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Fall 2014 WTC Newsletter > Spring 2015 WTC Newslette >  

March 23, 2013


Dear Wine Thief Club Members:


Once again it’s time to share with you our newest Rhone wines from Wild Diamond Vineyard in Lake County.  Many of you will remember that we sold out of these wines late last fall!  The good news is twofold:


  • The 2013 Rhones are jam packed with flavor and juice, perhaps the best vintage yet!

  • We made 60% more Rogues Blend, twice as much Mourvedre and about 20% more Syrah.


Our Wild Diamond Rhones win gold and silver at at various international wine competitions annually and we anticipate that this vintage will not be an exception.  These wines are still very young, so they are tight and will need some time to open up when you pop the cork – either through decanting or just in the glass.  We anticipate that the 2013 wines will age well for the next 4 – 6 years, continuing to soften and concentrate flavors as they do so.  So we hope you enjoy these new wines – now and in the future.


Just a few words about last year’s harvest (2014): 


  • The 2014 harvest was down 12%  in total tonnage for California – yielding 4.1 million tons in 2014 compared with 2013’s record crop of 4.7 million tons.

  • Prices for grapes were up by 4% or so, in part accounted for by the smaller crop.

  • Drought conditions were a major factor in the size of the crop, although overall quality of fruit was very good to excellent. (Drought conditions are worsening and the state is on the verge of putting into place an unprecedented water conservation plan.  This reality will force more and more vineyards to be dry farmed, i.e., without irrigation, which has always been the case in France.  Since history suggests that the more the vines struggle to reach water, the higher the quality of the fruit, this may well be good news in terms of future quality of fruit while suggesting that the trend in the future will be smaller crops.)


Finally, a few notes upcoming for Oak Cliff Cellars:


  • We sold out of our Mendocino Coast/Anderson Valley 2007 Pinot Noir a year or so ago and many of you continue to ask when we’ll have the next Pinot.  Good news:  we were able to find some excellent Napa Valley Pinot grapes and made a 2014 Pinot – which upon barrel tastings promises to be outstanding.  We plan to do an early first limited release of this wine in the fall.  (We anticipate being able to bottle just over a hundred cases).  If you want to get some of this early release,  please let us know now so that we can put you on the list.

  • cases of the Syrah.  So don’t wait too long to order more of your favorites from this shipment:  they Don’t  forget to order more of your favorite Rhone wines once you’ve tasted through these three bottles.  Remember, you have a 30-day window in which to order more of these wines at 30% off.  The online code for your orders:  OCC2013RHONE.



Winter into Spring 2015 New Releases


2013 Rogues Blend (243 cases produced, 14.5% alcohol)

Last year’s Rogues was a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah.  In part because we had a very large crop of Mourvedre in 2013 and a smaller one of Grenache, we changed the blend in 2013 to 41% Grenache, 41% Mourvedre and 8% Syrah.  Because of the increased amount of Mourvedre, this year’s blend will be more approachable early on but will still show the slow evolution in the glass characteristic of the Grenache fruit along with great depth and structure from Syrah.  This vintage may be the most balanced of the Rogues we have produced in the four years we have made it. It is translucent with a deep crimson-garnet in color.  The nose is cherry vanilla, with a palate of berry flavors:  wild cherry, cranberry, blackberry  with a hint of smoked bacon wrapped around tart cherries on the finish.  Stock up on this one…it just might become your everyday wine with all sorts of food or by itself.


$29/btl// $315/cs retail (plus shipping & tax).

 Club price: $20/btl//$240/cs through April 30, 2014; $23/btl// $275/cs after that.



2013 Wild Diamond Mourvedre  (141 cases produced, 14.35% alcohol)

Always one of our club favorites, the 2013 Mourvedre has a lighter color (as typical) and what I often refer to as a rich man’s/woman’s Beaujolais or a poor man’s/woman’s Pinot Noir.  Like Beaujolais, Mourvedre is lighter in color, lower in alcohol and approachable early, but that’s where the comparison ends.  Mourvedre, by contrast, has more structure to it (and so has some ageability) and much more depth and character in the fruit.  Like Pinot Noir, Mourvedre has bright fruit and color, but leans more to wild berries in taste than classic cherries of Pinot Noir.   What really distinguishes this wine is the perfumed nose of lavender and violets and the wild berry/blackberry fruit.  This wine is a wonderful companion to beets, bass or char and berry cobbler, yet still works with burgers and brisket.  If you are looking for a red wine that will drink well year round (including summer months), this is for you!


$32/btl// $350/cs retail (plus shipping & tax).

 Club price: $21/btl,//$265/cs through April 30, 2014; $26/btl// $310/cs after that.



2013 Wild Diamond Syrah (61 cases produced, 14.95% alcohol)

For our older customers (my peers), I would suggest “Jane Russell” as an apt analogy for this wine; for the younger crowd “Eve Mendes.”  This wine is voluptuous in every way – full-bodied, enticing and lingering in lasting impressions.  When compared to its sisters – the Rogues Blend and Mourvedre, it is noticeably darker in color though with a brilliance and clarity that is second to none.  These grapes were picked late, were very ripe and hence have a higher alcohol level than previous Syrahs (14.95%) but don’t show it because the wine is so very well balanced.  The 2013 Syrah is a wine of outstanding character:  black cherry nose with a hint of bubble gum, silky rich mouthfeel and a long, long finish.  This wine begs for wild game, lamb, beef and rich, savory dishes.  This wine is very special – you will want to have some on hand to share with friends and special occasions!


$45/btl// $500/cs retail (plus shipping and tax).

Club price: $32/btl// $375/cs through April 30, 2014; $36/btl// $425/cs after that.