I just got the press release through from the brilliant team at AXA Millésimes that they’ve gone all “West Coast” and bought themselves Outpost Wines from Napa Valley. Has MD Christian Seely been watching too much Baywatch? Or is there real method here behind this splash of the cash?
Well of course there’s method to it all. AXA’s wines are based firmly around terroir and the grapes. Everywhere they own, be it in Bordeaux (Pichon Baron, Suduiraut, Petit Village), Burgundy (Domaine L’Arlot), Hungary (Disznoko), or Portugal (Quinta Do Noval), it’s true.
Christian and his team have already proved themselves pretty handy with Cabernet Sauvignon, turning Pichon Baron into arguably the top 2ndGrowth in Bordeaux. Taking this reputation to Cab’s holiday home the other side of the pond is exciting times. And it’ll be fun to have a pop at the Zinfandel and Grenache too.
And buying a winery in Napa’s first ever sub region of Howell Mountain AVA, with distinct volcanic soil, and cooling altitude is really on message for AXA. Thomas Brown, the winemaker for many vintages, is staying on to continue to impress up here.
One down side is Mr Seely’s carbon footprint. We might be out back of Pichon planting trees after the marathon next month.