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This wine hails from gorgeous Aiken soils in El Dorado County at an elevation of 2900’. The beautiful, fine red volcanic soil is strewn with lava pebbles, giving this wine a true sense of place. The head-trained vines are now 18 years old, allowing the vineyard to be nearly dry-farmed, and giving the wine more intensity and terroir every year.
Tasting Notes: Rich and dense, with wonderful tension of sweet fruit and savory notes. The nose has great intensity – dried rose petals, kirsch, blood orange rind, darjeerling tea, cardamom, and herb-roasted meat. The palate is silky and plush, with layers of red fruit, black plum, savory notes, rusted metal, and flowers. This wine will reward patience.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (93pts): The 2013 Caldera is dark, bold and punchy. Sweet dark cherries, cloves, mint, sweet spices and menthol race across the palate in a beautifully perfumed, gracious Mourvèdre-based red long on class. Sage, lavender, violet and a host of blue flower/savory notes add sweetness on the close. The 2013 was done with fully destemmed fruit. These are without question the finest wines I have tasted from Helen Keplinger. The 2013s and 2014s are simply captivating across the board. Over the years, Keplinger has refined her approach, which includes a greater reliance on large format oak as well as important investments in equipment. The result of those significant sacrifices are very much in evidence. Readers will find a few new wines in the range, all of them welcome additions. As good as the 2013s are, the 2014s have the potential to be even more compelling. I can' t say enough good things about these wines and the daring spirit they embody.
Wine Spectator (92pts): Loaded with personality, this offers distinctive aromas of melted black licorice, blackberry and lead pencil. Shows great focus and structure, delivering powerful flavors of black raspberry, smoky pepper beef and mineral. Big tannins frame the finish. Mourvèdre, Grenache and Counoise. Drink now through 2027.
Composition: 65% Mourvedre, 28% Grenache, 7% Counoise,
Production: 175 cases
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