2020 Bedrock Wine Company, Bedrock Vineyard Heritage Red Wine, Sonoma Valley.
This beautiful Zinfandel based field blend from vines in their 133rd year of life is one of the most historic and important wines in California and this 2020, which missed the horrific effects of the fires that raged throughout the state and left many regions suffering the destructive and dreaded smoke taint, making it one of the joys of the vintage with a full bodied array of dark fruits, divine texture and exceptional depth. Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, winemaker and owner of Bedrock, uses only grapes that come from the original 1888 plantings at his Bedrock Vineyard in the heart of the Sonoma Valley which is set on well drained rocky soils in a climate that sees lots of sunshine and heat in the Summer, but that cools down dramatically at night with the valley pulling in cool air from the west and the Pacific as well as afternoon breezes. This is dark and inky stuff that begs for robust protein rich foods, but is nicely balanced without the ultra high alcohol that can sometimes be found in Zinfandel based wines these days, coming in at 14.5%, this 2020 Bedrock Heritage still powerfully impacts the palate and flows with ripe blackberries, along with plum, brambly raspberry and pomegranate fruits, along with briar spice, cedar, a hit of mocha, peony florals and vanilla. The Bedrock Vineyard includes a high percentage of Zinfandel, but there are dozens of other varietals interplanted here, including Mataro, Grenache, Petite Sirah and other rare old grapes, like Alicante Boushet and Carignan, all of which add to the complexity and very age worthy substance here. Anyone that has had old bottles of Ridge Lytton Springs or Geyserville will see that quality and distinct character here in Twain-Peterson’s wines, they offer a bounty of pleasure in the glass.
Bedrock Wine Co. was started in 2007 by winemaker and Master of Wine Morgan Twain-Peterson, son of the legendary Zin maker Joel Peterson of Ravenswood fame, and his partner Chris Cottrell, who also has his Under the Wire label, featuring unique sparkling wines. The winemaking here at Bedrock remains faithful to their beliefs, made with simple low intervention traditional methods that showcase the vineyards first and foremost with Morgan Twain-Peterson MW saying “overly sculpted by activist winemakers tend to be less satisfying and soulful gustatory experiences..” Of which I totally agree and is a reason why that this winery has been elevated to the top echelon of California wine and Bedrock is one of my favorites, especially these Heritage Reds. The latest releases from Bedrock are exceptional and have a sense of lightness and grace, traits not always found in Zinfandel based wines with this one and the 2020 Evangelho Vineyard Hermitage Red, also a site owned and farmed by Twain-Peterson, showing wonderfully already, The Bedrock reds are produced in most cases with natural uninoculated fermentation(s), native malo-lactic, and with the use of whole clusters in fermentation, the wine is left to do its thing with gentle attention along the way without additions. They take great care to use the best aging vessels as possible, preferring only to use quality oak in the aging process, using barriques and larger casks when the wine demands it. Really, Bedrock focuses on the individual vineyard and what it needs in each vintage, saying at the core of all of their wines is allowing these sites and grapes a stage to show ideal ripeness and individual personalities, which is very in evidence in this classic Bedrock Heritage. I keep finding more and more interesting things in Morgan’s wines with every vintage and I highly recommend checking out his latest releases.
($45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive