2016 Sheldon Wines “The Red Hat” Old Vine Field Blend, Napa Valley.
Unbelievably textured and pretty, the Sheldon Wines “The Red Hat” a field blend of co-planted and co-fermented ancient Napa Valley bush vine Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous medium weight red of delicate fruit, heady perfume and satiny texture, with a hint of wildness and no oak traces this is a striking wine of authentic charm. This wines stands arrogantly against perception, normality and expectations with it’s like an old soul, drinking way better than it’s age would suggest it should. Dylan and Tobe Sheldon have found a tiny home vineyard near Calistoga in Napa Valley that has wonderfully old vines that are farmed holistically and interplanted with an array of other plants, flowers and trees that help provide a natural balance in the vines, making for one of the most unique expressions of these two grapes I’ve tasted, it is truly silken and transparent with modest fruit, low alcohol (under 13%) and native ferment finesse/character with hints of wild minty herb/sage, lavender and crushed spring flowers going nicely with backyard strawberry, raspberry, tangy currant and mulberry layers. This wine dances on the palate with ballerina twirls and softness, while still giving a long finish. Sheldon, who craves balanced easy to drink wine, manages brilliantly to take two powerfully tannic varietals and transform them into graceful and tame creatures of pleasure! You can’t help but be seduced by their efforts here and admire this single barrel (24 cases made), bright ruby/garnet hued red, remarkable for it’s beauty in such a youthful wine, it should fill out a bit over the next 3 to 5 years, though I can’t at this point even think of waiting that long!
($36 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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