Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery
2006 "The Keep"
What We Say
WINERY EXCLUSIVE ALERT:
Today’s special selection from Sol Rouge is only available to members of their wine club. Today only, a very limited allocation is being made available exclusively through The Wine Spies.
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Mission Codename: Finders Keepers
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Raid the winemaker’s keep at Sol Rouge and return with ‘The Keep’
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Sol Rouge
Wine Subject: 2006 ‘The Keep’ Red Rhone Blend
Winemaker: Bryan Kane & Jill Brothers
Its always a pleasure to feature the great wines form Sol Rouge. There focus on exceptional fruit, old-world technique and Terroir driven wine results in classic wines with a distinct California flair. Today’s selection is a blend of the best barrels of the 2006 vintage made in the style of the Southern-Rhone
The Southern Rhone Valley in France is famous for its Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault based blends that dance on the palate with a range of flavors, richness and elegance. With the popularity and awareness of such wines, more and more California producers are trying their hand with proprietary Rhone style blends. While these blends do not have to adhere to the strict AOC restrictions, they do capture the style very well. Today’s selection is a lovely example.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful dark clear garnet with ruby red reflections in its dense but clear core. Along the edges, the color remains deep garnet and when swirled, this wine shows its springy surface tension and leaves slow fat legs on the side of the glass.
Smell – Bold and rich, this redolent wine has aromas of wild blueberry and other dark fleshy and tart bramble berries. Sweet floral notes and brown spices meld with mild oak and mocha.
Feel – Full-bodied and smooth, this dry wine is expansive on the palate, becoming almost chewy and meaty in character with firm tannins, balanced acidity and a touch of spice that lingers into the finish.
Taste – Ripe and fleshy dark berries with a hint of sour cherry layered over mocha and soft toasted oak. The brown spice and floral aromas from the nose make their appearance on the palate with the addition of a good dose of minerality.
Finish – Extremely long with lingering fruit, the finish of this wine invites another sip, and eventually another glass.
Conclusion – The 2006 Sol Rouge ’The Keep" is a lovely Syrah-based blend with fantastic rich fruit leading the way. Sentimental brown spices and mocha along with other complex flavors makes this wine both approachable and contemplative in nature. Enjoy this wine now (let breathe for 30-60 minutes) or cellar for many years to come.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Bryan Kane
WINE EDUCATION: I was a long time home winemaker and then joined up with the East Bay Winemaker’s Society where I met Ken Rosenblum and Thomas Coyne. I got some hands-on harvest training and winemaking mentoring with Scott Shatley, the assistant winemaker at Siduri. I continued to work with Scott at Copain and later at Roessler Cellars with Scott and his brother-in-law Walt Gurthrie where I then polished my Rhone-style winemaking.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Classic winemaking that utilizes old-world style and minimalistic winemaking techniques.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wine is an individual experience meant to be shared with good friends”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2004 Sol Rouge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Bryan. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 “The Keep” today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BRYAN: My pleasure, its always fun to meet up at The Wine Spies safe-house. Can I take this hood off now?
WHITE: Sure, but if you don’t mind, we’re going to keep you in lockup as your reputation precedes you…. Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BRYAN: When I was 21 years old I at a restaurant in Michigan with a number of work associates we enjoyed the wine flight special. After the first sip, the wine took over the entire focus of our conversation that lasted long into the night. I love the way wine brings people together.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BRYAN: Michel Chapoutier from France’s Hermitage region
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
BRYAN: I make wine for myself and also the vineyard owners. I always try to make wines that expresses the unique characteristics and Terroir of each vineyard.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BRYAN: Each year we select the two best barrels of the vintage. These two barrels become the base blend for our winemaker’s keep. Usually this wine is reserved for our wine club members, family and close friends. Today only we are making a few cases available for your operatives.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BRYAN: Since this is a bolder wine, I’d pair it with Moroccan spiced grilled lamb chops or kabobs.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BRYAN: Now that harvest is over and the wine is either in bottle or barrel I spend most of my time pouring at trade tastings to get as much exposure for the winery as possible.
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and this wine in general?
BRYAN: I made this wine to be balanced in structure and to evolve and mature in the bottle. You could certainly enjoy it now (keep, pun intended, a few bottles in the cellar for the future). It is still a young wine, so open the bottle and give it some time to breathe. Enjoy this wine as it evolves in the glass and opens up.
WHITE: 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!
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – International Wine Review
Bronze Medal -San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
About This Wine:
Each year our winemaker hand selects barrels that stand out as extraordinary. Not limited to any particular varietal, these barrels truly represent the best of all our lots. These are then blended together to make up “The Keep”. The 2006 is primarily a Syrah based blend; from a clone we had not previously worked with before; Clone 99. Other varietals included in this year’s vintage: Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah (other clones) and Petite Sirah. This wine exhibits a nose of chocolate covered blueberries, followed by a full-bodied mid-palate with hints of mocha and an incredible long finish.
About Sol Rouge
Sol Rouge is a family estate located in the Red Hills Appellation at elevations averaging over 1800 feet. North of Napa in the foothills of a dormant volcano which formed the North Coast wine country, this land contains rich, red volcanic soil and, from this unique profile, Sol Rouge derived its name – translating to “Red Soil” in French. This 70 acre estate is currently planted with Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc and will soon be planted with Cinsault. Nestled between Mt. Konocti and Benson Ridge, this aggressive sight is all hillside with slopes up to 60% and is said to be the most tightly planted vineyard in the Red Hills, with nearly 6000 vines per hectare in some blocks.
Sol Rouge is focused on producing wines similar to that of the Rhone and Bordeaux regions of France. We currently partner with vineyards in California who produce these varietals with the distinct soil profiles similar to our terroir and those of France. Our “non-intervention” philosophy helps to bring the true flavor and characteristics of each vineyard through to our wines.
It started with a passion; to produce the finest quality Rhone and Bordeaux varietal wines here in California. To produce the most complex wines, one must start with the highest quality fruit, and that is how Sol Rouge began.
“Sun” and “Soil” are two of the most important elements in making great wine. After searching throughout California for the best site to grow ultrapremium grapes, Bryan & Jill Kane found a unique 70 acre estate nestled between Mt. Konocti and Benson Ridge outside the town of Kelseyville in the Red Hills Appellation of Lake County – an estate which we now call Sol Rouge.
Sol Rouge is a 70 acre estate at the northern edge of the Red Hills Appellation in Lake County. The property rests on the South West side of a dormant volcano (Mt. Konocti) that formed the North Coast Wine Country of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake over 10,000 years ago. It is an aggressive site planted entirely on a hillside with an average slope of 35% and slopes of almost 60% in the terraced blocks.
Cooperage: 50% New French Oak Barrels
Aging: 16 months in barrel