Terre Rouge - Tete a Tete - 2014

Terre Rouge - Tete a Tete - 2014

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A medium bodied well rounded red with notes of macerated cherries and black pepper. Balanced and elegant tannins.

We blend this wine with current drinkability in mind, for drinking both at home and as a restaurant pour. We generally put it together from our younger vines and our more forward tasting barrel lots. 2014 was a year where most of our Rhône varietal lots had brightness and ripe fruit. For us, it was more of an average growing season, but this was the second year of a three year drought. Te fruit developed nicely all summer, with no surprises, and we received good flavor development. This wine drinks like wines from solid Côtes-duRhône-Villages vintage: sappy, spicy, mouth-filling, and nuanced.

Farming: Sustainable

TERRE ROUGE means "Red Earth". This vermillion-colored soil is one of the hallmarks of our region. Our vineyards are in soils that are largely granite and volcanic-based. The TERRE ROUGE portfolio is composed of wines made from Rhône varietals grown in the rugged and varying terroirs of this region: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne. High elevation sites up to 3200’ contribute to the complexity of our wines. Our winemaker, Bill Easton puts his family name, EASTON, on our non-Rhône varietals wines. The wines are crafted from varietals that have traditionally worked the best in Amador County and the Sierra Foothills: ancient and old-vine Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Under the Easton label we also bottle small selections of varietals new to the Sierra Foothills: Grenache Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.

The style of our red wines emphasizes deep color, balanced flavors, full middle palate, and a long finish, with power and finesse. They gain complexity with age. Our whites are aromatic, flavorful with nice texture, and balanced with good acidity. They also show an amazing mineral sense that is derived from our stony mountain soils. We make over thirty different wines, many of which are very small production (100-500 cases). Each is unique and site-specific with a sense of place (terroir) all of their own. Our goal for the last 25 years has always been to make the finest wines possible that can be placed on a table with the best wines of the world.

Grapes: 43% Grenache, 43% Mourvedre, 14% Syrah

In the late 20th century, Grenache was the second most widely planted grape in the world, concentrating all over Spain and southern France. It is believed to have originated in Spain before being planted in the vineyard lands north and south of the Pyrenees, particularly in Roussillon, which at the time was ruled by Spain.To date, France has the world's largest Grenache presence, with over 216,000 acres in 2011 - more than any variety in the country except Merlot. Until recently, it has not been widely known as a drinking grape as it has historically been blended with other varieties with more structure. Grenache produces very fruity, rich wine with varying degrees of tannin depending on the degree of water used during farming.

Most wine historians agree that Mourvèdre is likely to be Spanish in origin, though its exact history is difficult to pinpoint. The variety was probably introduced to Valencia by the Phoenicians around 500 BC. The French-adapted name Mourvèdre probably came from Murviedro (Mourvèdre in Valenciano, nowadays Sagunt) near Valencia while the name Mataro is thought to have come from Mataró, Catalonia near the modern-day city of Barcelona. Despite this close association with Murviedro and Mataró, the grape became known in Spain as Monastrell for reasons that are still unknown though Oz Clarke speculates that a "neutral" name may have been chosen so as not to offend the local pride of both regions. Mourvèdre had a well-established presence in Roussillon region of France by at least the 16th century when still part of Spain (until 1659) where it spread eastwards towards Provence and the Rhone. There it had a well established foothold until the phylloxera epidemic of the mid to late 19th century decimated plantings. As the French and other European wine regions recovered from the phylloxera scourge by grafting Vitis vinifera varieties to American rootstock, it was discovered that Mourvèdre vines did not take well to the grafting and many vineyards were replanted with other varieties. Mourvèdre arrived in California in the 1860s. The variety, known as Mataro, was used primarily for bulk produced jug wines. In the late 20th century, interest in Mourvèdre as a premium grape variety picked up as the Rhone Rangers began seeking out old vine plantings of the variety in Contra Costa County vineyards. In the 1990s, critically acclaimed bottlings from Bonny Doon Vineyard and Cline Cellars Winery promoted demand in the variety and by the mid-2000s, plantings of Mourvèdre in California had risen to 260 ha (650 acres).

Syrah is one of the noblest and most fashionable red wine grapes globally. It is thought to originate in southwest France and is the most widely planted grape of Australia (Shiraz). California growers rushed to plant the variety in the last 20th century. There were barely 400 acres of it in the state in 1992, but that number surged to over 17,000 acres by 2003. Single varietal Syrah wines are typically characterized by savory plum and herb flavors.

Country: United States
Region: Sierra Foothills (California)

The Sierra Foothills AVA (established in 1987) is an American Viticultural Area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the state of California in the United States. Wine grapes were introduced to the area in the nineteenth century during the California Gold Rush. Over 100 wineries are located within its boundaries. The Sierra Foothills AVA contains portions of eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area is 2,600,000 acres (10,522 km2), one of the largest viticultural areas in the state of California.

Tasting: Macerated cherries, black pepper, soft and full, light tannins

Pairing: Duck, beef bourguignon, grilled portobello mushrooms