Lawrence Cortez and Romel Rivera emigrated from the Philippines to the USA with their families in the late 1970s. They came following the American dream, where hard work is rewarded and everyone has a chance to succeed. They became friends in the Napa Valley town of Calistoga, and eventually became family as Romel’s cousin Nieves married Lawrence.
After years of working in the wine industry from the ground up, they began to experiment making their own wine. After a few years of experimentation, they decided to invest in their own winery, called Corte Riva, pulling upon the names of the winemakers, Cortez and Rivera. With the help of their family and friends, including Pride Mountain winemaker Bob Foley, they began to grow. Romel worked as assistant winemaker and Lawrence as cellar master at Pride Mountain.
Within a short time, Lawrence and Romel’s winemaking skills shone through, winning awards from their first releases in 2003. These two hard-working, dedicated family winemakers proved that the American dream can come true. Lawrence’s wife Nieves, sales director for Corte Riva, has greatly helped this young winery grow with a passionate group of followers.
The 2005 Merlot from three vineyards in the Calistoga area of Napa Valley is rated at 91 points by Robert Parker. This wine shows off its dark color and exhibits the abundant flavors of black cherry, blackberry, cassis and a bit of cocoa. It has a full body texture leading to a long finish.
Corte Riva 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is a well balanced wine with great structure exhibiting elegant flavors of dark fruit including black cherry and blackberry plus chocolate, cinnamon and coffee. The tannins show through with a great body and long finish.
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is produced with fruit from both Atlas Peak and Carneros, 71% from Napa and 29% from Sonoma. You will enjoy the dark chewy fruit flavors with cherry, cassis, blackberry, coffee, earth and chocolate being prominent. The soft tannins and rich body shine through on the finish.
The 2005 Petite Sirah has 70% of the fruit coming from Shannon Ridge vineyard in Lake County plus 30% of the fruit coming from Napa. You will recognize the dark, inky purple color you expect from a fine Petite Sirah. Hang on for the dark concentrated flavors of blackberry, blueberry, licorice and bramble flavors leading onto a balanced, well put together finish.
For more info: Corte Riva Vineyards