55% Roussanne, 26% Viognier, 10% Marsanne 9% Petit Manseng
Consistency is what I love about my white wine. The use of skin contact and blending of various varietals always gives it that golden color with a rounded, soft mid-palate. For those of you looking for a crisp acidic wine, you’re in the wrong place. This wine is big and opulent, and the 2015 could arguably be one of my favorite whites I have ever made. In the past, I have sometimes pushed the skin contact too far and allowed the finish to get a little over the top from the skin extraction. In 15 I believe I nailed the exact amount of time on the skins (which was just pure luck!) It starts with ripe tropical fruits and pears, then moves to a soft, round middle and a long, beautiful honeysuckle finish.
2014 Estate Ext
51% Tempranillo, 28% Syrah, 13% Petit Verdot, 8% Grenache
The 2014 version of the Estate Extended is one of our most accessible wines right out of the gate. The beautiful thing about this wine is that just when you think it's going to be too big with all of the Tempranillo, Syrah and Petit Verdot that small amount of Grenache comes in and turns it into an elegant wine. It starts off with black fruits and then transitions through the soft, supple mid-palate showing off an elegant red side. The finish is over a minute long. You can never go wrong with this wine!
2014 Vertigo Ext
68% Syrah, 28% Mourvedre, 6% Grenache
Along with the Fracture (released in the Spring), this is the most structured and tannic wine I have ever made. When I was writing my notes it wasn't until day five that this wine even showed me a few of his cards. Dominated by Syrah, it is an absolute beast that will take at least two years of cellaring before it starts to soften up. If you must open one within year one you will need to give it a heavy splash decant the day before you drink it. It has the ability to be a legendary wine, but will require patience.
As massive and dark as this wine has ever been, this vintage truly screams all things dark with a double espresso shot with firm tannins yet surprising hints of red fruit on the finish. This beast will need at least a year to relax and become consumer friendly.
54% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 17% Counoise
Arguably the biggest and most concentrated Oublie ever, this wine reminds me of a Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes from Marcoux or Janasse. Lots of ripe red fruit characteristics but a gorgeously proportioned mid-palate that you don't usually get from Grenache and Mourvedre. Feel free to crack this wine anytime.
2014 My Favorite Neighbor
43% Syrah, 35% Petit Verdot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon
Always one of our most popular wines, MFN was aged in French oak for 24 months and is as balanced as it has ever been before. In barrel the Cabernet and Syrah wanted to rear their head and show their ripeness, but the massive Petit Verdot would not allow them. This is reminiscent of one of (my favorite neighbor) Stephan Asseo's legendary Estate Cuvee wines. You will be rewarded for aging this wine 2 years, however I opened one a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised at how ready it seemed right off the bottling line!
2014 Fulldraw Ext
46% Syrah, 33% Grenache, 21% Mourvedre
This GSM from my Assistant Winemaker’s property immediately attached to Booker is usually a bigger wine showing a bit more black than red fruits, and the extended version does not disappoint. Yes, it has the big tannins we got from 14, but it is softer and more accessible now than most of the other wines. That said, with a large percentage of whole cluster fruit you will be better off waiting a couple of years on this one. Crack one in first 6 months and decide for yourself!
We are excited to announce that Booker wines are now bottled with natural corks that are guaranteed to have non-detectable TCA! You can read more about the process and our cork supplier, Amorim, by clicking HERE.
(51% Tempranillo, 28% Syrah, 13% Petit Verdot, 8% Grenache)
The Estate is a glorious dense and purple color with fantastic character showing off both red and black berries as well as a big mid-palate. Estate has become our version of the great wines of the Northern Rhone. When I make Estate I'm always looking for barrels that are old world rustic and have dark notes of coffee, tobacco and leather. This wine is also meant to be dense, chewy and tannic. You may now be saying to yourself, "there's no Tempranillo in Northern Rhone" and that would be a correct statement. The wine seemed to be missing something while blending though, so I started blending in the Temp barrels and voila! They just made the wine better. Because of it’s big tannins and structure this wine will need to be cellared for about 6 months. Crack the first bottle this fall or watch for my drinking window notes.
