The Banshee invasion has begun...
..and I couldn't be more pumped about it!
It's a Banshee Wine bonanza in Utah: 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and 2015 Sonoma County Pinot Noir are available now!
Also available (but not pictured) are 2014 Napa Cab Sauv, 2016 Sonoma County Sauv Blanc, and 2015 Mordecai Red Blend. Yum!
Get the wine deets and get to drinking!
2016 Banshee Wines Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
PH: 3.5 | Aging: 8 months French Oak, 50% new | Fermentation: 75% Malolactic Fermentation | Alcohol: 13.5%
Apple, pear, hints of tropical fruits and vanilla bean.
The 2016 vintage officially was the last of the drought vintages that began in 2012. While they were all marked by long hot summers and early harvests, both '15 and '16 featured lower yields than the preceding years. In addition to just decent weather at bloom, which caused moderate yields, the plants very well may have just been a little gassed after the bounty from 2012-2014 vintages.
The upside to low-moderate yields is the grapes that were there picked up added levels of intensity and depth. This vintage we sourced from a variety of vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, including both of our Single Vineyard Designate sites, Heintz and Bohemian. These vineyards tended to deliver fully developed flavors at relatively high natural acidities, giving remarkable length and verve.
The nose of this wine leans towards orchard fruit showing both apple and pear but also hints of tropical fruits and vanilla bean. In the mouth the wine is moderate weight but packs extraordinary depth of flavor, echoing the aroma with fuji apple, meyer lemon, sage and vanilla panna cotta. The finish is all energy with mouthwatering citrus notes.
2015 Banshee Wines Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Acid: 5.9 | Barrel Aging: 50% Neutral French Oak; 30% Second Use French Oak; 20% New French Oak | Alcohol: 13.6%
Dark plum, cocoa, blackberry and sage.
This vintage marks the end of the drought year vintages in Northern California, which ended emphatically in the winter of 2016-2017. Once again, we saw extremely early bud break, flowering, and harvest for Pinot Noir that was mostly complete before September. These drought years have produced wines with excellent consistency, little disease pressure in the vineyards, and exceptional depth and intensity.
Our vineyard selection for the Sonoma County Pinot has continued to improve over the years. We source from 18 different vineyards including parts of our Single Vineyard program, and the final blend includes 10 different clonal selections. This is the most important wine in the Banshee lineup, and we treat it as such. The wine is fermented in small, stainless steel vessels, and as always, raised in 100% high-end French Oak.
The 2016 edition is an exciting, yet friendly wine, bursting at the seams with aromas of macerated wild berries and an elegant, soft earth undertone. The flavors combine both sweet and tart, reminiscent of Santa Rosa plums and wild blackberries that grow so commonly in Sonoma Wine Country. The finish is bright, slightly herbal, and savory making this an excellent food wine, as well as a charming drinking experience by itself.
2014 Banshee Wines Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Acid: 5.3 | PH: 3.8 | Alcohol: 14.8%
Dark plum, cocoa, blackberry and sage.
2014 continued the recent trend of hot, dry and early vintages. The weather conditions have caused much understandable strife in California, yet we’ve produced fabulous wines in this climate with intensity and style.
As with 2013, we utilized almost all of our Bordeaux varietal blending components in the Mordecai blend, and let the Cabernet speak more directly. The lone blending component is a parcel of Cabernet Franc from Howell Mountain that adds both aroma and an herbal undercurrent.
The wine is a roughly 50/50 split of Napa Valley floor and Vaca Mountain range fruit, marrying plush fruit with more wild structural elements. Dark plum, cocoa, blackberry and sage aromas with powerful, well delineated flavors of dark chocolate covered cherry, macerated strawberry, wild herbs, mineral and touch of caramel. Well balanced with fine tannins, this wine is deep and multidimensional. Will play well for 15-20 years.
2016 Banshee Wines Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Production Notes: Whole cluster pressed and fermented primarily in stainless steel with 5% of the wine fermented in French Oak (50% new). The wine was cold fermented at 62-64 degrees, and completed malolactic fermentation naturally.
Harvest Date: August 18. 27, 31 | Acid: 6.5 | PH: 3.33 | Alcohol: 13.5%
Honeydew, Lime, and Pear with long, tangy finish.
As is our custom, our newest Sauvignon Blanc comes from a combination of vineyards in the Russian River and Dry Creek valleys, just outside of our home base in Healdsburg, CA. These areas are perfect for the style of Sauvignon Blanc we are inclined to - a combination of sufficient daytime warmth to develop exuberant fruit flavors and plenty of morning/evening coolness to preserve lip smaking structure and vital tart and green-tinged flavors.
In addition, we like to utilize the charms of the musqué variation of Sauvignon Blanc to highlight the lifted perfume and floral aspects it brings. About 30% of this wine is powered up by musqué (think X-Men).
After tasting many of our friends' 2016s in tank and barrel, it seems to be the year of a pronounced melon character in Sauvignon Blanc. We noticed a significant expression in our vineyards where it had been only a minor attribute previously. We balanced this with a very deep mineral component from a promising new hillside vineyard off Westside Road.
The wine is immediately charming for its floral bouquet of lilacs and daisies. This leads into a medium-weight blend of honeydew, lime, pear, and sea salt flavors. These flavors linger on the fresh, well-integrated citrus line that runs through the long, tangy finish.
2015 Banshee Wines Mordecai Red Blend
Vineyards: Anderson Valley, Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Mendocino County
Production Notes: 18 months in French Oak - new oak on everything except the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah, both of which saw about 50%.
Varietal: Red Blend | Varietal Composition: 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Carignan, 17% Syrah, 14% Zinfandel, 12% Grenache, 11% Petit Sirah, 4% Merlot | Appellation: Sonoma County | Acid: 6.5 | PH: 3.63
Enticing nose of pepper, violets, cigar, and cassis.
Mordecai is the wine that we have the broadest set of components to work with and the widest bullseye to shoot for when blending. All of the elements of this wine are made with our house philosophy (think: bright flavors, focus, energy, good with food), with the overreaching mandate that it is absolutely delicious. Thus, each year we set out to make a medium plus bodied red that you could put on the table or counter anywhere at anytime and make everybody happy. That’s what delicious means to us.
The very rough and unscientific formula is this: about a third Bordeaux varieties, about a third Rhone varieties, and about a third other varieties dominated by Zinfandel with a bit of of this or that peppered in to add interesting accent notes. Carignan sourced from a 45-year-old, organically farmed vineyard in Redwood Valley continues to expand its influence in Mordecai, acting as a bridge between the Rhone and Bordeaux lots.
The 2015 Mordecai has an enticing nose of pepper, violets, cigar and cassis. On the palate it is a mouthwatering mélange of red berry and plum flavors backed by earthy tones of herb roasted meat and fresh black trumpet giving way to a spice-laden finish.