Since the 1997 vintage, Rocks and Gravel has been our most popular wine. Inspired by the Southern Cotes du Rhone blends of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, it has deomnstrated, year in and year out, that California is a great place to produce red wines with a Provencal spirit. The 2000 and 2001 vintages were especially fine ones for Rocks and Gravel, and we were able to put together wines that were virtually indistinguishable from fine Gigondas.
In 2002 we weren't happy with any of our Grenache options, so the 2002 Rocks and Gravel is an unusual blend of, roughly 65% Mourvèdre, 25% Counoise, and 10% Syrah. Oddly, the results seem to evoke both the Cotes du Rhone, and points rather far North, way up in the Cote de Beaune. Go figure.
Bright crimson, a bit of blue at the edge. spicy, pulse-quickening aromas of graphite, tree-bark, blood, and mulberries, with deeper layers of smoke and underbrush. Very supple and textured on the palate, with some fat, and a great sense of structure and balance. Long flavors leading to a clean finish, and crying out for a second taste.