Kivelstadt Cellars

2018 Father’s Watch – Red Blend

Red Rhone Blend

About this wine

Father’s Watch is Kivelstadt’s southern Rhone-style blend. The fruit is produced in a single amazing vineyard in Mendocino County. This rustic and elegant red wine is proof that California can produce serious wine at a reasonable cost. With 14 months in barrel, the wine balances beautifully between its primary aromas and softened tannins. It will make the staunchest Francophile smile and is the perfect wine for a relaxing summer afternoon. Grape Details: A little known fact is that Carignane doesn’t originate from southern France’s Languedoc Roussillon, the region that made it famous. The grape actually evolved in northeast Spain’s Aragon region, where it is know as Mazuelo. Carignane is vigorous, highly productive, late budding, mildew prone, late-ripening, and produces wines that are high in color, tannin, acid and flavor. All of these characteristics make it perfectly suited for Northern California and extended life. As these vines get older and older, their fruit gets more and more concentrated. Grenache Noir, or Granacha Tinta in Spain, is an ancient variety that has undergone many mutations affecting berry color (Blanc, Gris and Rouge can all be found). Grenache has long been thought to originate from Spain, but current DNA analysis has started a debate as to whether it originated in Spain or Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau. Grenache Noir is France’s second most widely planted grape, which demonstrates its importance in France’s wine tradition. It is also the base of southern Rhone blends from famed regions such as Chauteauneuf-du-Pape. This relatively early budding, but late ripening grape is great for hot climates such as California. Color is dependent on yield, and can range from light and bright to dark and brooding. A fun viticultural fact is Grenache is highly resistant to Eutypa die back, which explains its miraculous longevity. Syrah’s most famous home is in the vineyards of the northern Rhone. For those of you who really want to dork out, it was recently discovered that Syrah is a cross between Mondeuse Blanche (a grape indigenous to Savoie that’s famous for its pepper character) and Dureza (some variety I’ve never heard of, but is related to Toroldego). Syrah is a famously vigorous variety, which ripens quickly and shortly after veraison. This makes harvest decision and farming especially important for Syrah growers, as the wines can go from underripe to overripe in a blink of an eye. Also, next time you’re in a Syrah vineyard, check out the leaves. Syrah is famous for an extremely large middle lobe (the one that is parallel to the leaf’s stem). Vintage: 2017 was a tumultuous growing season to say the least. It was the first season in many years that had significant rainfall in the winter and spring. This provided a much-needed respite from the years of drought that had plagued California. A very hot August kicked harvest off quickly, but September was relatively mild and cool. There was a devastating fire late in the season, which tore through vineyards and more importantly impacted the lives of many Californians. Tasting Notes: This red blend has richness on the attack, yet finishes brightly thanks to the acid profile of the Grenache and Carignane. There is a fantastic balance of fruit and earth, which is characteristic of southern Rhone blends, but due to its California roots this wine’s fruit enlivens the entire drinking experience. There is distinct high-toned red fruit on the nose, with of dried herbs and spices rounding out the palate and finish.

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Meet the Winemaker

Sam Baron


Kivelstadt Cellars

Sam joined the Kivelstadt Cellars team in 2017. He met Jordan and they instantly bonded over shared winemaking and winegrowing philosophies. As Winemaker, Sam divides his time between managing wholesale sales, vineyard sourcing, production and almost everything in between. Sam's passion for restrained and elegant wines, organic and sustainable farming, and his thirst for exploring unique California vineyards makes him right at home in the Kivelstadt family.