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Jaxon Keys Farmhouse Red 2012
30% Zinfandel, 20% Syrah, 27% Grenache Noir, 23% Petite Sirah
Ken is passionate about all his vineyards and wineries as well as their importance to the communities and historical significance. The Mendocino property being an intact Spanish landgrant parcel dating back to 1858 and the Estate's first vineyards being planted in 1960 with one of the oldest bonded wineries in Mendocino County commencing production in 1984... reminded him of his grandfathers with their passion for farming and the land. Ken and Diane honore them both, Jack Wilson and Cecil Keys, with a new label and the Jaxon Keys brand was born.
Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.
Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.