Blue Rock Vineyard
2006 'Blue Rock' Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Blue Rock Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Blue Pebbles and Serpentine Rock
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Visit the historic Blue Rock Vineyard and return with their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Blue Rock Vineyard
Wine Subject: 2006 Blue Rock Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Nikitas Magel
The Alexander Valley in northeast Sonoma County is located on the western side of the Mayacamas range and extends westward to the edge of the Russian River Valley. This appellation was formerly considered a part of Dry Creek Valley but became its own appellation in November 1984. The region is best known for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but recently people are starting to discover its Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Chardonnay as well.
The fruit for this delicious wine was grown on the 100 acre estate that was originally planted in the 1880s and reborn in 1987 with 46 acres under vine located just next to Silver Oak. The vineyard has all five Bordeaux varietals as well as a small 3 acre block of Syrah.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and deep garnet with a dark clear heart. Along the edges, the color lightens just slightly to show a garnet pink meniscus. When swirled, fast thin and even spaced legs ring the glass.
Smell – Rich and ripe dark fruit and especially black cherry aromas are integrated with toasted oak, spice and hints of leather, menthol and black licorice.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this full bodied wine is expansive and textured on the palate with its firm fine tannins hitting at mid palate and lingering into the finish. Lively acidity and minerality contribute to an almost chewy mouth-feel.
Taste – Rich black and red cherry and other dark fruit mix with a distinct dark and textured minerality. Spice, cigar tobacco and cedar box along with toasted oak and a touch of vanilla add to the other complex Cabernet flavors found in this wine.
Finish – Long and rich with its textured tannins and minerality grasping a hold of the lingering dark cherry and other flavors flavors and inviting another sip.
Conclusion – The 2006 Blue Rock Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious Cab that is big, rich and very well structured. If enjoying this wine now, be sure to decant or let it breathe for 30-60 minutes or cellar for five to ten years. The rich fruit and textured mouth-feel makes this a great wine to pair with grilled game meats.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Nikitas. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
NIKITAS: nice to be here, Agent Red
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
NIKITAS: I had a neighbor who was getting old as was his collection of California Cabernet and Bordeaux. He tapped me on the shoulder as a drinking buddy. We drank first-growth Bordeaux from the 60s, 70s and also great California Cabernet.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
NIKITAS: I drink European wines. Mostly Bordeaux, Borolo, Burgundy and wines that are complex and require time for finesse to develop. for patience. Our wines are also deep and layered but not flashy and immediately accessible. They require and are rewarded
RED: Who do you make wine for?
NIKITAS: Our wines are all Estate from a great vineyard that produces wines that are deep layered, complex, and structured. Some consumers, those who want immediate drinkability, don’t get us. We want to be popular but the reality is that the wines need time so we appeal to consumers who are sophisticated and who have cellars.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
NIKITAS: The 2006 Estate cabernet is one of my favorites. It is very European in style…it is not your typical, big, jammy Napa Cabernet. It is reserved and elegant and with enough acidity to be fresh and complimentary to many foods. It will age and gain complexity for 10 or more years.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
NIKITAS: Our Cabernet is both structured and powerful. It requires a compliment such as lamb, beef, or goat (goat??)
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Alexander Valley so special?
NIKITAS: We are different than Napa. Our Cabernet is more elegant with fresh acidity (due to the very cool evenings) and unique black cheery aromas and flavors. Blue Rock ages beautifully due to the great power and balance.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
NIKITAS: Harvest and prayer!!!! We pray for sunshine as the vintage is 3 weeks late!
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
NIKITAS: Have fun but take notes if you want to learn. But several bottles and taste them over time and take notes. You can learn and increase your interest over a lifetime. I am now 60 and more interested and learning more than ever.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
NIKITAS: Yes. See our heart and soul at our website – and click on the videos for a virtual visit
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Blue Rock Vineyard, next to Silver Oak can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Blue Rock is our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon based wine. It is a blend of several mature blocks and may include small amounts of Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec or Petit Verdot.
About The Winery:
We will produce only small quantities of luxurious red wines that express their sense of place. Blue Rock, therefore, will always make wine from grapes grown exclusively on the 100 acre Estate in Sonoma, Alexander Valley.
We believe that small is beautiful. In our experience, the finest, most individually expressive wines come from small places.
We believe that place is paramount, “…a memorable wine is as much a map as a taste. A place where man and plant and planet meet. A kind of liquid geography…” Blue Rock will always come from the blue rocks, pebbles and boulders that make this hillside property so unique and special.
The Estate: Blue Rock was first settled by poor Italian immigrants who were drawn to work at the Italian Swiss Colony Winery down the road. Fortunately, they brought with them olive trees, vine cuttings, and knowledge of grape growing.
The stone house, winery and vineyards were built around 1880 and once housed a winery known as Villa Maria. However, prohibition brought an end to the winery and vineyards until the rebirth of the American wine industry in the late 1970’s.
Blue Rock was reborn in 1987 when the rundown property was purchased by Cheryl and Kenny Kahn. The vineyard was replanted to the 5 Bordeaux varietals plus a small hillside of Syrah. The Estate consists of 100 acres and the original house, gardens and stone winery have all been rebuilt with a respect for the unique history.
In The Vineyard: The Blue Rock 100 acre Estate is located in Sonoma in the Alexander Valley next door to Silver Oak Winery. The hillside vineyard, consisting of 46 acres, is planted to the five Bordeaux varietals…Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Malbec In 1993, an additional 3 acres of Syrah were planted on an extreme hillside.
The name Blue Rock comes from our soils, which are studded with blue pebbles, rocks, and boulders of serpentine. The serpentine rock defines the unique flavor profile of the vineyard, as serpentine naturally reduces the yields to very low levels. Bordeaux varietals are adaptable to many soil and climate conditions but develop great character and longevity in relatively few locations. Blue Rock is blessed with cool mornings and warm days that make it one of those special places where Bordeaux varietals develop clarity and finesse.
Sustainable Farming: We respect the soil knowing that the vineyard is the foundation of our legacy. We pursue a sensitive, low-input cultivation policy that is reliant upon compost and natural amendments rather than chemical fertilizers. Every farming practice is tempered by the specific requirements of Blue Rock’s varied microclimates and the knowledge that comes from a historical relationship with every vine. We do not make wine, we raise it.
We employ the same small crew year after year in order to build a relationship with each vine. We all know that our future depends on creating finer wines with every passing vintage. Achieving increasingly higher quality is our only goal.