Neyers Sage Canyon Red 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
This first ever Rhone varietal blend from Neyers Vineyards combines organically-farmed Grenache from the Sierra foothills; Mourvedre and Carignane from 130 year-old vines grown in northeast Contra Costa County, near Oakley; and Syrah from the Sonoma Coast. In the tradition of Rhone wines, each varietal seems to add a component that makes the whole much more than the sum of its parts.
The grape varietals used to produce red Rhone wines --- Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignane -- are not widely planted in California. They're demanding to grow, the yields are small, and the wines are difficult to produce. Finding vineyards planted to these varieties in California is rare. Finding vineyards that can produce the high quality, properly farmed fruit necessary for the Rhone-styled wine Neyers had in mind became the search for a viticultural holy grail. Until now, our search has been both frustrating and unproductive. After years of countless vineyard visits and grower interviews, however, we've finally assembled a collection of sources that provide with enough of each of these four grapes to create this Rhone-styled blend named after the road the winery is on -- Sage Canyon.
Wine Spectator - "Rustic and chewy, with intense dried berry, mineral, cedar and fresh earth flavors. The vivid berry, red licorice and spice attributes are compelling and distinctive, yet this is only a baby so be patient. Carignane, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. Best from 2013 through 2022. "
Begun in 1992 by Bruce and Barbara Neyers and their winemaking partner, Ehren Jordan, Neyers Vineyards produces 15,000 cases of wine annually. They rely primarily on Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the Neyers' 50-acre Conn Valley ranch farmed by Hugo and Lupe Maldonado. Additioanl grapes are purchased from a select group of growers, several of which are identified on the labels of wines produced from grapes they have grown. In 1999 Neyers purchased the 30-acre Sage Canyon Winery in the foothills east of Rutherford and have developed that facility for their entire production that also includes Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. View all Neyers Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.