For Redtail’s third vintage we combined all of the red varietals grown at Thompson Vineyard with a slight emphasis on the beautiful Grenache fruit we received in 2017, and the remaining ratios in equal parts for Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Petite Sirah. The 2017 vintage was small and intense, with a long, dry, and warm growing season that culminated with a record heat wave right before the October harvest, stressing the already-parched vines and pushing the small crop of fruit over the finish line. The resulting wines are intense and fruit-driven, with earthy aromatics, an elegant texture and supple mouthfeel. Grenache offers notes of classic Alisos Canyon blood orange and candied cherries; Syrah brings in leather, iron, and sweet tobacco; Mourvèdre adds classic cured meat and passionfruit; and Petite Sirah comes in with soft tannins, stewed plums, and blackberry cobbler.
Dovecote Redtail is made to be extraordinarily versatile with food. 2017 is a medium-plus bodied vintage that can complement a wide range of fare. Similar in weight to a classic Southern Rhone blend, 2017 Redtail brings a bouquet of aromatics, balanced acidity, and an array of complexity that will enhance a variety of meals. Hearty seafood dishes such as salmon and halibut will pair well, as will savory beef dishes, however the sweet spot for this wine will likely be meals built around the flavors of roasted poultry, grilled pork, and braised lamb.
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.
The 2017 vintage was small and intense, with a long, dry, and warm growing season that culminated with a record heat wave right before the October harvest, stressing the already-parched vines, forcing some late-season fruit drops due to sunburn, and finally pushing the small crop of fruit over the finish line. The resulting wines are intense and fruit-driven, with earthy aromatics, an elegant texture, and supple mouthfeel.
We’ve found the 2017 reds are slightly fuller-bodied than prior vintages due to the warmth during the harvest weeks. The aromatics are extremely compelling as young wines and we imagine these will only become more intense and elegant as years go on.
Grapes were hand harvested at night, hand sorted, de-stemmed, and cold soaked for 72 hours. The fruit was then partially foot-stomped and then 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 2019 and then rested for two years before release. We expect it will improve with age over the next 7-10 years.
- Proprietary Red Blend
- 31% Grenache / 23% Syrah / 23% Mourvèdre / 23% Petite Sirah
- Thompson Vineyard
- Vine Age
- 27 Years
- Grenache: Alban 2 / Syrah: Estrella River / Mourvèdre: Massal / Petite Sirah: Carrari
- Sandy Loam over Limestone
- Alisos Canyon AVA, Santa Barbara County
- Cool I/II
- 24.6 / 24.2 / 22.4 / 24.3
- 100% Neutral Oak
- 3.48 / 3.71 / 3.41 / 3.47
- Peak Years