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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code JULYNEW30

New Customers Save $30* with code JULYNEW30

*New customers only. One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 7/31/2018. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.

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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Ground Effect Rock Garden 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Showing rich aromas of blueberry and licorice and earthy underbrush nuances, the wine has a penetrating nose which unfolds with aeration. Flavors of Santa Rosa plum and white pepper are highlighted by a haunting earthy component. Drink it now and look around for more, or hold on to it for 5 to 7 years to get more of that earthy-gnarly-old-sock character.

    Blend: 48% Grenache, 38% Counoise and 14% Syrah

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ground Effect

    Ground Effect

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    Ground Effect, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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    After several years of encouragement and a swift kick from his wife -a.k.a. "The Voice of Reason"- Nick de Luca finally decided it was time to go out on his own. So, in 2010, with more moxie than money, Nick made Ground Effect a reality. His wines, much like the mind behind them, are tough to categorize. They challenge the senses, ignite endless hours of free-wheeling banter, grab you by the lapels, and go straight for the jugular. Pretty complicated for such a simple dude.

    Nick says, "As a winemaker and viticulturist, I'm often asked to describe my ideal wine. Simply put, my ideal wine is one unencumbered by winemaking and viticulture. For me, the grandest wines are those that describe the particular zone from which the grapes originate. I call the phenomenon "Ground Effect," and my small wine company is dedicated to exploring this powerful relationship between wine and earth. A wine without cause is a wine without effect..."

    Paso Robles

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    Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, fruity, and powerful wines. With 11 smaller sub-AVAs, there is quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

    This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Rhône varieties both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruity, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

    Rhône Blends

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    With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

    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, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

    Perfect Pairings

    Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

    Sommelier Secret

    Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red 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, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

    RVLGERWPRRG12_2012 Item# 141552