Great wine starts with great fruit. Every time I taste Bedrock Wine Co. wines I’m reminded of that simple but all too often overlooked fact. What makes great fruit? Old vines are a great place to start. And Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock has a passion for old vines! His extensive knowledge of and passion for winemaking (he made his first wine when he was 5 years old!) and old vines manifest themselves when he speaks of his wines, and the vineyards from which he sources his grapes.
Certainly whether old vines produce better fruit is debatable. The theory, in a nutshell, goes like this – old vines with the deep root systems, and reduced circulatory capacity (just like us as we age 😉 limits the amount of water and nutrients available to the vines. That results in lower yields, smaller grapes, and more concentrated, balanced fruit. And just how old are old vines? Since no formal promulgation exists, that’s also debatable. To my thinking, “old vines” starts at 50 years old. Out of curiosity, I researched Bedrock’s vineyard sources, and noted a plethora of 100-year-old vineyards. No doubt those are old vines! For example Bedrock’s, 2010 Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rose , the #1 wine of my Top 10 Rosés last year is made from 120 year old Mourvedre vines.
I’m definitely sipping the “old vine” Kool-Aid! Or better yet Bedrock’s superb wines! And I had the chance to do just that with some of the upcoming spring releases at the Bedrock Pick-up Day last month. My detailed tasting notes are below:
- 2008 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Lauterbach Hill Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Deep ruby color with expressive dark red fruit and floral aromas. On the palate, refined, ample and balanced with blueberry and sweet oak flavors. Long finish. Aged 40 months in neutral oak puncheon.(91 pts.)
- 2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon Bedrock Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
Beautiful carmine color with cherry, cassis and cedarwood aromas. On the palate ample, balanced, with cherry, cassis and herbal/mineral flavors. Medium-long finish. (90 pts.)
- 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Kick Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County
Rich deep garnet color with dark fruit, cocoa, and floral aromas. On the palate nice amplitude, refined, and structured with dark fruit, and a hint of vanilla flavors. Fruitier than the other wines tasted. Long finish.(91 pts.)
- 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Griffin’s Lair – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Dark garnet color with dark fruit, floral and spice aromas. On the palate medium-bodied, and bold but balanced with vivid dark fruits, spice and cocoa. Medium long finish (92 pts.)
- 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T ‘n’ S Hudson Vineyard South – USA, California, North Coast, Carneros
Deep dark approaching inky garnet blackish color with leather, dark fruit, spice and floral aromas. On the palate dense, balanced, and vibrant with blackberries, cassis, and dark cherry flavors. Long finish.(93 pts.)
- 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Pleine de Chene Hudson Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Carneros
Dark garnet color with tight nose, of savory dark fruit aromas. On the palate, ample approaching full-bodied with rich dark cherry, and black currant flavors. Medium finish. (90 pts.)
All the wines were excellent, but my wine of the day was the T&S Hudson Vineyard South, from the oldest Syrah vineyard in the Carneros AVA. While the December Pick-up Day tasting was dominated by Syrah, Bedrock makes a diverse range of wines, especially for what Bedrock calls an “itsy bitsy” winery. Aside from Syrahs and the Cab I tasted, their lineup includes both red and white “heirloom” (field blend) wines, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, the aforementioned Rosé, and a Graves Blanc blend. These are wines worth seeking out!