Vineyard and Region Information: The Gabilan Mountains are a sizable range of rugged granitic and calcareous limestone rich mountains that run down the East side of the Salinas Valley, in Monterey County. The Rhone varietals tend to be their most complex, interesting and revealing their true character potential and vineyard terrior when planted on steep, rocky hillsides. The Gabilans are home to two famous AVAs, Mount Harlan (Calera Wine Company) and Chalone (next to Pinnacles National Park), which have demonstrated there is indeed something special about these mountains. We sourced the Grenache and Syrah for this blend from the 16 year old vines of the Coastview Vineyard, located six miles south of Calera's Mount Harlan AVA and perched at 2,200 ft on a mountain top. The Mouvedre is from the 30+ year old Rodnick Farm Vineyard (formally Graff Family Vineyard - Dick Graff was the founder of the Chalone Wine Company and AVA). The region is hardly hospitable to any crop other than low yielding, character rich wine grapes. We believe this among the greatest places to grow Rhone varietals in California.
Wine Notes: Our 2015 vintage is the first where Mourvedre takes the leading role - Mourvedre (53%), Grenache (30%), and Syrah (17%). Poor wet and cold weather during flowering took a toll on the Grenache and yields were far below normal which is one reason that we decided to try the blend with more Mourvedre. We are glad we did as the finished wine really lets the Mourvedre shine. The fruit is sourced entirely from the calcareous, limestone and granitic/quartzite soils of the Gabilan mountains. Syrah and Grenache was sourced from the granite and calcareous hills of Brosseau Vineyard in Chalone on August 25. However, due to tiny yields, this made up a very small part of the final blend. The majority of Grenache and Syrah was sourced from Coastview Vineyard, while the Mourvedre was sourced from Rodnick Fram Vineyard in Chalone. There is only one new barrels (out of 12) in the final blend with the remainder neutral.
Dark perfumed heady fruit, crushed rocks and distinct savage Mourvedre character dominate the nose. On the palate, vibrant and silky fruit coats the entire palate and finishes uber long. A literal cornucopia of wild berry fruit unfolds and leaves one guessing if it mulberry, huckleberry or olallaberry.
Wine Reviews: ”The 2015 GSM Gabilan Mountain is dark, powerful and intense. In this vintage, the mourvedre set a generous crop, while the Syrah and Grenache did not. The high percentage of mourvedre yields a wine with stunning aromatic presence and tons of personality. Lavender, rose petal, plum and pomegranate infuse this gorgeous wine. The 2015 is aromatically intense, vivid and utterly compelling. 94 points" - Antonio Galloni, Vinous