Earlier this year, Washington insider-turned-vintner Lawrence Fairchild told us he wanted his Stones Wine label to be, “very much like a Louboutin, Hermès, Cartier, Patek Philippe” to the oenophile community—something that doesn’t just acquire great value over time like so many vintages, but bursts out of the gate as a high-ticket item thanks to meticulous production, an obsessive focus on materials and details, and, yes, a certain cachet. If you’d kept your ears open, you might of heard that it’s been working.
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And there’s every reason it should be. Yes, the bottles that carry this line of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons are works of art in and of themselves. The hand-illustrated, hand-pressed, and hand-applied, unique zinc label on each bottle is a stunner, something you simply won’t forget. But the packaging is just the first line of attack here. What’s in the bottles is—as with all fine wines—of paramount value.
Fairchild and his winemaker, Philippe Melka, have been culling their raw materials from three of Napa’s most coveted vineyards, putting an emphasis on stoney environments in the name of developing a signature, distinctive mineral profile. That, along with careful production, has kept the collection above 96 points throughout its vintages—no mean feat.
This attention to detail, this selectiveness, and some canny strategizing has kept production numbers markedly, smartly low, something reflected in secondary market prices. With a waiting list in effect for direct purchases and a highly limited number of approved merchants, a bottle of Stones—just like a Birkin—arrives to a first owner’s hands a collector’s item, an impressive distinction for what is essentially a young brand. It’s your call if you want to let all this smart positioning help your bottle accrue value, or if you just want to dive in and enjoy what lies inside.
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Photos Courtesy of Fairchild Wines