The 2019 Rhône Blend opens with subtle aromas of strawberry and Bing cherry with trailing hints of smoke. Smooth, polished flavors of cherry, pomegranate and strawberry cream anticipate hints of cedar, sage and eucalyptus. Light spice notes linger on a seamless, integrated finish.
The 35-acre Brick Barn estate vineyard lies just north of the Santa Ynez River in a largely unexplored winegrowing corridor near the city of Buellton in the western Santa Ynez Valley. This wine represents a barrel selection featuring three Grenache clones and two Syrah clones, all planted to individual blocks along an upper highland at an elevation of 550 feet. Here, rocky loam and limestone soils provide ideal conditions for classic Rhône varieties. Persistent sun exposure ensures ripe flavors, while the Pacific Ocean—just 10 miles away—delivers daily cooling that maintains fruit acidity and structure. These conditions combine to create a unique growing environment that speaks through our wines.
The fruit was harvested at night and delivered to the winery in the cool morning hours. The Grenache and Syrah lots were separately fermented in open-top bins and open-top tanks. The Syrah was co-fermented with a small lot of Viognier (5%), a classic Rhône technique used to amplify the Syrah’s color and aroma profile. After gentle pressing, the separate lots were settled and racked—the Grenache to French oak barrels, and the Syrah to French oak barrels as well as 500-liter American oak puncheons. Winemaker Adrian Bolshoi chose American oak because its caramel and vanilla character melds beautifully with the Syrah grape’s peppery spice qualities. At the conclusion of aging, Adrian identified standout barrels; conducted several blending trials; and ultimately settled upon a deliciously symmetrical blend of Grenache and Syrah.
Food Pairing Notes
The smooth, complex flavors of the 2019 Rhône Blend are a nice match for grilled lamb chops, pasta Bolognese and gourmet cheeseburgers.