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Stage Left Cellars Journal

EVENTS

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TASTING NOTES

VIOGNIER

2005, 2009

Viognier 2005, 100% Viognier - Kiler Canyon Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA

Calling all "I only drink RED wine" wine drinkers. The light straw color with subtle green hues might fool you. But trust us. Just swirl it. That's what we're talking about. This thing is aromatic—wild flowers, mandarin oranges, honeydew, peach, lime zest, and just a touch of toast. On the palate, things get intense. Deep stone fruit and citrus on a full bodied frame, backed up by cleansing acidity and a loooong finish. Now tell us you don't drink whites. 73 cases produced. $34/bottle.

"The Opportunist" 2009, 100% Viognier – Del Rio Vineyard, Rogue Valley, OR

We've always loved this Southern Oregon vineyard for its unique take on Syrah. But we've been waiting for the chance to get our hands on their well-balanced, lower alcohol, aromatic Viognier. And with a little luck and some help from Mother Nature, opportunity finally knocked. Waves of honeydew, tropical fruit, lemon oil, white flowers and almond fly out of the glass. Then, it's a full frontal assault of white peach and Asian pear setting you up for a round of stone fruit and bright citrus. Crisp, natural acidity brings it home and makes it hard to put the glass down. 52 cases produced. $26/bottle.

WHITE BLENDS

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Viognier / Roussanne 2007, 80% Viognier, 20% Roussanne - Central Coast, CA

Prepare yourself for aromatic waves of citrus and stone fruit (think peach/apricot), star fruit, a touch of caramel and a hint of honey. On the palate, lemon and lime show through with some honey, spice and lots of mouth feel thanks to the Roussanne. And with a nice bit of tannin and great acidity, this wine will pair well with nearly everything on your plate. 95 cases produced. $34/bottle.

"The Go Getter" 2008, 63% Viognier, 32% Grenache Blanc, 5% Roussanne - Central Coast, CA

This year's white blend is packed with tropical and stone fruit flavors and intense aromatics. On the palate, you'll find white peach, citrus, minerality and refreshing acidity rounded out by rich honey notes, baking spice and super-fine, food-lovin' tannins. 107 cases produced. $34/bottle.

"The Go Getter" 2009, 42% Viognier, 29% Grenache Blanc, 29% Roussanne - California

This white Rhone blend has beautiful aromatics - candied lemon zest and honey and crème brûlée. The palate is a tropical escape… think green papaya, orange blossom, mandarin, and lime. In classic Go Getter style, our 2009 rendition is full bodied, but with great natural acidity, lots of mouth feel and an intense, long finish. And thanks to a little skin contact during fermentation, there are even some fine tannins giving it the structure to stand up to a bit of time in the cellar, and to help it stand up to bolder dishes that may have you normally reaching for a lighter red. The 2009 Go Getter is also a true California wine, with Viognier hailing from Mendocino and Russian River vineyards (Alder Springs and Catie’s Corner respectively), Roussanne from Mendocino (Alder Springs) and Grenache Blanc from Paso Robles (Russell Family). 149 cases produced. $34/bottle.

"The Go Getter" 2010, 57% Viognier, 29% Grenache Blanc, 14% Roussanne - California

COLOR: Light straw
NOSE: Honeysuckle, orange blossom, pineapple, ginger, clove, lemon zest
PALATE: honey, crisp acidity, sea air, fresh citrus, white peach, nice tannins (thanks to a little skin contact during fermentation!)
“In classic Go Getter style, our 2010 rendition is full bodied, but with great natural acidity, lots of mouth feel and an intense, long finish.” 290 cases produced. $34/bottle.

