Sine Qua Non Patine mag Box Set 1 Grenache 1 Syrah 2011 1.5L Bottle
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Sine Qua Non has its own winemaking facility in Ventura, not far from the Santa Barbara vineyards where the fruit is sourced from the region's best vineyards. In the last few years Elaine and Manfred have begun creating their own vineyards dedicated to Rhone varietals and now their Cumulus and Eleven Confessions estate vineyards are contributing the majority of the fruit for their wines. Their winemaking philosophy is to work in very small batches, gravity flow, natural yeasts (unless a fermentation problem is anticipated), long lees aging for the whites and repeated racking for the reds to open them up. This is a simplified explanation of a very dedicated and artistic approach to winemaking. The wines are at once very rich and elegant, superbly balanced and thoroughly harmonious with food, never overwhelming. Gift Set includes one magnum Syrah, and one magnum Grenache.
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Sine Qua Non Lightmotif White Blend 2014
Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon 2014A beautiful expression of our unique terroir, this wine is a testament to the dedication of our winemaking and vineyard team who aim to produce the finest wine possible from this site.
Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Red 2014Collectible wine and collectible art come together to create Amuse Bouche Napa Valley Merlot, a joint wine venture with Heidi Barrett and John Schwartz. This Pomerol-style Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend is made from some of the best grape sources in the Napa Valley. Amuse Bouche wine aspires to rival its greatest cross-Atlantic counterparts, such as Chateau Petrus and Chateau Le Pin. As winemaker for several of the hottest cult wines in California, and referred to by TIME magazine as ”The Wine Diva of Napa”, Heidi Barrett is always looking for new challenges. Heidi explains, ”We have created Amuse Bouche wine, a limited edition, superb Pomerol style wine with the added value of limited edition art that is available to consumers through a variety of channels.” Merging art with our wines was something of a philosophical decision. The former can be enjoyed indefinitely, enduring for many lifetimes. Wine collectors may revel in the subtleties of a vertical collection; but in the end, ’fine wine is the only true art that must be destroyed in order to be fully appreciated.’ We strive to offer you the pleasures of both art forms.
Odette Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014The 2014 Odette Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District delivers notes of blackberry liqueur, blueberry cobbler, wild lilacs and incense laced with underpinnings of crushed rocks and graphite. The full-bodied mouthfeel is seamless and riveting, revealing the focused layers of intense dark fruit that collide with an elegant richness and tension that creates an effortlessly endless finish. Enjoy this wine over the next 25+ years.
The Debate Three Vineyard Collection 3 Pack 2014TO KALON WA 92+, DR. CRANE WA 95+, MISSOURI HOPPER WA 95+ Beckstoffer’s TO KALON 2014 Nestled at the edge of the Mayacamas Mountains in the center of Napa Valley, To Kalon receives just a touch of morning fog and full day sun to produce Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with complex layers. Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Fermentation: 100% barrel fermentation 23 months 100% French Oak; 70% New Case Production: 200 “From the famous Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon is another relatively hefty wine at 15.1%. It is very backward for a 2014, and in many ways, just as tannic and structured as its 2013 counterpart. Dense black currant fruit intermixed with hints of camphor, blackberry and unsmoked cigar tobacco are present in this wine, which is not really a blockbuster, but rather an elegant take on the To Kalon Vineyard. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25 years.” Robert Parker 92+ Beckstoffer’s DR. CRANE 2014 Dr. Crane is situated on the west side of St Helena which has gravelly loamy soils and a very warm climate. Of all the sites, Dr. Crane is the warmest, and has the most extracted style. Because of this the wine has a very rich and velvety palate with candied fruit on the finish. Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyards: 100% Beckstoffer Dr.Crane Fermentation: 100% Barrel Fermented 23 months 100% French Oak 70% New Case Production: 200 “The profound 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard (15.1% alcohol) is another La Mission Haut Brion lookalike. Rich, with notes of charcoal embers, barbecue smoke, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, violets and a touch of wood spice, it is full-bodied, powerful, concentrated, layered and impressive. