2011 1MN Bechtold Ranch Vineyard
We have tried to make red wine from the amazing vines of the Bechtold Ranch every year since 2008— and every year, our efforts have been flat-footed and inept. Until this year! The vineyard is remarkable: 130-year-old Cinsault, planted on their own roots, un-grafted, and dry-farmed forever. Right way, we succeeded in making whole-cluster-pressed blanc de noirs from the fruit— taking advantage not of its deep, dark purple color, but its subtle floral aromas and bright acidity. You know this wine as "Rhododactylos." But our reds were only good enough to play a symphonic role in Gardens of Babylon, not singular enough to stand on their own.
This year our red wine was neither too heavy (as it had been in 2008), nor overly perfumed and slightly hollow (as it had been every year since). Instead, perfectly balanced, ballerina-light on its feet, with excellent length and complexity. The florality of Rhodo is there, but also dried herbs and brown spices. It is a red wine that is part of the Scholium family, but lighter and more delicate than any we have made before.