Block 88 was founded by Brian Garbutt, Tom Marr and Bahram Mirhashem, three Newport Beach residents with a passion for food and wine. They decided to form a wine company that would search for the best grapes in Napa Valley and create everyday value wine that competes with the top wines of Napa Valley. The went on a search in the valley for a wine maker that had the same passion and found Thomas Guilliams, an up and coming winemaker that was making fantastic Bordeaux blends. After months of consulting and agreeing on the type of wine they wanted to creat they bought the best grapes from Rutherford and Spring Mountain for their initial release of Block 88. After three years of work the result is an exceptional wine that is ready to drink and enjoy with your favorite foods and friends. Block 88 has won two blind tastings with 6 other wines, including some of the most popular blends in Napa Valley for a considerable higher price. The 2009 Block 88 is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Syrah.
They also wanted to create a crisp delicious Sauvignon Blanc for the hot Newport summer nights and release Blanca in June of 2014. This wine is getting great reviews from all that have tried it and is a perfect accomplishment to any meal with its fruit flavors of melon, leechy, and pineapple that are balanced with a firm acidity.
Thomas Guilliams was born in 1978 and grew up immersed in grape growing and wine making. From a very young age, he was working for his parents and their tiny family running a winery in the Spring Mtn District. By age 18, he was a winemaking student at UC Davis, which working in the cellar at Caymus Vineyards. His experience is very hands on, and includes all aspects of grape growing and winemaking. By age 27, he had formed his own independent label, De Tomas Wines, LLC. Today he farms, makes wine, and consults on a limited basis.