2003 Sierra Foothills *%#&@!
California: Sierra Foothills: Calaveras County
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Twisted Oak Winery.
Mission Codename: What the BLEEP!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Raid the private stash of El Jefe, proprietor of Twisted Oak Winery and return with a few cases of his Top Secret library wines
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Twisted Oak Winery
Wine Subject: 2003 Sierra Foothills (rhymes with Duck)
Winemaker: Scott Klan
Wine Spies Operatives all love wines from Calaveras County winery, Twisted Oak. Their ireverant and off-beat style, coupled with their bold wines, make for very happy wine-drinking spies. When our Operatives began running low on their last shipment of Twisted, Agent Red was sent to infiltrate the private wine cellar of winery owner and head honcho, El Jefe. Read Red’s mission report and tasting notes below to see if he was successful on his mission!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Reminds me of grape Kool-Aid, but with a hint of garnet. This wine has a murky heart, but has perfectly clear and purple-pink edges and long, skinny legs that crawl down the glass
Smell – After swirling, the wine delivers a big blast of fruit with dark and smoky plum, raspberry, blackberry, wood, forest floor and subtle allspice
Feel – Round, soft and cool, the the wines medium tannins grip the tongue and inside of the lips
Taste – Herbal and fruit flavors are big in the mouth, with fresh-cut mixed herbs, plum, raspberry, dark cherry and smoked oak with dried leaves and flinty mineral
Finish – Sweet and mildly tart, you’ll enjoy flavors that last and tannins that dry – until your mouth begins to water, begging you to take another sip
Conclusion – An excellent and very different wine from the 2005 vintage we shared with you last November, this wine exhibits more traditional Rhone-style, with greater complexity and lot’s of ripe fruit and a rustic character that traditional Rhone-blend-inclined Operatives will love. This is a great wine that is drinking great right now, and might continue to develop for another year or two in the cellar. We’d recommend drinking now, however. It’s too good to leave it in the cellar!
We featured the 2005 Asterisk Percent Pound Ampersand At Exclamation back in November of last year. We were very smitten with that wine and our warm feeling for it left us wondering about other vintages, past and present. Well, while we can’t time-travel into the future, we can visit the past.
Most vintners maintain a private stash of their best wines in their personal cellars. These Library Wines are closely guarded and highly coveted by those that secret them away for later drinking.
Recently, I paid winery owner, El Jefe, and through clever negotiations (begging), was able to secure a very limited quantity of today’s 2003 Twisted Oak rhymes with duck wine.
A hearty THANK YOU to El Jefe for making our Operatives happy today. This is a great vintage, Jeff!
The location of Twisted Oak and the neighboring vineyards where the grapes for this spectacular wine are grown can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
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Asterisk Percent Pound Ampersand At Exclamation
The most profoundly profane wine ever created, the horrendously heretical boldly rises again to legions of enraptured worshipers! It is deep and dark in color with aromas of plums, blueberry, raspberry and nutmeg. The flavors mirror the plum and raspberry aromas. Also, herbal characters combine with the fruit to add a sense of wild-game. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and intense. Hefty fruit flavors make this wine enjoyable for drinking now, as well as laying down to develop complexities over the next five years.
In The Vineyard:
The grapes for this Rhône-styled blend were sourced from vineyards throughout El Dorado and Calaveras Counties. All of the vineyards were chosen for a particular attribute that makes those vineyards very special places. In some cases it is exposure, in some it is clone or rootstalk applications. Twisted Oak’s family of growers are some of the greatest people with which I’ve had the pleasure of working.
The base for this wine is a Mourvedre grown by El Dorado county’s very own Rhône varietal specialist Ron Mansfield on a vineyard named Fodhli near Gold Hill. The Grenache was grown by Ron’s good friend and El Dorado veteran winemaker/winegrower Greg Boeger. Greg owns his own Winery and Vineyard in Placerville, California. The Syrah comes from the Tanner Vineyard in Calaveras County, owned and operated by Dick and Ron Tanner and their sister Judy. The Tanner family has been ranching here for five generations.
In The Winery:
The final make-up for this Rhône-styled wine was based on the particular contributions that each grape could make to the blend. For bright fruit flavors up front, we startedwith Grenache. For mid-palate fruit and elements of spice, as well as an overall base for the wine, we used Mourvedre. Finally, Syrah was added for dark fruit flavors and powerful structure. The wine spent 13 months in one year old French oak barrels in order to add more spice elements as well as round out the tannin structure.
Varietals & Vineyards:
53% Mourvedre from Goldbud Farms’ Fodhli Vineyard
7% Grenache from Boeger Winery and Vineyards
40% Syrah from Tanner Vineyard
Residual Sugar: .02%
Titratable Acidity: .60 g/100ml
Volatile Acidity: .071 g/100ml