2019 Sokootok Red Blend
Sokootok (shoh-koh-tohk) is the Coast Miwok word for the California Quail. Today, it is the state bird of California and can be seen running amidst the four vineyard sites we source fruit from for this wine, all located in Amador County. The 2019 Sokootok is a blend of grenache, syrah, petite sirah, counoise and zinfandel. The result is a wine 'styled' after the famed region in Southern France, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CDP) .
True to that style, each varietal is harvested and fermented in different lots and processes, allowing us to coax the unique character of each component wine into the overall blend with a CDP signature. After each wine is initially aged in its own unique way, they are then meticulously blended together after 8-10 months and then returned back to neutral oak for additional aging. The extended aging (18 mos) allows for the full integration of the blend as well as further softening of the grape and oak tannins. Once the wine is bottled, it ages for an additional 1-2 years before it's ready for release. This results in a CDP-styled wine that appears, at first, as a full-bodied red, yet tastes and feels like a much lighter wine with immense fruit flavors.
2019 was the year of fires and power outages. At times, we had no power to harvest but were fortunate to bring fruit in for this wine when we did have power. All lots for this wine were done in small 3/4-ton fermenters allowing us to carry on with fermentation with manual punchdowns whether we had power or not. The intensity of warm temperatures and extended hang time allowed these different varietals time to fully develop complex flavor depth.
Shenandoah Oaks (grenache, counoise, petite sirah) - planted c.1998. The vines are trellised, cordon trained, and irrigated. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, sandy loam, well drained), north-south orientation.
Winddance Farms Vineyard (Syrah) - planted c. 2002. Trellised VSP (Vertical Shoot Position), irrigated. Planted on Aiken soil, (primarily, well drained volcanic soil with deeper clay loam base), north-south orientation.
Story Vineyards, Quartz block (Zinfandel) - planted c.1991. Dry-farmed and head-pruned. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily deep decomposed granite forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.
Aromas of dark cherries, leather and star anise. Flavors of ripe cherries, bramble berries and white pepper erupt in the mouth followed by a medium-bodied, focused profile with a smooth finish.