Planted in 1890:
A Viticultural Survivor
2012 Bedrock Heritage Red
"Planted in the 1890’s the vineyard is a viticultural survivor- wedged between a PG and E plant, a Burger King, and a motel that rents rooms by the hour."
That's how Bedrock sums up the Evangelho Vineyard. It's a reminder of just how fragile California's viticulture history can be and the bizarre places it can manifest itself.
Evangelho is a treasure trove of vines in the sandy soils of the Sacramento River Delta that escaped phylloxera, the vine pest that decimated vineyards on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 19th century. (People who've visited the vineyard compare it to walking on the beach.)
The Evangelho vineyard represents a piece of history before the reign of mono-varietal bottlings, especially Cabernet, Chardonnay and recently, Pinot.
Evangelho is a vineyard that has its own deep wisdom – one acquired from over a 120 years of adaption to its environment and a blend of vine plantings meant to provide balance and consistency tailored to its particular location. The vineyard is planted with Zinfandel, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and a bunch of other varietals, like Palomino, Alicante, and Mission. Bedrock's 2012 Evangelho is led by Carignan (40%) and then, Mourvèdre (36%). The remainder is composed by the three other grapes mentioned above.
Bedrock notes the Evangelho Vineyard gives them the lowest pHs of any of their sites. In the wines, this translates to a bright, persistent acid backbone that complements the dark berry fruit, spice and sweet herbs. What really wins us over here is the fine thread of acidity that creates a fascinating push-pull effect.
The 2012 vintage in California was an impressive one. The conditions were more or less perfect and quality is really high. The 2012 Evangelho boasts the purity of expression and the fairly juicy, but balanced nature of the vintage.
Bedrock Wine Co. has quickly become one of the most important new wineries in California, using historic, old vine sites as its cornerstone. Antonio Galloni has gone so far as to say that "Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met." The pull of Bedrock and the old vines was so strong that it pulled ex-Crush employee, Chris Cottrell, to join the team. (The Evangelho is one of his favorites.)
After Prohibition, as the commercial wine industry began to recover and then ultimately thrive, the focus quickly shifted to single-varietal wines while chaotic, unique, low-yielding field blend vineyards were torn up to make room for more "noble" varieties. Vineyards like Evangelho have become rare. We're very happy to see Bedrock's focus on these vineyards and to be able to taste the results.
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