Two from Kerloo

Hello friends. We have new vintages today of one of our most popular offers of last year; the spring releases from Ryan Crane of Kerloo Cellars.

2012 Kerloo Cellars “Majestic” (Rhone Blend)

Ryan’s wines have always been exceptional values, but Majestic has taken it to a whole other level. Prior to last year, Kerloo had only one release each year, in the autumn, and those wines typically sold out no later than February of the next year. Releasing Majestic in the springtime, then, plays a dual role: 1) it allows Ryan to have wine available throughout the spring and summer; and 2) it allows us a sneak-preview of the next vintage to be released in the fall.

Majestic is a GSM blend. The 50% Grenache comes from Angiolina; the 25% Syrah from Va Piano; the 25% Mourvedre from Olsen. Top-notch vineyards all, and it shows. Better yet, Ryan uses a mere 9% new wood. With fruit this pristine, I love the fact that he allows it to shine.

And shine it does. This wine has one of the most soaring, expressive noses I have experienced so far this year. “A $50 nose,” my note reads, and it is a real beauty, offering outstanding floral lift (lilac, violet, freesia) to the raspberry and marionberry fruit, and a terrific sense of brushy garrigue to add complexity. In the mouth, this possesses the fruit generosity of the 2012 vintage, but as is typical for Ryan’s wines, it has a sturdy acid spine to balance that fruit (listed alc is a reasonable 13.8%). There’s a real sense of wildness to this, likely in part from the inclusion of 20% whole clusters (stems and all), and in part from Olsen Mourvedre, which has its own sauvage character. Regardless, this nails the holy trinity of the southern Rhone blend – brambly berry, hot-rock minerality, and perfumed underbrush – and it does so via a series of seductively silky, unapologetically delicious mouthfuls.

The debut of this last year was impressive, but to see this quality for this tariff a second time, and with a markedly different vintage; well, this is becoming a bellwether release in my book. 276 cases only, and this is going to go fast. Reorder prospects will be spotty here.

2013 Kerloo Cellars Rose

The rosé (100% Grenache) is fairly small production, too, at 300 cases. It comes entirely from Angiolina Vineyard, and when I asked Ryan why he likes this vineyard for rosé, he answered as only Ryan can: “because it’s cold as [BLEEP]!”

No doubt this is indeed a bleeping cold vineyard, since it produced a 12.2% alc rosé in a warm year that did not lend itself to lean/crisp rosés. It’s left on the skins for a mere 6 hours, then fermented partly in concrete and partly in stainless steel before being moved to neutral barrels.

The lovely nose combines cantaloupe, strawberry bubble-yum, and fresh green cucumber. Texturally this is terrific, with a bright whack of jazzy acid married to a lovely sense of extract. Intensity at low-weight; that’s the dream for rosé. There’s lovely savory/herbal complexity to go with the citrus-tinged red fruit, and it finishes brisk and mouthwatering. A terrific summer-into-autumn rosé, I’ll be trying to ration my bottles out so that I have one left for the Thanksgiving table.

First come first served up to 24 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and the wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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