Like the Mataro aficionados of Dirty & Rowdy, Bedrock seems dead set on exploring every plot of old-vine Zinfandel no matter what form it takes, and this is a very different take.
From the Esola Vineyard in Amador County, planted on granite at 1,600 feet, this is a highly distinctive, aromatic Zinfandel. A semi-transparent purple, it gave up little for an hour. Classic Zin notes, such as baking spice, did emerge but the fruit veered towards the Mourvedre realm with tart wild strawberries, rhubarb, cooler rocky tones, and bay. I would certainly have pegged this for a Mataro blend, or something from Central Italy perhaps, but not Zinfandel. The palate was racy and electric, mellowing only with air and food and it delivered tart cranberry and strawberry flavors with a short snappy finish. Delightfully intriguing in its way, it will reward a few more years of patience for the acidity to cool down and aromas to find some lift. At the moment you have to work for it. Those seeking fuller riper Zinfandel flavor and texture will be disappointed, but it succeeds on its own merits.
From Bedrock Wine Co’s eponymous vineyard, the 2013 Bedrock Heritage is dense and layered with a great deal of material buried beneath the structure. Initially quite forward, this wine became reticent until hours later, when it revealed old-school notes of green tobacco, smoke, red fruits and oak spice. 22 grapes in this 100+ year old vineyard, the bulk for this bottle is 55% Zinfandel and 30% Carignane.
Lacking both youthful exuberance and mature complexity at this stage, it will no doubt age very elegantly and be terrific though a decant of a few hours will help if you are impatient. This confirms my suspicion that Bedrock’s so called heritage blends need to be enjoyed either right on release, or given a solid 7+ years. Better after 2020.
Tasted 11/19/2017 // Approximate drinking window 2017 (with decant) through 2030.
Bedrock Wine Company has fast become known for two things: characterful old vine field blends from vineyards like Pagani and Bedrock, and absolutely mind-blowing, critic-swooning Syrah. The North Coast Syrah is their introduction to the Syrah side of their portfolio.
Bedrock Wine Company has fast become known for two things: characterful old vine field blends from vineyards like Pagani and Bedrock, and absolutely mind-blowing, critic-swooning Syrah. The North Coast Syrah is their introduction to this half of their portfolio, and one of their most inexpensive wines at 20-24$ retail. Its a tired cliche to hear folks talk about a wine ‘punching above it weight’ but every single time I try a North Coast Syrah from these guys, I do a double take at my receipt. I would have no problem guessing 30-35$ for this wine if I tasted it blind. Hopefully it doesn’t go that high!
This pours a deep dark purple and opens with aromas of dark fruit, pepper and olive brine. Saline, slate, and garrigue follow with a really delightful blend of savory and plummy fruits. The palate is concentrated and full bodied with damson, boysenberry, and saline qualities leading to a medium finish of gritty tannin. Great acidity, good with food and by itself for those who appreciate the oomph in the glass.
Despite the robust, well delineated structure and gritty tannin, I would peg this as a early to medium term wine, though developing really well over the next 5-7 years. For my taste, I have zero problem decanting one of these and drinking them asap.