2007 redFOUR Estate Vineyard
Red Blend •Westwood Estate
California: Sonoma Valley
The Pope's Nemesis
Today’s wine really rocked our world, at a recent private tasting with John Kelly, Westwood Winery winemaker/proprietor. Thanks, in part to the stellar 2007 vintage, this wine also benefited greatly from the maturing vines at the winery’s own Anadel Estate vineyard. Of course, John deserves some of the credit, too. Although, we always expect the best from this very skilled winemaker.
This 2007 Westwood Winery redFOUR is a complex, food-fantastic wine that our tasting panel took great delight in. Recommended as a superb, between-bites, palate-cleansing wine, this delicious treat is also a great wine to enjoy all on its own. Pair this wonderful blend of blend of 46% Mourvedre, 22% Grenache, 22% Syrah, and 10% Counoise with nearly anything you’d care to throw it at. With enough acidity and complexity, it’ll hold up to even the most complex foods.
Dark garnet, with softly cloudy burgundy hues that show through the glass, when swirled. The wine settles quickly, leaving behind tall, skinny legs that move swiftly down the glass.
Bright and full on the nose, with high notes of cherry, young blackberry, young wild strawberry, cranberry and sweet spice. As the wine opens, it reveals dusty bramble, cassis and hints of blueberry, leather, dried orange peel and subtle lavender.
Young, wild strawberry, cherry cola and Bing cherry are the lead notes. These sit atop blackberry, dried cherry, dried cranberry, dried leather, subtle spice, flinty minerals, dried herbs and a hint of subtle anise.
Bright fruits persist for a very long time before they gradually tail off to reveal minerals, earthy flavors and tart dried cranberry at the very end.
What the Winery Says
Winemaker John Kelly was unabashedly inspired by the wines of Château de Beaucastel when he created the first Westwood redFOUR in 2005. Every year the redFOUR moves more toward the ideal that John has in his mind for what this blend should taste like.
Our 2007 redFOUR is a blend of 46% Mourvedre, 22% Grenache, 22% Syrah, and 10% Counoise. We vinify each of the varieties separately. The Syrah ripens earlier than the other three components, and is fermented and aged on its own. The Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise usually ripen within a few days of each other; they are fermented separately but we press them together and send this core blend to barrels. The components of the blend were aged in French oak, about 8% of the barrels new.
Nature dictates the core blend; our winemaker only plays around with the final fraction of Syrah. It’s hard to go wrong, though - in the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that inspired our redFOUR these varieties have been playing well together in the glass for over a millennium.
Winemaker’s tasting notes:
Dark ruby color with a slight unfined and unfiltered haze. The Moruvedre component of the blend defines the initial aroma: brandied cherries and cocoa, with overtones of anise. The aroma opens to a wonderful complexity; briarwood, pepper, leather, plum preserves, dried orange peel, and wet stone. The texture in the mouth is initially supple and silky, with a proper balance of acid and tannin. The finish turns more astringent and slightly warm, with a persistent briary, almost citrusy, aftertaste.
46% Mourvedre. 22% Grenache. 22% Syrah. 10% Counise
Starting out with involving, decidedly complex aromas of ripe berries, cola, cocoa, new leather and dried provencal herbs, this distinctive, firmly built wine stays on course once in the month even if it comes up a little tight and less outgoing in flavor. It is not overly tannic but tends instead to rather obvious tartness, and, while it has room to develop for a good many years, it is a wine that cries out for service with food it it is to be enjoyed any time soon. Reviewed by: Connoisseurs’ Guide to California. July 2012
About the Winery
The modern history of Westwood Winery began in 2005 when the winery – founded in 1984 by Bert Urch and Betty Stoltz – was purchased and moved to Sonoma Valley. In 2014, the partners agreed that Westwood was ready to meet the world. Carl Stanton, a long-time Westwood partner and wine lover teamed up with celebrated Sonoma winemaker, David Ramey, to assemble some of the best artisans in Sonoma. Ben Cane joined to lead our winemaking team after seven years heading Twomey Cellars. Together the Westwood team is as unique as the Estate itself.
Winemaker Ben Cane
Ben is a native of Australia. After earning a B.S. in Organic Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Adelaide, a pivotal conversation with a family friend and winemaking mentor led him back for a post-graduate diploma in oenology in 1998. While in graduate school, to supplement and pay for his education he worked in many aspects of the wine industry, including vineyard and cellar work and managing a bottle shop. With winemaking degree in hand, Ben set out first for the** Hunter Valley, where he worked a harvest, and then to Santa Barbara County in California, where he was assistant winemaker for **Arcadian Wines.
Eventually he became a vineyard manager in the Barossa Valley. For the next five years Ben worked alternate vintages between Australia and Europe, with cellar and winemaking jobs in the Languedoc, New South Wales, Domaine Dujac in Morey-St.-Denis, De Bortoli Wines in Yarra Valley, Poderi Colla in Piedmont** and Yalumba Wines in the Barossa.
In 2006 Ben became a harvest assistant winemaker at Joseph Phelp’s Freestone Vineyards. In 2007, he was hired in an assistant winemaker role for the developing Pinot Noir program at Twomey Cellars and in 2008 was named as Winemaker. Through the 2013 vintage, Ben led the development of the Twomey Cellar’s exceptional Pinot Noir program, making Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and expanding the program to other regional and vineyard-focused wines.
In the northernmost part of the Valley of the Moon, tucked between Hood Mountain to the north and the Sonoma Mountains to the south we found our raison d’etre. The Annadel Gap Vineyard is blessed with prefect conditions for fruit that benefits from cool climate and slower maturation. Soft morning fog covers the vineyard until noon most days, and the afternoons are bathed in cool westerly winds ushered in from the Ocean. We were convinced this site was ideally suited to making exceptional Burgundian and Rhone based wines so, starting in 2001 and over the next several years, we meticulously planted our Annadel Gap Vineyard to rare clones of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Counoise, Mourvedre, Roussanne and Viognier. For the last decade, Westwood has focused on making limited amounts of Pinot Noir and Rhone Blends.