Even when I was a new wine drinker, there was something about Rhone varietals that I loved more than anything else. I would take a Syrah any day over a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. Can you believe it? However, there was something so juicy, so spicy, so lovely about Rhone varietals that I just fell in love with them.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, some Rhone varietals include Syrah, Viognier, Grenache, Grenache Blanc (a different varietal than Grenache – not the white version of one), Mourvedre, and Rousanne, to name a few.
Most recently I’ve become enamored of GSMs, or Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre as a blend. So, when I went to a local wine bar the other day, I asked for one. What I got was a 2016 Kivel Stadt Cellars “Father’s Watch” Red Blend. It was a GSM, with one addition: 32% Carignane. This wine was completely unexpected.
Since I went into it blindly at first, I thought I was drinking a wine from France. It was earthy, with bit of funk – the usual signs of an “Old World” wine. I was wrong. This wine was from Mendocino County in California! I was amazed and delighted. I decided right then and there I needed to feature this wine.
Kivel Stadt Cellars
2016 “Father’s Watch” Red Blend
32% Carignane, 27% Grenache Noir, 22% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre
81% Venturi Vinyard, Mendocino County AVA, CA
19% Naggiar Vineyard, Sierra Foothills AVA, CA
On the Bottle:
“My father’s watch keeps perfect time, ever since his father bought it in 1946. Great watches are a blend of precision, craft and creativity. This red Rhone-style blend is like that, the perfect melange of art and science.”
Inky and deep garnet in color, this wine paints the glass. Long, viscous legs seductively slink down the wine glass, beckoning and hinting at the voluptuousness to come. Primal clay and earth aromas are potent, along with spices, pepper and bell pepper. Finally, I can wait no longer. I taste and I am intoxicated by perfumed roses and chewy tannins. Herbaceous flavors of artichoke and sour plum, with pepper over the top dance in my mouth. This is luscious. This is divine. This is what wine should be.