TN: Bedrock and Lioco

Two of my favorite CA producers here.

TN: 2018 Bedrock Enz Vineyard, Lime Kiln Valley: This is the Cienega valley vineyard that actually WB member Ian Brand manages. It’s a field blend. I’m a little disappointed in not the wine itself, but how it was presented in the allocation: this wad presented as a Cabernet Pfeffer on the allocation website and although some people did give me a heads up it was a field blend, I trusted the label that was presented and though I bought a single varietal Cab Pfeffer. But no, it’s the field blend. Anyway, wine is good. Doesnt have a hugely distinctive nose, but a mid with tons of fruit. Very well balanced, but on the edge of being a bigger wine. This would in a blind probably feel more like a later pick Grenache etc. Bell curve for taste is like a Gauss diagram - really powerful mid. Very nice - rarely have duds from Bedrock and this is no exception. 92pts.

TN: 2018 Lioco Indica, Red Blend, Mendocino County: A mix of 93% Carignan, and 7% Valdigue. Huge fruit on the nose and attack. After the Bedrock it felt a little thin in the end section. But after re-setting taste buds and drinking some more of it, I found it wasn’t at all. Well balanced. A little lighter than the Bedrock, a little fruitier, but with enough heft to go with something heavier on the plate. Producer I love - they make excellent wines at great price points and just like Bedrock, rarely get duds from them. 91pts.

I see what you’re saying about the label, but did you buy directly from Bedrock during the release last month (sounds like you did)? Here’s the description from the allocation letter:

This is the first vintage we got the opportunity to work with Enz Vineyard, one of the few GREAT old vine sites on the Central Coast. Located in a remote, golden valley on the eastern side of the Gabilan Range, the vineyard is technically in the Lime Kiln AVA—named for the limestone quarry and kiln just up the road from the vineyard. Planted on its own roots in limestone and granite derived sands in the 1920s, Enz is composed predominately of Mataro but also has Zinfandel, Cabernet Pfeffer and several other interplanted varieties. The wine is roughly the breakdown of the vineyard—about 70% Mataro, 20% Zinfandel and 10% Cabernet Pfeffer. And what exactly is Cabernet Pfeffer, one might ask? Despite much lore in the area as to its origins—some posit that it is a blend of Trousseau and Cabernet, some posit that it was crossed by a gent named William Pfeffer, some say it was named Pfeffer because it is peppery and Pfeffer means pepper in German. Based on PCR analysis, it is actually an obscure variety from the southwest of France called Mourtaou. There is a not much of it in California, but most of it is in the area of Cienega Valley (there is some at Wirz as well) so is definitely a hallmark of this remote viticultural area. $42

Podcast minute mark 22:23

The 2018 Enz Heritage Wine is bright, precise and finely sculpted, with terrific energy coming from the limestone and decomposed granite soils. Chalk, crushed flowers, black pepper, mint and rose petal grace this exquisite, super-expressive wine. The Enz is mostly Mataro, with some Zinfandel and Cabernet Pfeffer. It was done with 20% whole clusters and aged in 500/600-liter barrels. 94 points -Antonio Galloni

Yes, I bought directly from Bedrock. I distinctively saw a label that said Cabernet Pfeffer. That’s kind of why I bought it, because I’m very curious about Cab Pfeffer.

Gotcha. You should definitely read Morgons detailed descriptions in the release letters. Very well written, educational, and entertaining. He usually sends us Berzerkers an advanced copy of the release as well which is pretty cool and helps with buying decisions.

Given my knowledge of the vineyard, the way the Bedrock blend is composed is pretty close to how I’d imagine showing ‘place’. If you’re expressly interested in Cab Pfeffer/Mourtaou, Ser Winery makes a straight old vine Pfeffer, Nicole Walsh is the winemaker and she gets fruit from both Enz and Wirz. My assistant winemaker, Ryan Kobza, makes both a Cab Pfeffer rose and a red Cab Pfeffer. If interested, DM me and I’ll put you in touch with him. And there’s always the Harrington ‘Trousseau’ which is also Cab Pfeffer, but from around 25 year old vines on Siletto’s Vineyard.
From the younger block (1980s) at Enz, Vocal Vineyards (a side project I was involved in) does a wine called Sabroso, which is a carbonic Pfeffer. Blue Ox (new small winery in Berkeley def worth attention) and Broc Cellars also get pieces, although I haven’t seen the results. Blue Ox also does a sparkling Zin rose off Enz which is pretty damn fantastic.
Also, Bedrock got more Pfeffer than 10% of the blend, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another bottling bouncing around somewhere.

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If you look on CT, there’s a label for this wine that indeed says “Cabernet Pfeffer” alone on the front, but the bottle itself has a label that replaces those words with “Red Wine”. Adam, maybe you saw the mockup label on CT?

No, it was definitely on the Bedrock site. It was the allocation, I logged in, and the label said Cabernet Pfeffer. I’m 100% sure of this. I wish I’d taken a screen shot of it.

Ian, I’ve been wanting to try Ser’s wines for some time. Right now I don’t have any money to spend on wine with the world as it is, but once it rights itself, I’ll try some of those suggestions.

Weird. Did you reach out to Bedrock?

Not doubting the picture (like you said, theres one on CT), but come on. The lengthy description of the wine included in the release is pretty clear. Sometimes you just gotta chalk it up to #UserError

Oh, I don’t disagree.