2007 redFOUR Estate Vineyard
Red Blend • Westwood Estate
California: Sonoma Valley
The Pope's Nemesis
Today’s wine really rocked our world, at a recent private tasting with John Kelly, Westwood Winery winemaker/proprietor. Thanks, in part to the stellar 2007 vintage, this wine also benefited greatly from the maturing vines at the winery’s own Anadel Estate vineyard. Of course, John deserves some of the credit, too. Although, we always expect the best from this very skilled winemaker.
This 2007 Westwood Winery redFOUR is a complex, food-fantastic wine that our tasting panel took great delight in. Recommended as a superb, between-bites, palate-cleansing wine, this delicious treat is also a great wine to enjoy all on its own. Pair this wonderful blend of blend of 46% Mourvedre, 22% Grenache, 22% Syrah, and 10% Counoise with nearly anything you’d care to throw it at. With enough acidity and complexity, it’ll hold up to even the most complex foods.
Dark garnet, with softly cloudy burgundy hues that show through the glass, when swirled. The wine settles quickly, leaving behind tall, skinny legs that move swiftly down the glass.
Bright and full on the nose, with high notes of cherry, young blackberry, young wild strawberry, cranberry and sweet spice. As the wine opens, it reveals dusty bramble, cassis and hints of blueberry, leather, dried orange peel and subtle lavender.
Young, wild strawberry, cherry cola and Bing cherry are the lead notes. These sit atop blackberry, dried cherry, dried cranberry, dried leather, subtle spice, flinty minerals, dried herbs and a hint of subtle anise.
Bright fruits persist for a very long time before they gradually tail off to reveal minerals, earthy flavors and tart dried cranberry at the very end.
What the Winery Says
Winemaker John Kelly was unabashedly inspired by the wines of Château de Beaucastel when he created the first Westwood redFOUR in 2005. Every year the redFOUR moves more toward the ideal that John has in his mind for what this blend should taste like.
Our 2007 redFOUR is a blend of 46% Mourvedre, 22% Grenache, 22% Syrah, and 10% Counoise. We vinify each of the varieties separately. The Syrah ripens earlier than the other three components, and is fermented and aged on its own. The Grenache, Mourvedre and Counoise usually ripen within a few days of each other; they are fermented separately but we press them together and send this core blend to barrels. The components of the blend were aged in French oak, about 8% of the barrels new.
Nature dictates the core blend; our winemaker only plays around with the final fraction of Syrah. It’s hard to go wrong, though - in the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that inspired our redFOUR these varieties have been playing well together in the glass for over a millennium.
Winemaker’s tasting notes:
Dark ruby color with a slight unfined and unfiltered haze. The Moruvedre component of the blend defines the initial aroma: brandied cherries and cocoa, with overtones of anise. The aroma opens to a wonderful complexity; briarwood, pepper, leather, plum preserves, dried orange peel, and wet stone. The texture in the mouth is initially supple and silky, with a proper balance of acid and tannin. The finish turns more astringent and slightly warm, with a persistent briary, almost citrusy, aftertaste.
46% Mourvedre. 22% Grenache. 22% Syrah. 10% Counise
Starting out with involving, decidedly complex aromas of ripe berries, cola, cocoa, new leather and dried provencal herbs, this distinctive, firmly built wine stays on course once in the month even if it comes up a little tight and less outgoing in flavor. It is not overly tannic but tends instead to rather obvious tartness, and, while it has room to develop for a good many years, it is a wine that cries out for service with food it it is to be enjoyed any time soon. Reviewed by: Connoisseurs’ Guide to California. July 2012
About the Winery
New World Wines with Traditional Style
Westwood produces wines that satisfy desires for depth, structure, balance and finesse. Our wines are soil-driven and food-friendly. Westwood’s Estate Vineyard is planted to Dijon and heritage clones of Pinot Noir, several clones of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise and Tannat. Starting with the 2008 vintage our wines are all Estate-produced and -bottled.
We currently bottle one Estate Pinot Noir, a varietal Syrah, our proprietary redFOUR Rhône blend (Mourvedre, Grenache, Counoise, Syrah, and a hint of mystery), our 4-Part Rosé, produced as a saignée de cuve from Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise and Syrah, and finally, a small amount of varietal Tannat. Our total annual production is around 2,000 cases.
The Future of Westwood
After several vintages the wines we have produced from the Estate Vineyard have started to show a clear sense of place, a distinctive structure and minerality that will define the Westwood style going forward.
Ultimately Westwood will release two Estate Pinot Noir bottlings – one vinted from modern-era Dijon clones and a second Pinot assembled from our collection of California Heritage clones.
We will release four wines from our other Estate varieties: our redFOUR – a proprietary red wine blend, a dry pink wine we call our 4-Part Rosé, produced from saignée de cuve of our Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise and Syrah grape lots, a varietal Syrah, and a small amount of varietal Tannat.
Westwood has embarked a new chapter in its history – in Sonoma Valley, where we will continue to produce distinctive red wines in our iconoclastic soil-driven style – on a human scale.