Sean Minor and 4Bears Winery, did you know “the wine is just right” with WineGuyMike™


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Where do I start today?  This week my WineGuyMike™ radio show guest is Sean Minor who produces 4Bears Wines from the 4Bears Winery in the Napa Valley of California.  I’m excited to share my guests story with you today for many reasons, there is much to share and in my enthusiasm I hope that I can get it all out on the table so to speak.

I wanted to start by stating that Sean Minor is a personification of a modern day winemaking warrior, but the term “modern day” seems like such an antiquated term to me in an age where wine and Social Media intersect.  Instead I’m going to say Sean Minor is an in the moment winemaking warrior.  In doing research for my weekly radio show I get to meet some very interesting people and my understanding of wine evolves continuously to the point it seems that I have a major epiphany about every other month.  Just when I think I might be getting it and then I run into someone like Sean Minor and everything changes for me.

How about a little background on Sean?  Sean is a young veteran of the wine industry of 22 years.  He studied at Arizona State University and received a degree in Finance and where met his wife Nicole.  I was excited to see this because my daughter who is going into engineering and is a nationally ranked swimmer is being recruited by the Sun Devils to swim for the university.  Me being me I thought mentioning this might bolster the scholarship opportunities, just kidding, well sort of.  Are you listening Arizona State, and did you know about the great winemaker you produced at your university?

This winemaker started out his career on the management side of the wine world.  After college Sean and his wife Nicole moved to the Napa Valley where Sean began his career at Beaulieu Vineyard before moving on to King Estate Winery in Oregon.  This eventually led to a appointment at Benton-Lane Winery as President.  Sean then was harkened back to the Napa Valley as Manager of Renwood Winery.  Throughout this full circle called a career path Sean had been studying at the hallowed grounds known to the wine world as UC Davis where many great winemakers had gone before him.  Drawing from all of his career experiences the 4Bears brand was born.  This brand name was inspired by the four Minor children.

In meeting Sean I have some observations and a few adjectives that I have to share with you and you’ll understand when I also share my newest wine epiphany with you.

1. Sean is extremely professional but is also very real.

2. He is a dedicated family man.

3. Determination, tenacity, perfectionist, extra effort, gets it, produces it, markets it, and delivers it.

Yes these are some of the thoughts I took away after meeting and tasting Sean’s wines.

Sean Minor, winemaker

Sean Minor, winemaker

Sean and I met at a wine tasting for a small group of restaurateurs a few months back and it was pleasure having him personally take this group through his portfolio of 4Bears wine offerings. 

The epiphany yes another one of those ah ha moments for me, just when I think I’m getting it I realize I need to pay much closer attention, so here it is.  My focus has always been terrior or sense of place in a bottle but after meeting Sean I realized that was only half of the equation.  The other half you might ask, a bottle of wine is also the winemaker in a bottle.  Terrior plus winemaker in a bottle makes for a really great bottle of wine and this is exactly what Sean has done in all of his wines.  This man goes to the great lengths and efforts in sourcing grapes from the best appellations or wine areas available to produce the varietal driven wines that 4Bears Winery offers.  Every one of the wines that the 4Bears label offers is as solid as they come and have been recognized at numerous wine competitions as medal winners.

Sean selects his grapes from premium vineyards in California that are subject to cool marine influence and the beautiful sunshine that produces incredible grapes from the finest appellations California has to offer.  Sean enlists the palette of long time friend and mentor Will Bucklin who also comes from King Estate Winery where he led the winemaking operations.  Will now runs his family winery in the Napa Valley.

Will Bucklin and Sean Minor

Will Bucklin and Sean Minor

4Bears Winery currently offers a well rounded portfolio of wines that are undervalued price wise and over deliver in every way when that wine moves from the bottle to your glass.  Here is the lineup of wines that I highly recommend that you try, and I’m talking about all of them.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2008 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY

2008 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY

Appellation: Napa Valley

Composition: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc

Tasting Notes: The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby in color and displays aromas of raspberry, cassis and cigar box. Once in your mouth, the wine’s silky raspberry fruit flavors and the combination of oak and tannin nuances create a well balanced, rich and full bodied wine that draws you in for more.

