2011 Keplinger "Lithic" Amador County Rhône Blend

SKU #1190166 94 points Wine Spectator

 Edgy and rustic, with a dense, potent core of road tar, dark berry, black licorice and raspberry, this is a vital young wine that begs for cellaring, delivering purity, complexity and density. (JL)  (3/2014)

92 points Vinous

 Dark red cherries, menthol, tobacco and savory herbs are some of the many notes that flesh out in the 2011 Lithic. Even with all of its early appeal, the Lithic boasts tremendous depth and has the pedigree to develop beautifully for a number of years. The polished finish is striking, but today, the Lithic is showing just a hint of its potential. The blend is 46% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre and 23% Syrah, with the Mourvedre and Syrah clearly dominating today. All of the fruit was sourced from Shake Ridge Vineyard in Amador. (AG)  (11/2013)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, deep ruby-red. Sappy aromas of black cherry, blueberry and gun metal. Rich, tactile and sweet, offering lovely saline minerality and a strong crushed stone character. At once silky and energetic. Finishes broad, long, aromatic and classically dry, with excellent lift. (Cool nights help to preserve acidity here.) The syrah that goes into this wine is from north-facing vines. Both the syrah and grenache components of this very pure wine were partly fermented with whole clusters. (ST)  (6/2014)

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Price: $59.99

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Rhone Blends

Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sierra Foothills/El Dorado

- This sweeping inland territory (an AVA on its own right), encompassing El Dorado, Fiddletown, Shenandoah and Amador, has been on the grape-growing map since the Gold Rush. With the exception of high-altitude El Dorado, the vineyards here are sun-baked and hot—in other words, best suited to old-vine zinfandel, petit sirah and Rhône varietals. The cooler climes of El Dorado are ideal for cabernet, chardonnay and merlot.