CALIFORNIA SYRAH

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013

Syrah 2005, 97% Syrah, 3% Viognier - Central Coast, CA

When we set out to make our '05 Syrah, we set out to make [drum roll]... an actual Syrah. You know, not too far over the top, but not too close to having its lunch money stolen. Let's just say we wanted it to be in touch with its feminine side. But just a little in touch. Our top lots of Syrah from the Central Coast are all here, co-fermented with 3% Viognier. There's a hint of lavender and floral tones on the nose, backed up by red and black fruits, black pepper and caramel as you pull away from the glass. On the palate, concentrated black plum and raspberry jam, bramble, licorice and pepper are supported by well-integrated oak, fine tannins and a full-bodied frame. It sticks with you. And that's a good thing. 194 cases produced. $28/bottle.

Syrah 2006, 100% Syrah - Central Coast, CA

This Syrah spent nearly 3 years in barrel (25% new French Oak). It hails from some amazing Central Coast Syrah vineyards including Watch Hill and McGinley Estate (Westerly). You'll quickly taste the red fruit profile – loads of cherry and cassis – and then the dark fruit builds steam through the finish – think boysenberry and black plum. With a touch of almond, a bit of anise and roasted herbs framed by fine-grained tannins and minerality on the finish, you'll be begging for another glass. This is a Syrah lover's go-to wine. 220 cases produced. $28/bottle.

Syrah 2007, 100% Syrah - Central Coast, CA

Our 2007 Syrah grabs the baton from the '06 and sprints forward, showing the depth and power of the vintage. This year's Central Coast Syrah is loaded with pepper, dried herbs, cocoa and earth on the nose. On the palate, there's lots of black cherry and cassis and a rich blueberry reduction. The dark fruit profile builds through the finish with blackberry, black plum and a touch of cola carrying on and on – it lingers for minutes. The fruit and spice is balanced by fine-grained tannins, great acidity and hints of stone. A balanced wine that's mighty easy to drink, but can hang with the serious crowd. In our book, another Syrah lover's Syrah. 195 cases produced. $28/bottle.

Syrah 2008, 100% Syrah - California

Think rich and delicious. Wonder how on earth this thing can only cost $28 after spending a whopping 35 months in barrel and then 6 months in bottle. We think it was worth the wait, and worth taking a bath on it so more people can see how much some extra time in barrel can impact a wine. This is a big and juicy (but balanced) Syrah blended from 3 top California vineyards: Watch Hill (Los Alamos), McGinley (Santa Ynez), and Fore Family (Lake County). It's simply loaded with wild strawberry, cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate fruit. And the extra time in barrel has built in breadth and complexity that will make you work hard to put down your glass, with white pepper, dried herbs, coffee, smoke and baking spice acting as a tempting foil for the rich fruit profile. It's all kept in check by great natural acidity and firm but ripe tannin. Proof that patience pays and that our calculator's broken. 90 cases produced. $28/bottle.

Syrah 2009, 100% Syrah - California

COLOR: Deep opaque garnet
NOSE: Black pepper, vanilla, five spice, rose petals
PALATE: Juicy red raspberry, wild strawberry, fresh acidity, dried herbs, lots of structure, and a touch of eucalyptus
"This one was aged in French oak barrels for 35 months and then bottled in Sept 2012. With just a few swirls, this Syrah really delivers and shows off its savory side.”  94 cases produced. $28/bottle.

Alder Springs Syrah 2009, 100% Syrah - Alder Springs Vineyard, Mendocino, CA

This special Syrah bottling hails from one of the most celebrated vineyards in California for lovers of Rhone varieties. When the opportunity finally came along to bring it into our program (even though it was only a tiny amount), we didn't have to think about it for very long... our mouths were watering. We've been excited about this wine from the beginning. So, after 2 long years of waiting, it's fun to finally share it. The nose is pretty and intensely aromatic – think lavender, wild strawberries, white flowers and a hint of vanilla bean. On the palate, there's a rich red fruit profile (pomegranates, ripe strawberries, and raspberries) and fresh natural acidity to keep everything in balance. It finishes with a nice bit of minerality, graphite and fine, dusty tannins. Lower in alcohol, but packing a ton of flavor, this is a wonderful wine for the table. 95 cases produced. $35/bottle.

