Wine Last Sold on: November 22, 2008
Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery
2006 Lake County Grenache
|Region:||California: Lake County|
|Total Allocation:||Extremely Limited!
Less Than 10 Cases Left
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The Winery Says:
”The closest thing you will taste to Chateau Rayas this side of the pond.” (one of the best Chateauneuf-du-Pape made)
About This Wine:
Our 2006 Sol Rouge Grenache from Lake County comes from a vineyard located at 3000 feet elevation in the Red Hills Appellation. The extreme elevation of this site produces a grape with small barriers and thick skin which help to produce a darker, more complex wine. The hot summer days with cool nights help to produce a grape that is both fully developed and complex without being over-ripe. The wine’s ruby/purple color is accompanied by gorgeous aromas of roasted herbs, cassis, blackberries, and an assortment of red as well as black fruits. The wine shows great balance with a viscous texture and beautifully integrated acidity and tannin and will improve with age and should be enjoyed within the next 5-7 years.
About Sol Rouge
Sol Rouge is a family estate located in the Red Hills Appellation at elevations averaging over 1800 feet. North of Napa in the foothills of a dormant volcano which formed the North Coast wine country, this land contains rich, red volcanic soil and, from this unique profile, Sol Rouge derived its name – translating to “Red Soil” in French. This 70 acre estate is currently planted with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc and will soon be planted with Cinsault. Nestled between Mt. Konocti and Benson Ridge, this aggressive sight is all hillside with slopes up to 60% and is said to be the most tightly planted vineyard in the Red Hills, with nearly 6000 vines per hectare in some blocks.
Sol Rouge is focused on producing wines similar to that of the Rhone and Bordeaux regions of France. We currently partner with vineyards in California who produce these varietals with the distinct soil profiles similar to our terroir and those of France. Our “non-intervention” philosophy helps to bring the true flavor and characteristics of each vineyard through to our wines.
It started with a passion; to produce the finest quality Rhone and Bordeaux varietal wines here in California. To produce the most complex wines, one must start with the highest quality fruit, and that is how Sol Rouge began.
“Sun” and “Soil” are two of the most important elements in making great wine. After searching throughout California for the best site to grow ultrapremium grapes, Bryan & Jill Kane found a unique 70 acre estate nestled between Mt. Konocti and Benson Ridge outside the town of Kelseyville in the Red Hills Appellation of Lake County – an estate which we now call Sol Rouge.
Sol Rouge is a 70 acre estate at the northern edge of the Red Hills Appellation in Lake County. The property rests on the South West side of a dormant volcano (Mt. Konocti) that formed the North Coast Wine Country of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake over 10,000 years ago. It is an aggressive site planted entirely on a hillside with an average slope of 35% and slopes of almost 60% in the terraced blocks.
Cooperage: 100% Neutral French Oak Barrels
Aging: 10 months in Barrel
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The Wine Spies Say:
LAST OF THE ALLOCATION ALERT!:
Today’s wine is one of the finest Grenache we have tasted and we have secured the exclusive final allocation. Once sold out, this limited production vintage will never be available again.
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Mission Codename: Move Over Chateau Rayas!
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Find a domestic Grenache that rivals the best of the southern Rhone
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Lake County Grenache
Winemaker: Bryan Kane
Grenache, most famous in France’s southern Rhone is the primary grape of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CDP). That being said, most CDPs are an encépagement (blend) of many grapes including Syrah, Mourvedre and up to 10 other grapes. Occasionally, when a particular fruit is so good, you’ll find a 100% varietal CDP. Perhaps the most famous of these 100% CDPs is Chateau Rayas (also known for exceptional white CDPs). So it was with great anticipation that we tasted Bryan Kane’s 100% Grenache, especially knowing that one of his winemaking inspirations are the superb wines of the southern Rhone.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby with luminescent garnet hues and edges that fade from reddish-orange to pink. Clusters of slow fat legs cling to the edge of the glass when swirled.
Smell – Medium intensity but soft and elegant in its presence, this wine’s bouquet is complex and complete with blackberry and other bramble fruit and a dusty bramble brush and dried herb component. Hints of floral lavender and fennel also emerge as this wine breathes.
Feel – Smooth and dry with a touch of tanginess and spice that emerges as the wine hits your mid-palate. Fine, medium firm tannins and good acidity that are balanced over a unique mineral texture.
Taste – Flavors of blackberry and raspberry are well integrated over a soft oak component. Layers of spice, floral lavender and dried herbs that remind us of warm fall wind in the countryside add to the complexity of this wine.
Finish – This wine finishes long and clean with a combination of its herbal and fruit notes.
Conclusion – Once again, Bryan Kane has made an exceptional wine. This Grenache shows tremendous finesse and elegance but also highlights the varietals strengths and characteristics. After tasting this wine, you’ll agree, that whether the intention was to rival one of the best CDPs made or to just create a lovely varietal wine, mission accomplished!
An urgent PIN message came in from Agent Terroir from Orange, France.
INAO TO INVESTIGATE STOLEN BLEND - CONTACT ASAP
The Institut National des Appellations d’Origine had begun an investigation of potential espionage from the famed Château Rayas. Someone had taken their proprietary encépagement from their exceptional Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CDP).
Word had quickly spread around the globe that small California winery had wine every bit as good as the CDP from Château Rayas. As Agent Terroir was telling me this I just started to laugh, which only upset him further.
”We must take this investigation seriously…”, he said.
”Rayas, huh, their blend stolen, REALLY?”
Yes!”, he screamed…
Well, for those in the know, there is no blend for Château Rayas. Their wine, as exceptional as it is, is 100% Grenache. One of the very few that do so. So any stolen recipe was just the French, well, you know being French.
That being said, I knew exactly the wine here in the United States that was causing such an uproar. And for good reason, Bryan Kane from Sol Rouge Vineyards & Winery had made a name for himself. Cultivating the finest grapes from his small vineyard (and in some cases acquiring great grapes from famed local vineyards) combined with a passion for producing wines that truly reflect the Terroir and have a hand crafted feel to them.
One taste of the limited production 2006 Sol Rouge Lake County Grenache and you’ll agree that its closest thing you will taste to Château Reyes this side of the pond.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the soon to be famous Sol Rouge Vineyards & Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
The location of the famous Chateau Rayas can be seen in this satellite photo.