Keplinger Sumo 2014 Front Label
Keplinger Sumo 2014 Front LabelKeplinger Sumo 2014 Front Bottle Shot

Keplinger Sumo 2014

  • V94
  • WS92
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • JS95
  • RP94
  • JD94
  • WS93
  • V95
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Winemaker Notes

Sumo is a Cote Rotie twist on Petite Sirah - Petite Sirah co-fermented with Viognier, and blended with a small amount of Syrah. The 2014 Sumo is a blend of 84% Petite Sirah, 13% Syrah, and 3% Viognier, all from Shake Ridge Vineyard. The Petite comes from three blocks, one is 80% rock and produces small, thick-skinned berries with intense aromatics and dense structure. The second Petite block also has very rocky soil with a western exposure - the berries are ever so slightly larger and the skins slightly thinner (remember this is still Petite!), bringing a juicy elegance to the blend. The third Petite block is at the bottom of a north-facing block, and is all about vibrant, fresh fruit - the lifter of the trio.

The 2014 Sumo was aged in a mix of barriques, Muids d’Oc, and Demi Muids – all French Burgundian cooperage - 75% of which was new. The nose is exotic, showing layers of clove, plumeria, slate, iodine, sandalwood, orange oil, mulberry, black cherry, and tobacco. The palate carries the blue and black fruit, spice, and black peppercorn, with creosote and bittersweet chocolate on the plush finish. Ah, Sumo.

Critical Acclaim

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V 94
Vinous
The 2014 Sumo is another wine that has developed very well over the last year. Beguiling in its aromatics and concentrated on the palate, the Sumo has much to offer. Crème de cassis, lavender, plum, graphite and exotic spice give the wine much of its super distinctive personality. The Sumo is a big, rich wine, with all of its elements very nicely balanced.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Rich and concentrated, this features a burly core of lively tannins encased in flavors of dried blueberry, Asian five-spice powder and nutmeg. Builds power and finesse toward the end. Petite Sirah, Syrah and Viognier. Drink now through 2029.
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Keplinger

Keplinger

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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 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.

XXI01039588911491_2014 Item# 400812

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