Alder Springs Syrah 2010, 100% Syrah - Alder Springs Vineyard, Mendocino County

COLOR: Deep ruby
NOSE: Fresh strawberry, white pepper, a bit of anise, limestone, cocoa
PALATE: Cranberry, fresh raspberry, loads of minerality, great natural acidity, fine dusty tannins
“While this is a lower alcohol wine – making it a great dining companion – it has a ton of complexity, balance and structure. Enjoy for several years to come if you can manage to leave it alone in the cellar.” 103 cases produced. $35/bottle.

"The Escape Artist" 2007, 100% Syrah - Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, CA

Power with finesse, rich yet fresh. The nose is incredibly complex, with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, anise, dried herbs and Chinese five spice. Then the cracked black pepper and brambly fruit kick in. On the palate, the wave continues with smoky blackberry, Montmorency cherry, cassis, Hibiscus tea, white and black pepper, and spice. Fine integrated tannins pack a punch, but the natural, cool climate acidity keeps the entire package surprisingly light on its feet. 78 cases produced. $35/bottle.

"The Escape Artist" 2008, 100% Syrah - Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, CA

Once again, the Watch Hill Vineyard delivers a Syrah that requires its own soapbox—for the second year in a row, Watch Hill Syrah is The Escape Artist. We just love this vineyard’s unique take on Syrah. It’s complete, complex and, well, delicious. It sort of attacks you, only in a good way. On the nose you’ll find baking spice, vanilla bean, cloves, blueberry, graphite, and a touch of earth. On the palate, think cranberry and red currant building to black cherry, dark chocolate, smoke and leather. The finish has an almost ridiculous amount of staying power with hints of eucalyptus and lavender. This is bold and full bodied but nowhere near over the top, with firm acid and silky tannins that belie its scale. It’ll be happy in the cellar for 10+ years. Good luck keeping it that long. But with only 45 cases, you’ll need to act fast to try. 45 cases produced. $35/bottle.

"The Escape Artist" 2009, 100% Syrah – Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, CA

COLOR: Opaque purple – white shirts beware
NOSE: Spicy, forest floor, licorice, roasted meats
PALATE: Full throttled bramble, dried herbs, black currant, peppery, well integrated tannins, espresso finish
"This one represents exactly why we love Central Coast Syrah – especially Watch Hill. The Escape Artist will reward patience so enjoy one now and then forget about the other for 5+ years." 48 cases produced. $35/bottle.

"The Escape Artist" 2010, 100% Syrah – Farview Road Ranch, Santa Lucia Highlands

COLOR: Opaque purple with ruby edges – white shirts beware
NOSE: Vanilla, clove, black pepper, sour red cherry
PALATE: Big raspberry/cherry bursts and loads of fresh acidity with a touch of graphite on the finish
“This Escape Artist brings the powerful side of Syrah to the glass – showing ripe fruit, roasted meats, graphite and black pepper with refreshing acidity and fine, grippy tannins (exactly why we love cool climate Syrah). Built for some time in the bottle.” 99 cases produced. $35/bottle.

"The Escape Artist" 2012

"The Escape Artist" 2013

Extended Aged Syrah 2010, 100% Syrah, Fairview Road Ranch, Santa Lucia Highlands

COLOR: Deep garnet with a ruby edge
NOSE: Sweet black cherry, vanilla, caramel, clove, earth, graphite, hints of fennel seed
PALATE: Leather, tart pomegranate as well as some dark brambly fruit, earth, dusty tannins, pink peppercorn, graphite finish
"There's no doubt this is Syrah. A thinker's wine. Sure, we left this in barrel for 35 months and just bottled it in September 2013, but it still has plenty of time ahead." 90 cases produced. $44/bottle.

Extended Aged Syrah 2010, 100% Syrah; Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara County

COLOR: Deep garnet with an opaque center
NOSE: Beautiful rose petals, lavender, and perfume and waves of kirsch 
PALATE: Fresh acidity, a bit of vanilla and minerality, loads of dark cherry on the finish
"While there's a ton of rich red fruit - think red currants, raspberry and a super concentrated cherry core - there's also a hint of citrus (yes, this vineyard IS planted next to a lemon grove!). The extra time in barrel really amplified the minerality and balanced the fruit and acidity. We only wish we had more of it." 45 cases produced. $28/bottle.

