2018 Drew, The Field Blend, GSM Red Wine, Mendocino Ridge.
This I think is the first significant blended wine I’ve had from Drew that has concentrated on most single varietal wines, focusing especially Pinot Noir and Syrah, which are some of the absolute best in California, so it was interesting to see what this Rhone GSM style wine would be like and I found it very much in the Drew character and wonderfully delicious with a decidedly cool climate influence with low alcohol, crisp details and a high tone profile. Jason Drew calls this wine his field blend and a GSM wine, but notes it leans a bit more on Syrah and adds that all the grapes here were picked together and co-fermented in traditional (field blend) style with the Grenache, Mourvedre and the Syrah mainly coming from a small parcel at a 1 acre block on the Valenti Ranch with a touch of Syrah coming from Drew’s block at Perli Vineyard and even a few bunches of Viognier to add aromatic lift. This is a medium bodied red with zesty edges and lots of brambly spices that shows a complex palate of tangy blackberry, plum, strawberry, blueberry, tart pomegranate and cranberry fruits along with fresh cracked pepper, meaty notes, olive tapenade and a hint of Thai basil, adding pretty floral notes once open in the glass. As a side note, on day two of being open, this Field Blend does get a bit richer without losing any of its freshness, it delivers exactly what the vintage gave and hints at its potential.
This 2018 Drew GSM is not as monumental or profound as Jason’s Pinot and Syrah bottlings, but I really enjoyed the bright intensity and easy drinking style here and I am very excited to have this one in Drew’s lineup, hoping it will be a part of their ongoing collection. That said, I bet this wine fills out and gets better in the coming two to three years, without a doubt it will gain textural grace with more time in bottle and with food it showed even better, making it even more compelling. The color is invitingly deep purple/garnet and the nose, subtle at first comes alive with wild herbs, briar and violets, again echoing the classic Syrah markers more so that the Grenache and Mourvedre which a slightly mute at this stage. Drew explains the fermentation was 100% native yeast with about 50 % whole clusters from the mostly Chave selection clone as well as a small amount of heritage McDowell clone Syrah along with the Mourvedre and Grenache. It look like Drew went with used French (oak) casks for the aging here and there is a only a light wood accent showing allowing the wine to be as transparent as possible. Again this cool climate Rhone style blend is vibrant and at just 13.4% natural alcohol, highlighting this unique terroir that is just about six miles from from the Pacific Ocean and the Mendocino coast. Drew recently made Wine & Spirits Top 100 wineries list, I would even argue that they deserve a Top 10 place and I highly recommend getting on their list.
($32 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive