2016 Sheldon Wines “Springloaded Monkeypaw” Tempranillo, Luc’s Vineyard, Fountaingrove AVA, Sonoma County.
The wild and entertaining Sheldon Springloaded Monkeypaw is a carbonic Tempranillo that is done only in stainless steel tank and does not go through Malo (malolactic fermentation), only 24 cases, about one barrel’s worth, was produced from whole cluster grapes coming off Luc’s Vineyard in the newly formed Fountaingrove AVA. As weird as this wine is and it’s origins, it’s nearly impossible to resist, as are all of Dylan and wife Tobe Sheldon’s wines, these are wonderfully pleasing and drinkable wines with a natural/textured feel and expressive/fresh in style while showing a lighter side of small production hand crafted California wines, in the same mold as Broc Cellars, Arnot-Roberts and Cruse Wine Company. Dylan was into pursuing balance and delicacy before it was a marketing thing, and he continues to push the envelope in his wines and they are a study in finesse and authentic purity. The juicy/tasty Springloaded Monkeypaw 2016 is a fresh purple/garnet hued and fun red with a vein of of dark fruit, wild herbs and spices, a touch of earth and hints of mineral that shines with simple fruity layers of blackberry, tart cherry and racy currants that burst with vibrant force on the light bodied palate, this wine is full of energy, but smooth with a surprisingly easy to love character, much the same way you enjoy Beaujolais, Joven (young-no wood) Rioja and similar in style to Stolpman’s Carbonic Sangiovese. Sheldon’s geeky cool little Tempranillo is a light hearted red that is a perfect picnic wine, it’s refreshing and low in natural alcohol, great for a long afternoon with friends, drink now.
($36 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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