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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Bottle Background: Brother Timothy Mt. Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

There is some really good wine in this bottle and a lot going on behind the scenes. I'll tell you what makes it so special, who sells it, how to get it, and what happens after your purchase.

First who is this Brother Timothy? He was a big part of Napa Valley wine. Dec 1, 2004 The Wine Spectator wrote

Brother Timothy, a pioneering winemaker for the Christian Brothers Winery and a longtime fixture on the Napa Valley wine scene, died on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in Napa. He was 94.

Born Anthony George Diener in Elizabeth, N.J., in 1910, Brother Timothy began his winemaking career in 1935 with the Christian Brothers and was associated with the winery, once one of California's leaders, until his retirement in 1989. For millions of Americans, Brother Timothy's smiling face became well-known through a series of advertisements.

Known for his kindness, sense of humor, quick wit and warm grin, Brother Timothy was a peer of many of the winemakers who were instrumental in reviving the California wine industry after the repeal of Prohibition. Among his contemporaries were Ernest Gallo, Robert and Peter Mondavi, Joe Heitz, Louis P. and Louis M. Martini and André Tchelistcheff.

Brother Timothy was a science teacher for the Christian Brothers order when he was asked at age 25 to join the winery's Mont La Salle operation on Mount Veeder in Napa Valley. (The facility is now home to The Hess Collection.)

Last year, members of the wine industry paid tribute to Brother Timothy at an event held at the CIA. It was a homecoming of sorts for Brother Timothy, who for decades made wine in that classic stone building when it was Christian Brothers Winery at Greystone Cellars. His remarkable collection of hundreds of corkscrews is on display at the CIA.

The event marked Brother Timothy's 75th year as a Christian Brother, an order devoted to the education of the young and impoverished. Many of the architects of the modern California wine industry were on hand, including Gallo, Robert and Peter Mondavi, Joseph Phelps and Bernard Portet.

Ok cool background right? You can find out a lot more about Brother Timothy with an Internet search like this Brother Timothy wine at DuckDuckGo

So how about this bottle of wine? It comes from a 2 acre vineyatrd at the Christian Brothers Mont La Salle property that also includes a conference and retreat center.

At their history page they explain more about this wine made today.

The legacy of Brother Timothy—his unwavering commitment to serve the poor—continues with the annual release of the Brother Timothy Cabernet Sauvignon and, a recent addition, Chardonnay.

Brother Timothy is truly a special wine. The Estate Reserve Cabernet is handmade by Dave Guffy, The Hess Collection Winery’s celebrated winemaker, with grapes from the two-acre Mont La Salle Vineyard on Mt. Veeder in Napa.

Brother Timothy wine is a labor of love, generously donated to the Christian Brothers by The Hess Collection.

Less than 275 cases are produced and sold to friends and benefactors each year. All proceeds benefit the Lasallian Christian Brothers Foundation and will continue helping underserved youth transform their lives through education.

The wine is a great Napa Cabernet. You can let it age in the bottle or let it sit open and decanted for an hour or so if you want to try some as soon as you get it. It is not a fruit bomb but it isn't a harsh tannic bottle that you need to wait to drink as long as you let it breath a little.

My bottle of 2013 opened Feb 21 2022 had big flavor, nicely mellowed tannins, and a wonderful finish.

Here is a description of the 2018

This full-bodied wine celebrates the winemaking style of beloved Brother Timothy while highlighting the signature features of a true Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. A hallmark of this well-structured wine includes the aromas of juicy, ripe raspberry, cocoa, and softer notes of violet. The 2018 vintage displays intense flavors of dark fruit, layers of sweet currant liqueur, and subtle hints of vanilla, while the new oak barrels deliver elements of spice and milk chocolate. 77% Cab Sauv, 12% Malbec, and 11 % Merlot.

With just about 275 cases of wine made per year this is the kind of special Napa Valley wine you get by insider info. Luckily it is pretty easy to "get on the list" with an email.

The Wine For Scholarships page has information on the wines and how to be notified when the famous 15-Day Wine Sale starts.

When you buy your wine you also pick what school your purchase supports. I always choose Saint Mary's High School in Berkeley.

Low-income students have historically achieved great success in our schools. They go on to become the beneficiaries of university scholarships and grants that fund their higher education, which hopefully reverses the cycle of poverty.

Scholarships for underserved students benefit Lasallian schools by increasing diversity on campus; whole school communities are made more aware of our responsibility to honor and serve those most in need.

Total scholarship students in 2013: 1,574

Graduate Snapshot: Of the 322 high school seniors supported by scholarships in 2013, 319 were accepted to college and 3 entered military service.

Wow that is a lot going on for a bottle of wine! Check out the links, get yourself on the email list, buy buy buy, and support a scholarship fund for a kids education.

And spread the news!

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