CURRENT RELEASE WINES
2016 “BASTARD TONGUE” PINOT NOIR
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There is no doubting BT’s breakout status. Vintage-to-vintage, a wine that delivers all the joy Sonoma County Pinot Noir is capable of. With its growth in notoriety, so too have expectations come to loom large. Putting together BT’s puzzle of barrels is the most fun, challenging and exciting part of my year. Please keep all those notes and messages coming, there is no better motivation to continue pushing the limits of what Bastard Tongue is capable of.
2016 “POSTED” SYRAH
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After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
2016 “STARSTRUCK” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
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A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.
2016 “BORROWED JEWELS” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
SUGARLOAF VINEYARD, NAPA VALLEY
Perched high atop Napa Valley’s southeastern corner, the aesthetics are simply breathtaking, but the magnificent terroir, is what has reinforced my bond with block 6 at Sugarloaf, since 2012. Facing northwest, on a furiously steep, rock-riddled hillside, the tenacity required for these vines to flourish defines 2016’s “Borrowed Jewels”. A deeply powerful wine, that has demanded my attention from word ‘go’. Black and red currants dominate an unctuous palate, while dense boysenberry rounds out the base. Eucalyptus notes persist around the edges, while notes of gingerbread, dark chocolate and espresso beans provide complexity. A hedonistic, ball of a Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany all moods.
OTHER CURRENT RELEASES
2015 SIMPATICO RANCH CHARDONNAY
Wine Advocate 95+ points
From old-vines. A-glow with an eye-catching, chartreuse halo; from first pour it is apparent that this is a special Chardonnay. Powerful aromas of key-lime, white flowers, orange blossoms and a fierce, flinty, sauvage note define a wildly complex nose. Once in the mouth, gracefully pronounced textures coat the palate delivering an exotic interpretation of cool-climate Chardonnay character — lime peel, orange blossom, ginger and clove —lingerings deep into a vibrant finish.
2015 ESTATE CHARDONNAY
Wine Advocate 94+ points
Drenched in flint and stone-fruits, with rich textures and vibrant acidity, this is classic, top-flight California Chardonnay. An embarrassment of riches that other Chardonnay-producing regions look towards with envy. Each vintage, I lovingly farm the living daylights out of this one-acre block of vines to exact the richest, most profound Chardonnay grapes possible from the terroir. In the winery, a Meursault-inspired winemaking approach is carried out to great effect, striking a stunning balance between intensity of fruit, and liveliness on the palate.
2015 ESTATE PINOT NOIR
Wine Advocate 94+ points | Wine Spectator 93 points
Tending towards the darker side of Pinot Noir with brambly black and red fruits, clove and spruce tips. Somehow, this wine presents density, darkness, elegance and lift, all in concert with one another. Textures are rounded out by rich spice notes of mocha, vanilla and cinnamon. True to 2015, this is a deep and intense wine that shows the pedigree of both its terroir and vintage. This will evolve in the cellar for years to come. A magnificent expression of what Pinot Noir is capable of on the slopes of Sonoma Mountain!
2014 ESTATE SYRAH
Wine Advocate 93+ points
The Estate Vineyard’s terroir produces a Syrah that deftly balances the yin-yang nature of the Northern Rhone’s noble red grape — a beguiling depth of fruit, with crystalline purity of flavor. Dense textures, balanced on an elegance of white flowers and Eucalyptus, brightening all corners. A contemplative wine, while also being an immense delight to enjoy. Our favorite wine experiences have often occurred at the expense of Syrah-based cuveés. It is these wines which provide the inspiration behind this bottling each vintage. I believe this is the greatest expression of Syrah Sonoma County has to offer, and have a hunch you will agree.