Aril Red Blend 2016

Kick Ranch, Sonoma County
$40 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $34)

Joanne and Harmon Brown own one of the more obscure estates on this hillside, Aril. The couple met in Telluride, Colorado but were not novices to the world of wine. In fact, Harmon was the president of the Spottswoode Estate in Napa Valley from 1981 to 1987. Renowned winemaker and viticulturist Ehren Jordan (previously with Turley and owner of Failla) took over as winemaker and vineyard consultant in 2014 from previous winemaker Nate Weis (Silver Oak) and viticulturist Mike Wolf (Beckstoffer).

Home to Rhône-style Syrah wines, Aril was a perfect match for Jordan, who developed his winemaking technique under the tutelage of celebrated oenologist Jean-Luc Columbo. Ehren honed his skills in the vineyards of the Rhône Valley in France, assisting with Columbo’s own label, Les Ruchets. Although he has no formal degree in fermentation science (a fact he proudly credits with his success), Jordan is steeped in the French style of Syrah-Grenache wines.

In giving Jordan the title of 2008 Winemaker of the Year, the San Francisco Chronicle said “The consistent quality of any of his projects would win him plenty of attention…an impressive, precise mind lies behind the always-mellow demeanor … If there’s a common thread in Jordan’s work, it might be his insistence on making ‘wines that are authentic.’”

Considered a benchmark for Rhône varieties, Kick Ranch is a geologically diverse sustainably farmed hillside site on the western side of the northern flank of Spring Mountain which separates Sonoma and Napa Counties. An amazing mix of volcanic, rocky, clay loam vineyard soils contribute a rich minerality. Kick Ranch’s vine rows are laid out for perfect sun exposure with a 20-mile vista down to the Petaluma Wind Gap, providing cool nights and foggy mornings preserving acidity, balance, and aromatics.

This blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot is coming from the near-perfect 2016 vintage which allowed for optimum ripeness in the grapes. The resulting wine is packed full of fruit and spice which will pair great with your Thanksgiving meal.

Taylor Morgan – November 2021

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