Boston and California Wine Country

As we approach Memorial Day, I am working in Boston this week and next. We decided last fall that our expanding client base in Boston, along with a growing number of employees, required an office to insure that we could provide the strong client service that distinguishes Asset International as a company. I am pleased to report that our new office, which will house our Boston-based team, is open for business at 255 State Street. We are within walking distance of many of our largest clients and look forward to working closely with them on both their business intelligence and marketing services needs. I trust that many of us based in New York or Stamford will also find ourselves spending time working out of our new office as well.

As many of you know, both Mary Claire and I have strong ties to Boston and this past week we added a new one. I am delighted to report that on May 18th our first grandchild was born, Angelo James Casella or “AJ,” as he is being called by his parents, Stephanie and Jordan. This insures that our visits to Boston will be extra special and more frequent!

While we will not be in the Bay Area this weekend, I would like to share with you two relatively new boutique wineries: Favia Wines and Mark Herold Wines.

Favia Wines
Annie Favia, formerly of Abreu, and her husband Andy Erickson, the winemaker for Screaming Eagle and Arietta, among others, started their winery several years ago. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon wines that are released in the fall, they produce outstanding Rhone-style wines. In spite of the small production quantities you can get on their mailing list! I recently joined their list and have tasted their 2008 Quarzo, Amador Syrah. This wine is a blend of four distinctive clones of Syrah. They produced 154 cases.

I also tasted their 2008 Rompecabezas, which is done in a southern Rhone style and is 28% Grenache, 28% Mouverde and 44% Syrah. They produced 174 cases.

These were two of the finest bottles of wine I had this spring. Both of these wines are approximately $65 each. I am looking forward to tasting their Cabernet releases this fall. Their previous releases have been given excellent scores by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Mark Herold Wines
Mark Herold may be known to some of you as the former proprietor of Merus Wines, as well as the consultant on other wineries, including Kobalt. These were two of my longtime favorite Cabernet Sauvignon releases, but a divorce brought about the sale of Merus. He has resurfaced recently with two new releases: 2008 Acha and 2008 Flux. The Acha is a Rhone-style blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Graciano, Carignan and Syrah. It retails for approximately $45. Flux is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Petite Sirah and retails for approximately $30.

In addition, he recently released a 2009 Collide. This wine is a big spicy red and is a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano and Petite Sirah. This release is not on his website, but can be purchased from Back Room Wines. (Ask for Dan Dawson the proprietor, (877) 322-2576 or It retails for $32.00. If you run into a problem getting on to Mark Herolds mailing list, Dan also carries their other releases, as well as the Favia wines reviewed above. I have ordered from him on several occasions and have been very pleased with the quality of his service.

Enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend!