By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member
This was my favorite visit of our recent staff tasting trip to Sonoma. Morgan Twain-Peterson, the winemaker at Bedrock Wine Co., has been making wine since the age of five (seriously, being the son of Joel Peterson of Ravenswood fame has its perks). Morgan is a champion of old vine preservation and is one of the founding members of the Historic Vineyard Society. He has some of the most amazing heritage vineyard sites in Sonoma at his disposal, including Pagani Ranch and Monte Rosso, home to some of the oldest of the old vines in Sonoma. Ridge and Carlisle source from Pagani Ranch; Mondavi, Rosenblum, T-Vine, and many other producers have been proud to work with Monte Rosso fruit over the years.
Morgan's wines are extremely hand-made. His motto is “It takes a village to raise a wine,” but you can taste the care and diligence that goes into each bottle. K&L customers might recognize Bedrock for its entry level Sherman & Hooker's "Shebang" Sonoma Valley Red Blend ($11.99), a non-vintage wine now in its fifth release and one of the best California wine values we offer, but all the Bedrock wines are worth seeking out.
Morgan's productions are so low and his wines in such demand that they don't stick around long on the shelf and we rarely get the opportunity to taste them at K&L, so this visit was indeed special. We tried a dozen barrel samples in his cellar, and I felt like a broken record after every delicious, concentrated sip, badgering him with questions: How much of this did you produce? Will we be able to have it on the shelf at K&L? and so on. More often the answer was along the lines of three barrels, and he was afraid it would all sell out to his club members before we could have the chance to get our thirsty paws on it.
Nevertheless, persistence pays off, and we do have an assortment of amazing Bedrock wines in stock share with you. These are wines that bring me back to my family roots of drinking wine around the table with the people you care about; wines with soul and depth, from vineyards that have been almost forgotten by time and with an old-vine spirit that fancy winemaking cannot replicate. They are bold, yet complex wines, rich, yet superbly balanced. Just perfect for hearty fall and winter dishes.
To see our full offering and learn more about the wines we have in stock, use the search tool and search "bedrock" on KLWines.com.
In the mean time, here are two that really stand out to me:
Made from vines planted in 1896 and consists of mainly Zinfandel with small amounts of Petit Sirah, Alicante and the usual other mixed-blacks suspects making an appearance. This wine has the depth and concentration of 100 year old vines, paired with the buoyant acidity you get from the cool climate of Russian River. Rich fruit, blueberries and dark cherry, with spice and a touch of earth, make this wine a perfect pairing for anything off the grill, or braised dishes that have been cooking all day.
Perhaps my favorite wine from Bedrock, this is from Morgan’s family vineyards and truly embodies Bedrock is all about. This wine is made from 22 different varietals--a field blend is something of an understatement--from vines that were planted 123 years ago. Morgan has gone through and identified every vine on the property by hand...labor of love or maniacal wine maker? The main component is Zinfandel, with the remaining 40% of the wine a blend of what has been planted in the vineyard for the past century. Peppery fruit is in the lead with this wine, followed by plums and cloves. It is a very dark and textured wine, chewy and dense; a wine to be enjoyed with food, not as an aperitif. This wine has so much history in each glass. If you are a fan of the tradition and history of wine, this is something to be tried and shared with friends.
I hope this brief description of Bedrock’s wines has been enough to pique your interest in a winery that I find completely fascinating. These wines are steeped in history and deliver flavor profiles that are harder and harder to come by in this modern winemaking era. Good honest wines, made by a fantastic wine maker with great respect for tradition and the land, are wines worth trying to be sure.