Mark Aselstine
 
January 28, 2014 | Sonoma County | Mark Aselstine

Kismet-Papa’s All Blacks Old Vine

About Kismet and All Black’s: The Kismet project is a recent addition to the Sonoma wine scene, founded by Morgan Peterson whose father Joel, started and still owns Ravenswood.  A wine like this wouldn’t be possible without those long standing grower and vintner relationships.  The All Blacks (as you’ll also see in Parker’s tasting notes below) is a nod to winemaking in the 19th century in California.  While many people realize that Zinfandel is basically a California native, they don’t realize that other grape vines like Petite Sirah and Carignane also grew wild in the foothills as long ago as the time when the first settlers came to California looking for their fortunes in the Gold Rush. In fact, that diversity was always considered a good thing as vintners (or more realistically anyone who wanted a cheap drink and was smart enough to pick the grapes and then throw them in a bin to ferment) could simply harvest all the grapes in their field and allow them to ferment together.  The beauty was that every vineyard would produce a different blend and showed some unique characteristics.  We’ve heard from the Napa Valley Historical Society that some of these blends did carry some additional value and the wine could be traded for other necessities. We thought our Reserve Selections members would enjoy this wine, partially because yes, it’s good, but also because it conjurs an interesting and unique time in the history of both California and the United States.  All the grapes in your glass were grown from vines that were planted before Prohibition, in some cases well before.

Tasting Notes: 90pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: The 2011 Papa’s All-Blacks Old Vine is a field blend of assorted red grapes that pays tribute to the growers who planted some of  California’s most historic vineyard sites back in the late 1800s. Sweet floral notes meld into dark red fruit, asphalt, sweet spices and licorice as the 2011 opens up in the glass. Juicy and seductive, the 2011 is an excellent choice for drinking over the next few years.

Old Vine Heritage Sites: In California, we typically think of an old vine heritage site as only containing Zinfandel, since that grape can grow for hundreds of years on the same vine. The Monte Rosso Vineyard is a great example of a mixed black vineyard in that the owners aren’t even sure exactly what’s in most of their 40 acres-it’s a mix of Zin, Petite and Carignane among others.  There is also a section of old Cabernet vines which helps to make this Sonoma property among the defining vineyards in the state of California.
 

 

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