Wine of the Week; Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang Sixth Cuvée

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang Sixth Cuvée.

I picked up this wine when I went to K&L Wine Merchants for a tasting last week. It’s been on my radar for a couple of years, but I’ve just now gotten around to it.   Here’s what K&L says about it…

Shebang is a project of Bedrock Wine Co.’s Morgan Twain-Peterson, who happens to be one of only 30 Masters of Wine in the United States and son of Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson. While Bedrock’s focus is on small-lot, single-vineyard expressions, Shebang is an exuberantly juicy, multi-vintage red blend with a lot of pedigree as well. The Sixth Cuvée is designated as an Old Vine Cuvée for the first time, as 92% of the fruit was sourced from vines more than 90 years old. This includes some declassified fruit from the 100+ year old Bedrock vineyard in Sonoma Valley, as well as other particularly fine old vineyard discoveries. The blend of the Sixth Cuvée is 60% Zinfandel with a primary balance of Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah, and other assorted old vine, field blend grapes. The wine was fermented on native yeasts, aged in French oak (15% new), and entirely made with the same attention that is given to Bedrock’s wines.

 

The wine was named after the two Civil War generals who founded Bedrock Vineyard in 1854. SRP = $11.99; 14.2% alcohol; 7,500 cases produced

photo (14)

My tasting notes follow:

Inky nearly opaque color with promising candied red fruit and a bit of pepper aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, and approaches off-dry, with soft tannins,  and pleasing black cherry, black raspberry, baked blackberry and spice flavors.  Medium finish.  

Rating: B+;  Killer value, and easily the best multi-vintage wine I’ve had! This is a wine I’ll be buy (much) more of, and you should too!

Pair with: Pulled pork sandwich, spaghetti, or pizza

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:

(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
Other posts you might enjoy

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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2014 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Wine of the Week: 2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc Kick Ranch.

The Winery

Bedrock Wine Co. is an “itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop”. Though recently Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock Wine Co. announced some big changes including building a new winery, and hiring of close friend, Chris Cottrell to work with him.  Sounds like Bedrock will be moving from the “itsy-bitsy” level to a higher level production-wise.  The wines are already major,  quality-wise!

There are two things that make Bedrock Wine Co. special in my view – the first is Morgan (you can check out his full bio here), but suffice it to say he’s been making wine since he was “knee-high to a bug” including working harvests in McLaren Vale, Australia and worked as a visiting winemaker at Chateau Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux before returning to California to focus on revitalizing California’s heirloom vineyards. He was recently named one of the Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers.

The second is his vineyard sources. I did a post last year entitled Bedrock Wine Co: Where Old Vine Love And Transcendent Wine Making Come Together, wherein I focused on the sources of Bedrock’s grapes.

In terms of the wine making process itself at Bedrock, it’s surprisingly Ole Skool (or as Morgan might put it “Cro-magnum”).  Grapes are pitch-forked into a small Zambelli destemmer, the punch-downs are manual, after fermentation the wines are basket pressed in an Italian press that is manually operated.   It’s a very manual and time-consuming process, but I can vouch for the results.  Peterson is making some unique distinctly Californian wines that are spectacular!

The Wine

The fruit for this wine is sourced from Kick Ranch Vineyard. The wine is fermented entirely in barrel, with approximately 5% new Acacia wood, which gives the wine some floral aromatics, and let’s the fruit shine through.

According to Bedrock…The wine fermented with native yeasts into January and then was sulfured to prevent malolactic.  The hope is to create richness from the increased oxidation of the barrel but also to preserve freshness from the reductiveness of the lees and the total lack of malolactic.

OK…I’m no winemaker, so I’ll take Morgan’s word for it…

Well, here’s what I do know…this is a distinctly California wine that’s very memorable!

BWC Sauv Blanc

My tasting notes follow:

Pale straw yellow-green color with very expansive pear, white flower, nuanced ocean breeze, citrus peel, and honey aromas. On the palate, its dryish, medium-bodied, with lively acidity, and a great mouth feel.  It exhibits lush peach, guava, citrus and subtle honey flavors with a clean medium-long finish. SRP – $22

Rating: A-: 

Pair with: Seafood Salad, or Creole Baked Goat Cheese!

Sample purchased for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers!

This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

Drink Pink…Rosé of the Week! 2012 Bedrock Ode to Lulu Rosé

It’s that time of year… Yes, it’s rosé season!. With that in mind, I’m starting a weekly series of  I rosé tastings.  My first wine in my “Drink Pink” series is the 2012 Bedrock Wine Company Ode to Lulu Rosé.

I adore rosé wines, at least the type of dry rosés that undergoing a resurgence these days.  Why? Rosés (in particular dry rosé) combine the best of white and red wines, while maintaining their own unique charm. They possess the crisp acidity, delicacy and freshness of white wines, and the flavors, and often the body of red wines.

