Mission Codename Tybreaker
Every time we have a lineup from Ty in front of our tasting panel, it’s near impossible to choose one to highlight dear Operatives, with the levels of hedonism they all attain it’s like splitting hairs! Yet the Upper Bench, year in year out, always sets itself apart with a full-throttle intensity, making it very difficult for others to rise above it. It’s Moon Mountain at its best, like a full lunar eclipse stealing your palate away from all other light.
Supersaturated in appearance, almost tar black in the core with a brimming ruby-purple circumference. Classic black cherry, plum fruit, and complex notes of spice-box, chocolate, along with dried flowers are all present on the bouquet. Rich, and full-bodied, this is an impressively concentrated Merlot with silky tannins and a terrific texture. Elegant chocolaty dark fruits, damp earth, violets and hints of cedar wrap it all up in detail on the long finish. Grill a hefty pork chop to go along with this substantial wine or roast a bacon-wrapped tenderloin served with a reduction sauce. Either way, you’ll elevate the synergy potential to new heights.
This wine hails from Ty’s fabled Upper Bench Vineyard in the Moon Mountain appellation, where his top-selling wines are grown. Officially recognized in 1981, the Moon Mountain AVA boasts 1,500 acres under vine, ranging from 400 feet in elevation to over 2,000 feet. Thin, volcanic soils, which impart a certain terroir rest on ancient lava flows. Winds from both the San Pablo Bay to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west provide the evening cooling influence. These all add up to wines of rich, distinctive character, and a source of cherished wine grapes since the 1860s. Bordeaux varieties and Zinfandel reign supreme in this area, which is crowned by the famed Monte Rosso vineyard.
Lastly, if you are a long-term Operative you will recall Ty’s wines have been featured on The Wine Spies more than 40 times since 2007. We keep going back for more because we simply adore his wonderful wines. We feature Ty’s wines because his careful, studious approach always results in a well-crafted wine that delivers real value - and the savviest have taken notice. Snap yours up before they’re all gone because this fan-favorite will not last the day!
What the Winery Says
2017 Upper Bench Moon Mountain Merlot
- Ty Caton
- 100% Merlot
- Caton Estate Vineyard
- Moon Mountain, Sonoma County
- 18 months
- 45% new French oak