Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Sourced from several sites in the heart of the Russian River Valley, the grapes are vinified in our traditional style; with an extended soaking period. The vineyard lots were fermented on the natural indigenous yeasts, each lot fermented separately to highlight the distinctive characteristics and unique distinct flavor profiles of this world famous growing region. Dark ruby-garnet in color, this classic Russian River Zinfandel shows aromas of boysenberry, raspberry, brown spices, and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the Family Ranches Zinfandel is balanced with excellent acidity: a powerful, rich and concentrated wine, with flavors of nectarine, cherry and raspberry that build through the lingering finish. This lovely wine can be enjoyed now, and will continue to develop with bottle age over the next several years.
The 2014 vintage is the maiden release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Keermont Vineyards. All the grapes come from their Cottage Lane Vineyard on the mid-slopes of the Helderberg. This vineyard is situated on the crest of a ridge (320m above sea level) so has aspects ranging from East through North to West. It is very exposed resulting in small vines with low yields. This has allowed them to make a relatively fine grained Cabernet, but the clay soils translate to a wine with power, tension and fresh acidity.
Rich crimson red color. The nose is a complex mix of savoury notes: crushed herbs, violets, sandalwood, leather and some lovely bright red fruit. The palate is fine and yet powerful. Lush spicy red fruit is complimented by blueberry and bramble notes. Powerful tight-knit tannin and a very linear acidity afford the wine a long succulent finish. Drink 2017-2030
All grapes used in producing their wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in 225 Litre French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration. They produced just 3654 bottles. The wine was bottle matured in the Keermont cellar for a further 18 months before release.
The season’s winter was generally mild, but became cold and wet towards spring time. Keermont experienced record rainfall and even snow on the mountains during August 2013. This allowed for good vine growth during the spring, but also increased the mildew pressure and resulted in an unusually large insect population. Fortunately neither of these had a major impact on our crop. Our soils stayed moist throughout the growing season thanks to moderate temperatures and we hardly had to irrigate at all before harvest. A series of heat waves in early February jolted us into harvest action. The vines, which had been very nurtured by all the moisture, suddenly started to show some signs of stress and we needed to pick quite a few of the blocks over a short period. The favourable growing conditions contributed to a healthy crop of 150 tons for Keermont Vineyards.
Alc: 15.0 %
RS: 1.72 g/L TSO2: 63 mg/L VA: 0.82 g/L
"This is the first vintage of this varietal Cabernet, grown on red clay loam soils at 300 metres. The vines are still quite young, but it’s a superb début, with subdued oak, savoury, perfumed top notes, fine-grained tannins and pure cassis and wild herb flavours. One to watch. 2019-25."
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2017 Special Report), 93 pts
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a new addition to the Keermont range. It comes from a single, low-yielding block, although it will not be labelled as such, from loamy soils around 300 meters above sea level. Most of the maturation is in 225-liter barrels with around 20% new oak. It has a straightforward bouquet, perhaps not quite as personality-driven as the Cabernet Franc at the moment, but developing pleasing graphite/pencil box scents with time. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, good body and presence in the mouth with that graphite theme continuing from the aromatics. Well balanced and harmonious towards the finish, I would afford this a couple of years in bottle to develop more varietal character. - Neal Martin"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #230, April 2017), 91 pts
Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot
The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.
Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.
All grapes are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.
Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration
"The 2014 Estate Reserve is a blend of 32% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder made up of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah. It begins soft and shy on the nose and the palate moves to the bolder side, with dark-fruited expression and dusty, floral minerality. Medium to full-bodied, it's focused and structured with spicy tones across the mid-palate. The wine ends with focused, grippy tannins on the long finish and it should age well. 14,229 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 90 pts
Klinker Brick Winery Zinfandel Old Ghost made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
The Old Ghost represents the best Zinfandel that Klinker Brick produces each year. Brambleberry fruit aromas intermingled with anise, clove and exotic spice, echo previous vintages. Smaller berries harvested from this vineyard block tend to offer more “skin to flesh,” providing a greater level of smooth yet firm tannin and structure to this wine. Pair with your prime porterhouse or grilled lamb.
