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Geyser Peak Alexander Valley Tectonic Red Blend 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
  • W&S90
13.5% ABV
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3.8 7 Ratings
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3.8 7 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Well-structured and ripe with exotic spice and bright plum flavors our Tectonic red blend is a complex wine showing both fruit and earth notes. Named in honor of our Geyserville home's amazing geologic history and the upheaval of the earth's crust that created our namesake Geyser Peak Mountain, Tectonic is a tribute to the memorable wines that are grown in this region and the soils that were formed over millennia. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are fabulous blending partners with the Petit Verdot providing backbone and framework for the wine and the Cabernet Sauvignon rounding out the palate with berry and silky tannin.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
The blend on this complex red wine is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Petit Verdot and what the winery calls “other reds.” It's the most interesting of Geyser Peak's 2011s, showing ripe, forward black cherry and red currant fruit, but also notes of dried herbs, minerals, bacon, black pepper, licorice and espresso. While it's not an ager, it grows more interesting as it breathes in the glass.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
The supple richness of Alexander Valley cabernet is fully apparent in this wine. It's round and spicy, the fruit deliciously ripe, already approachable. Open a bottle with prime rib.
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Geyser Peak

Geyser Peak

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Geyser Peak, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Founded in 1880 as California’s 29th bonded winery, Geyser Peak Winery has more than 135 years of winemaking history in Sonoma County. Originally located perched on a hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain, its namesake, it commanded a view of the thermal steam clouds that billowed from the mountain summit. Here, in this special place, geothermal activity created the diverse soil pro?les that make this region so exceptionally well suited to wine grape cultivation.

 At the forefront of production since its earliest days, Geyser Peak wines are sourced from prime vineyards that capture the essence of Sonoma. Today, located in Dry Creek Valley, Geyser Peak’s winemakers are carrying the winery’s rich history forward and staking an exciting claim on the future. Specializing in aromatic whites and rich reds, wines are crafted in small lots and fermented separately, then blended together to achieve full expression, balance and character. Each wine captures the essence of Sonoma and the appellation’s unique terroir, offering sophistication and ease, elevation and approachability, and taking us from casual days to connoisseur nights. 

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Alexander Valley

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Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

PIN354855_2011 Item# 131048