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The 2013 Lithic comes from Ann Kraemer’s incredible Shake Ridge Vineyard, which is situated at 1700’ in the Sierra Foothills of Amador County. Farmed to perfection, the extraordinary Sierra uplift soils, loaded with quartz, basalt, soapstone, and shale always combine to create wines of great purity, richness, and minerality. The Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah blocks are all on rock-filled slopes with excellent exposure and drainage. The blocks were harvested for optimal ripeness on five different dates, and combined into small co-fermented wine lots, each with a different percentage of whole cluster grapes. The wine was aged in once-used and neutral French Demi Muids for 16 months before being bottled without fining or filtration. It has a tightly wound nose of boysenberry, graphite, violets, mandarin zest, black licorice, and jasmine tea. The dark fruit profile continues on the deep palate, with iodine, black peppercorn, five spice, and cacao. The mouthfeel is broad and plush, with beautiful length. - Helen Keplinger, Winemaker
The Lithic, Keplinger's Rhône Blend from Shake Ridge, is terrific. Explosive to the core, the new Lithic bursts from the glass with intense dark red and black fruits. Sweet herbs, flowers, mint and anise develop in the glass adding attractive overtones. The firm tannins need a few years to soften, but all the elements are in the right place. This Lithic was done with 20-30% whole clusters, an approach that works nicely here. - 93pts. Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Composition: 42% Grenache, 33% Mourvédre, 25% Syrah
Production: 320 cases
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