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.” Robert Parker 95+ Beckstoffer’s MISSOURI HOPPER 2014 Missouri Hopper is a spectacular vineyard situated in the hourglass of the Napa Valley, which gives it a cooler climate than neighboring To Kalon Vineyard due to the influence of the bay. Missouri Hopper yields Cabernet Sauvignon that has a balance of ripeness and power with finesse and elegance. We believe this is one of the most exceptional sites Napa Valley has to offer. Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyards: 100% Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Fermentation: 100% Barrel Fermented 23 months 100% French Oak 70% New Case Production: 200 “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Missouri Hopper Vineyard has an opaque purple color and a youthful blackberry and black raspberry-scented nose with some notes of lead pencil shavings, forest floor and tobacco leaf. It is full-bodied, rich in fruit, and incredibly youthful and backward for a 2014. A big boy at 15.2% finished alcohol, it would benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. It is certainly capable of lasting 20 or more years..” Robert Parker 95+
Tua Rita Redigaffi 2015In 1984, Rita Tua and her husband, Virgilio Bisiti, purchased around 40 acres of land in Tuscany and planted it to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. By 1992 the winery released its first vintage and began receiving praise and accolades from wine enthusiasts worldwide for its rich, full-bodied wines. It Merlot quickly received cult status so much that the 2000 vintage went on to receive a 100 point score by acclaimed wine critic, Robert Parker. The silty, clay and mineral-rich soils in Suvereto are reflected in the wines themselves, which are known for showcasing hints of saltiness and unique iron qualities. Along with their highly-praised Merlot, Redigaffi, Tue Rita releases an equally impressive Bordeaux Blend wine called Giustro di Notri, a varietal Syrah called Per Sempre and a varietal Sangiovese called Perlato del Bosco. Because most of the wines are so unique and highly-regarded, it is no surprise that Tua Rita wines are some of the most difficult to find in all of Italy.
Saxum James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Red 2015The wines! Downright beautiful (this is the word of the day). They are open and aromatic, the tannins are soft and supple, they are layered and nuanced beyond all belief. They are already enjoyable. You can drink them while waiting for the 14s to come around. Probably even the 13s and 12s for that matter! On the other hand, I believe they will age magnificently. The balance is perfect.
The Prisoner Wine Company Derange Red 2015“Rich and enticing aromas of blackberry, vanilla bean, baking spices, dark chocolate, and caramel. The palate is overly luscious and giving with notesof dark cherry and blueberry leading to an opulent, velvety finish.“-Winemaker’s Notes
Devil Proof Vineyards Rockpile Ridge Malbec 2015ROCKPILE RIDGE ROCKPILE, SONOMA COUNTY Devil Proof Malbec, Rockpile Ridge, is a robust and powerful wine from the single vineyard site of Rockpile Ridge, in the Rockpile appellation in Northern Sonoma County, the smallest AVA in the United States. Sitting at an elevation of 1,100 feet, with vineyard rows jutting down at 25-degree slopes towards the Lake Sonoma basin, this dramatic vineyard site provides ideally moderate temperatures, forceful coastal breezes, and well-drained soils. Taking our cues from the site itself, we mold our winemaking to best showcase this complex powerful mountain fruit. This Rockpile Malbec is 100% barrel-fermented to control the power of the site’s tannins but at the same time highlight the intensity and concentration of the fruit. This is the first time I have ever seen a wine that was 100% barrel-fermented, which is such labor-intensive process but one that this site demands so we will do nothing less. With little water retention in the gravelly loam soils to begin with, our practice of dry-farming this vineyard further enhances the naturally occurring stress in the vines. Here, our fruit ripens evenly and deeply. The wine is rich, diverse, and striking, and a true expression of its distinctive vineyard source.
Booker Vineyard White 2016A blend mainly of Roussanne and Viognier, the 2016 White has an alluringly savory nose of lightly browned toast, salted almonds and fresh hay over a core of ripe apricots, poached pears and white pepper. The full-bodied palate has a lovely phenolic grip and seductive oiliness to the texture, with tons of savory-laced stone fruit flavors and great length.
Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrome Box Set: 3 Syrah, 3 Grenache 2010
Sine Qua Non Extra Aged Box Set: 3 Syrah Le Supplement, 3 Grenache Jusqu' a l'os 2013
Schrader Cellars RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015True to the greatness of the vintage, the 2015 Schrader RBS is an incredibly decadent wine with intense aromas of red and blue fruits mixed with notes of spring blossoms, spice, pencil shavings and savory incense. Flavors of cassis, currants, and crushed plums dance across the palate. The fine tannins and exceptional balance carry through to the silky, smooth finish. With its supple profile, our Schrader RBS is delicious and approachable upon release, and will continue to evolve with cellar aging. The 2015 vintage was radiant with abundant sunshine and consistent weather that yielded an excellent, albeit small, crop of optimally ripe grapes from all of our vineyard sources. Now resting in barrel, the young wines are showing their brilliance with boundless fruit character that harkens back to the acclaimed 2012 vintage. While it is the fruit profile that reflects these wines, it is the underlying firm structure of the 2015 Cabernets that distinguishes them from their siblings. As winemaker Thomas Brown remarked, "fruit sweetness will allow these wines to drink really well while young, yet it's their looming structure that will allow for long aging."
Grace Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Stephen Tanzer: 91 Points Bright, deep red-ruby. Rather cool aromas and flavors of crushed black cherry and licorice accented by mint and herbs. Quite backward and youthfully medicinal, even a bit clenched, showing the cool side of the vintage (this vineyard was harvested on October 25, according to Dick Grace).
Dana Estates Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014The wine bursts from the glass with aromas of blackberry, slate, tar, and violets. Dark fruit flavors, espresso, slate and bitter orange notes build on the palate. These flavors meld with the full mountain tannin so characteristic of this site. The energy and intensity is apparent on the long and layered finish which evolves for over a minute. Producer Nestled at the base of the Mayacamas Mountains in the Napa Valley, Dana Estates is dedicated to making small lots of truly distinctive world class wines. Dana is a Sanskrit term meaning “the Spirit of Generosity.” It is in this spirit that we express a profound appreciation for those that have worked the soil before us, as we build on the foundations laid by previous generations of vintners. Blending history and tradition with cutting edge vineyard management, a new state of the art winery and meticulous winemaking, Dana Estates strives to make the greatest wines possible. In so doing, we hope to provide a link between the past and future generations of vintners, and all those who appreciate the generosity of this special land.
Sine Qua Non Next of Kyn Cumulus Vineyard #8 Syrah Box Set 2014
Disciples 2016Production : 68 barrels To replicate the style and structure of the wines of the G.B. Crane Vineyard we began sourcing from other iconic vineyards in the area. Starting in 2014 with the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford and the Milat Vineyard in St. Helena, these vineyards can be considered "disciples" of the ancient vines of Crane. We continue to source grapes from these two vineyards and have found other such bespoke vineyards to compliment the blend. Every year the search will continue and vineyards will be added. The goal is to create a blend that combines these wines, separate among equals, they are the disciples of Crane. Tasting Notes Complex and evolving from first taste, unique aromas of granite, brambly fruit, mixed berry cobbler, forest floor and smoke open from the glass. More aromas abound; black plums and boysenberry compote that carry through to the palate that is lush, rich, big and brawny. The finish is lingering and persistent and the wine is definitely addictive. Winemaker: Kevin A. Fox Blend Composition 95% Zinfandel 5% Petite Sirah Winemaker’s Notes Complex and evolving from first taste, unique aromas of hot granite, brambly fruit, mixed berry cobbler, forest floor and smoke open from the glass. More aromas abound—black plums, boysenberry compote—that carry through to the palate that is lush, rich, big and brawny. The finish is lingering and persistent, and the wine is definitely addictive.
Andremily No. 4 2015 1.5LThe incredibly sexy 2015 Andremily No.4. is a blend of 90% Syrah, Co-fermented with 6% Viognier, and finished off with a dash of Mourvedre. No.4 enjoyed 22 months in 70% New French Barrique, and was bottled without fining or filtration. The fruit sources for Andremily No.4 are the White Hawk Vineyard in Cat Canyon, Larner Vineyard in Ballard Canyon, as well as the addition of Watch Hill Vineyard in Alisos Canyon to the blend. This baby sure delivers, offering a rich texture, plenty of classic Syrah spice notes, as well as, bushels of black and blue fruit character.
Andremily No. 4 2015The incredibly sexy 2015 Andremily No.4. is a blend of 90% Syrah, Co-fermented with 6% Viognier, and finished off with a dash of Mourvedre. No.4 enjoyed 22 months in 70% New French Barrique, and was bottled without fining or filtration. The fruit sources for Andremily No.4 are the White Hawk Vineyard in Cat Canyon, Larner Vineyard in Ballard Canyon, as well as the addition of Watch Hill Vineyard in Alisos Canyon to the blend. This baby sure delivers, offering a rich texture, plenty of classic Syrah spice notes, as well as, bushels of black and blue fruit character.
Andremily No. 4 Box Set 2015
Andremily Mourvedre Box Set 2015
Booker Vineyard FullDraw 2016Fulldraw is new to the line-up with fruit sourced from the vineyard immediately adjoining Booker. The soils are pure white calcareous shale, and getting a crop is almost impossible. Thus making it both a widely unique site as well as borderline unsustainable due to the miniscule yields. As with most young vines in a site that has no vigor, the fruit you get it fresh and exciting but it is key to refrain from getting carried away and making a wine that is over the top in ripeness.
Booker Vineyard Oublié 2016Oublie is one of our lightest blends. It aims to mimic a Chateaneuf du Pape and pair well with all types of food. The name is a French term for the "forgotten," this references the Counoise grape which was used in the original blend though uncommonly seen in California wines.
Booker Vineyard Ripper 2016Most consider Ripper to be the most elegant wine we produce with its delicate red fruits and signature hints of cherry cola. We partially age the wine in neutral French 500L oak barrels, and the other part of the wine in concrete tanks. Ripper is only made in select years when our Grenache crop shows top-quality.
Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2015The 2015 vintage is a full-throttle Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, it offers nuance and silky tannins and notes of juicy blackberry, black cherry and plum.
Château-Latour Pauillac 1988 6L BottleThe Grand Vin displays concentrated aromas of coffee, liquorice and truffle, even if its color is still dark rubis. The mouth is very structured, elegant and very concentrated, with a long back-bone of tannins and a persistent finish.
Château-Margaux Margaux 1988 6L BottleThe very deep colour, the rich, intense nose and the magnificent structure on the palate are very reminiscent of the 1986. They have the same powerful, ripe tannins, with perhaps a little less concentration, but also less austerity. Unlike 1986, in fact, 1988 is starting to open out; we can therefore drink it, knowing full well that it will continue to improve for several years -seven or eight at least.
Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay 2013We press the whole clusters for delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels (François Frères), this Chardonnay was fined and settled in tank following the next harvest. It was then bottled without filtration. The Platt Vineyard is our coolest site, producing wine that is more focused and mineral driven than fruit driven.
Bogle Merlot 2015What makes the Merlot a perfect, everyday wine for just about any occasion and any food pairing? Gorgeous in the glass, the deeply colored wine entices with aromatics of black cherry, pipe tobacco and sweet anise. The lively entry is full of rich red fruits of cherries, plums and a touch of cola, and the plush middle caresses with a silky and smooth mouthfeel. An unexpected pop of acidity surprises the palate just before notes of baking spices and mocha lead to a soft and lingering finish. A Few of Our Favorite Pairings: Margherita Pizza, Aged White Cheddar, Chicken Liver Pâté.
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2015Aromas of dark cherry and berry fruit, cassis, sweet vanilla and a hint of olive. On the palate, the wine has a smooth entry with a rich mouthfeel and lingering aftertaste of black cherry and dusty cocoa. Enjoy this Cabernet Sauvignon with Memphis-style dry rub pork or beef ribs, grilled tri-tip, or polenta with wild mushrooms, sage and prosciutto.
Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2016Appearance: Deep purple ruby core, slightly lighter at the rim showing slight staining on the glass. Aroma: Aromatic with black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, attractive oak and complex cigar box notes with cocoa and a subtle purple floral note. Palate: Dry, moderate plus bodied, with ripe blackcurrant, black cherry and a touch of red fruit brightness on the entry. Balanced oak, vanilla spice and brioche notes mixed with classic savory cabernet varietal cues mingle on the mid-palate. The finish is moderately long and fresh with sustained rounded fruit and lingering baking spice balanced nicely by firm, smooth tannins.
Layer Cake Shiraz 2015The aromas of cocoa, warm spice and dark fruit are very powerful from the first whiff. In the mouth, the wine is layered with rich blackberry, dark cherries and hints of dark, creamy chocolate ganache. The finish lingers on, hanging on your palate while the fruit and spice flavors slowly change and fade.
Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir 2014Dense ruby in color, the 2014 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir first shows aromas of crushed berry, fresh lavender and rose with cola undertones. The palate is full-bodied in texture, showing bountiful notes of raspberry jam, baked strawberries and a hint of cherry cola atop cocoa flavors and powdered tannins. Laden with the same bold fruits as on the nose, the mid-palate shows layer upon layer of cranberry, dried rose petal and vanilla, carrying through the long finish.
Saxum Paderewski Vineyard 2010 1.5LOur second Paderewski bottling is firing on all cylinders. I backed off on the Syrah and used a lot more Mourvedre, and added a new component, Tempranillo. Yes I know, we are crazy! It's a Zinfandel / Mourvedre / Tempranillo / Syrah / Petite Sirah blend, and it shows its terrior beautifully. What you get from this wine is a taste of the Paderewski Vineyard. It is dark, brooding and muscular, while at the same time jam packed with tons of sweet fruits. There's even a spicy tannic side lurking in there, underneath those fruit flavors. Thanks to the cool, long growing season, it has a wonderful freshness and purity to it combined with great underlying tannins.
Chateau les Rouilleres Bordeaux 2015This wine has cherry color of a medium intensity. It is aromatic with notes of red fruits and spices. The tannis are supple and the wine is fine and balanced. A spectacular Bordeaux from the much heralded 2009 vintage with a level of complexity that far exceeds its humble price point. Goes great with grilled meats and cheese. Featured in TheTimesWeekly.com as Wine of the Week 9/23/14: "This is an exceptional Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Cabernet Franc that truly delivers a delicate blend of ripe red fruit and creamy vanilla spice from oak aging that makes it the perfect accompaniment for an elegant meal of steak, lamb or turkey, pheasant or a roasted rosemary chicken."
Layer Cake Garnacha 2011Our Layer Cake Garnacha from Calatayud, Spain is rich and powerful, yet clean and balanced. Layered with aromas of ultra ripe black fruit. On the palate, the wine shows intense dark fruit with a background of rich dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee with a long creamy finish. The intensity of flavor from these ancient vines is beautifully offset by the great freshness from the high-altitude vineyards; the Layer Cake Garnacha is not to be overlooked.
Sloan Asterisk Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Argiano Non Confunditur 2012NC is a wine with a decisive, full-bodied character, smooth tannins and a persistent finish. This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah andSangiovese reveals an exciting potency, with the innate gentleness of Merlot creating a bridge between the evident earthiness of Sangiovese, the aromatic blackcurrant flavour of Cabernet and the warm red berries of Syrah. The result is a generous, rounded red wine, destined for short to medium ageing, with delicious aromas of currants and generous fruit flavours, versatile enough to develop in greater depth during long months in the bottle.
Saxum Booker Vineyard 2010 1.5LOwned by Eric and Lisa Jensen, the Booker Vineyard is extremely steep and rocky with a mix of calcareous and silicious soils. We lease 2 acres of East facing Syrah that produce extremely concentrated fruit with great acidity, 1 acre of a North West face that we ferment whole cluster to produce a black tannic wine with great texture, and 1 acre of Mourvedre on a South slope that gives wonderful intensity and structure. The resulting blend is very concentrated, with great texture and tons of fruit and spice. We age it for 20-26 months mainly in new 350 Liter French hogshead barrels with extra thick staves. Our wines are never racked off their lees and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Charles & Charles Chardonnay 2015A firm, juicy, refreshing Chardonnay that picks up great power and depth in your glass. There are aromas of apple and pear with some tropical notes. Fresh and pure fruit on the palate with a streak of minerality and toasty vanilla. Sur lie aging gives the wine sweetness and softness. Power meets finesse here.
Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2015Color: Deep dense magenta. Nose: The very rst impression? Instantly Penfolds. Some barrel-ferment nuances perhaps? A formic lift, V.A., regressive oak? Maybe all listed are guilty partners! Higher notes reveal custard tart and brûlée, courting meaty pan-scrapings/juices. Yet beneath, a darker edge - black pudding, sweetbread, asphalt. Moreover, not just an 'offal' offering - an aromatic veil of satsuma plum, fig and quince paste aromatics liberally sprinkled above.
