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In 1885, Dr. George Beldon Crane planted an assortment of grape vines on an eight-acre plot of land, just south of St. Helena. Today, it is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley, consisting of a field blend traditionally known as "mixed blacks". Although records are scarce, the vines likely consist of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan and to a lesser extent, Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre and Valdiguie. Of the eight acres currently in production, approximately four contain a mixture of G.B. Crane's original head trained vines with newer plantings from the 1930s interspersed. The other four acres consist of a 1.6-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1.4-acre block of Petite Sirah, and two rows of Merlot. With such a storied history and enormous potential, GB Crane purchased the eight-acre vineyard in 2012 with one goal: to preserve this piece of California viticultural history and produce a wine that both represents and respects that heritage.

The El Coco blend changes every year, and this time it's a blend of 71% Zinfandel, and 29% Petite Sirah. The 2020 el Coco sits in the glass with a deep mauve and neon rim, opening with aromatics of fruits on the darker spectrum - black and blue berries muddled with cacao - and a hint of lit palo santo. A confluence of feeling on the palate, the entry is voluptuous, layered and specific, with dripping ripe black plum that retains its acidity along with fresh morel and bresola, continuing into an appealing finish of baking chocolate. Closed in its youth, an introduction of air with a decant would allow for the wine to open and show the nuance and complexity hidden within.
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