(50% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah)
This is the 14th vintage of Rocks And Gravel, though, with the exception of 2008, we’ve made a similar blend each year since 1985. The idea, at first, seemed a simple one: what would a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah from California taste like? The question of course, is too simple, and has gradually evolved. Most recently the question has been more along the lines of: is this what I mean, when I think of these three grapes together in a wine? In 2013, as the harvest beckoned, and I walked the fields, and tasted the grapes, I found myself getting wildly excited—would this be the one?
At what seemed like ridiculously early dates, at what were shockingly low sugar percentages, and marvelously low pHs, the grapes had stunning flavor, with marvelous focus and intensity.
FRUIT SOURCE: Unti Vineyards located in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Grapes farmed practicing biodynamic viticulture.
WINEMAKING NOTES: Syrah and Grenache were picked on Labor Day, September 2, at an average Brix of 23.1. The grapes were crushed by foot, in half-ton bins, and covered with tarps. Fermentation began over the next few days, and the bins were punched down manually, morning and evening. The Mourvedre was picked on September 17th, and the bins were mixed with the fermented Syrah and Grenache, and the grapes partially crushed by foot. Punchdowns continued daily until all bins were dry. Pressing was on Tuesday the 24th, at which time the wine was transferred into stainless, where it underwent spontaneous malolactic fermentation. It was racked into concrete, with the overflow into a small stainless tank. In early June it was racked back into the larger stainless variable tank, and bottled on June 19th.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES: Lovely light purple-red. Fresh, penetrating rather floral nose, also showing a slightly meaty side, and savory spice. Very focussed flavor impressions, mouth-watering, silky and fine. The finish is refreshing and long, engendering appetite. This is such a quiet, persistent wine, a real beauty.
TOTAL PRODUCTION: Roughly 290 cases
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2014
Steve Edmunds, winemaker