Herman Story Casual Encounters 2016
Saturday night at Craft is the place to be. Valet the Excalibur and drop yourself into one of the luxurious leather booths. Cigar smoke lingers in the air as the aroma of exquisitely prepared cuts come from the kitchen. The dinner captain carves you a generous portion of peppercorn-crusted prime rib right at your table as you take in the rich earthy colors and textures of the dining room from another era. Lazaretto cherries come to mind as the wine marries well with the meat.
Casual Encounters takes its name from the orgiastic nature of its origins as a blend of small cofermented lots. By giving up control and embracing game-day decisions during harvest, Casual Encounters best captures the lengths Russell will go in setting orthodoxy aside and letting flavor take full stage.
Blend: 37% Syrah, 28% Grenache, 25% Mourvédre, 10% Tannat
Proprietor and winemaker Russell P. From began Herman Story Wines in 2001 with 7 barrels stashed in his employer’s cellar. What started as a modest homage to his rancher grandfather has become a beacon to those seeking opulent, structured Syrah and Grenache. To maintain balance while giving flavor full stage, Russell works with 30 top-tier vineyards in over 7 distinct growing regions between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. From's dedication has held the attention of discriminating consumers and reviewers alike, earning him a coveted position in Wine Spectator's Top 100 List in 2014 for his On the Road Grenache and and average 90+ score on CellarTracker across all wines and vintages.
A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties, covering nearly double the vineyard acreage of whites.
While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.
Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while old, gnarly Zinfandel vines survived Prohibition.