Suggested Retail Price: $18.00

2009 Pinot Noir, Carneros

2009 PINOT NOIR, CARNEROS

2009 PINOT NOIR, CARNEROS

Appellation: Carneros

Composition: 100% Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: The Carneros Pinot Noir is medium-bodied with cherry, strawberry and plum; surrounded by light toast flavors. On entry, the wine displays blue fruit characters that are balanced with spicy and earthy notes that frame the mid-palate. The vanilla and toast integrates well with the silky round tannins on the lengthy finish.

Suggested Retail Price: $18.00

2008 Merlot, Napa Valley

2008 MERLOT, NAPA VALLEY

2008 MERLOT, NAPA VALLEY

Appellation: Napa Valley

Composition: 100% Merlot

Tasting Notes: The Napa Valley Merlot is ruby in color and has aromas of black cherry, dry floral and cocoa. The dark berry flavors along with black cherry and plum nuances integrate well on the pallet with the sweet oak and tannins. The wine provides a full mouth feel which evolves into a lingering and full finish.

Suggested Retail Price: $18.00

2009 Chardonnay, Central Coast

 Appellation: Central Coast

2009 CHARDONNAY, CENTRAL COAST

2009 CHARDONNAY, CENTRAL COAST

 Composition: 100% Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: The Central Coast Chardonnay displays aromas of peach, green apples and tropical nuances. On the entry, the wine is soft with green apple, white peach and pineapple notes. The mid-palate displays subtle oak nuances which evolve into a hint of minerality and continue into a lingering clean finish.

Suggested Retail Price: $14.00

2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County

2009 SAUVIGNON BLANC, SONOMA COUNTY

2009 SAUVIGNON BLANC, SONOMA COUNTY

Appellation: Sonoma County

Composition: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes: The Sauvignon Blanc is rich and complex with aromas of pears, ruby grapefruit and tropical fruit. On the palate, the combined flavors of pears, fig and melon are balanced perfectly to form a crisp, mouthwatering texture and a lingering finish.

Suggested Retail Price: $14.00

2010 Vin Gris, Carneros

2010 VIN GRIS, CARNEROS

2010 VIN GRIS, CARNEROS

Appellation: Carneros

Composition: 100% Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes:

The Vin Gris is a bright and vibrant pink color with cherry, strawberry, cranberry and ripe watermelon aromas on the nose.  On entry, the wine displays cherry and strawberry flavors with well recognized flavors of Pinot Noir. Raspberry and cranberry fruit characters are balanced with spicy and crisp acidity that linger creating a refreshing and lengthy finish.

Winemaking Notes:

This wine is produced using the classic saignée method, allowing juice to remain in contact with the Pinot Noir skins for about 24 hours.  The juice is then “bled” from the Pinot Noir tank before fermentation begins and inoculated on its own in a separate tank.  The resulting wine is fermented dry developing its pink color, aromatics and bright fruit flavors. 

Suggested Retail Price: $15.00

For my palette I personally love the Pinot Noir and The Chardonnay.  The Pinot Noir is unique; the price point is such that you will not find another wine that has this level of sophistication from the Carneros AVA for this price point.  This incredible wine and is made 100% from Pinot Noir, it doesn’t need support from any other varietal.  Sean nailed it on this one.

Let’s get to the Chardonnay which has fallen out of favor for many wine drinkers at the moment.  Get over your bad self and try this Chardonnay, it’s fantastic.  This wine will appeal to fans of old world and new world wine lovers alike.  Sean set out to bring both styles together and offer wine drinkers the best of both worlds and guess what he did it.  You will love this Chardonnay, you must try this. 

This entire portfolio of wine receives the WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval®, I recommend you try all of these.  I know will enjoy this wine flight as much as I do.

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

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2 thoughts on “Sean Minor and 4Bears Winery, did you know “the wine is just right” with WineGuyMike™

  1. Hey Mike! Great write up on Sean Minor. As you already know, our group has tasted his Pinot Noir and we all like it very much. We had done some research on him and we got the same idea of him as a family man with a passion for making great wines accessible. We will have to do a Sean Minor tasting someday to try all of the wines he has to offer! Thanks for the great information, as always.

    • Hi Jo,

      Thank you for tuning in, Sean is a great guy who makes wines that are done just right. When Sean comes to visit next time I will make arrangements for a tasting so everyone can come out and meet him and enjoy the beautiful wines he has made. Cheers to you Jo.

      WineGuyMike

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