Vintage Wine Estates, Santa Rosa, Calif., announced the purchase of Delectus Winery, a producer of high-scoring, luxury appellation red wines. Chris Phelps has been appointed consulting winemaker, while founder Linda Butler will continue to lead Delectus’ hospitality, trade, media and private tastings, winery events, and its wine club, the companies say.
Delectus has garnered a reputation for critically acclaimed wines since its founding in 1995. It offers four flagship Cabernet Sauvignon wines, including the most recent 2013 vintage, which have received scores of 94 points and above, it adds.
The purchase of Delectus reflects Vintage Wine Estates' acquisition strategy focusing on luxury alcohol beverage portfolios with strong foundations and room to grow, it says. In the past two years, Vintage has added Swanson Vineyards and B.R. Cohn Winery, and most recently, Splinter Group Spirits.
An internationally known winemaker and red Bordeaux specialist, Phelps studied at the University of California, Davis and the Institute of Enology at the University of Bordeaux. He previously worked at Pétrus, Dominus Estate and Caymus Vineyards and most recently served as Winemaker Emeritus for Swanson Winery & Vineyards in Oakville, which was acquired by Vintage Wine Estates in 2015.
"We have tremendous admiration for Chris Phelps' wines and are thrilled he has agreed to assume the consulting winemaking role for Delectus," said Pat Roney, president and chief executive officer of Vintage Wine Estates, in a statement. "He is among the top red Bordeaux specialists in the world and will continue the Delectus legacy of producing the finest Napa Valley wines."
The winery, located in St. Helena on Highway 29, continues to be open for tastings of current releases and library wines.