2012 Keplinger "Lithic" Amador County Rhone Blend

SKU #1216104 93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Lithic, Keplinger's Rhône Blend from Shake Ridge, is terrific. Explosive to the core, the 2012 Lithic bursts from the glass with intense dark red and black fruits. Sweet herbs, flowers, mint and anise develop in the glass adding attractive overtones. The firm tannins need a few years to soften, but all the elements are in the right place. The 2012 was done with 20-30% whole clusters, an approach that works nicely here. (AG)  (1/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Offers a wonderful mix of ripe blackberry flavors, with floral, black licorice, raspberry jam, loamy earth and gravel details. Gains depth and holds focus on the long, intricate aftertaste, where subtle wood and espresso notes add dimension. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Drink now through 2028. (JL)  (3/2015)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full saturated red. Dark berries and spices on the nose and palate. Juicy, sweet and penetrating, with terrific flavor intensity and a firm underlying acid/tannin spine. Finishes with excellent length. Here the stem component gives the wine grip without overwhelming the fruit. A very good vintage for Keplinger's single largest bottling. (ST)  (5/2014)

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Price: $59.99
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Rhone Blends


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.


- 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.