OREGON SYRAH

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

"The Scenic Route" 2006, 100% Syrah - Del Rio Vineyard, Rogue Valley, OR

100% Syrah. Layered with complexity, there's loads of vanilla, almond, cherry, boysenberry, anise and a touch of meatiness wrapped in lavender on the nose. Then the fruit hits - plum, black cherry and boysenberry - along with some dried herbs, earth and fine tannins. A big wine with lots of palate weight without being a fruit bomb. The finish goes on and on... 96 cases produced. $35/bottle

"The Scenic Route" 2007, 100% Syrah - Del Rio Vineyard, Rogue Valley, OR

We have a soft spot for Syrah from the Del Rio Vineyard. Thanks to the long, cool ripening season, we were able to ripen the fruit slowly. Rich Morello cherry explodes from the glass and then white pepper, lavender and wild strawberries are waiting to deliver the core message - Oregon Syrah is legit. On the palate, the red fruit rush continues, with huge fresh cherry, red currant jam and pomegranate flavors. 96 cases produced. $35/bottle.

"The Scenic Route" 2008, 100% Syrah - Del Rio Vineyard, Rogue Valley, OR

This cooler climate Syrah vineyard in southern Oregon continues to deliver a complete wine – beautiful aromatics, rich fruit, balanced acidity, and loads of complexity – and a different expression of Syrah than our California wines. This vineyard also keeps us on our toes, and shows more variance in profile from vintage to vintage. The 2008 Scenic Route isn’t as fruit forward as the ’06 or as restrained as the ’07, but you can see aspects of both in a rich but balanced package. The ’08 Route simply leaps out of the glass. First is a wave of fresh raspberry, followed by black plum and marzipan. On the palate, waves of red fruit turn into blueberry compote and subtle dried herbs. A hint of smoke, earth and tar bring the whole thing home in a neo-classic style. This is an easy wine to love, and a reminder of just how fun Syrah from Oregon can be. 116 cases produced. $29/bottle.

"The Scenic Route" 2009, 100% Syrah – Del Rio Vineyard - Rogue Valley, Oregon

COLOR: Bright ruby red
NOSE: Black cherry, almond, dried herbs, anise, hints of vanilla
PALATE: Ripe plum, black cherry, black tea, graphite, dusty tannins, lonnnng finish
94 cases produced. $29/bottle.

GRENACHE

2005, 2006, 2011, 2012

Grenache 2005, 90% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre - Nielson Vineyard, Santa Maria, CA

This ain't your typical California Grenache. Sweet red fruit, baking spice and a hint of caramel and leather jump from the glass. A wave of concentrated raspberry, tart Morello cherry, and strawberry rolls onto your palate with the finesse of a freight train. A pretty one, mind you, but a freight train nonetheless. There's great structure thanks to the Mourvedre, and classic cool climate acidity to keep everything in check. Just plain tasty. 112 cases produced. $48/bottle.

Grenache 2006, 92% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre - Nielson Vineyard, Santa Maria, CA

This one packs serious intensity and rich red fruit, and shows the concentration and broader tannin profile of this year's hyper low yields. There's still that Grenache spiciness to make you smile, with some great hints of baking spice lingering on the palate. Intense red fruit (raspberry, sour cherry, wild strawberry) with fresh natural acidity. Hints of stone, cloves, vanilla and dried herbs bring it home. 132 cases produced. $48/bottle.

Grenache 2011, 100% Grenache – Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara County, CA

COLOR: Garnet with bright ruby edges
NOSE: Baking spices, cloves, vanilla, layered red fruit and a bit of forest floor
PALATE: Wild strawberry, Morello cherry, cola, graphite, bright refreshing acidity, and dusty tannins on the finish
“After five long years, we finally have a stand-alone Grenache back in the line up! This one is bursting with juicy red fruit, fresh natural acidity and spice. Delicious now but wait 3-5 years and your patience will be rewarded." 47 cases produced. $33/bottle.

Grenache 2012

Test

MOURVEDRE

2010

The Emcee 2010, 100% Mourvedre - Vogelzang Vineyard, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara

COLOR: Beautiful burgundy
NOSE: Leather, spice, tobacco, vanilla, red plum, and black pepper
PALATE: Loads of wild strawberry, leather, smoke balanced with fresh natural acidity and some minerality on the finish
“When we tasted this Mourvedre, we knew it could hold its own on any stage. And this is exactly what we love about Mourvedre – sure it can be beast of a variety – but this one has been tamed just enough and the result is a beautifully balanced wine.” 22 cases. $26/bottle.

PETITE SIRAH

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

Petite Sirah 2006, 100% Petite Sirah - Russell Family Vineyards, Paso Robles, CA

This marks our first release of Petite Sirah. It won't be our last. We like to let our wines speak for themselves, but this one stands up and yells. This beast of a variety makes us work hard in the cellar, but pays us back in dark, brambly fruit bolstered by the acidity of a fresh red raspberry and well-integrated tannins. Hints of black and white pepper and spice along with some toasty oak and dark chocolate lead up to a distinct minerality on the loooooong finish. Bring on a big steak or your favorite chocolate soufflé. And a seat belt. Delicious now (just decant it) and for a long time to come. 110 cases produced. $36/bottle. 

Petite Sirah 2007, 100% Petite Sirah - Paso Robles, CA

We do feel a little silly for calling this wine Petite – it's not exactly small scaled. 2007 made for some very concentrated, intense wines in the Central Coast, and this one is no exception. It's a mouth-coating beast (in a good way) but despite its sheer size, it stays light on its feet. Waves of eucalyptus, earth, boysenberry, red peppercorns, and marzipan on the nose set you up for a spicy red fruit explosion – wild raspberry, pomegranate and red currant. But the longer it goes, the darker it gets, with black pepper, cinnamon, and cocoa dust leading the way to a smoky, almost meaty finish. The elevated, natural acidity and super-fine tannins keep your mouth watering, and bring a surprisingly nimble, refined finish. 110 cases produced. $36/bottle.

Petite Sirah 2008, 100% Petite Sirah – California (61% Russian River, 39% Paso Robles)

Petite. Right. We’re huge fans of this grape. It’s an underdog. Sure, it can underachieve. But it has more purple-toothed smiles per ounce potential than most anything in the cellar. So, it’s hard to not love. So much so that in 2008, we added a Petite Sirah vineyard in Russian River to our line-up. At the time it was simply an experiment. In hindsight, it was one of our best vineyard decisions to date. While we love the minerality, fruit richness and natural acidity of our Paso Robles’ vineyard (Russell Family Vineyard), the HoppeKelly Vineyard brings a completely new set of layers to the table—think black pepper, anise, clove and forest floor. The nose will make your mouth water – coffee, chocolate, almond, kirsch, earth, black pepper, and pomegranate molasses. Seriously. Then the Russell fruit richness hits and simply doesn’t stop. This wine definitely has scale, but it’s surprisingly agile, bolstered by great acidity and fine dusty tannins that you’d swear couldn’t come from this bruiser of a variety (they’re in there—you just have to ask real nice). 102 cases produced. $36/bottle.

Petite Sirah 2009, 100% Petite Sirah – California

COLOR: Black center with a ruby rim
NOSE: Earth, truffle, a hint of fruit, anise, dark chocolate, forest floor
PALATE: Blueberry, blackberry, minerality, bittersweet chocolate, smoky, lots of texture yet a smooth finish
“The Petite from these 2 different vineyards (Theopolis and HoppeKelly) work so well together. This is the most approachable young Petite we’ve ever produced. It’s spicy, peppery and light on its feet – no tannic fruit bomb here!” 44 cases produced. $36/bottle.

