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Keplinger Sumo 2014

  • V94
  • WS92
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • JS94
  • WS93
  • JD93
  • WS95
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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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Amador

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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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Other Red Blends

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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