Mission Codename Ames for the moon
Nirvana in Sonoma… finds Food & Wine “up on Bell Mountain, Medlock Ames winery produces amazing wines…”
And being local in Nirvanaland comes with benefits. Remember that Fifty Tons from a few weeks back? Today we have yet another rare coup from this incredible producer. A small stash of their mountain-born estate Cabernet, from the dreamy 2019 vintage. Usually, it’s $70 but we have it for way, WAY less.
Chris Medlock James and Ames Morison, college best friends who left the hustle of NYC for the rolling hills of eastern Sonoma County, knew what they wanted from the beginning. Driving around Chalk Hill Road, their vision was realized at Bell Mountain Ranch. Ames is the winemaking force here, reaching for hillside Cabernet Sauvignon (and other Bordeaux varieties) that exude power without excess. In order to accomplish that, they have taken organic viticulture and sustainability to a whole new level.
Entirely sourced from their Bell Mountain Estate, where they manage 44 acres of vineyards, this dark ruby-colored, seductive Cab offers blazingly intense aromas of jammy black currants, cigar box, smoky oak, and a hint of herbes de Provence. Ripe and full-bodied, with vibrant acidity, and fleshy, succulent texture, this classy mountain Cab will provide peak drinkability for a couple of decades, but why wait?
No wonder the only 2019 Alexander Valley Cabernet rated higher by James Suckling is another Medlock Ames that is a $200 reserve! This for about 1/6th of that is a STEAL while it lasts.
Consulting winemaker Jean Hoefliger is a protégé of Michel Rolland and has worked at Alpha Omega, AXR, Hartford Court, The Debate, Newton, and Lynch-Bages to name a few. His approach “is purely to translate the site with my philosophy… we never have the power to erase the characteristics of an appellation or terroir, and that’s the greatness of wine.” And the resulting magic is so in demand that he comes with his own (tech sheet!) worth a read if you want to see just how prolific his span of work is.
Oh, and according to Press Democrat “In November 2022, Medlock Ames became the first winery in Sonoma County to be Regenerative Organic Certified, a process that took 15 months. Given Medlock Ames has been focused on sustainability and certified organic since 2006, it was gratifying to learn they were already implementing most of the certification’s requirements… co-owner Ames Morrison said his vineyard team has intimate knowledge about the Bell Mountain estate vineyard, and their input will ultimately help Medlock Ames produce better wines.”
Not sure how much better these can get, especially at what you can steal it for today!
93 Points – James Suckling
“Aromas of fresh thyme and sage with blackberries and blackcurrants. Black olives, too. Medium to full body with firm tannins. Pretty now. Drink or hold.”
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
“This wine offers excellent value for the quality, integrated in soft tannins and lovely layers of black currant, black tea, clove, and cedar. Earthy and herbal, it speaks of its place, structured and compelling throughout.”
What the Winery Says
2019 Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
- Consulting winemaker
- Jean Hoefliger
- Abby Watt
- 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot
- Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
- Bell Mountain Vineyard
- Harvest dates
- October 7th - October 25th, 2019
- Brix at harvest
- 24.3° - 28.1°
- Total acidity
- 5.9 g/L
- Bottling date
- July 28th, 2021
- 21 months
- 11% new French oak