RED BLENDS

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

"The Day Job" 2004, 67% Grenache, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Mourvedre - Central Coast, CA

Yeah, yeah…we're Rhone people. But who doesn't love what the Spanish have been doing with Rhone/cab blends? Built to satisfy your cravings for structure, sweet, and spicy. Just like everyone's day job, right? There's no sugar mind you – this baby is dry. But there's a swenetness to the stewed red and black fruits supported by dried herbs and just a hint of licorice and pink peppercorns. Fine tannins and clean, natural acidity just scream for tapas. 103 cases produced. $40/bottle.

"The Day Job" 2008, 40% Grenache, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Mourvedre - California

When the opportunity came along to source some top-shelf Napa Cab (St. Helena, actually), we knew exactly what the plan had to be. You may remember...this unconventional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvedre knocked our socks off in '04, so we just had to bring it back. Just one swirl and waves of red currant jam, wild strawberry, and tart cherry fly from the glass, with hints of eucalyptus, earth and vanilla trailing softly behind. Once you start sipping, you can distinctly taste each of the 3 varieties, with bursts of pure Cabernet fruit - red currant and cassis - coming first. Then the Grenache jumps in with black cherries and a touch of licorice. The Mourvedre won't be outdone, and brings it home with a touch of leather, fine tannins, spice and everything nice. While it has a long life ahead of it, this wine is drinking beautifully right now--the extra time in the bottle prior to release has really helped integrate the tannins and make this a complete wine. If only everyone could have a day job this tasty...105 cases produced. $40/bottle.

"The Day Job" 2009, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre - California

COLOR: Deep ruby
NOSE: Cassis, red currant, rose petals, lavender, brulee
PALATE: Cassis, wild strawberry, caramel, white pepper, five spice, kirsch, herbs de provence, polished tannins
"This blend has inspired us from the very beginning and this one is reminiscent of the original 2004 vintage. Built to satisfy your cravings for structure, sweet, and spicy - just like everyone’s day job, right?" 140 cases produced. $40/bottle.

"The Day Job" 2010, 44% Mourvedre, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Grenache - Central Coast

COLOR: Deep dark ruby
NOSE: Sweet cranberry, cinnamon, marzipan, smoke, black pepper, black currant, licorice
PALATE: Rich sweet Cab, strawberry, cranberry, red currant, black pepper, minerality
“This blend has inspired us from the very beginning and this one is reminiscent of the original 2004 vintage. Built to satisfy your cravings for structure, sweet, and spicy - just like everyone’s day job, right?” 174 cases produced. $40/bottle.

"The Globetrotter" 2008, 41% Syrah, 39% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre - California

To all of you GSM fans out there, we raise our glass to you. Our first true GSM release, this is an old world wine with a California twist – a nice journey around the globe. It’s Stage Left’s tip of the hat to the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape… wines that continue to inspire us as we refine our craft. The complex nose is seductive… earth, leather, minerality, sweet baking spices, and dust is reminiscent of Southern France. Rich kirsch, red currant and black plum come in waves with Herbes de Provence, leather and sandalwood building on the finish, where mineral, fine grained tannins and refreshing acidity just make your mouth water. It’s the perfect set up for another sip. And another. And another. And… 49 cases produced. $33/bottle.

"The Globetrotter" 2009, 48% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre - Central Coast, CA

Our second time to release a straight GSM, this is a wine inspired by the old world, but with a California twist. In fact, it's Stage Left's tip of the hat to the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape-wines that continue to inspire us as we refine our craft. The complex nose is intriguing: raspberry, earth, mushroom, white pepper, licorice, dust and savory herbs reminiscent of Southern France. The Grenache is more prevalent than in our '08 rendition, delivering loads of red currant and raspberry. Fine grained tannins and refreshing acidity just make your mouth water. 120 cases produced. $33/bottle.

