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Kale Stagecoach Vineyard Broken Axle 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • TP93
  • WE91
15.2% ABV
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • WE90
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15.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark violet, the aroma matches the color with asphalt, fresh blueberry, and gravel. This is our richest and silkiest wine to date. The intense southern exposure at 1500' on Pritchard Hill smooths the tannins into a cacao-like texture. A wide mid-palette gains momentum through the finish. Nuance of white pepper minerality holds together the tight core of this wine suggesting age-ability like the other wines from this region.

Blend: 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache

Critical Acclaim

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TP 93
Tasting Panel
A killer Rhone blend of 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache. Lively acidity plays through smooth black raspberry, cassis and spice; complex and supple with depth and balance.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
From the Pritchard Hill section of the vineyard, this wine consists of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache. A hearty, fruity and big-boned explosion of blueberry and strawberry, it's rimmed in coconut flake and black, leathery pepper. Dense and full bodied, the minerality should allow it to cellar and integrate through 2020.
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Kale
Kale, Napa Valley, California
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In 2008, Kale and his wife Ranko set out to create Rhône inspired wines from extraordinary vineyards in Northern California under their own label, Kale Wines. Specializing in small production, handcrafted wines, Kale utilizes new technologies as well as ancient techniques to express the unique vineyards' most delicious characteristics. Kale Anderson, Winemaker

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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

KLEKLBA12_2012 Item# 144251