Shake Ridge Vineyard’s uplift soils are loaded with quartz, basalt, soapstone, and shale – all of which contribute to the purity, richness and natural minerality at play here. Aromatics are absolutely vibrant with layers of red fruit, lavender, and mountain scrub. Tannins are broad and plush on a palate laced with brambly blue and red fruit and heady floral notes that linger on the finish.
Another release from the Sierra Foothills, the 2016 Lithic comes from vines planted in 2002 and 2006 and is a blend of 41% Grenache, 32% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah that saw some stems in the ferments and 16 months in 15% new, larger barrels. This medium to full-bodied effort has beautiful elegance and purity as well as a great nose of blueberries, ground pepper, wild strawberries, and violets. It’s another Châteauneuf du Pape look-alike that does everything right and is up with some of the top GSM blends coming out of California today.