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Lawrence Wine Estates: A day with Carlton McCoy MS, plus 20 wines

Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy has moved fast in a world outside his comfort zone. As managing partner of Lawrence Wine Estates, he oversees a growing stable of wines which includes Heitz Cellars, Haynes Vineyard, Burgess, Ink Grade and Stony Hlll Vineyard. Jonathan Cristaldi spent a day with him, tasting 20 wines from the portfolio.

Carlton McCoy caught Napa Valley by surprise. After leaving his post as wine director at the luxury hotel The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, and moving to Napa Valley in 2018 to join Heitz Cellar, the rumour mill churned. Napa locals wondered in what direction this Master Sommelier would take the iconic label.

For Gaylon Lawrence Jr, the billionaire investor and Heitz Cellar’s owner, hiring McCoy was a no-brainer. The two had become friends at The Little Nell and Lawrence recognised all the traits of a born leader.

A rapid rise

After winning a scholarship to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York, McCoy graduated in 2006 and found work at Thomas Keller’s Per Se and Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit. By 2011, he made his way to The Little Nell. Just two years later, he would achieve the title of Master Sommelier – all by his 28th birthday.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores for wines across the Lawrence Wine Estates portfolio

Lawrence Wine Estates: 20 wines from across the portfolio

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