Bodegas Hermanos de Pecina, Rioja Cosecha Tinto, 2017 – Rioja, Spain
95% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano , 2% Garnacha
Bodegas Hermanos Peciña was founded in 1992 by Pedro Peciña Crespo and his three children in the heart of Rioja Alta, more specifically in Sonsierra Riojana, where the vine growing tradition dates back hundreds of years.
Sonsierra is a prime area for growing grapes. Set among the peaks of the Sierra Cantabria and the banks of the Ebro River, the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates coexist to give a microclimate that produces unique and unbeatable grapes. The North wind avoids pests and rots, the daylight time has an average of 2800 hours / year and the rainfall is perfect, forcing the plant to suffer water stress and getting smaller grapes with higher concentrations of fructose, acidity and skin color.
The ground composition of calcareous clay with a high proportion of limestone is also important for the development of the grapes, which brings softness and volume on the palate and small amount of potassium to get adequate acidity and balance.
The vineyards are farmed in a natural and sustainable manner. Harvest is done by hand, and the wines are all de-stemmed and then fermented by individual parcel using indigenous yeasts.
Produced from grapes with the youngest vines, averaging 25 years in age, the grapes are destemmed and crushed and macerated for 3-4 days before fermentation begins naturally from the wild yeast on the skins. Fermentation then continues for 10-12 days. Aged in stainless steel to retain the freshness along with racking every 3 months to extract flavor and texture. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
90 Points-Robert Parker
Tasting Notes-Bright garnet red, with good depth of color and a clarity. Aromatic aromas of plums, blackberries and black fruits leading to a smooth, modern Rioja with fresh flavors of similar flavors. It is juicy and full at the same time balancing modern and old world flavors.
Skinner Vineyards Smithereens Red Blend 2015 California
51% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre, 12% Syrah, 5% Counoise, 1% Petite Sirah
The legacy of Skinner Vineyards and its wine dates back more than a 150 years, but the story of the current winery starts on a sunny summer day in 2006. Kevin and Kathy Skinner were heading home to Santa Cruz from Lake Tahoe, Kathy has a thing for maps. On an old dog-eared road atlas, she saw something – a spot on the map called Skinners, CA in the low foothills next to a town called Rescue. They detoured to Rescue out of curiosity…
James Skinner grew up in Scotland, became an engineer, and in 1842 brought his wife, Jessie, and oldest son, James Jr., to Massachusetts. Like many American immigrants, he made his way west during the Gold Rush.
And, like many miners, he started near Coloma, where gold was discovered, then moved up the streams and rivers of the low Sierra foothills. Unlike many gold miners, James did well enough to buy land and create Skinner Ranch in the town of Rescue. In the 1860s, it was named Skinners, California, and remains an unincorporated township that still appears on most maps.
The ranch had livestock and crops and ran along a well-traveled road that became the Pony Express Trail. In 1861, James began making good use of his transportation hotspot, he planted vineyards and founded the J. Skinner Native Wine and Brandy Co.
It was one of the first commercial vineyards in California and by 1883, one of the largest. It had a huge stone cellar that could store more than 6,000 cases. James, the engineer, also built a multi-story, cutting-edge distillery with a boiler room powered by a six-horsepower engine. J. Skinner Winery operated into the early 20th century. He was also a benefactor of his community, supporting his neighbors and donating land for public use, including the plots where the current Rescue fire station and post office now stand.
James planted the popular grapes of the time that grew well in his region, Mission, Zinfandel, and several grapes of southern France such as Grenache, Carignane and the now-obscure Petit Bouschet. All of those legacy grapes varieties are again planted on the land of the modern Skinner Vineyards & Winery, and the focus of winemaking today, just as it was for J. Skinner Native Wine and Brandy Co., are the grapes of southern France known as Rhone varietals.
When Mike and Carey Skinner dived into recreating Skinner Vineyards & Winery, they knew one certain thing; they wanted to make James Skinner proud. Part of that was to plant the grapes that were the legacy of that land, the prized varieties of southern France, including Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Grenache Blanc and more.
The result has been national acclaim for Skinner wines, for the way they capture the depth of the flavors and fruit of the region and for a special elegance and gracefulness. Among other honors, Wine&Spirits Magazine listed Skinner Vineyards as one of 2017’s Top 100 Wineries in the world. Wine Business Monthly named Skinner one of America’s “Hot Brands,” and Wine Spectator featured Skinner as one “Four to Watch”.
This is a wine that starts out with numerous small lots, clones, blocks, etc. As the individual wines age on their lees, they build character and show their strengths and attributes. Just prior to bottling, the blend is put together from over 50 different potential lots from a dozen vineyards to create a unique blend. The wine is then aged 21 months in French Oak, 95% Seasoned, 5% New, for added complexity.
Tasting Notes-The 2015 red blend has red fruit aromatics of dark cherry, strawberry preserves, and dried cranberry, while subtle notes oak and vanilla add complexity and texture. A smooth, medium-body wine with a long, silky finish with layers of flavors that add to the integrated tannins and balanced minerality. A great wine on its own or with beef, roasted chicken and rich stew.