Rabble Tempranillo 2016
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.
Foxen Cuvee Jeanne Marie 2014, Santa Ynez Valley$48.00
Bill Wathen and Dick Doré have been making wine together since 1985, when they founded Foxen Winery & Vineyard at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in Northern Santa Barbara County. Since that time their dedication has remained the same: the creation of small production, sustainably-farmed, vineyard-focused wines using a straightforward and minimalist approach to winemaking. The winery is named in memory of William Benjamin Foxen, and English sea captain and Dick’s great-great grandfather. Benjamin Foxen came to Santa Barbara in the early 1800’s and purchased the historic Rancho Tinaquaic in 1837 with a Mexican Land Grant that totaled nearly 9000 acres. Foxen's 2014 Cuvée Jeanne Marie Williamson-Doré Vineyard, a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend is open, pliant and, not surprisingly, quite a bit more expressive than the Syrahs. Sweet red cherry, kirsch, hard candy and wild flowers abound in a wine that should drink well pretty much upon release. 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast 200 cases produced.
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.
Branham Jazz 2014, Napa Valley$26.00
Jazz! The Branham 2013 quartet continues to bring down the house! Presenting the group from
the Napa Valley: zinfandel (40%), petite sirah (20%), syrah (20%), and cabernet
sauvignon (20%). Sitting in for a short solo is the accomplished “Branham Rockpile
fruit.” Encore after encore, this proprietary blend never fails to satisfy the eye and
palate. Refined melodies of black-plum, dark berries and coffee notes are enhanced
by a purposeful symmetry of balanced tannins and acidity. Pair with music!