This wine exists (It’s amazing. It drinks well above its current price). Its winemaker, Tony Rynders, the former winemaker at Domaine Serene, exists
I just don’t think the winery exists.
At one point, there was a Bomb Winery, which did exist. It was an Oregon winery owned by James Carney and Susan Weeden. Its winemaker was Tony. It was around a few years and earned some major love from the wine critics.
Carden Cellars seems to have appeared out of nowhere. It has the same owners, the same winemaker. The wineries had different labels (Bomb had crazy and flashy labels, Carden had restrained and classic ones) but the same suggested retail price ($50). The wines were sourced from the same vineyards.
Are they the same wines, just in different packaging? Carden also earned some serious 90+ wine reviews. The last vintage seems to be 2013.
It seems Bomb when bust after the 2012 vintage, and Carden’s last wines might be this vintage, 2013. However, there isn’t a single mention of either winery anywhere. No bankruptcies, nothing. Carden Cellars’ website has disappeared. The only hint is in Susan Weeden’s LinkedIn profile, which has her working in New York since 2015. Their Instagram fell silent in 2016, and Twitter in 2015.
So, did Carden ever exist? Was it just Bomb under another label? Did a cult winery quietly disappear without anyone noticing?
Whatever the answer, I’m just glad to have access to this monster Cabernet. Like some other Columbia Valley Cabernet we’ve reviewed, this is made by an Oregon winemaker. Masterful in execution, this wine is beautiful—layered aromas of licorice, cigar box, and smoked tea. The lush palate is buttressed with dense tannins and enough acidity to keep the whole affair intact. The reference here is clearly Chateau Margaux.