Grape(s): Counoise, Cinsault, Mourvédre, Grenache, Syrah, Viognier
Localization: California, USA
Tasting Notes: As the name suggests, The Bear is a wild wine for forest seekers and dwellers alike. Fresh like turned soil, happy like mulberries, fragrant like wild grasses, and a rainy field — this wine goes deliciously with fatty sausages, a side of sauerkraut or a sweet roasted Autumn squash. Light on its feet and deeper in structure, this wine embodies their love of Rhône varietals.
Notes: Soil: Decomposed granite w/ red clay loam, Fermentation: Wild yeasts & bacteria in wood vats. Barrel aging: 10.5 months in a combination of once-used and Neutral French oak barrels, and clay.
The Domain: Their first experience in winemaking began in the Rhône Valley and their heart and focus stayed with the Rhône for nearly a decade before they branched out to other varietals. In the early years (2005-13) they crafted a Chateauneuf du Pape-inspired blend where the name referenced the original thirteen varietals and the first number was how many they had blended (i.e. — Five Thirteen). Like many creators, their inspirations evolved and by 2015 they were crafting a very different wine-inspired more by Austrian Reds than Grenache blends from the Southern Rhône. Still working with the same varietals, they found it fascinating that subtle modifications to their winemaking combined with major shifts in blend composition could result in a wholly different wine.