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Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard

2000 Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard & 2003 Ethan Syrah

Fourteen years ago my boyfriend (now husband) and I were invited to a dinner being hosted by a woman I knew from work and her husband.   I was the webmaster at LAWeekly at the time and she was (and still is) a fabulous writer.   I didn’t know what kind of wine they liked to drink, so I simply asked if we should bring “white or red?”.  “Red” was the answer and so brought one of our favorite red wines, a Vieux Telegraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape.   Over that wine (and many more that evening), we realized that we all shared a deep love of wine.   Even after our friends decided to move to the Caribbean we still managed to get together to share wine.  Even if it has been a while, we just pick up right where we left off.  This year marked their 19th wedding anniversary, clearly a good excuse for me to pull some special wine from the cellar to celebrate.  So, we headed to Root 246 for dinner and brought along a 2000 Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (beautifully integrated flavors of black cherry, cassis, mocha, hints of anise – and a long finish) and a 2003 Ethan Syrah (fewer than 300 cases of this wine were made, this was bottle number 1571 –  beautifully smooth on the palate, heavy with condensed blackberry, cassis and white pepper flavors with a satisfying, long finish).   What a pleasure to share great wines with old friends – and catch up while eating delectable farm to table style food from Root 246!  Life really *is* good!

Many thanks to Bobby Delmeyer of Root 246 for taking such good care of us!

2006 Ethan Sangiovese

2006 Ethan Sangiovese

I was in Los Olivos today, so I stopped by the Qupé tasting room to see what Ethan Lindquist was up to.  In addition to the Qupé wines, he was pouring a few wines from his own label, Ethan.  His 2006 Sangiovese is wonderful.  It was so wonderful that I bought a few bottles to take home – as though I need more wine.  I guess I am working out the difference between “need” and “want”.  Well, I clearly wanted the Sangiovese – it is such a good summertime wine.  Plus it is so food friendly you can pair it with practically anything!  The fruit for this wine was grown at the Hearthstone Vineyard in Paso Robles on the west side.  It was aged for 30 months in neutral French oak barrels.  The neutral oak really allows the bright red fruit and spice flavors to shine.  I also bought each of Ethan’s vineyard designate Syrahs.  The first one was the 2006 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Syrah.  The fruit for this wine is from Beckmen’s outstanding, biodynamically grown Purisima Mountain Vineyard block 6.  Ethan went “old school” on this one – the whole clusters of grapes were foot stomped and fermented with native yeast in small open top fermenters.  In order to add many layers of flavors, complexity and a solid tannin structure, the skins and stems were left in contact wine for 4 weeks.  This was made to age – I’d let it sit at least four years.  The second vineyard designate Syrah was the 2006 Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard Syrah.  The fruit was grown in the cool Sta. Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County.  Typical of a cool-climate Syrah, it has notes of white pepper, leather and earth.  Ethan says it is one of the “softest and most elegant Syrahs I have ever made”.  This one can be aged for many years as well…but if you get impatient and open it soon be sure to give it plenty of time to breathe.  For best results decant it AND give it a good hour to open up. Thankfully the Sangiovese doesn’t require any additional aging.  On my way home, I picked up an authentic, super thin crust, Italian style pizza topped with prosciutto and asparagus from Via Vai.  Jason and I shared it with the Sangiovese.   What a wonderful way to end the day!  My only regret is that Ethan made a really small number of cases – only 100 cases of the Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard,75 cases of the Sangiovese and 75 cases of the Purisima Vineyard Syrah.  Get it while you still can!

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