Roy Piper, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
At the age of 38, Roy Piper left a successful career in finance to "follow his bliss." He had zero experience in winemaking, but a passion he'd developed over many client dinners at Thomas Keller's Checkers Restaurant. Serendipitously, he walked into Quintessa right as a cellar worker was leaving, and the position was his. That experience, training with Aaron Pott, turned out to have a profound influence on the rest of his life. He went on to work at Seven Stones Winery before starting his own eponymous winery, which focuses on small-lot, highly allocated Cabernet Sauvignon. Roy Piper wines are sold almost exclusively through a release list – usually selling out within just a few weeks. The one retail exception is Archie’s Waeside, a historic steakhouse located in the tiny town of Le Mars, Iowa.