Layer Cake Sea of Stones Red Blend 2017
Concentrated aromas of ripe black fruit, lavender, blueberry pie, and black cherry on the nose. On the palate, layers of savory fruit, spice, espresso, and dark chocolate and a rich, creamy texture lead to a long and satisfying finish.
At Layer Cake, we work directly with the farmers to grow the fruit we work with. Our grapes are grown to exacting standards in some of the most diversely-layered vineyards around the world. They are handpicked, separated and fermented with care, then aged in French Oak. The character of each Layer Cake wine is influenced by the vineyard soil, which is layered like a cake…every layer tells a story.
It all started in South Australia, when we met a few growers in a pub. We swapped stories over a few pints, then went to walk around some vineyards. We knew we could make great wine from these vineyards, and with diligence, sell the wines at a price that would over-deliver compared to the offerings on the retail shelves, so we were off to the races.
During a visit to Puglia to investigate the flavors behind Carole Meredith’s recent studies showing that Primitivo is indeed identical to Zinfandel, we discovered the largest cache of old-vine Zinfandel grapes in the world. We knew Layer Cake Primitivo was meant to be.
Argentina is now known as the best place on the planet to grow Malbec, hands down. We met some fantastic family growers to work with, the Layer Cake Malbec was born, and we just can’t make enough to satisfy the ravenous appetite you all have for it.
We came back to our homeland, Napa, next and decided it was time to seek out some special vineyards here as well. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were naturals to make here, as we have many friends with excellent vineyards to nurture and turn into Layer Cake Wines.
The bottom line is, we look not only at places where you could make wine, but places where we want to make wine: steeped in history, diverse foods, sweeping landscapes and interesting people. We seek out the best varieties a region has and then find a way to make a great wine for you at a price that makes you able to buy more.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
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.