2016 Halcón Vineyards “Esquisto”, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 90 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Esquisto—a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah—is a little closed at present, opening with aeration to reveal notes of sweet red berry fruit, plums, Provençal herbs and underbrush that are quite marked by the blend’s dominant Grenache component. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and somewhat firm and compact right now, with a fine-grained but firm chassis of tannin that asserts itself on the finish. After 24 hours, this bottle really opened up, so I have confidence recommending it—but a few years of patience will be required to realize all its potential. (Wine Advocate, April 2018) 92+pts
The Rhone blend of the estate is the 2016 Esquisto and it’s a rough blend of mostly Grenache with smaller amounts of Mourvèdre and Syrah. It’s a ripe, meaty, earthy barrel sample that offers serious intensity in its blackberry, blueberry, peppery herbs and earth-driven aromas and flavors. It’s tannic and structured, with plenty of fruit, and I suspect 2-3 years of bottle age will be its friend. (Jeb Dunnuck, July 2017) 91-93pts
Blend: 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah.
30% whole-cluster was included and we utilized neutral French oak puncheons for aging.
Production: 130 cases unfined, unfiltered
2017 Halcón Vineyards “Esquisto”, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
Following a very typical mid-April bud-break and moderate temps during the spring and early summer, we experienced some very high temperatures over Labor Day weekend. The altitude of our vineyard tempered the highs (we never exceeded 100F) but the heat was enough to temporarily shut down the vines. Fortunately we had just completed veraison, giving the vines ample time to recover and continue fruit development.
Blend: 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah
All the fruit, which was picked October 14th, was co-fermented utilizing 1/3 whole-cluster.
This wine was fermented with native yeasts, aged in neutral French 500L puncheons and bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Production: 210 cases
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
Located in the Mendocino County appellation of Yorkville Highlands, Halcón Vineyards overlook Anderson Valley and the Pacific beyond. At 2500ft it is one of the highest vineyards in California. The northerly location, ocean exposure and altitude combine to produce a climate remarkably similar to the Northern Rhône region of France.
Halcón Vineyards sit on a geologic band known as Yorkville Complex, a rare soil type based on fractured shale, mica-schist and quartz-rich rock. This ancient rock erodes into a thin layer of extremely low vigor soil; the very same soils that garner fame to Côte-Rôtie.
Halcón Vineyards are planted on mountainous, high altitude chaparral. The thin, fast-draining soils support very few trees; perfect ground for vines. The vineyards are densely planted with 3ft by 2m spacing, 2200 vines per acre. This density increases competition for water and nutrients, driving root structures deeper and providing riper fruit at lower sugar levels.
The rains returned after three dry years – Mendocino County received approx 110% of normal rainfall in the 2015/16 winter season. The winter temperatures were a touch above average leading to a slightly early bud break but 10-14 days behind the very early 2014/15. There was a little untimely rain in May that caused some shatter – not as significant as 2015 but it did contribute to a lower crop level. Summer was generally mild with the only significant heat coming in the last week of July. Picked on October 22nd, the Halcón estate Grenache and Mourvedre had the longest hang-time in a number of years. We harvested 2.5 tons of fruit from 3 acres. The (heat-loving) Mourvedre was particularly hard hit by the poor bud formation in May 2015 and as a result is a slightly lower percentage of the blend. To compensate, we for the first time co-fermented a little Syrah.
Included in the Box
2x 2016 Halcón Vineyards “Esquisto”, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
2x 2017 Halcón Vineyards “Esquisto”, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
6x 2016 Halcón Vineyards “Esquisto”, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
6x 2017 Halcón Vineyards “Esquisto”, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
Paul and Jackie Gordon, own and farm, Halcon Vineyard, to create world class, cool climate wines. Driven by a love of the ethereal wines of the Northern Rhone and impressed by the cool climate characteristics of wines emanating from Mendocino, they searched the Anderson Valley area for a plot of land that could generate truly world-class wine from Rhone varietals. Having found such a site, a site dominated by the same schist soils found in Cote-Rôtie, a windblown, cool mountaintop with a view to the Pacific, they set out to plant a vineyard without compromise.
They are passionate about farming and can be found every weekend tending to the vines. Organically farming, they allow the terroir to shine through in the wine they produce while creating a balanced, healthy, and thriving vineyard.