Quinta do Noval Black"I have always wanted to make Port Wine that would be a clear expression of the Noval style, easily accesible as wine that could be poured by the glass, no aging and no decantingnecessary. No complications, jus a great glass of Port" Christian Seely Managing Director of Quinta do Noval Over the past fifteen years, Quinta do Noval has undertakena massive replanting programme in it's spectacular vineyards, perched right above the River Duoro, and concentrating on the great noble varieties such as Touriga National, TourigaFranca, Tinta Cao among others. Now those new vines are coming on stream, with a wealth of superb vibrant fruit every harvest from wich to make the selection for the distinctive fresh and smooth NOVAL BLACK blend. NOVAL BLACK is aged for two years in wood before bottling . Made from top quality traditional Duoro grape varieties, it has rich fruit, a fine bouquet and a delicate palate.
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Barolo 2007Garnet red colour with orange reflections. Ample and complex bouquet with notes recalling truffle and liquorice. In the mouth it feels dry, full and velvety, unfolding a great personality.
Two Hands Ares Shiraz 2009Colour: Deep red and black with magenta rim Aroma: Bright and intense, volumes of rich berries, plums and maraschino cherries. The aromas are continually evolving, also bringing cedary spice, subtle lavender, bitter chocolate, tar and fudge Palate: Currently very tight and restrained. 2009 brought wines of great flavour with elements of finesse and the 09 Ares is no exception. Juicy plums and blueberries dominate early to mid-palate, then underlying cedary chocolate notes emerge carrying the wine through to the late palate, tightening up again to a focused core of fruit, spice and tannin
Saxum Booker Vineyard 2011 1.5LThe 2011 growing season was an extremely cool year for us. Not a single day was over 100o the whole season, which we have never experienced before. Normally a cool season might be a disaster for the late ripening Rhone varieties we grow, but, and this is why I am so blessed to be a grape grower on the Central Coast of California, the weather was mild and without rain that Fall. When the end of October rolled around in 2011 and most of our fruit was still on the vine, I was more than a little worried to say the least! It is not uncommon to get some rain in late October, and since we hadn't even started to pick, I had reason to be fearful. Thankfully the mild weather held perfectly and we were able to harvest fully mature fruit throughout November. Yes, November! Most of our fruit came in between Halloween and Thanksgiving, very crazy. So what does this mean for the wine that resulted from the extremely cool, late season? Well, it is a little lighter in color, but still quite dark, and a little lower in alcohol, but still comparatively weighty. The aromatics are what I find magical on this set of wines, the cool temperatures kept them amazingly fresh and ethereal. Definitely on the spice side as opposed to the fruit aspect that we normally see more of in a warmer year. In the cellar I tried to respect this character of the 2011 vintage. We used a little more whole cluster fermentation to soften the tannins and increase the spiciness and we cut down on the amount of new oak we would normally use to let the spice shine through even more. We also increased the amount of concrete aging vessels we use to really bring it all home with an exclamation point! I really like them, and I think they will be fascinating wines to follow over the next 20 years!
Saxum Booker Vineyard 2011The 2011 growing season was an extremely cool year for us. Not a single day was over 100o the whole season, which we have never experienced before. Normally a cool season might be a disaster for the late ripening Rhone varieties we grow, but, and this is why I am so blessed to be a grape grower on the Central Coast of California, the weather was mild and without rain that Fall. When the end of October rolled around in 2011 and most of our fruit was still on the vine, I was more than a little worried to say the least! It is not uncommon to get some rain in late October, and since we hadn't even started to pick, I had reason to be fearful. Thankfully the mild weather held perfectly and we were able to harvest fully mature fruit throughout November. Yes, November! Most of our fruit came in between Halloween and Thanksgiving, very crazy. So what does this mean for the wine that resulted from the extremely cool, late season? Well, it is a little lighter in color, but still quite dark, and a little lower in alcohol, but still comparatively weighty. The aromatics are what I find magical on this set of wines, the cool temperatures kept them amazingly fresh and ethereal. Definitely on the spice side as opposed to the fruit aspect that we normally see more of in a warmer year. In the cellar I tried to respect this character of the 2011 vintage. We used a little more whole cluster fermentation to soften the tannins and increase the spiciness and we cut down on the amount of new oak we would normally use to let the spice shine through even more. We also increased the amount of concrete aging vessels we use to really bring it all home with an exclamation point! I really like them, and I think they will be fascinating wines to follow over the next 20 years!