"El Jaléo" Shake Ridge Ranch Amador County
One part each of Grenache, Tempranillo, and Mourvedre, and one-half part Graciano.
Notes from Steve:
I’d been hearing really great things about a vineyard in the Sutter Creek area in Amador County, called Shake Ridge, owned and farmed by Ann Kraemer, whose work had long been acclaimed by vintners from several of California’s top grape regions. I gave her a call and asked for a visit, not knowing if she had any fruit available, but anxious to see what all the shouting was about.
Shake Ridge is one of the most magnificent vineyards I’ve ever seen, anywhere, and it took almost no time at all to be convinced that this was fruit I’d like to work with. As luck would have it, there was some Grenache, some Tempranillo, some Mourvedre, and some Graciano that could be mine, so I signed right up.
Harvest in 2016 was, in most respects, pretty similar to the previous three vintages: the season was warm, even, dry. The trajectory of ripening was driven by the diminished level of soil moisture due to drought conditions, and we had gorgeous ripe fruit at modest sugar levels with nice acidity.
Grenache and Tempranillo were picked on Labor Day, fermented in picking bins, after de-stemming, pressed, together, at dryness a week later.
Mourvedre and Graciano were picked September 14, and handled the same way, with pressing on the 24th. At pressing each lot was emptied into barrels that had held 15 vintages. The barrels were racked and blended after about eight weeks. The wine was transferred out of barrel into stainless in late February, racked again in late April, and bottled the second week of May, 2017.
2016 El Jaleo is a lightish ruby color, and at once fruity and earthy on the nose. It’s medium-bodied on the palate, with gently grippy tannins, and a high-toned array of flavors balancing fruity and savory, that linger impressively, and call for another taste, and another!