Grape Creek Vineyards
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Heath Sparkling Wines

Jeff’s Corner

Hopefully we’ll have some new releases to talk about soon, but in the meantime I have a couple more updates to share.

A few weeks ago we did our annual tasting of the new 2017 Heath Vineyards wines from our Paso Robles vines. I was “forced” to sit down with Brian, Jennifer, Jason and crew to taste and evaluate the new vintage.

There were eight of us this year, and after much smelling, swirling, and swilling we all shared our thoughts regarding each wines color, aroma, taste, finish and balance. I take lots of notes, and then it is my job to write the”official” tasting notes based on everyones opinions.

The general consensus was that Jason and team have outdone themselves yet again. They are all big, rich, powerful wines coupled with Jason's uncanny ability to create wines with elegant finesse and balance. This is not easy to do.

In addition to our Heath Captivating, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Absolution, we have a brand new member in the portfolio called “Liberation”. These are all such great wines, it’s hard to say there was a standout, but I was really impressed by Liberation.

Liberation has everything a wine purist wants. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a single block of vines. We have four blocks of Cabernet vines on the Estate, each with varying micro climates. This year, we harvested, crushed, fermented, and aged each block separately. Jason even used a different yeast for each one.  

For this vintage, we felt the wine from Block 4B showed the best, so that’s what you get in the 2017. Next year Liberation could very easily be a different block; the terroir will tell. This makes Liberation one of our most unique and collectible wines, which is very cool.

Speaking of terroir, in my previous Jeff’s Corner (8-23-19) I mentioned our new Owner's Club Terroir Tasting which is now available at all three locations. Here are the tasting notes from the wines we selected, which include a sneak preview of four of the 2017 wines we tasted back in August.

Cheers!

Owner's Club Terroir Tasting Notes

2017 Captivating - A brilliant, pale yellow/straw with a hint of green in the rim, this is a very expressive, sensual wine.  Layers of grapefruit, citrus, green apple and cantaloupe dance with butterscotch and hints of caramel.  A touch of oak yields a delicate viscosity with ample fruit in a crisp, clean finish. 100% Sauvignon Blanc - 13.8% ABV - Serving Temperature 50-55* - Drink Now-2022.

2016 Epiphany - An impenetrable dark purple, this is a huge wine built to age.  Brooding and mysterious, tightly packed jammy aromas of ripe blueberry  black raspberry, black plum, and cassis flirt with a hint of eucalyptus.  Aged in 100% French oak (57% new), the palate is aggressive from start to finish. 60% Montepulciano, 40% Aglianico - 13.3% ABV - Serving Temperature 60* - Drink Now-2026 (recommend decant 1.5-2 hours).

2014 Epiphany - A dense, richly extracted violet/purple, the ’14 is haunting and complex.  Compact aromas of cranberry, blackberry, and dark cherry mingle with violets, mocha, and espresso.  Generous amounts of oak and tannin, well-integrated with the fruit, yield a sumptuous, round mouthfeel and a balanced, lingering finish.  77% Montepulciano, 23% Aglianico - 14.8% ABV - Serving Temperature 60* - Drink 2018-2022 (recommend decant 1.5 hours).

2016 Syrah - An intense, impenetrable purple, this is a monster wine.  Aromas of violets, blackberry, black current, and black plum spar with white and black pepper, anise, and dark cocoa.  Aged in 100% French oak (57% new), this is an aggressive yet graceful wine packed with intrigue. 100% Syrah - 15.8% ABV - Serving Temperature 55-60* - Enjoyable now, will develop thru 2028 (decant 2 hrs).

2017 Liberation - Brand new to our Heath Vineyards portfolio, this single block 100% Cabernet is an enchanting ruby/garnet in color.  Aged in 100% French oak, graceful aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, and ripe loganberry mingle with leather, cedar, and a hint of mint.  Picture perfect structure and balance yield an intense, lingering finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Block 4B - 15.4% ABV - Serving Temperature 60-65* - Drink Now-2028 (decant 30-45 min).

2017 Absolution - Aged in 100% French oak (over 50% new), the color is a textbook medium garnet.  Complex aromas of blueberry, blackberry, and cassis weave with cigar box, pine nuts, dark cocoa, and Mexican vanilla.  Aggressive, angular tannins are balanced with lots of indulgent fruit on the finish. 87.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.8% Merlot - 15.4% ABV - Serving Temperature 65* - Drink Now-2029 (decant 1 hr).

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