2016 Sheldon Wines, Tempranillo, Springloaded Monkeypaw, Luc’s Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.
The latest from Sheldon Wines is a wildly geeky wine that is both a joy to drink and a total mind freak, it’s a carbonic Tempranillo that is wonderfully fruity, but vibrant and serious, the best way to describe it is to say it’s like a Fleurie meets unoaked Rioja! The 2016 Sheldon Springloaded Monkeypaw, a tribute to a close friend of the winemaker’s Dylan & Tobe Sheldon, Chris Wright, who sadly passed away last year at 41, it’s also where the name comes from, as Springloaded Monkeypaw was a song that Dylan and Chris wrote one crazy late night and recorded on old flip phones. The Tempranillo was fermented whole cluster, carbonic and aged without ML (malolactic) in stainless, kind of brave type of Nouveau style hybrid. While fruity, the crisp acidic edge keeps things vigorous and fresh, it gets off to a beautiful start with a lovely lilac and wild flower perfume that is quite heady along with blueberry compote, candied black cherry, boysenberry/strawberry jam, cinnamon spice and sweet and savory minty/salty licorice. This deeply colored red is purple/blued edged ruby and opens to a medium bodied wine with a lot of inner energy and light mineral tones and very low alcohol at 11.7% that adds to the lighter lively feel, though it does have a nice layered mouth feel in this intriguing and expressive Tempranillo. Only 24 cases were made of this stuff, it’s definitely a wine geek wine, with proceeds going cancer research it is in support of a great cause! It is  really fun in a Cru Beaujolais way, available only through Sheldon Wines, drink on the quicker side, like now!
($41 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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