El Dorado County is the heart of the California Gold Rush, one of the major historical influences to westward expansion and European immigration in the mid-1800s. It was also an important home to the early days of Californian wine as many families brought vine cuttings from their native lands to create their own vineyards. Several of the first wine companies in the state developed here and along the Sierra Foothills range, but faded in importance as the population shifted to San Francisco area and the surrounding vineyards. The Skinner family established one of the first wineries and distilleries in 1861 and ran a fairly large operation for many years, but faded into an obscure fragment of history until 2006 when a branch of the family picked up the rights to the name and 'rediscovered' the vineyards. Their vineyards focus on Rhone varieties, capitalizing on the dramatic elevation changes along the Sierra Foothills to grow grapes in a variety of conditions to develop great complexity and subtlety in their many blends.
This is made from predominantly Grenache (51%), Mourvedre (31%), Syrah, Counoise and Petite Sirah and was raised for 21 months in almost entirely neutral french oak.
Packed with red fruit aromatics of strawberry and cherry and cranberry with herbal notes of wild sage and fennel seed. The palate is only moderately rich and full with an overall impression of balance and restraint, a very slightly grainy tannic structure giving relief to the ripe and luscious red and black fruit.