Hook & Ladder Tillerman 2014
Chalk Hill is an appellation with, generally, warmer days than in the rest of the Russian River Valley, with a variety of volcanic and alluvial soils across the western foothills of the Mayacamas range. In fire-fighting parlance, a “tillerman” steers the back of a hook & ladder truck. Founder Cecil De Loach held this position in the San Francisco Fire Department. The Hook & Ladder Tillerman 2014 red blend exhibits a deep purple and beet red hue, and notes of ripe berries, black cherry, and baking spices on the nose. Layered flavors of black currant and raspberry lead to a long finish of spice and dusty cocoa. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 24% Sangiovese.
Happy Canyon Piocho Bordeaux Red Blend 2013, Happy Canyon Valley, California, USA$36.00
Piocho Ranch was acquired by Thomas J. Barrack Jr. in 1992. Out of a love for the countryside and a ranchers life, the Barrack family developed rolling acres of vineyards. The peaceful and beautiful property sits nestled in the Happy Canyon Valley, a perfect location for growing grapes and riding horses. Two regulation sized Polo fields are groomed with the same care as the finest golf courses in the world. Piocho means “Where the two rivers meet and go to heaven.” The Happy Canyon Piocho 2013, a Bordeaux blend, has an inviting deep ruby color. Ripe black currant, cherry, espresso and smoky oak show on the nose. This wine is lush, sweet and open-knit, with a pliancy to its flavors of dark berries, licorice and chewing tobacco. The Happy Canyon Bordeaux Red Blend 2013 exhibits deep aromas of spice, dark bing cherries, wood, burnt blackberries and jam. On the palate there are slight herbal/floral flavors with minerality, dried violets and tobacco all surrounded by dense fruit. This a truly lovely wine that is wonderful to drink today when paired with big rich cuisine such as Santa Maria Tri-Tip. The wines structure will allow it to mature and age nicely for at least another decade! Dusty, slow-building tannins give grip to the finish, which repeats the cherry and licorice notes.
Volker Eisele Family Estate Terzetto Red Blend 2014, Chiles Valley Napa USA$75.00
Volker Eisele Family Estate is situated in the Chiles Valley District, one of fifteen grape growing appellations within the Napa Valley Viticultural Area. Cloaked in frequent Pacific fog, Chiles Valley is one of the cooler areas of the Napa Valley resulting in a long growing season. The valley's perfect cabernet climate enhances the development of wines with subtle flavors, full body, and overall complexity. The four hundred acre estate was originally part of the “Rancho Catacula” land grant, given to Joseph Bollinger Chiles in 1843 by the last Mexican governor of California. The Chiles family later sold a portion of their land to Francis Sievers, a German pioneer. In the 1870's, Sievers founded Lomita's Vineyard and Winery on the site. The original winery building, some of the tanks, and the original press constructed by Sievers still remain on the Estate. The oldest cabernet vines were planted by the Eiseles in 1975 and continue to yield fruit of superb quality. Over the past 35 years the Eiseles have enriched the vineyard soils through use of organic farming practices. No herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers have been used. The vineyard is certified as organic by both the California Certified Organic Farmers and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The Volker Eisele Terzetto is a blend of 1/3 Cabernet Sauvignon, 1/3 Cabernet Franc and 1/3 Merlot, aged 24 months in 70% new French oak from Treuil Cooperage, unfined and lightly filtered.
“The 2014 Terzetto Proprietary Red is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, which are co-fermented from their vineyard in Chiles Valley. Nice raspberry and blueberry fruit, sweet tannin, velvety texture, medium to full body, beautiful purity, a floral component and overall a lovely, seductive and compelling style. Drink it over the next 10 years.”
92 –Robert Parker Jr., Wine Advocate
Rabble Tempranillo 2016$27.00
From the Rioja clone and aged 12 months in French oak, the Rabble Tempranillo 2016, Mossfire Ranch Vineyard. Made up of 100% Tempranillo, it is opaque purple-colored, offering up a super-expressive bouquet of bacon, tar, mineral, pencil lead, blueberry, black raspberry, and licorice. Smooth-textured, layered, ripe, and sweetly-fruited, this forward pleasurable, lengthy effort has 2-3 years of aging potential but can be enjoyed now and over the next 10 years.