Although Syrah can sometimes exhibit power and intensity, our cool climate Rôtie shows deep black and blue color in the glass but exudes soft, subtle and elegant aromatics. Dark fruit and wet earth rounded out with soft purple floral aromatics taunt the senses, giving you more as the wine opens up in the glass.
Our 2016 estate Rôtie shows rich blackberries and dark plums, along with anise, cocoa, hibiscus, tobacco, tar, acai, mint chocolate and an array of exotic spices. This lends to perfectly balanced wine with soft velvety tannins and a lengthy finish.
Vintage & Vineyard Notes
The growing season for 2016 marked the return of average annual rainfall to Sonoma County. Steady and consistent rain filled our irrigation reservoirs just short of maximum capacity. Four years of drought conditions, which have dominated the growing seasons, finally gave way to an awakening of vigor and growth. Unlike 2015, the weather during bloom was ideal, and the fruit set was close to maximum. The long growing season of the Petaluma Gap is always influenced by the temperatures of August. In 2016, the climate was as mild and moderate as in any year in recent memory. This allowed every block on our estate vineyards to receive 10-20 extra days of phenolic ripening compared to the previous four years.
The ancient sea-bed of the San Pablo Bay is mineral rich, clay soils that define La Cruz Vineyard. Typical to this vineyard is a pronounced bright acidity and signature spice notes.
The Syrah and the Viognier were harvested in the cold nights and brought immediately to the winery where they are hand-sorted, 85% destemmed, 15% whole cluster. After a 6-day cold soak, the tank temperature was raised to 80° F so that the native fermentation would ferment until dry. It had a 3-day maceration and was pressed off into barrels. We racked twice, filtered, and bottled after 20 months. We used Nomarcoc 500, with a specific oxygen ingress rate. It is a plant-based closure with a zero-carbon footprint.
The Keller family’s origins lie in the small town of Aarau in Switzerland. The Keller last name originates from the German word for “cellar.” For centuries throughout the Old World, cellars were a special place in a family’s home, a place where food, wine, and valuable commodities were kept and passed on from family to family. The Keller family’s Coat of Arms, which is printed on our labels, represents the cellar guard, who guards his prized treasures with a well-kept key. The colors of Switzerland fly proudly next to the key. It seemed fitting to name our winery “Keller Estate,” harking back to our family’s profession as the keeper of the treasures for your cellar.
Our family has since then moved throughout the world and we pride ourselves on our multicultural background. In the early 1900s, Wilheim Keller emigrated from Switzerland to Mexico to build the first hydroelectric plant. Soon after, he fell in love with a beautiful woman and established his home in Mexico City. His grandson, Arturo Keller, the founder of Keller Estate, worked for many years as a supplier to the automotive industry. His greatest passions are vintage automobiles and searching for elegance, class and perfection in everything he does. In the late 1970s, his passion took him to the San Francisco Bay area, a hub for car collectors. As he drove his treasured vehicles through the winding roads and windy hills of Sonoma, he came across a large ranch for sale in Petaluma. He was instantly taken aback with the views and the land. He made this his home in a piece of property across from the Russian River in 1983 alongside his wife Deborah. Recognizing that the land was wonderful for growing cooler weather varietals, Arturo and Deborah planted our first Chardonnay vineyard in 1989. The grapes were sold for many vintages to Rombauer, who found that the minerality and depth of flavors of our Chardonnay contributed to their wines in a beautiful way.
In 1998, Ana Keller, Arturo’s daughter, joined him in the exciting and daunting venture of building a winery and creating Keller Estate. Ana first fell in love with the craft of winemaking early in life when she spent several holidays in the Loire Valley, harvesting grapes from the vineyards. Ana holds a degree in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Mexico and a Masters in Pharmaceutical development from King’s College London. London was critical to Ana’s passion for wine because it was there that she first took her formal tasting lessons.
In 2000, Keller Estate was established and we released our first vintage in 2001. Alongside Ted Lemon, the Keller Family worked at making the vineyards exceptional and designed a winery emphasizing elements of ease of flow and gravity flow to preserve the delicate flavors in the wine. The winery, designed by Ricardo Legorreta, an exceptional Mexican Architect, was completed in 2003 and is among the most beautiful wineries in Sonoma.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
@klezman@rjquillin@ttboy23 oh lol I did not realize. I was just commenting on the thread I saw familiar names in I just woke up and should pay more attention!
