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Amapola Creek Cuvee Alis 2013

Rhone Red Blends from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP92
15.6% ABV
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15.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 Cuvee Alis opens in the style of the great Rhone wines of France that are made from the same varieties; subtle at the start, with a slow build towards an exquisite display of aromatics. At the front of the nose you will notice a gentle note of kirsch liqueur with a very subtle hint of lavender and pepper. Take a few moments with the glass, and you will see the aromatic profile begin to develop dramatically, with notes of big, bold, ripe summer berries. Take a sip, and you will find dark black cherries wrapped up in a full, round body of silky tannins. Note the depth of the fruit character on the palate; this is a multifaceted wine that redefines itself again and again over the course of a glass.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Cuvée Alis Estate (66% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre and 12% Syrah) is a hefty, high-octane style (15.6% alcohol) with loads of kirsch liqueur, pepper, lavender, earth and underbrush. It is Provençal, deep, full-bodied, and a total lusty treat. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.
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Amapola Creek

Amapola Creek

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Amapola Creek, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Richard Arrowood is an iconic winemaster who has been making wine exclusively in Sonoma County for more than for 45 years. From 1974 through 1990, he created the wines for Chateau St. Jean, where he developed some of the first vineyard-designate Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon produced in Sonoma County.

He and his wife, Alis, founded Arrowood Winery with the 1985 vintage. Each year, they made extraordinary small-lot varietals and vineyard designates. Richard was the winemaster at Arrowood Winery until June 2010, when he resigned his position to devote himself full-time to making wines for his estate winery, Amapola Creek Vineyards and Winery.

Sonoma Valley

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.

It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

SWS415468_2013 Item# 168413