This wine is a blend of 5 varietals grown on our two estate vineyards and represents our best lots. This is patterned after the white wines from the Cotes du Rhone and includes varietals such as Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, and Picpoul Blanc. Each varietal brings a unique characteristic to the blend, resulting in a balanced and pleasing finished wine.
Grenache is one of the five varietals planted at the original J. SKINNER winery in the 1860’s and is the focal point of our wine program today. It is the most widely planted wine grape in the world, but only 8500 acres exist in California. Recently, Grenache has seen a renaissance in quality and plantings in California. We have five clones of Grenache planted in poor shallow soils onto low vigor rootstocks that limit yields and concentrate flavor. Our warm and dry Mediterranean climate, coupled with volcanic and granitic soils, makes our region ideally suited for this grape varietal.
Mourvèdre has many names around the world. In Spain it is called Monastrell, in Australia it goes by Mataro, and in France and America it goes by Mourvèdre. This varietal is known for its meaty, earthy, and rustic qualities and is commonly used as a blending component. More recently, winemakers are bottling it as its own variety to showcase its unique characteristics. Only 800 acres exist in California of which Skinner has about 3 acres planted on its two estate vineyards.
This is our reserve Estate red blend that changes every year depending on the vintage. The best blocks and barrel lots are identified and kept separate for this estate cuvee to showcase our unique terroir. The 2012 blend is comprised primarily of Grenache and Syrah, with small amounts of Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, and Viognier. The majority of the fruit (70%) comes from our high elevation estate vineyard called Stoney Creek which is known for its well draining decomposed granite soils, steep slopes, and high elevation (2740’), thus the Cuvee 2740’ name.
Syrah is a very versatile varietal and has the ability to produce great wines in various climates and regions. Styles and profiles vary as you move from the cooler coastal sites towards the warmer interior vineyards. The Foothills based Syrahs are distinctive to the specific region in which they grow. Amador Syrah is much bigger and bolder than the Fair Play (El Dorado) Syrah grown just up the hill, which tends to be more elegant or rustic in nature.