I’m in MI so that would be difficult to trade…
Luck. Blessing. Fortune. Whatever you call it, I had it this week as @WCCWineGirl (thanks!) reached out and said she’d be sending something my way. UPS did the responsible thing and delivered early in the day (shocked thanks to the new driver), and that allowed me to let the bottle settle a full day before opening. Additional thanks to @winedavid49 to getting this for us.
I’m just going to kind of dump my notes rather than try and sort them out, so apologies in advance. Cork: moderate staining to 1/16”/2mm with a note about zero carbon footprint
Color: Deep, rich garnet, something like PMS194
Aroma: dramatic and intense a ton of lavender and some other florals my male nose doesn’t identify well, hints of mint (dark) chocolate, and a few more flowery things Taste: Dry medium-full body, very smooth tannins, well balanced. Tar, blackberry, plum, cocoa at first. Then some spices and moist soil. As the wine opened, mid-palate tobacco and mild black pepper. Finish: initially medium finish that elongated as the wine breathed more. Opened midday and tried alongside a tomato-driven dish and while I was able to appreciate how good the wine was before and after the dish, it simply couldn’t compete with the ripeness of the tomatoes.
A touch more with various cheeses; an older sharp cheddar bringing out blackberries more that highlights the peppery tobacco in the finish.
And with dinner: smoked and glazed half chicken (and collared greens, Texas toast, baked beans, corn pudding). Bottle stored in cooler at 58º over interceding 5 hours. Aromas are more diverse and less lavender heavy. Superb flavor compliments and enhanced the tobacco-like flavors.
This morning: sitting stoppered on counter at room temperature ~72º. Aromas more homogenous but still very aromatic, ripe plums dominate. Flavors not as intense, but still very inviting, blackberries start, tar and black fruit finish as the most dominant with a mild hint of tobacco still.
My better half, who has been especially picky of late and rarely finishing any wine, went back to the bottle twice during dinner almost leaving none for this morning. This is very enjoyable and would be very easy to drink now, but I bet that it’s got several years of laying down it could do quite happily.
(I have a tiny bit more I’ll try later in the morning after coffee and may add final tasting notes… but we’ll see.)
@drhellknow@forlich What town? I drive across the country twice a year (currently). I don’t normally buy any food on the way because I have enough in my camper for the trip (especially now). But if it’s anywhere on my route (or I can modify my route a bit), I want that chicken!
The words from Wine Advocate (note above says Robert Parker but I doubt he reviewed this). Anyway not sure who/when reviewed:
The 2016 Rôtie Syrah was co-fermented with 6% Viognier, and no whole cluster was used. “We approach Syrah with a Pinot Noir perspective,” says Ana Keller. It has a vibrant medium to deep ruby-purple color, and the nose opens to savory olive and prosciutto, dried violets, cocoa, white pepper, mint leaves, black cherries, warm blackberries. Medium to full-bodied, it begins silky in the mouth, slowly opening to dark fruits. It’s framed by elegantly grainy tannins and great juiciness, finishing very long and flavorful. Give this another few years in bottle.
From Wine Enthusiast:
90 Points. This Rhône-inspired wine is thick and densely packed in tannin and meaty garrigue. The elusive fruit is a mix of blackberry and currant, with herbal, earthy undertones of tomato leaf, tobacco and black licorice. VB
@losthighwayz And thanks for the reasonable “not a full case” option – after the last 2 weeks I just could not sign up for another full case of anything*, in this “case,” (not to overuse the word), I will probably go for the small pack just to try it and support the locals (I grew up in Marin County and used to go out to this area many times, both with my parents and then later just “exploring” in my Fiat!
I pulled the cork on this and was elegantly greeted with a dark ruby stain. It’s that color that signals good things to come and did not disappoint.
As I poured it into the glass the color was almost black and I was getting more anxious.
The aroma of dark berry greets your nose with some good dirt earthiness.
This Rotie has such a velvety mouthfeel, even upon pop and pour, with the tannins hitting your jaw just enough to make you smile. The finish is lingering making you want a bit more.
At this price point, it definitely could be a daily bottle instead of a special occasion too!