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If you were to tell me 13 years ago that a lightly colored, well-structured, expressively perfumed wine from Amador County that is more about finesse than power would be one of our most popular wines, I would have been quite surprised (thankful, but surprised). Esola is as singular as the former dancer, Denise Esola, who oversees this remarkable site today and my favorite wine to break out for people who purport to have an “old world” palate. Though there is plenty of California fruit here, it lies upon a firm foundation (the subsoil is granite) that reminds me more of Nerello Mascalese or Trousseau Noir than what people typically think of for California Zin.
The O.G. of Bedrock Wine Co.! These vines turned 131 years in 2018 and decided it would be a great year to turn out a relatively small crop of delicious and dense fruit. As always, the wine, though based around Zinfandel, is a field-blend of the 27 varieties found in the old vines at my family’s site in the heart of Sonoma Valley, including about 20% Carignan and 5% Mataro. Like the other Sonoma Valley "Grand Cru" sites, this will definitely reward time in the decanter or a few years on its side to start showing all of its secrets. The most consistently decorated of our wines (the 2016 was the Spectator #10 wine of the year and the 2017 just got another 95), the 2018 should be another classic.
2018 was our second vintage with full control of farming at our nearly 130-year-old estate site (still gives me chills to say that), and we enjoyed a mild and even vintage leading to a relatively late harvest at this amazing Delta site. This is a classic Evangelho, showing the bright and composed fruit we expect along with the savory bite inflected by the Mataro and Carignan, and one that should provide plenty of pleasure throughout the years.