Winery of the Month: The Prisoner Wine Company

The Prisoner Wine Company was created in 2000 by winemaker, Dave Phinney. Phinney was well known from his years at Robert Mondavi and his creation of Orin Swift. Prisoner spent several years as a small production sourced from several vineyards throughout Napa Valley and other California wine regions.

In 2016 it was bought by Constellation Brands and was launched into a national brand. The winery was opened on the site of the former Silver Oak and Franciscan property and helped cultivate the diverse and artisanal character of The Prisoner Wine Company brand.

“Our winemaking philosophy since the very first vintage of The Prisoner was to craft wines that are thought provoking and approachable. All of our wines focus on an experience defined by texture and mouthfeel. This commonality across our portfolio results in bold, fruit forward wines with velvety soft tannins,” Prisoner Wine Company website.

Wine of the Month: The Prisoner Cabernet Sauvignon

From the most recognized Napa Valley red blend comes a distinct, new wine. Made in the same iconic style as The Prisoner Red Blend, they are redefining taste, once again, with The Prisoner Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of black cherry and ripe plum are layered with vanilla and baking spice. Concentrated dark fruit flavors culminate in a lush, full mouthfeel and a lengthy finish.

The winemaking team works with a family of growers to source a diverse variety of grapes from premier vineyards throughout California. The resulting wines are interesting blends of distinct quality and character.

Hand-picked grapes ferment in bins for 10-20 days to allow the tannins to mature. All lots ferment separately and are pumped two times each day. Only once the tannins have fully developed are the grapes finally pressed, separating the juice from the skins.

Primarily made with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with a small amount of Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Charbono used for blending. The wine is aged for 15 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels that are 55% new.

Food Pairings:
Aged Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Duck, Steak, Smoked Fish, Dark Chocolate

Dry Rub Ribeye Steak

2 large ribeye steaks
1 Tbs kosher salt
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp chili powder
3 Tbs vegetable oil

Place steaks on a large plate. In a bowl combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, smoked paprika, dry mustard and chili powder. Rub the mixture into the steaks on both sides. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Remove steaks from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and the steaks. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until charred and brown. Time will vary depending on desired doneness and thickness of the steaks. Remove steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and arrange on a platter for serving.

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