Tuesday, March 15, 2011

RELEASE ALERT: Spring Offer from Bedrock Wine Co.

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Spring 2011 Release Newsletter

F. Scott and Zelda:
I am thrilled to be able to offer a small amount of every single one of the Spring Release wines to the Waiting List.  Quantities are very limited on some of the wines, with case numbers in the teens available on most of the reds with a little more available on Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé.  Anyone who orders in this round will be added to the Mailing List and guaranteed an allocation on subsequent releases.  This is likely the last time I will be able to offer wine to the Waiting List for a while so ensure that you do not miss out on future offers by ordering now.  And with that, the fun stuff!

New Vineyard Additions for 2011

I am thrilled to announce two new vineyard additions to Bedrock Wine Co. starting with vintage 2011. 

First up is Casa Santinamaria Vineyard.  Planted in 1905 this vineyard features blocks of mixed-whites (Muscadelle, Semillon, Chasselas among others), and a few blocks of Zinfandel based mixed-blacks (plenty of Petite Sirah, Valdigue, Alicante, and other goodies).  The vineyard, whose other half is known as Samsel Vineyard and goes to Rosenblum for Maggie's Reserve, lies roughly five miles south of Bedrock Vineyard in a cooler microclimate.  Currently in a bit of disrepair I am looking forward to working with the owners, vineyard manager Rafael Oscegaro, and Bedrock Vineyard's Diane Kenworthy, to restore the vineyard (e.g. pull out the dead-vines, poison oak, remnants of rootstock, get in new rootstock, replenish the natural field-blend, plant cover-crops, etc. etc.).  The great quality of the grapes are a known commodity and I am looking forward to seeing what the vineyard can achieve with a little more TLC.

Second up is Saitone Vineyard.  Planted in 1896 this is the oldest remaining vineyard in the Piner/Olivet area of the Russian River Valley.  Located a stones-throw from Papera Ranch, the vineyard is now under the watchful eye of Ulises Valdez.  The vineyard for many years went into some great bottlings at De Loach and I am hoping that the few of us lucky enough to get the fruit can match and hopefully even surpass those heights.  

In addition to these new old-vine sites I have also been given S-block Syrah at Hudson Vineyard.  S-block, planted to Alban Powerblock Selection, lies on the front ranch of Hudson in probably the nicest site for Syrah on the whole ranch.  Right across the road from my T-West block it has a more southeasterly exposition.  In addition, my existing contracts for 5-block Alban Selection has been converted from a tonnage contract to an acreage contract, giving me more control over yields, so the overall quality of the Hudson wines should only improve in the years to come. 

Beyond this, I am thrilled that a new year is upon us so I can actually work with vineyards that got wiped out, or were dramatically influenced by, the heat of last year—Papera Ranch in Russian River Valley, Von Weidlich Vineyard in Green Valley, and Lorenzo's Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. 

The 2010 Vintage

Much has been made of the so-called "disastrous" 2010 vintage.  'Tis true, there was some ugliness and heavy triage will have to take place (Old Lakeville Syrah, Von Weidlich Syrah, some of Pagani Ranch, and others will have to find a home in the jug-wine or some other place), but, I would also say that the very best Zinfandel and Syrah I have made yet come from the vintage (the 2010 Monte Rosso Zinfandel and Hudson T&S Syrah).  The Bedrock Heirloom, the new Pagani Ranch Heirloom, Stellwagen, Kick Ranch Syrah and Griffin's Lair, are not far behind.  In addition, 2010 will feature a cameo wine appearance by father Joel under the Bedrock label—I do not want to give too much away but it has some old-vine Zinfandel in it and is from Sonoma Valley and is huge, balanced, and delicious J  As for the 2010 whites, you will see for yourself, as several are offered for release here but I am quite pleased.

And speaking of 2010 whites, I am excited to announce that the second year of the Abrente Albarino, a wine made in partnership with my good friend Michael Havens will be released in the next month.  Keep your eyes open for the mailer to hit your inboxes in the next few weeks. 

Now, onto the wines offered with this release!


2010 Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc: The 2010 rendition of this wine, from the steep and rocky slopes of Kick Ranch, is dominated by the aromatic Musque-clone along with the more mineral, citrus-laden, clone 317.  Like last year, the majority of the wine was barrel-fermented in once, twice, and thrice, used French oak barrels of very tight grain from Bordelaise coopers.  In addition, roughly 7% of the wine was aged in a new Acacia barrel coopered for me by Tonnellerie Rousseau.  Fermented using native yeasts in barrel and stirred on a bi-monthly basis for additional richness the wine was not allowed to undergo malolactic to ensure brightness of fruit and general vivacity. Thirteen barrels made. $22


2010 Ode To Lulu Rosé:  This is certainly the most elegant and high-tone version of this wine made so far.  Mourvedre-fruit from blocks planted in 1888, was picked at 21.9 brix (under 13% potential alcohol) and whole-cluster pressed to a stainless steel tank.  There, it fermented at cold temperatures using native yeasts.  Unlike past years where I allowed the wine to undergo ML to increase richness, this year I only allowed a partial MLF to take place—the result being a slightly higher-tones rosé that I believe is a bit more vibrant and food friendly. $20


2009 Lorenzo's Heirloom Wine:  Like previous years this wine is cofermentation of roughly 50% Zinfandel 25% Carignane, 20% Petite Sirah, and 5% Alicante Bouschet, Cinsault, and Valdigue, from century-old vines on the Dry Creek Bench.  Unlike previous years, this is by far the most backward, taught, and structured Heirloom released from this vintage.  The fruit came in, three weeks later than normal, at  a low 22.9 brix and fermented to a moderate 14.2% alcohol.  This wine will demand some cellar-time, as I gave it an additional three months in barrel and three months in bottle before release and it is still tightly-wound and reticent. Ten barrels made. $35

2009 Kick Ranch Syrah:  This is hands-down the best Kick Ranch Syrah I have made in my opinion.  In 2009 I co-fermented clones 877, 470, and 383 along with 6% Viognier.  Following a native-yeast fermentation to dryness the wine was barreled down to 33% new French oak from Ermitage, Rousseau, and Meyrieux, for 15 months.  This is an opulent wine but I feel the perfume and aromatics, not to mention healthy brightness and tannin keep the smoke and pork-fat infused fruit in check.  Seven barrels made.  $30

2009 Hudson Ranch Syrah, T-Block:  I am not sure if this is the best Syrah I have made but it is certainly my favorite.  The fruit comes from the front-ranch at Hudson from the oldest-existing vines in the Carneros (planted in 1993 for my dear-friend Michael Havens).  Cropped at 2 tons/acre and picked at 24.6 brix, 4% Viognier and 33% whole-clusters were included in the fermentation for structure, spice, and perfume.  The wine was aged in two 600 Liter Demi-Muids (basically small wooden tanks on their side) one of which was new, along with two new barrels from Ermitage and Rousseau.  The resulting wine is deeply perfumed, dense, elegant, lifted, and satisfying. $39

2009 Hudson Ranch Syrah, Pleine de Chene: In contrast to the cooler days and warmer nights experienced by T-block the Pleine de Chene comes from the north side of Hudson Ranch off of Henry Road.  Here, the Alban Selection Syrah, experiences slightly warmer days and cooler nights- the result being a darker, more opulent, expression of Syrah that is ideally suited for the Pleine de Chene bottling.  Picked at 24.9 brix the wine was fermented in two new puncheons and two new barrels and then pressed and barreled down to 100% new oak from coopers known for their smoke-driven profile.  This is by far the most opulent, over-the-top, wine I make and will certainly not be to everyone's taste but I like making it to show what remarkably different wines can be made from the brilliant terroir at Hudson and farming of Lee, Andres, and Kelly. $39

Note on the Hudson Wines:  I was planning on doing the "Hudson Three-Ways" this year as I did in 2008 with the new T-Block taking the spot of the "cofermented" bottling.  However, I was displeased with the Whole-Cluster element and dropped it into the Sonoma Coast Syrah blend, thus only the two T-Block and PdC offering this year.  Starting in 2011, as stated above, I will have three separate, wonderful, blocks to work from in creating the "three-way" bottling.

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A Note on Shipping:

Due to the continued upward trajectory of shipping prices I am financially compelled to charge a bit.  All orders over six bottles will include a highly subsidized $15 Ground shipping charge while orders under six bottles will pay the full shipping charges.  I am still covering the lion's share of shipping for larger orders but need to defray the 10% or so rise in shipping costs over the last year. 2nd Day Air shipping remains available. Will-Call orders can be picked up on April 16th at the Spring Pick-Up Day.  In addition to picking up wine mailing list members will be able to taste samples of upcoming releases

As always, thank you for the wonderful and continued support of Bedrock Wine Co.. It is due to the mailing list sales that I can continue to source killer fruit and hopefully turn it into delicious and reasonably priced wines!  Not to mention have one of the best jobs on the planet!  Please feel free to contact me at morgan@bedrockwineco.com with questions or concerns. 

My best,

Morgan Twain-Peterson

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