100 Point Winemaker, Helen Keplinger keeps striking gold. Jeb Dunnuck sure recognizes her efforts, “Probably one of the top pure Grenache releases in California is the 2016 Grenache Basilisk from the genius of Helen Keplinger. Medium to full-bodied, pure, and seamless on the palate, with nothing out of place and perfect balance, it’s a gem of a Grenache to drink over the coming decade.”
The inkiest colored wine in the lineup is the 2016 Sumo, which is a Petite Sirah-dominated blend that includes 13% Syrah and 3% Viognier, all from the Shake Ridge Vineyard in Amador County, aged 16 months in 60% new French oak. Its saturated purple color gives way to a ripe, full-bodied red that has good acidity and purity, classic notes of black and blue fruits, lots of minerality, and more nuanced notes of liquid violets, smoked earth, and spice. It’s a layered, ripe, balanced red that I suspect will be drinking nicely in another 15 years or more.