"The Globetrotter" 2010, 50% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah - Central Coast, CA

COLOR: Classic dark ruby
NOSE: Strawberry-rhubarb pie, hints of clove and vanilla
PALATE: Rich red raspberry, cassis, refreshing acidity, dried herbs and minerality on the finish
“The Grenache jumps out of the glass while the Syrah and Mourvedre add complexity and balance. This true GSM reminds us why we love the Rhône.” 96 cases produced. $33/bottle.

"The Globetrotter 2012"

"The Globetrotter 2013"

"The ExPat" 2008, 51% Mourvedre, 49% Petite Sirah - Central Coast, CA

A new wine for us this year, The Expat is a study in lion taming. Really, really easy to drink lion taming. With 51% Mourvedre and 49% Petite Sirah, this isn't your standard Rhone blend. Both of these varieties have pretty strong personalities, but when we put them together, we saw some pretty surprising results... Mourvedre lovers will still find savory fruit, leather, spice and meatiness. Petite fans will still find dark berry fruit, pepper and structure. But where they are often peaks in the single varietal wines, those characteristics woven more deeply in the fabric of The Expat. It's something you just have to taste for yourself. It's a crowd pleaser in so many ways, but also gives the thinking drinker plenty to chew on. Drink now through 2016. 88 cases produced. $24/bottle.

"The ExPat" 2009, 50% Syrah, 33% Petite Sirah, 17% Grenache - California

Sure, the blend is unconventional, but it just works. This wine is a crowd pleaser that makes us wonder why we don't see these varieties spending more time together. The aromatics are seductive. In the beginning, waves of perfume, incense, almond, and dark brooding fruit hit, and then with a bit of oxygen, notes of sandalwood, candied apple, and dried herbs show through. The palate bursts with bright red raspberry and cherry as it darkens to black fruit on the finish. Don't be surprised when the wine continues to linger for literally minutes after every sip—in a really good way. Great to drink now, but with enough chutzpah to improve for 3-5 years. 282 cases produced. $24/bottle.

"The ExPat" 2010, 37% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Petite Sirah, 13% Mourvedre - California

COLOR: Dark ruby center
NOSE: Leather, spice, vanilla, coffee, boysenberry, kirsch, graphite
PALATE: Big bing cherry, bramble, cranberry, smoke
“You’ll want to keep this bottle close at hand. The intense fruit is balanced with lots of natural acidity making it the bottle everyone will be wanting for themselves.” 195 cases produced. $24/bottle.

"The ExPat" 2011, 50% Syrah, 50% Petite Sirah - California

COLOR: Black core with fuchsia edges
NOSE: Brooding blackberry and boysenberry jam, vanilla, and black pepper
PALATE: Sweet cherry and blueberry pie in the mid-palate, bright fresh acidity, and tons of texture
“This blend has the structure of Petite Sirah with the brightness and freshness of a cool climate Syrah. This is truly a crowd pleaser!” 132 cases produced. $24/bottle.

"The ExPat 2012"

"The ExPat 2013"

"The Breadwinner" 2005, 66% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 12% Zin, 6% Grenache, 2% Viognier - Central Coast, CA

It may sound like the kitchen sink, but The Breadwinner is our homage to overdoing it in blending trials. When we started selecting our favorite barrels to create a best-of-the-best blend, we found out it was tough work. Whew. All those rounds of tasting! We have it really rough. But we did it for you. Really. There's a lot going on with The Breadwinner. Complex? Definitely. Fun to drink? Absolutely. The earthy, meaty nose and a touch of reduction set you up for a right cross full of sweet black cherry, blackberry and plum. Shake it off and a hint of leather, caramel, vanilla and toast come at you with surprising grace. Fine grained tannins and savory spice settle in for a long, knockout finish. 250 cases produced. $42/bottle.

"The Breadwinner" 2006, 60% Syrah, 18% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre, 10% Petite Sirah - Central Coast, CA

Rich, complex and tasty without being overblown. On the palate, sweet, dark Syrah fruit comes through first. The Grenache follows through quickly with a layer of delicious red fruit (think raspberries and fresh cherries). Then it brings you full circle with blackberry jam and hints of vanilla and stone on the finish. Great natural acidity and dusty, mouth-coating tannins create a well structured wine that will reward patience. 220 cases produced. $42/bottle.

