llusions to rocks and hard places notwithstanding, Scylla wraps its silky yet toothsome, urbane yet rustic charms around its chosen fare without drawing it into the abyss. Prismatically perfumed, yet gently firm, it lifts us up, and invites another glass. Like the carignane at its core, with its beastly reputation for high acidity, high tannin, and high yield like some six-headed, man-eating, 300-foot long red sea serpent, when mellowed and moderated after ninety years, its underlying Birichino nature is revealed in a bright, pulsing whirlpool of refreshment and red fruits.
As with all our red wines, fermentation was native with some quantity of stems; aging was in neutral barrel; and bottling was done without fining or filtration. All Scylla, no fylla.
Blend: 62% Carignane, 33% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
California is a winemaking colossus; by itself it is the fourth largest producer in the world. Red wine accounts for 56% of the total by volume, and red grapes 63% of total acres planted. In addition, a number of California red wines are heralded as being among the most prestigious and sought-after wines in the world.
While the state’s incredibly diverse geography, soils and microclimates allow for a wide array of styles, the key factor unifying California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season. This leads to well-developed fruit marked both by impressive ripeness and balancing acidity.
The state’s most famous red wine region, of course, is Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as king. But California boasts a wealth of other impressive appellations. The much larger and climatically varied Sonoma County also produces world class California Cabernet, along with wonderful examples of California Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Fine versions of Cabernet and Zinfandel hail from Paso Robles as well, which is also gaining fame with Rhone varietals like Syrah and Grenache. As for Pinot Noir, terrific examples can be found from AVA’s such as Anderson Valley, Carneros, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills. Wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties are making wonderful Syrahs, and the Sierra Foothill appellations are proving to be an experimental hotbed, with Italian and Spanish varietals employed to great effect.
This of course is a mere sketch. The subject of California red wine is as deep and broad as an ocean, and absolutely a joy to explore!