Tom Rinaldi – Winemaker
Raised in San Francisco, Tom made frequent trips to Napa on his motorcycle,
buying wines directly from the wineries of the day. After four years in the Navy,
Tom enrolled at UC Davis along with notable classmates Mike Martini, Tim
Mondavi, Randy Dunn, and Bob Levy.
Tom’s career began at Freemark Abbey, an experience he calls “a great job, and a
great honor.” In 1978, Tom became the founding winemaker at Duckhorn
Vineyards. After 22 vintages of creating some of Napa’s most celebrated wines, in
2000 Tom helped launch Provenance Vineyards and Hewitt Vineyard from the
ground up. Tom’s recent 2010 Hewitt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was named to
the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 in the world for 2013, and the #1 Wine in California.
Always the avid learner, Tom loves everything from anticipating the vineyards’
seasons to experimenting with new methodologies and technologies, always open to
innovative practices alongside traditional methods. Tom resides with his wife and
daughter in St. Helena, where you will either find him in the vineyard, the cellar, or
riding his bike throughout the Napa Valley. Tom has been with us since 2013, and
he continues to elevate the quality and vision of Pellet Estate wines.
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon:
94 – “Editor’s Choice”. “This single-vineyard estate wine is made by Nils Venge and Tom Rinaldi, who have somehow managed to capture quiet elegance and powerful fruit at the same time. Red-fruit driven, it’s round and rich, with moderate tannin and cassis, clove and black pepper highlights.” – Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast
94 – “Lush berry nose; silky texture and bright plum and black raspberry fruit; elegant, bright and smooth with core of fresh acidity; seamless and rich, long and balanced.” – Anthony Dias Blue, The Tasting Panel
92 – “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard is dark, unctuous and racy from start to finish. Super-ripe blackberry, mocha, plum, new leather, cloves and sweet oak give the 2013 its flamboyant personality. This is a relatively approachable wine for the vintage that will drink well with minimal cellaring. The sweet, forward style will appeal most to readers who enjoy opulent Cabernets. Ripe, silky tannins wrap around the voluptuous finish.” – Anthony Galloni, Vinous Media
90+ – “The attractive 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard is from a relatively historic site, first planted in 1863. The wine has a dense ruby/purple color, plenty of blackberry and cassis fruit, a touch of oak and earth. It’s medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic and would benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring. It should last 20 or more years.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocat
90 – “A powerful expression of extracted blackberry, dusty earth, cedary oak and crushed rock. Although the flavors are separate now they are well-proportioned. Should they come together at the right time, this could be special. Best from 2020 through 2030. 345 cases made..” – James Laube, Wine Spectator
Out of stock
Pellet Estate® is a rare, authentically grown, and classically made wine. The Estate
is a spectacular vineyard site in the small town of St. Helena, with a rich history
dating back to 1859. Henry Pellet, one of the founding pioneers of Napa Valley
winemaking, first planted this site with a vision of producing wines that would be
among the best in the world. The flagship wine for Pellet Estate is the Cabernet
Sauvignon from the Pellet Vineyard®, a blend of about 90% Cabernet Sauvignon
with the balance being Merlot and Petit Verdot. Our Chardonnay from the Sun
Chase Vineyard® in the Petaluma Gap is crafted in two styles – an Un-Oaked
Chardonnay and a traditional Burgundian barrel fermented Chardonnay.