Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 66, California - $15.99
The NV Old Vine Red Lot 66 is a multi-vintage red blend from a combination of four vintages: 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. A blend of predominately Zinfandel with some Syrah, Petite Sirah and Carignane plus a small amount of Italian varieties. 60% was barrel aged and 40% was aged in tank. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has quite a meaty / gamey nose over a core of warm blackberries, roses, tar and bacon fat plus suggestions of black pepper and anise. Medium-bodied with a good concentration of fruit supported by rounded tannins and lively backbone, it finishes long and earthy. Great value! 90 pts Robert Parker
2015 Neyers Sage Canyon Red, California $23.99 - from Bruce Neyers:
The tale behind this wine dates back to my first California trip with Daniel Brunier, owner and winemaker of Domaine Vieux Télégraphe, the Châteauneuf du Pape that many refer to as the most legendary wine of the southern Rhône. Daniel and I travel together frequently and he loves America and things American, including the wines of California. During a trip 15 years ago we spent a day traveling through the Central Valley. Daniel was amazed at the endless sea of vineyards, and was especially taken by what was obviously a significant amount of old vines. ‘You should find some old vineyards planted to historical southern Rhône varieties,’ he said, ‘And I’ll help you make a traditional Rhône-style wine from them.’ The search took several years, but it paid off when in 2007 Tadeo found a block of 130 year-old Carignan vines in Oakley. We had already discovered some Grenache from Borden Ranch, along with Mourvèdre from Sonoma County and Syrah from Santa Lucia Highlands.
All four wines were made as separate varietals at our Sage
Canyon winery, but when blended together we knew we had
something special. The whole was far greater than the sum of its
parts. One drawback, however, was that we had no opportunity
to label the finished wine as a variety, or even as a regional blend,
coming as it did from four separate regions in northern
California. Instead we opted to name it after the location of our
winery which is in the Sage Canyon area of the Napa Valley.
The wine is a blend of four wines, each produced using the
traditional Rhône process of ‘Pigeage’ where all of the grapes are
crushed by foot, not by machine. Each wine ferments separately,
and when complete we drain and press the tank, rack the new
wine to used 60-gallon French oak barrels, then let the wine age
on the lees for a year before blending. We then bottle, unfined
The finished wine is complex and old-worldly. There’s earth and
mineral along with some wildly exotic fruit, and an attractive soft
finish. We’ve regularly heard it referred to as the best example of
an old-world blend made today in California. We think it’s at
least that. A blend of 45% Carignan (vines are 140 years-old),
25% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.