"The Breadwinner" 2007, 58% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre, 16% Petite Sirah, 7% Grenache - Central Coast, CA

This has to be our favorite Breadwinner to date. Now, we know that every winery says that sort of thing, but really… it's hard to not love it. As always with this wine, the complexity will keep you on your toes. There's plenty of fruit richness of course—lots of red fruit in fact (think pomegranate, cranberry, and red currant). And then layer after layer of earth, lavender, leather, white pepper and vanilla come through with a nice punch of baking spice. Great natural acidity (thank you cool climate Syrah and Grenache!) and dusty, mouth-coating tannins (thank you Petite and Mourvedre!) create a well-structured wine that you can enjoy now or forget about (if you can) for several years. 372 cases produced. $42/bottle.

"The Breadwinner" 2008, 54% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre, 17% Grenache, 9% Petite Sirah – Central Coast, CA

Our flagship Syrah blend is back, and with another healthy dose of Mourvedre in the spotlight. True to past vintages, The Breadwinner ’08 has depth and complexity in spades. The Mourvedre adds leather and spice, deftly wrapping the rich red and black fruits of our top Central Coast Syrah vineyards. That rich fruit makes it easy to drink now, but give it some air or some time in a decanter and its true colors show. A bit of patience rewards you with uncanny breadth, lavender, earth, white pepper, and baking spice. Fresh, natural acidity and mouth-coating tannins make it an adept dinner companion that's rewarding to drink now and for many years to come. 262 cases produced. $42/bottle.

"The Breadwinner" 2009, 37% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Petite Sirah, 13% Mourvedre – California

COLOR: Deep ruby red
NOSE: Black pepper, sweet cherry, marzipan, cloves, fine Corinthian leather
PALATE: Red raspberry, black cherry, refreshing acidity, long finish, super fine tannins
"The past few vintages have highlighted Mourvedre but here the cooler climate Syrah and Grenache are the standouts – reminds us a bit of the 2006 vintage."
190 cases produced. $42/bottle.

"The Breadwinner" 2010, 36% Syrah, 34% Petite Sirah, 16% Grenache, 14% Mourvedre – California

COLOR: Deep, deep, deep garnet
NOSE: Spicy – cardamom, cinnamon, clove
PALATE: Loads of blue and dark black fruit, fresh acidity, minerality, and a looonnnng finish
“This vintage has many of the classic Breadwinner characteristics, yet it’s brighter and delivers more acidity – highlighting the Petite Sirah (Russian River) with its power and finesse. As delicious as it may be today, there’s no need to rush this one as it will appreciate a little time in the cellar.”  312 cases produced. $42/bottle.

"The Breadwinner 2012"

"The Breadwinner 2013"

The Stakeholder 2011, 50% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Petite Sirah - California

COLOR: Deep garnet with an opaque center
NOSE: Pure red fruit on the nose, a touch of smoke and pepper, and a hint of vanilla
PALATE: Pomegranate, raspberry, wild strawberry, hints of smoke and stone, and Grenache spice on the long finish
“Don’t judge this book by its cover. It may look like Petite in the glass, but waves of rich red fruit jump out of the glass and the wine is surprisingly light on its feet. This is a very versatile food wine that will benefit from a good decant or a few years in the cellar.” 93 cases produced. $26/bottle.

"The Stakeholder 2012"

"The Stakeholder 2013"

ROSÉ

Rosé 2013, 90% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 5% Carignane; Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Barbara County

COLOR: Deep salmon
NOSE: Blood orange, white flowers, wild strawberry
PALATE: Wild strawberry, cranberry, pomegranate tartness with a bit of minerality on the finish
“It only took us 10 years to make a Rosé the right way - we picked a bit earlier with the intent of making Rosé and the decision paid off. This has a bit of old world style - it's a very versatile food wine and just plain fun to drink." 135 cases produced. $20/bottle.