When a bird of prey captures its quarry, it often spreads its wings and surrounds it in preparation for the two entities to become one. This beautiful act is known as "mantling".
Dovecote's 2018 Mantle is a co-fermentation of a 81% Grenache and 19% Syrah from our estate Thompson Vineyard. It originated from one of those chaotically serendipitous situations that can only arise during the fog of harvest. Somehow, we mysteriously brought in more Grenache and Syrah than expected. The decision was made to combine the fruit and ferment it together in one vessel (vs. blending it later after fermentation), to see what would happen. The results were incredible: The wine clearly became something far greater than the sum of its parts. It had acquired a distinctly supple mouthfeel, a dark and sultry core, and an exotically perfumed bouquet of aromatics that were absolutely unique to the co-fermentation. Combining the same quantities of Grenache and Syrah post-fermentation yielded a very different wine. Something ineffable had transpired when two different varietals were allowed to fuse into one during the alchemical process of fermentation.
Mantle's signature characteristic is its intoxicating and complex bouquet: muddled black cherries, wild fennel root, vanilla bean, and creamy sarsaparilla. It is a highly expressive medium-bodied wine that will pair well with lighter fare such as grilled fish and poultry, yet really shines as a complement to wild game, lamb, pork, braised beef, mushrooms, or hearty vegetable stews.
Established in 1990, Thompson Vineyard lies just inland from California’s windswept Central Coast on the eastern side of the cool San Antonio Creek Valley in Northern Santa Barbara County. It rests within the Alisos Canyon corridor where transverse mountain ranges flood the area with daily fog and ocean air, extending chilly mornings and afternoons, softening midday heat, and yielding cold and often icy nights.
Planted to primarily Rhone varietals, here the vines sit on their own roots in alluvial sand over a deep foundation of white limestone that once comprised the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Thompson Vineyard naturally produces extremely small, slow, and evenly-ripening yields that often stretch harvests well into late November, resulting in deeply complex cool-climate wines that evolve gracefully with age.
Grapes were hand harvested at night, hand sorted, de-stemmed, and cold soaked for 96 hours. The fruit was then partially foot-stomped and then co-fermented in small open-top bins with daily manual punchdowns. After fermentation, the wine was gently pressed and then aged for 16 months in 100% neutral French oak barrels. It was bottled in Spring 2020 and rested for 18 months before release. We expect it will improve with age over the next 10-12 years.
- Grenache and Syrah Co-fermented
- 81% Grenache / 19% Syrah
- Thompson Vineyard
- Vine Age
- 28 Years
- Grenache: Alban 2 / Syrah: Estrella River
- Sandy Loam over Limestone
- Alisos Canyon AVA, Santa Barbara County
- Cool I/II
- 26.1 / 25.2
- 100% Neutral Oak
- Peak Years