2018 Desire Lines Wines Co., Evangelho Vineyard Red Wine, Contra Costa County.
Cody and Emily Rasmussen’s newer label and winery Desire Lines Wine Co. is one of California’s most exciting recent discoveries and I’ve been highly impressed with their latest releases, especially their awesome Syrah(s) from Griffin’s Lair and Shake Ridge Vineyards as well as this fun Carignan based red from the historic Evangelho Vineyard. I really enjoyed the 2017 vintage, but this 2018 is equally impressive, maybe even better with an extra burst of everything, it just seems more vivid and brighter, making for a pure and crunchy red wine that drinks with exuberant dark fruits. The old vines at Evangelho are own-rooted and were first planted back in the 1890s, during the boom years after the gold rush in the state, it is located near the confluence of California’s two great rivers – the Sacramento and the San Joaquin – set on deep sandy soils, This granitic deposit, eroded from the Sierra Nevada has created a unique terroir in Costa Contra County where, as Cody notes, the vines are buffeted by the winds that blow through the Carquinez Strait and across the Delta causing a stress factor that effects the vines in dramatic fashion allowing for ripe flavor density, but with surprisingly low PH and vibrant acidity, which has proven great for Zinfandel, Mourvedre and Carignan, like this wine shows. This 2018 Evangelho Red is juicy and tangy with blackberry, sugar plums, cherry and pomegranate fruits, light cedar notes along with a dusting of spices, herbs, earthy tones, mineral and anise elements that add complexity and contrast in a medium to full bodied wine. Delicate florals emerge with time in the glass and the palate fills out smoothly with ripe tannins that allows easy enjoyment even this youthful, this is joyously quaffable.
Made from Carignane primarily the Evangelho Red is 90% Carignane and 10% Mourvedre all from this famous site located in Antioch on these Delhi sand knolls was fermented, as Rasmussen, who is the assistant winemaker at Morgan Twain-Peterson’s Bed Rock Wine Co., notes with 30% whole cluster under a submerged cap and aged for ten months in neutral 400L barrels. Cody adds, he loves the 400L barrel size for Carignan, saying that it retains freshness and builds tension like all large format barrels, but with a less reductive funk, allowing for clarity of form and an authentic expression of place and grapes. The winemaking is gentle, minimalistic and with a restrained precision, in which, again as Cody offers, that the inclusion of whole bunches and stems adds spice to the nose, while the small portion of carbonic maceration along with the small portion of Mourvèdre adds fleshy roundness to the palate. Rasmussen notes that the Evangelho Red was inspired by Cru Beaujolais, like Lapierre’s Morgon and Thivin’s Cote de Brouilly, but with a California old vine twist, which he succeeded in expressing here, I love this stuff and it is perfect for Thanksgiving and the Holiday meals of the coming season as well as BBQ and Asian meat dishes. This is a winemaker and winery to get where of, and quick, these are fabulous wines offering great value with tons of character and vigorous personalities, I highly recommend getting on this mailing list. Were are living in such amazing times for exciting wines in California and Desire Lines Wine Co. is one of these new generation of producers taking our state to new heights!
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive