The 2016 Earthquake Petite Sirah offers the varietal's typical full-bodied tannins, but the fruit is so opulent that its tannins are a very small part of its story. A whiff of violet lures you in, but then it's all dark chocolate and summer blackberry in the mouth. Tooth-staining, yes, but this is no Zinfandel on steroids. More elegant than previous vintages, it's down right pretty.
Winemaker Evan Frazier started the Ferdinand label in 2010 with just 56 cases of Albarino. Introduced to winemaking in 2006 by Abe Schoener of the Scholium Project, that year Evan worked his first harvest, in the Roussillon (Maury, France), with ancient Carignan and Grenache vines. Ferdinand is made in the Kongsgaard cellar on Atlas Peak (Napa, CA) where Evan is the General Manager for Kongsgaard Wines and has worked with John Kongsgaard since 2008.
Markus Bokisch decided to plant his own vineyards east of Lodi after beginning his career carefully farming some of the best vines in Napa. Probably the foremost authority on Spanish varieties in California, his family is from Spain and he looked to those roots when he planted Albariño, Tempranillo, Garnacha Blanca, Verdelho, and Graciano. The Vista Luna site is uniquely situated far to the northeast of Lodi in the rolling benchland at the edge of the Sierra foothills. It is known for its cobbled, rocky soil and the cooling breezes which blow from the Delta to the Sierras. Other wineries working with fruit from Vista Luna include Turley, Neyers, Scholium Project, Forlorn Hope, and Mark Herold Wines.
Gently whole cluster pressed and barrelled down to neutral barrels, the wine ferments spontaneously with native yeasts and no temperature manipulation. Malolactic is arrested with S02 to preserve freshness and the wine spends 8 months on primary lees with no stirring. Light gold color, this wine is balanced and attractively fragrant, with a savory and floral aspect that includes orange peel and lime zest, lemongrass, quince and grapefruit aromas and flavors. Lees aging in neutral oak gives the wine finesse, sophistication, and a hint of nuttiness a pleasing complement to the varieties balance of natural acidity, slight bitterness, and salty finish.
Consisting of 58% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, and 2% Cinsault, this Bandol-inspired Rose is a beauty, featuring aromas and flavors of citrus and stone fruits, highlighted by cherry, watermelon rind, grapefruit, nectarine and peach flavors. The wine has firm balancing acidity and both inviting aromas and a long finish on the palate. The medium bodied frame is layered, textured, balanced and elegant, and the wine will drink well on release or age for 5-7 years. It is a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of seafood, pasta and fowl and best served at or slightly above cellar temperature.