Mission Codename Tying the knot
When we picked the Rockstar Ty’s Upper Bench Merlot about a month ago as a winner amongst his very difficult to choose from lineup, we had not tasted this latest release yet. If you were able to get your hands on that Merlot, and you’ve tried it, turn things up a notch here because it has the best of THAT fruit (Block Three!) enhanced by marrying a generous third of Cabernet grown alongside. This is a ‘Right Bank Bordeaux’ style red on high-elevation Sonoma steroids!
A saturated blue / purple color is truly striking, alluring the eye with an almost neon sheen. Nearly exotic nose of plums, cassis, herbs, ginger, coconut, minerals, cigar box, and licorice. Sweet tannins and an underlying spiciness define this fabulously rich, full-bodied, spicy red’s scrumptious palate. Full-bodied, long, and superbly concentrated, resonating balance on a mountain-fruit finish. Bring out the instant pot, add your favorite protein, spices, herbs, and slow cook in red wine.
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.
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 'Block Three' Upper Bench Moon Mountain Red
- Ty Caton
- 67% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Block Three, Caton Estate Vineyard
- Moon Mountain, Sonoma County
- 18 months
- 45% new French oak
- 11 barrels