Fracture is always a tough one, I'm trying to make a world-class Syrah that can compete with any in the world, though it is daunting to think of it that way. Each year the battle with this wine is to keep it elegant enough to enjoy with or without food without losing sight of it’s density or texture. The 2014s were both acid driven and textural and has the opportunity to be as good as the 2013 but age even better. It won't be as debaucheries as in year one but I believe it will arguably surpass it in year two. Big, rich and covered in all spice, this vintage walks a tight line between mass and finesse which is consistently Fracture!
With the Ripper, my goal is to emulate the Southern Rhone's Chateauneuf du Pape. Unlike most wineries in California, this wine is 100% Grenache with no added Syrah for color. Ripper is true to its variety showing red fruits like strawberries, raspberries as well as hints of bubble gum and cherry cola. I do not want to overwhelm this Grenache with wood, therefore the majority was aged in concrete and the rest in large-format used barrels. I believe 2014 was a great year for Grenache and this Ripper will go down as one of Booker's finest.
(68% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre, 6% Grenache)
Vertigo is Booker's version of a GSM, similar to the Fulldraw, but slightly more power driven than finesseful. I cracked a bottle before writing so I could really sink into it and this is what I got...blueberries and black fruits followed up by a long soft, pillow-like mid palate that leads into a lingering finish of beautifully ripe grapes. When choosing barrels to go into Vertigo, I look for ample stem inclusion in the Mourvedre and Grenache as well as a perfectly ripe Syrah. This GSM is usually ready to drink fairly quickly, but will soften a bit within a year.
(46% Syrah, 33% Grenache, 21% Mourvedre)
Fulldraw Vineyard is immediately next door to Booker Vineyard. It's owned and farmed by my Assistant Winemaker Connor McMahon and, for all intensive purposes, the two vineyards are completely interchangeable. I was fortunate to plant the largest phase of this property with Connor and believe that his vineyard will become one California's top producers. This vineyard designate wine will always be made up of several grape varietals in order to showcase the different terroir of this gorgeous property. The 2014 was a classic GSM (Syrah,Grenache,Mourvedre.) I always let Connor take the lead on this wine and tell me how he would like to be represented. Stems are added for spice and structure and we always strive for a textural mid palate. While the first Fulldraw vintage in 2013 was a homer out of the gates, I believe the 2014 is superior to its predecessor. Production for this vintage was minimal so don't miss out!
(100% Pinot Noir)
Don’t be confused, yes Booker made a Pinot Noir. As many of you know RLF is our second label and was created in honor of my late father-in-law. My goal has always been to make a high quality wine at a friendly price. In 2014 the best fruit available was from Santa Rita Hills, Edna Valley and one of the most beautiful Pinot Vineyards in the world in San Simeon. This wine is definitely made to California style, and I think it will compare favorably with wines in the upper price range from Santa Lucia Highlands. The fruit comes from two different vineyards on the coast. One of which literally overlooks the water, and the other in Arroyo Grande about five minutes from the water. The alcohol is low, but the flavors are not. I'm not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous, being a Rhone guy and making a Pinot. Like any great wine, it always comes down to sourcing the best fruit and not screwing it up. Nearly half of this vintage was made in concrete, with the rest in new French Oak. At $45 if you don't like it I'll keep it!
(100% Petit Manseng)
I know I have only made two, but this was exactly what I was trying to accomplish when I set out to make a sweet wine. I’m just going come out and say it. It is superior to the last Sweet bottled in every way. I am so confident about this sweet wine that I would buy back any unopened bottles! The sad part is that because we would one gather one barrel each year from this block my hand was forced to graft it to another varietal. Therefore, this collector’s item will also be the last. Please send me your feedback after trying. I want to make sure I’m not alone in this world!