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Ground Effect Rock Garden 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    0% ABV
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    0% ABV

    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, powerful, fruit-driven wines wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

    Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.

    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, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, 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 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.

    RVLGERWPRRG12_2012 Item# 141552