B Sides Episode 10
Bedrock California Syrah 2018 and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago
It’s fun what isolation does for the brain…
“Everything that happens is from now on.” These word echo interestingly these days. These are the words from Justin Vernon’s first album under the Bon Iver moniker; an album that would lead him to the forefront of the indie world, with few outranking him as the end all be all of indie folk or indie music in general. The album in question is “For Emma, Forever Ago.” An album that is pretty fucking perfect. It is heartfelt. The arrangements are staggeringly interesting as they are progressive. This was an album that was created while he self-isolated due to sickness.
I’m not saying anything new with this take on the album; it has all been said before. But the greater point is despite the easiness of sharing content and creation across the internet, gaining a national audience takes a company that brings it to the nation, to the globe; I am excited to find what comes out of this chaos. There should be some great things coming up.
Special shout out this week to the Calistoga Wine Stop. An incredible family owned business that started in 1986 and has been a beacon for great wine in Calistoga. I reached out to them for the next twelve wines. I gave them an idea of what I wanted with a budget and I couldn’t be more excited for each and every wine that came.
Bedrock winery was established by 2007 by Morgan Twain-Peterson in a location that is no larger than most affordable apartments. I first became aware of them somewhere around 2013 or 2014 while at Sonoma State. I remember tasting it and realizing how much more Sonoma had to offer beyond Pinot Noir. I was so young, so naïve. I’ve been a fan since those oh so formative years. After several years trying to make that space work, Morgan convinced his friend Chris Cottrell to move to California to join him, found a new space and from there this incredible winery was born.
When we talk American wines, we talk AVA, American Viticultural Areas. These are regions designated to best represent what comes from that area. Napa Valley is an AVA, or more specifically, Rutherford is a sub-AVA in Napa Valley. California is an AVA and that is where this wine comes from; meaning not one of the many sub-AVAs the grapes used to make this wine exceeed the 85% threshold to name a smaller AVA. According to research, this comes from a number of areas: Bien Nacido in Santa Barbara, North Coast which is Sonoma, Napa, and a number of other counties above San Francisco. This wine also has a little bit of co-fermentation with Viognier; a common old-world practice.
Pure and simple: holy shit is this a great wine! I am so fucking blown away I am struggling to find words; THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! The nose is beautiful. Notes of dark pulverized blackberries, black pepper, a touch of bell pepper from whole cluster fermentation, and this savory bacon fat, animal fat, make you want meat smell. The palate follows suit and is so fucking smooth you’d think it’s a silk sheet. The grippy tannins followed by chewy tannins followed by perfect fucking acidity. GOD DAMN THIS WINE RULES! Everything is balanced. When wines get the “California” designation I worry. I worry that those wines are lots slapped together to make a quick buck and this isn’t that. This is so far from that. This is truly exceptional.
Until next time, Cheers