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Corté Riva Vineyards

Corté Riva Vineyards Lawrence Cortez and Romel Rivera emigrated from the Philippines with their families in the late 1970’s. They came in search of new opportunities to improve their lives; they came for the American dream, where hard work is rewarded and everyone has a chance to succeed. Although they initially arrived in different areas of California, these two men began a friendship in the Napa Valley town of Calistoga where they both worked in a vineyard tending the grapes. They even became family with the marriage of Lawrence to Romel’s cousin Nieves! In 1996, Romel and Lawrence began to experiment with making their own wine, drawing upon their many years of experience and their intimate knowledge of grapes and wine production. After a few years of experimentation, family, friends and business associates urged them to create and sell their own wine. Lawrence and Nieves decided to invest in themselves and their family. The name Corté Riva pays homage to the winemakers, Cortez and Rivera. Both winemakers have exacting tastes and they demand quality. They prefer grapes from the Napa region because the volcanic soil stresses the vines in just the right amount resulting in small, tight, well-structured berry clusters filled with concentrated flavors. Lawrence and Romel choose only the best available fruit. Having lived and worked in the Napa Valley for so long, they are very knowledgeable about the variations in the Napa Valley terroir which includes climate, soil make-up and terrain. Family, friends and business associates continue to play a major role in the Corté Riva Vineyards label. The friends and family are always on hand to help with delivery, technical advice, miscellaneous assistance and, of course, tasting, particularly tasting! Pride Mountain Vineyards, where Romel is employed as assistant winemaker and Lawrence is a cellar master, and Pride’s head winemaker Bob Foley have been instrumental in the success and growth of Corté Riva. They have offered years of advice and valuable contacts to the new businessmen. The wines that have been created by Lawrence and Romel have been very successful. In 2003 the label offered their first release, 350 cases of 2001 Merlot which was named “Top Red of the Year” by Hi-Time Wine Cellars. Their next release was 600 cases of 2002 Merlot, which was rated at 91 by Wine Spectator, and 400 cases of 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon. This year's release included 600 cases of 2003 Merlot, awarded a score of 92 from Wine Advocate, 400 cases of 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, rated a 91 by Wine Spectator and an 89+ by Wine Advocate, and the planned release of 160 cases of 2003 Petite Syrah. Lawrence and Romel have realized their American dream, they, and their families, have worked hard and they are beginning to see the results.


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Address Web Social
3065 Muledeer Lane, Santa Rosa, CA, US, 95407 Email:
Phone: 707-573-1801 Web:
Fax: 707-573-8800
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  Cabernet Sauvignon
Rated 89+ by Wine Advocate. A dark ruby color, this Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 18 months in French Oak barrels, 75% new. This well balanced wine has great structure. It is full bodied, yet elegant and refined. It has an intense nose of blackberry and black cherry, dark chocolate and sweet integrated oak. The flavors continue through the mid palate with the addition of spice and fine soft tannin.
  Cabernet Sauvignon Mabuhay
Mabuhay (Ma-booh’-hay), is a filipino term that obtains indefinite meaning such as to live, to thrive, to exist, and to welcome. Mabuhay is commonly used to acknowledge prosperity and to compliment one’s achievements. Blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5%Merlot. Aged in French oak barrels 75% new. Big, juicy, mouth filling character reveals an inkier purple color, along with a classic aroma of cassis, black fruit, graphite and dark chocolate. Surprisingly approachable after an hour of decanting-full bodied. Opulent and rich with tremendous intensity, exceptional balance and sweet tannins. Finish broad with lots of spice on the side.
Rated 91 by Wine Advocate. Aged for 18 months in French Oak barrels, 75% new, with a blend of Kenefic Ranch and Blackbird Vineyards, creates a medium dark ruby Merlot. It opens with a dense aroma of cedar cassis, black cherry and blackberry with a long powerful finish of coffee and dark chocolate. This huge expressive Merlot has good structure, supple integrated oak and great balance.
Rated 92 by Wine Advocate. A medium-dark ruby colored wine with rich flavors of luscious ripe and matured blackberry, black cherry and plum. Dimensions of vanilla and chocolate mocha add to the deep concentrated mid-palate that is elegant and lively. The sweet aroma of cherry licorice intensifies and completes the wine with an extremely long finish. The 600 cases produced in various sizes contain the notable Kenefick Ranch Merlot fruit with 5% of the Cabernet Sauvignon blended in for added complexity. UPDATED - 01/04/06- 5 liter bottle size sold out.
  Petite Syrah
Rated 94 by Wine Advocate. 85% Lake County and 15%Napa County. Age in neutral oak for 26 months. This rich, full bodied wine, possesses an opaque purple color in addition to a big sweet nose of black cherry, black pepper, and fresh earth. Cocoa aroma increase it’s attractiveness to one’s taste. It has a long broad finish that carries to the end.


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