'El Topo' is a juicy GSM-style Rhone Blend blend with a little twist; it's actually more of an MGS, made of 72% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache, and 8% Syrah. That mix of varieties still carries the hallmarks of Southern-Rhone-style blends. Opulent raspberry, ripe strawberry, crunchy pomegranate, and bing cherry mingle on the nose and the palate - I believe my tasting notes read 'All the Red Fruits!!!' There's just a whisper of prickly black pepper, vanilla bean and nutmeg to spice things up, with a silky texture that makes this wine go down oh-so-smoothly. This is a hearty winter warming wine to have with tortilla soup by the fireplace, braised short ribs, or rosemary-crusted lamb chops, but it's also just as at home with roasted beets and goat cheese salad sprinkled with pomegranate seeds!
The organic Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino County is one of the finest sites in the county for getting ripe fruit without getting to the jammy-quotient of warmer California regions. Here, the sun is certainly shining most days, but higher latitude and proximity to the coast bring cool air and whipping winds to the vineyard, reining in sugar levels to allow wines full of flavor and finesse.
Molly Brooks, Wine Buyer/Advanced Sommelier
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