2018 Three Old Vines Field Blend Contra Costa County

2018 Three Old Vines Field Blend Contra Costa County

¥3,190 (incl. tax)

The thick, deep purple color hits you first. The nose follows with intoxicating high-toned boysenberry, violets and earth. And a sip unleashes red berries and black fruit, wild herbs, exotic spices, and pepper. But what is it? Answer: hefty amounts of Carignane and Mataro, large dollops of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, and a smattering of Alicante Bouschet and Black Malvoisie. This is winemaking as practiced by the immigrant old-timers, who wanted to make wines that reminded them of home and matched the cuisine they brought with them. The old, head-pruned vines in Contra Costa County grow in a well-drained, sandy soil known as Delhi Sandy Loam. And because the sand prevented infestation by the Phylloxera louse, the vines remained healthy despite being planted on their own vinifera roots – a practice virtually impossible anywhere else. Drink now or lay down for up to a decade. Decanting is recommended – or drinking some and leaving some for the next day. Enjoy with rich meat stews or roasts. 

Winery


Winery Description

Matt and Erin Cline, the owners and proprietors of the Three Wine Company maintain a philosophy about wine, namely, that it can be reduced to just three vital elements: dirt, microclimate and sustainable wine-growing. By sourcing fruit from old vineyards in Contra Costa, Napa and Sonoma counties and by working closely with the growers who own them, they not only supply quality wine to customers but help preserve a unique aspect of California’s agricultural heritage.

If Matt Cline is a name that rings familiar to Hotei customers, it should! The younger brother of Fred Cline, Matt studied entomology at UC Berkeley and then enology at UC Davis and went on to become Cline Cellars’ winemaker from 1985 to 2001. But from the start, Matt was involved in much more than just making Cline wines. In fact, he played a large role in discovering and helping to preserve the old vineyards that produced the fruit for some of Cline’s top wines. When Fred Cline established the winery in Oakley (in Contra Costa, along the San Joaquin River delta), it was Matt who made handshake deals with the Spinelli, Evangelho and Lucchesi families who owned such plots known as Bridgehead and Big Break. Planted by Italian and Portuguese immigrant farmers as long ago as the 1890s, the Zinfandel, Mataro (Mourvedre) and Carignan vines had managed to survive such crises as phylloxera and prohibition. Rooted in well-drained, sandy soils and farmed without irrigation, these ancient vines yielded little quantity but offered character that isn’t found in the fruit of younger vines. By recognizing the potential for these low-yielding vineyards in an unrecognized region to produce fine wine, Matt Cline managed to save them from succumbing to the next real crisis: the sprawling East Bay suburbs that were reaching northern Contra Costa County.  

In the 2000s, Matt Cline moved on from the Cline family business to found other ventures, such as Trinitas, which he sold in 2006, a brand of late harvest Riesling called S3x (small, sweet sips), and eventually the Three Wine Company. In all his ventures, he has sought out old vineyards and encouraged their owners to adopt sustainable farming and nourish these historic plots to good health. 

Three Wine Company is located in Clarksdale, California and makes wine from not only the same Contra Costa vineyards that Matt has worked with for over three decades, but heritage vineyards in the Russian River and Napa valleys as well. While some of Three’s wines are single varietals, Matt prefers the magic that occurs by blending Zin, Mourvedre, Carignan, and Cinsault, which he believes is both more historically accurate and sustainable. 

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Contra Costa County
Winery Three
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) Carignane, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Mataro, Alicante Bouschet, Black Malvoisie
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 7.5 x 31.0
Case Size 31.5 x 23.5 x 32.0
Alcohol 15.2%
Product Code TW18RED
UPC 094922115034

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

Aromas of boysenberry, plums and smoky notes precede a concentrated and rich palate of red and dark fruit and violets leading to a firm finish.

Production


Vinification

Fermented in stainless steel and aged in French and American oak for 14-15 months.

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