Rosés are diverse bunch, produced from a wide range of grapes, in various styles ranging from simple quaffable wines to complex gems in a wide palette of colors. And they’re among the best wines at the table.  They,of course, pair well with warm weather fare like salads, and light dishes. But they’re also great picnic wines and barbecue wines. In fact, I  rosé don’t relegate these babies to warm weather months. Because of their versatility they’re wonderful year-round!

There’s never been a better time to be a fan of dry rosé.  There are a multitude of choices in the market place.  I’ll share with you my experiences as I search for the best rosés, and the best values.

Bedrock Wine Co. is an “itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop”. Though recently Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock Wine Co. announced some big changes including building a new winery, and hiring of close friend, Chris Cottrell to work with him.  Sounds like Bedrock will be moving from the “itsy-bitsy” level to a higher level production-wise.  The wines are already major quality-wise!

 “I probably work harder on my rose’ then any other wine I make”- Morgan Peterson

2012 is the fifth vintage for Bedrock’s Ode To Lulu Rosé.  The usual base of the wine is centered around the Mourvedre planted at Bedrock Vineyard in 1888, along with an additional 10% from Mourvedre planted in 1922 at Pagani Ranch.  This year’s version also includes old-vine Carignane, from Contra Costa instead of Grenache.  The grapes are whole-cluster pressed, and fermented with native yeasts.

2012 Bedrock Ode To Lulu Rose

My tasting note follows:

Light copper/salmon color with stone-fruit, strawberry, and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, dry, and crisp with medium acidity, and peach, wild strawberry, sweet orange rind, and mineral flavors. Long spicy finish. 12.3% alcohol; SRP – $20

Rating:  A-

Wine purchased for review

Ratings Key:
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail

Follow me on Twitter @martindredmond for all things wine, and since I’m a wino, with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff!  Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2013 ENOFYLZ Wine Blog. All rights reserved.

 

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Wine of the Week; 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out.  For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

The Winery

Bedrock Wine Co. is an “itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop”. Though recently Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock Wine Co. announced some big changes including building a new winery, and hiring of close friend, Chris Cottrell to work with him.  Sounds like Bedrock will be moving from the “itsy-bitsy” level to a higher level production-wise.  The wines are already major quality-wise!

There are two things that make Bedrock Wine Co. special in my view – the first is Morgan (you can check out his full bio here), but suffice it to say he’s been making wine since he was “knee-high to a bug” including working harvests in McLaren Vale, Australia and worked as a visiting winemaker at Chateau Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux before returning to California to focus on revitalizing California’s heirloom vineyards. The second is his vineyard sources. I did a post last year entitled Bedrock Wine Co: Where Old Vine Love And Transcendent Wine Making Come Together, wherein I focused on the sources of Bedrock’s grapes.

In terms of the wine making process itself at Bedrock, it’s surprisingly Ole Skool (or as Morgan might put it “Cro-magnum”).  Grapes are pitch-forked into a small Zambelli destemmer, the punch-downs are manual, after fermentation the wines are basket pressed in an Italian press that is manually operated.   It’s a very manual and time-consuming process, but I can vouch for the results.  Peterson is making some unique distinctly Californian wines that are spectacular!

The Wine

The grapes for this wine were sourced from Pagani Ranch, one of the many vineyards from which Bedrock Wine Co. sources grapes that are listed in the registry of the Historical Vineyard Society.  Pagani Ranch Vineyard is run today by the founder’s grand-daughter and great-grandson, Norma Amantite and her son Dino.

Here’s what the Bedrock Wine Co. says about the wine…

The first vintage of what should be many from the storied and ancient Pagani Ranch.  A classic field-blend planted in the 1880′s.  Pagani Ranch’s cool soil and unique mesoclimate yield a rich, dense, but vibrant wine.  After a taxing growing season the Amantite family did a highly selective pick which yielded less than .5 tons per acre.  Fermented in open-top vats using native yeasts and then barreled down to 100% French oak, of which 33% was new, the wine aged for 11 months in barrel.  The resulting wine is black, powerful, and perfumed, and a testament to experienced farming overcoming a tough year. 9 barrels made.

The last time I saw Morgan he comments that most folks are drinking his wines too young.  Guilty as charged!  The good news is I have another bottle.  I do my best to hold on to that for a few years to see how it ages…but no promises;-)

Wine of the Week; 2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Pagani Ranch

My tasting notes follow:

Opaque violet color with beautifully aromatic plum, blackberry, cassis, spice and hints of violet aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, fresh, intense, and elegant with blackberry, and spice flavors. Long finish.

Rating: Highly Recommended.

Pair with: This wine has a nice vein of acidity, making it food-friendly.  Try with roasted or grilled pork, or beef, Mexican food. For a twist try with seared ahi tuna or pâte, or a chicken liver mousse!

