Dueling Pistols Dry Creek Red Blend 2016
Creating a harmonious, non-angular wine with these two varietals is more than just a balancing act. As the Zinfandel and Syrah grapes are brought in, each block is fermented separately. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is blended before being put in barrel to marry together and age.
Deep garnet in color with violet highlights. The nose has brooding aromas of dark fruits and black tea with an enticing hint of white pepper. On the palate, the juicy entrance leads to nice midweight density and mouth-filling texture. The finish is long, balanced and satiating.
Our vineyards lay between the Dry Creek and Russian Rivers, warmed throughout the long days, and cooled at night when the fog creeps up the Russian River. Our Zinfandel comes from both old vines (50+ years) and mature plantings (12+ years). The vines thrive in the rocky, hillside soils of Northern Dry Creek Valley. Our Syrah vines are also mature plantings (12+ years) in their prime and flourishing in the sandy, loamy soils of Southern Dry Creek Valley. This wine is aged 18 months in French Oak, 30% new. The long ageing allows the two competing varietals to marry well and balance out one another, develop tannin, and build structure.
Blend: 50% Zinfandel, 50% Syrah
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Sweet, satisfying notes of blackberry and raspberry jam; smooth and juicy with intensity and depth. A dense, balanced blend of 50% Zinfandel and 50% Syrah with a long finish.
The 2016 Zinfandel / Syrah is a beauty. Offering up lots of sweet red and black fruits as well as notes of vanilla bean, sappy herbs, pepper, and a kiss of classic Syrah meatiness, it’s medium-bodied, well made, and balanced on the palate. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years.
Who are these two men? Why are they dueling? What is at stake? Who are the onlookers in the background? And most importantly – who will live? We follow Eli and Edward’s journey from the Midwest to California with the hopes of finding love and prosperity.
Eli loved Cora with all his being; but sometimes a happy ending just isn’t in the cards. Politics, family tensions, and cold blooded murder came between them and their love. Eli traveled to the ends of the earth to find Cora again, but when he arrived, he realized everything had changed. His future and his family all came down to one moment at dawn when he raised a pistol.
Being wealthy in the 1830’s had its drawbacks. The pressure for a good profession and starting a family was enough to lead a man to the brink of insanity. When Edward couldn’t take it any longer, he left and headed west in search of his calling. Neither the journey nor the arrival went as expected. He never thought he would raise his pistol that morning.
No duel is complete without the spectators and everyone has a story to tell. The town physician stood ready, but willing to save neither shooter. The town drunk was there, standing right in the middle, but even he wasn’t about to get between these dueling pistols.
A multifaceted and highly reputable sub-region of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley is responsible for a wide range of wine styles—both red and white. One of the smallest AVAs in California, Dry Creek Valley has a winning combination of ideal geography and climate. Fertile, well-drained soils create concentrated varietal character while long, warm days, bookended by cool nights, allow grapes to reach full phenolic ripeness and balance. The warm and welcoming appellation is home to a number of family-owned vineyards and wineries that place a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices.
Zinfandel reigns supreme here and still produces in a great number of very old vineyards—often 100 years old or older. These old vines create a powerful, voluptuous and sultry wine unlike those of any other region. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Syrah. Petite Sirah is often found in blends with Zinfandel.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.