2001 Clos Saron North Yuba Cabernet Sauvignon - Taken From Granite "Swan Song"
Regular price $88.00
Gideon Beinstock is best known now as the founder in 1999 of Clos Saron, near the town of Oregon House, in the northern reaches of the North Yuba Foothills of the Sierra Nevada. But before that he helped plant the nearby Renaissance Vineyard in the 1970s and continued as the winery’s winemaker into the early 2000s. If you don’t know the story of Renaissance and the Fellowship of Friends - and Gideon’s involvement with them - you should read Esther Mobely’s long and fascinating San Francisco Chronicle article How a California cult created one of the country’s great wineries — and then lost it.
But lost is now found, as Gideon has been able to select old vintages that he made at Renaissance and that never left the winery. He is releasing these wines under his own Taken From Granite label. As Gideon writes on the back label, this is “a hand-picked treasure from the Golden Age of the Renaissance Vineyard.” “Swan Song”, as the name suggests, likely is the last bottling that Gideon will release.
Renaissance Vineyard sits at about 2000 feet and was planted with ungrafted vines; the area’s remoteness prevented phylloxera from reaching the North Yuba Foothills. Soils are red clay over granite with veins of quartz. Farming has been organic since Gideon helped plant the vines in the 1970s.
The aromas call forth an old and noble and still energetic soul. Dusty berries, dried herbs, cedar bark. In the mouth, the wine is perfectly evolved, balancing its two decades of age with a still-youthful spring in its step. And it’s just 13.4% alcohol. Decanting the wine for a couple of hours will enable it to awaken and bloom. Then pour it into a Bordeaux glass and drink it slowly and contemplatively with friends who want to know what classic, aged California wine is about. A steak, whether of beef or of portobello, with red wine reduction would make the evening even more classic.