I created the artwork on the label to further highlight our expression of Sonoma County. Hélène and I are both artists in different ways, and throughout my life, I’ve always been inspired by nature. The Cenyth label uses four colors that I think best represent Sonoma County—blue for the Pacific Ocean, yellow for the mustard flowers, gray for the fog and green for the vineyards.
Julia Jackson grew up in Sonoma County surrounded by the beauty of its vineyards and its awe-inspiring landscape. For the daughter of wine industry visionaries Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke, wine played an integral part in her upbringing. For Julia, it is a unique blend of artistry and business. A talented musician and artist, Julia finds inspiration in her natural surroundings, which play a large role in her propensity for creative design and brand strategy.
Julia’s natural surroundings play a large role in her propensity for creative design and brand stategy. Cenyth began when Julia and her childhood friend, Hélène Seillan, came together to create a wine that would unite their artistic representations of the place they call home, Sonoma County. Julia painted the abstract artwork for the Cenyth front and back label. Her canvas combines four colors that Julia believes best symbolize Sonoma County: blue for the Pacific Ocean, yellow for the mustard flowers, gray for the fog, and green for the vineyards.
After graduating with a degree in Studio Art from Scripps College in 2010, Julia traveled to France to work at her family’s estate in Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux. During her time there, she developed a deeper understanding of the industry and learned what it takes to create a successful brand and how much hard work goes into crafting a single bottle of wine. Today, Julia is involved in multiple aspects of her family business. She works primarily in marketing and communications, and travels internationally to support the company’s global outreach.
The 2015 Cenyth is a bright, youthful blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine’s color is a dark, inviting ruby, its bouquet illuminated by the fresh aromas of lilac, ripe raspberry, blackberry and plum. Lively and layered, there is a slight tartness of young black cherry and soft, lingering notes of blueberry and huckleberry. Clean and precise, the subtle hints of bay leaf and mint are met with chords of sweet leather, silky clove and cedar with an underlying earthiness of iron, clay and truffles. Strong tannins and a smooth, long finish complete a complex and playful wine.
Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
Composition 61% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging French oak, 10 months, 40% new
Total Acidity 0.05
The wine is a delicate, luminous pink with notes of pink grapefruit, wild strawberries and raspberry. The subtle charms of rose petal and jasmine aromas unfold to create an exquisitely paired bouquet of fruits and florals. On the palate the wine is bright and in harmony with the acidity, producing a subtle, sophisticated mouthfeel and lingering freshness.
Composition 100% Cabernet Franc
Total Acidity 0.65
If it is true that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” then perhaps the same may be said about grapes on the vine – at least in the case of Hélène Seillan, winemaker for Cenyth and daughter of renowned winemaker Pierre Seillan.
Hélène is using her experience in the vineyards of France and her passion for Sonoma County to define her own style. Born in 1987, Hélène Seillan spent her childhood in both France and California, surrounded by family and friends for whom winemaking was as much a passion as it was a profession. Following in her father’s footsteps, Hélène pursued a career in winemaking and began splitting her time between Sonoma County and Saint-Émilion. Starting in 2006, she served as assistant winemaker for her father at the family’s Bordeaux estate, where she worked on all aspects of winery management showing the same talent, passion and ability as her father.
Hélène holds a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from the Institut Rural de Vayres in Bordeaux. When she is not in the vineyards, Hélène likes to indulge her second passion for food and enjoys cooking for friends and family.
Cenyth represents Hélène’s mentorship with her father, world-renowned winemaker Pierre Seillan. Applying the knowledge and techniques she has observed and learned from her father over a lifetime, Hélène crafted the inaugural 2009 vintage of Cenyth, a Bordeaux- blend from mountain and hillside vineyards in Sonoma County.
As she continues on her path as winemaker, Hélène is using her experience in the vineyards of France and her passion for Sonoma County to define her own style. Through her old and new world experience, she has learned many lessons and important values, but perhaps none are as significant as the lessons she continues to learn from her father.
The name Cenyth represents Hélène Seillan beginning her journey as a winemaker. Her knowledge is young. It is powerful. And it is fueled by her inspiration and ideas waiting to reveal themselves.
The wine represents the ‘second generations’ of two families coming together to showcase an artistic expression of the place they call home, Sonoma County. Hélène Seillan creates the art inside the bottle while Julia Jackson created the art on the label. It is two women, working together to carry on a friendship that started almost 20 years ago.