Keplinger Lithic 2019  Front Label
Keplinger Lithic 2019  Front LabelKeplinger Lithic 2019  Front Bottle Shot

Keplinger Lithic 2019

  • JS96
  • JD95
  • V94
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • JS95
  • JD95
  • WS94
  • JS95
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2019 Lithic is deeply perfumed, with heady aromatics of lavender, boysenberry, strawberries, orange blossom, Darjeerling tea, leather, rose petal, and baking spices. The gorgeous, silky entry, opens to delicious flavors of red and purple fruits, clove, pot pourri, cinnamon stick, with a persistent to the ethereal, long finish. 

Blend: 38% Grenache, 36% Mourvedre, 26% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling

What an attractive and floral nose, all about purity and restraint. There is a dried-meat character to the racy red berries, strawberries, fresh flowers and a hint of white pepper. A nice touch of saline character to the palate. Lovely herbs in the finish. 38% grenache, 36% mourvedre and 26% syrah.

JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck

The 2019 Lithic is based on 38% Grenache, 36% Mourvedre, and 26% Syrah sourced from Amador County, in California's Sierra Foothills. It has a great nose of bright red and blue fruits, candied violets, spring flowers, and peppered game. Beautiful on the palate as well, it's another seamless, elegant, medium to full-bodied beauty from this estate that does everything right.

V 94

The 2019 Lithic is a powerhouse. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2019 is massively tannic. This blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah from Shake Ridge has a ton of potential, but it is also not ready to show its cards today. A whole range of savory, earthy notes lend gravitas. Best after 2024.

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Keplinger, California
Helen Keplinger attended the MS program in Enology at UC Davis. Since UC Davis, she has worked with Heidi Barrett at Paradigm in Napa Valley,Kathy Joseph at Fiddlehead in Santa Barbara, Michel Rolland, and DavidAbreu in Napa Valley. She has made wine for some exciting projects, including Cellers Melis (Priorat, Spain), Kenzo Estate, Arrow & Branch,Bryant Family Vineyards, and is currently crafting Kerr Cellars, Carte Blanche and Grace Family Vineyard. Helen’s time in Priorat, Spain working with Grenache as Winemaker for Melis was the inspiration for Keplinger wines. Auspiciously, Helen met her now husband and business partner DJ Warner in a Spanish focused wine shop in Los Angeles towards the end of 2003. DJ, having worked in sales and marketing within the technology sector, moved to Los Angeles to launch an organic line of foods. Managing a Spanish wine shop part time in the evenings led the two to meet over a bottle of 1995 Pago de los Capellanes, Riserva from Ribera del Duero. In 2006, Helen founded Keplinger and the couple launched their first vintage in 2008 with a focus on small production, single vineyard Rhone varietal wines. Keplinger strives to create seamlessly-crafted, terroir-driven, Rhone varietal wines from diverse sites in Napa, Sonoma & Sierra Foothills. All the vineyards are hillside or mountain sites, carefully farmed for small berries and concentrated flavors, in close collaboration with Helen. The wines are made in small lots, with careful attention paid to every detail. Keplinger constantly strives to make unique wines that are expressions of their vineyards and vintages. Today, production of nine boutique cuvees totals 1,600 cases, and a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville Ranch Vineyard, Oakville AVA has been added to the line up.
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Amador Wine

Sierra Foothills, California

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As the lower part of the greater Sierra Foothills appellation, Amador is roughly a plateau whose vineyards grow at 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. It is 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley. Most of its wineries are in the oak-studded rolling hillsides of Shenandoah Valley or east in Fiddletown, where elevations are slightly higher.

The Sierra Foothills growing area was among the largest wine producers in the state during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. But some of these, especially Zinfandel, still remain and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.

Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic soils derived primarily from sandy clay loam and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nighttime temperatures typically drop 30 degrees and the humidity is low, making this an ideal environment for grape growing. Because there is adequate rain throughout the year and even snow in the winter, dry farming is possible.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

MTF72538_19_2019 Item# 888308

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