Kale Kick Ranch Vineyard Home Run Cuvee 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Kale Anderson grew up in Sonoma County, where he was exposed to the wine industry by a community that encouraged creativity, love for the outdoors, and stewardship of the land.
He attended the University of California, Davis intending to pursue medicine, like his father had, but instead found himself drawn to Davis’ Plant Biology program. As an undergraduate Kale researched DNA repair in plants. He spent winters in Tahoe, and tried his hand at commercial fishing in Alaska during the summertime.
Feeling scientifically inspired but creatively unfulfilled, Kale transitioned into an interdisciplinary major in Nature and Culture. While changing his major, he stumbled upon an introductory course in Viticulture and Enology. It immediately struck him to be the most fascinating blend of nature and culture that he had experienced to date. This discovery set him on a focused trajectory toward winemaking.
In 2001, Kale took his first harvest internship at J Winery, Russian River. After graduating BS Viticulture and Enology, he worked at Colgin Cellars, Terra Valentine Winery, Cliff Lede Vineyards in Stags Leap District and is currently Director of Winemaking for Pahlmeyer.
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.
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.
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.