovering around 30 years of age.
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November 23, 2006
Starr shines in Napa Valley
About this time last year Pam Starr received a telephone call from a staff member at Wine Spectator who asked if she wanted some extra copies of the new edition of the magazine. “I didn’t understand it,” she said. “It didn’t register with me.”
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Robb Report
June 1, 2006
Best Of The Best 2006: Something Old, Something New
Crocker & Starr came about when innovative winemaker Pam Starr was hired as a consultant to replant the Crocker Vineyard, a site in St. Helena, Calif., that has been planted to vines since the late 19th century.
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Wine Spectator
August 31, 2005
A Rising Tide
As recently as five years ago, California Sauvignon Blanc looked as if it were going nowhere, floundering in a flood of dull, uninteresting wines. But what a difference a few years can make.
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May 24, 2002
New Wines, New Faces: From Baking Spices to Cabernet Franc
Talk about precocious. Even at the age of 11, Napa-vintner-to-be Pam Starr was already holding blind tastings. Not of wine, of course, but of baking ingredients. She and her friends would mix chocolate, brown sugar and spices with water, then try to guess the blend.
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