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@pjmartin@chipgreen@mrn1@marikar@msten Just an FYI…I bought a case of Anne Amie and thought that my brother would want some. Turns out he wanted a case for himself. With that said, I’ll make 4 bottles available when it arrives. Priority will go those holding the Halcon orders, then @mrn1, then others if interested. To my frequent trading partners, is it possible to let me know what bottles you might be holding for me! I’d like to make good before the Holidays! I’ll go through my orders to see what I’m holding for others. I was bad in not keeping track. You can text me or send a post to me!
@chipgreen@marikar@mrn1@msten@pjmartin Hey NE OH Casemates, when I ordered the 2nd case for my brother, it had my address. Minutes after ordering, I sent a message to see if they could change the address, Without asking me, they cancelled the order and told me to reorder via email. I just saw that email tonight since I sporadically read email and the order was confirmed. Heck, I could have adjusted the address through FEDEX. I didn’t need to have the order cancelled to make the change. I could have taken it to him in Painesville. So unless they reinstate the order, there isn’t any Ann Amie Riesling to be had. Sorry!! I’m waiting to see how they resolve the issue!
Well, I was just checking in and y’all got me thinking to buy this offer NOW. I don’t know how much WD is paying everyone (% - wise) to put their opinions on here, but it works. I think some of you should also think about going into automotive sales…maybe real estate? Sold some life insurance lately?!
This is a GSM blend of 70/10/20. Still young, it needs some time, especially for the Syrah and Mourvedre to come out. Ruby in color, slightly cloudy. The nose has black cherries and baking spices. On the palate, this is more raspberries but the baking spice are present. Smooth and easy drinking but also some depth. Medium bodied. Good acidity. Needs a few years and should have a decade more. Will work on its own and worked great with a stuffed eggplant dish but roasted foods in general. Grade: A-, Score 92 10/20/19
I received the 2016 last night and kept looking for a message of when this was going up so I let it rest from it’s long journey. This morning saw that it went up so I’m taking one for team and pouring it this morning.
Being 4a and still having to get my 4 miles in, I opened the bottle and poured enough for 3 small sips. Out of the bottle this is cloudy and a little brownish-red. Hmm? Swirl. Not a lot of scent other than alcohol and maybe some mineral? Hmm? First sip. Mmmmmm! Delicious. Wow. That came out of nowhere. Definitely dry, but so inviting. No real fruit, but lovely. Took another sip and then another. I wanted to drink it all, but alas my sneakers were calling my name. I left the bottle open and two sips remained in the glass (maybe that pour wasn’t so small after all).
Came back after the workout. Swirl. Slow legs. Stuck my nose in the glass. Wow. What happened? Cherries, raspberries, wildflowers or a spring meadow? I sound crazy. Alcohol was gone. Sip. Still dry. Some fruit but not a bomb and subtle. Acidity is present, but I could drink this without food. Mmmmm. Delicious. Seeing as it is still before 9a, I need to pace myself. Now food. I thought maybe something with a touch of spice? I found some Indian Korma but that ends with a sweet note. Wow. So good. Cheddar? Good. Spicy red sauce (I’m foraging through the fridge for anything I can find other than berries, yogurt, and milk so my options are limited). That was delicious. The food seems to be hit with the limited selection. This does well with strong flavors.
Additional pours from the bottle have been better and better (it’s still only 9a…). I believe this should be opened several hours prior to drinking. I’m not well versed on aging but from reading fellow mates and wooters over the years, I think this will just get better over the next maybe 5-10.
I bought a case after the first sip this morning. No regrets. This is fantastic juice. It’s going to be good day, maybe not a long day, but very very good!
@chefjess I did a half marathon about 10 years ago just outside of Verona, Italy. At the “aid stations” they had two choices: hot Tang (or similar) or red wine. I don’t recall the varietal, but of course went with the wine. If not consumed in volume, it’s perfect for a run! Oh, at the finish, instead of a medal or t-shirt, they gave you a bottle of red table wine. They know how to inspire a runner (running through the vineyards helped, as well)!
That’s awesome. My next one needs to be in Italy! I must admit my 4 miles turned into closer to 7 this morning. I think the wine helped! I hope it doesn’t destroy my long day tomorrow. I have 16 on the agenda.
@rjquillin I did, but it was the 10 minutes I needed to talk to him when it actually sold out.
I’ll still take a few from you if you want. And if they’re spoken for, no big deal. Like I really need more wine.
Well, that was quick. I just opened and tried this wine ready to do my duty and… sold out.
In any event, this wine opened up beautifully. It went from “not much except alcohol” to “how much should I buy” in half an hour. Wonderful fruit and terroir representation. Reminds me why I have so much GSM in the cellar. Next time, I’ll know just to buy.