Appellation: Lodi (Mokelumne River)
Varietal: Old Vine Zinfandel
Residual Sugar: .33
Ripe fruit flavors, a firm texture and generous spicy oak make this full-bodied wine a winner. The color is deep and dark, while the bouquet emphasizes blackberry and blueberry aromas that segue to a palate of baking spices and concentrated berries. -Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Ripe and broad-shouldered, with perky baked cherry, smoked licorice and spice flavors. Drink now through 2022. 5,000 cases made. - Wine Spectator 90 Points
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"I loved the 2014 Pedestal Merlot and it’s 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a downright voluptuous and incredibly sexy style in its ripe black currants, toasted spice, chocolate and licorice aromas and flavors. Broad, expansive, layered and pleasure bent, with ripe tannin, it's a knockout Merlot that's going to have 10-15 years of drinkability. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 95 pts
As always, it’s always a nail-biter to get Late Harvest Zinfandel in so late in the season. We harvested in late October, and the grapes
arrived at the winery right at 38° Brix of sugar.
We crushed the grapes to a small 1,500-gallon tank and as is our tradition at Dashe Cellars, we fermented the grapes naturally, using
the native yeasts that naturally live on the skins of the grapes. Since the grapes were super ripe, the fermentation roared off at the start,
and then rapidly slowed as the yeast created over 10% alcohol. The fermentation finally sputtered to a halt when the alcohol had
reached about 14 percent and the sugar level was 9 percent. We always allow the wine to achieve its balance of sweetness and alcohol
naturally, by letting the fermentation finish up on its own.
As is our tradition, the wine was aged in older French oak barrels to not overpower the intensity of the fruit. During our blending
trials, we decided to stay with our tradition of bottling the wine as soon as possible to maintain its fresh fruit flavors and conserve its
lovely sweet concentration and purity. The wine is unfined and received minimal handling to the bottle.
Color: Dark purple
Aroma: Lovely aromas of black raspberry, cherry, and floral notes of lavender and violets. The aromas have hints of dried cranberry and plum, cocoa, vanilla, black pepper spice.
Flavors: Lovely, soft black raspberry, black currant, blackberry, plum, and hints of chocolate and vanilla. The lovely, complex fruit is balanced with nice acidity, making the wine sweet but not at all cloying—an ideal and not overpowering dessert wine.
The Dashe Cellars Estate
Dashe Cellars were founded in 1996 by Anne and Michael Dashe, a husband and wife winemaking team who created a small winery that focuses on wines from Sonoma County. Since Anne's winemaking origins are French and Michael's are American, they wanted to elaborate distinctive wines that offered the best from both of their countries of origin.
The Dashe Cellars Vineyards
They have decided to concentrate on single vineyard sites - to locate small independent vineyards and create wines that reflect the vineyards unique soil, climate, and regional characteristics. They use traditional fine winemaking techniques such as small lot fermentations, the use of indigenous yeast on the grapes to conduct the fermentations, little or no fining or filtration, and small barrel aging. All the wines are made, tasted, and blended by the production team of Michael, Anne, and Matt Smith (enologist).
The Nuits-Saint-Georges A.C. wines are produced on land delimited by the parishes of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Premeaux-Prissey.
The grapes bear small little dark red berries. The bunches are destemmed; they macerate in open vats during 4 weeks helping this subtle terroir to reveal itself. After devatting, the wines are aged in oak barrels during 18 months.
Bright cherry, currant and strawberry fruit flavors are backed by a dense matrix of dusty tannins in this compact red. Balanced, lingering with a hint of cumin on the finish. The saturated flavors are intense. Best from 2023 through 2038. 660 cases made, 200 cases imported. — Wine Spectator 93 Points
The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
“2016 produced wines that are very giving, round, coating and streamlined. Year after this year, this bottling aims to highlight the best attributes of the Winfield Vineyard, and also creates a wine that possesses qualities that allow it to age well in the cellar and evolve over many years.
“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.
“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.” - Thomas River Brown
Coming from the Winfield Vineyard in Calistoga, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is another brilliant wine from the hands of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. This deep purple-colored effort boasts tons of blueberry and jammy blackberry fruits as well a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant style on the palate. It has the purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of the vintage, ripe, sweet tannins, and no hard edges, and is already hard to resist. Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points