The Wine Geek Stuff:

  • Alcohol: 15%
  • Closure: Cork
  • AVA: > CaliforniaSonoma CountySonoma Valley
  • Grape Varieties: Field blend of Zinfandel (approximately 65%), Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir de la Calmette, Petite Sirah, and Lenoir.
  • Cooperage: 100% French oak French oak from Ermitage and Rousseau, 33% new for 11 months
  • Retail: $37
  • Cases produced: 225
  • Drink: now – 2020

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Wine Of The Week – 2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T-Block Hudson Vineyard

My Wine of the Week (“WoW”) for July 28-Aug 4 is the 2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T Block Hudson Vineyard.

The Winery

I previously did a post on the winery entitled Bedrock Wine Co: Where Old Vine Love And Transcendent Wine Making Come Together back in January, wherein I focused on the sources of Bedrock’s grapes.   Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock.  You can check out his full bio here, but suffice it to say he’s been making wine since he was “knee-high to a bug”.  Here’s what the “About” section of the Bedrock website says about the winery…

Bedrock is an itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop. Fruit from only the most excellent vineyard sites is hand pitch-forked into the destemmer, fermented in open top redwood and stainless vats using only native yeasts, and are manually basket pressed by winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson into the sexiest oak from the coldest French forests.

In terms of the wine making process itself at Bedrock, it’s surprisingly Ole Skool (or as Morgan might put it “Cro-magnum”).  Grapes are pitch-forked into a small Zambelli destemmer, the punch-downs are manual, after fermentation the wines are basket pressed in an Italian press that is manually operated.   It’s a very manual and time-consuming process, but I can vouch for the results.  Peterson is making some spectacular wines!

The Wine

The fruit for this wine is sourced from the Hudson Ranch Vineyard.  According to the Hudson Vineyard website…

Hudson Vineyards produces 10 different varietals of fruit, all of exceptional quality in the distinct Los Carneros AVA of Napa, California. With 160 acres planted, we sell fruit to over 30 wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma Counties. Of particular note are those wines that receive vineyard designation status. While Hudson Vineyards sells grapes to over 30 wineries, only a handful of producers have vineyard designation status.

This is not only a vineyard designate wine,  the grapes are from a specific “block” within the vineyard  which takes the concept of  terroir to the next level of varietal distinctiveness.

The wine was fermented on native yeast with 33% whole clusters.

 

My tasting notes follow:

Inky opaque purple color with very aromatic meaty, smoky, white pepper, dark fruit and violet aromas. On the palate, it medium-bodied, and round with a velvety texture, and beautifully balanced cassis, black raspberry, dark chocolate, and spice flavors. Long finish 92pts

 

Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Details:  14.8% alcohol.

Closure: Cork

AVA: Napa Carneros.

Varietal(s): 96% Syrah, 4% Viognier.

Production: 160 cases

Suggested Retail: $39 USD

Wine of the Week – 2011 Bedrock Wine Co Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé

My Wine of the Week (“WoW”) for June 2-June 8 is the 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Mourvedre Ode to Lulu Rosé

The Winery

I previously did a post on the winery entitled Bedrock Wine Co: Where Old Vine Love And Transcendent Wine Making Come Together back in January, wherein I focused on the sources of Bedrock’s grapes.   Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker/owner of Bedrock.  You can check out his full bio here, but suffice it to say he’s been making wine since he was “knee-high to a bug”.  Here’s what the “About” section of the Bedrock website says about the winery…

Bedrock is an itsy-bitsy winery making wine in a converted chicken coop. Fruit from only the most excellent vineyard sites is hand pitch-forked into the destemmer, fermented in open top redwood and stainless vats using only native yeasts, and are manually basket pressed by winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson into the sexiest oak from the coldest French forests.

In terms of the wine making process itself at Bedrock, it’s surprisingly Ole Skool (or as Morgan might put it “Cro-magnum”).  Grapes are pitch-forked into a small Zambelli destemmer, the punch-downs are manual, after fermentation the wines are basket pressed in an Italian press that is manually operated.   It’s a very manual and time-consuming process, but I can vouch for the results.  Peterson is making some spectacular wines!

The Wine

The wine is a blend of 91% Mourvedre sourced from the Bedrock, and Pagani RanchVineyards, along with 9% Grenache from the Annadel Vineyard. 

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Ode To Lulu Rosé


My tasting notes follow:

Lovely eye of the partridge color with stone fruit, melon, and mineral aromas. On the palate it’s light-bodied, and nicely balanced with a wonderful crisp acidity, and white nectarine, melon, mineral, and a touch of strawberry flavors. Medium-long finish. 60% Mourvedre from Bedrock Vineyard planted in 1888! 31% Mourvedre from Pagani Ranch planted in 1922, and 9% Grenache from Annadel Vineyard. Whole cluster pressed. Fermented with native yeast.


Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Details:  12.3% alcohol.  Screwcap clousure.  AVA: Sonoma Valley. Varietal(s): 91% Mourvedre, 9% Grenache. Suggested Retail – $18 USD

Bedrock Wine Co.: Where Old Vine Love And Transcendent Wine Making Come Together

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:

Morgan Twain-Peterson Owner/Winemaker - Bedrock Wine Co.

  • 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!