Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bedrock Rocks With Sonoma Valley Whites

Sonoma Countys Bedrock is a source of endlessly exciting wines. Seriously, I’ve tasted many Bedrock wines and not a “Meh” or “I guess it’s decent” has ever crossed my mind.

It’s no surprise that Bedrock wines excite: winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson has wine is his blood. Morgans father, Joel Peterson, kicked off the famous Sonoma County Zin institution back in the 1970s, and Morgan grew up around wine.

John Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle wine writer and author of “The New California Wine” named Twain-Peterson one of two winemakers of the year for 2014, and I think he's a worthy recipient of the title.

Twain-Peterson casts a wide net with his bottlings: ancient vine Zinfandels, Syrah from the Sonoma Coast, a delicious Mourvedre rosé from Sonoma Valley, and a range of “heritage” wines aimed at reclaiming the field blend history of Sonoma County. Under the Abrente label, a project with winemaker Michael Havens, Twain-Peterson focuses on relatively obscure whites like Albarino and Godello.

I recently tasted two of Twain-Peterson’s white wines from the 2013 vintage and, of course, I was thrilled.

Compagni Portis wines are truly singular in their sense of place.
2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Compagni Portis - California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
Bright clear lemon color. Bursting with white peach, nectarine, banana and lychee on the nose, some waxy elements, candied orange peel, white pepper and clove. Full-bodied with a waxy mouthfeel, the wine glides over the palate and coats it, but doesn’t feel heavy because of the persistent and crisp acid. Nutty, not oaky, like peanut skin and almonds with hints of olive oil and dried honey. I love the grapefruit pith mixed with white pepper, herbal tea and clove. Complex and thought-provoking, yet effortlessly enjoyable, which is why I love Bedrock wines. I’d like to revisit this in two or three more years. A throwback California white field blend from an old and unique vineyard, this is a mix of Gewurztraminer, Trousseau Gris, Riesling, Roter Veltliner, Chardonnay and so on. (91 points)

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Godello Abrente - California, Sonoma, Sonoma Valley
Light gold color. Nose of white flowers, honeysuckle, limestone and sea salt on top of green pears and green melon. On the palate, this wine shows quite a lot of brisk acid, so refreshing and intense from start to finish. While a creamy body coats the palate, the wine never feels heavy. The flavors tend toward the green pear, kiwi and green melon, while notes of honey and white tea and candied citrus peel add complexity. Briny finish, with layers of complex wax and tea elements. With time, I get more nutty and waxy elements, with intense sea salt and minerals. Stunning, long, prickly finish. Fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel, then aged in neutral oak. A project with Michael Havens, this wine comes from John Baillie’s Birdland Vineyard. (91 points)

I’ve got some Bedrock reds sleeping for a few years, but these white wines are stunning and will be an integral part of my California white wine consumption for years to come.

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