Bedrock "Evangelho Vineyard" Heritage Red 2019

Red Blend|Contra Costa County

Presenting a jaw-dropping, beautiful red wine from one of the most historic vineyards in the U.S., if not the world. Devotees will recognize the name “Evangelho” – planted in 1890 by Portuguese emigres, the vineyard has bizarrely persisted through the decades, resilient against world wars, economic devastation, and relentless urban sprawl. Esther Mobley of the San Francisco Chronicle calls the vineyard “incongruous, logic-defying.” Picture the 131-year-old vines, lodged between the Sacramento river delta, PG&E power lines, and a cheap motel on the outskirts of Antioch, in the east bay of California. These super deep-rooted vines have never been irrigated or trellised; the gnarly vines grasp up toward the sky, spaced meters apart, delivering painfully meagre yields each year.

What they do yield, however, is extremely concentrated and nearly priceless. It’s a “field blend” of mainly Carignane, Zinfandel, Mourvèdre (a.k.a. Mataro), Alicante, and other commingled grapes.

Open and decant this 2019 for at least an hour, regale your dinner guests with its incredible story, and take in its glorious, nuanced aromas of fig jam, chocolate-covered raspberries, spice-laced tobacco, and brooding boysenberry. Intense, concentrated, and brawny, it continues to develop and morph far into its second day open, if you can wait that long!

Chris Cottrell and Morgan Twain-Peterson, the minds behind Bedrock Wine Co., have some serious chops. Morgan, son of the famed Joel Peterson (founder of Ravenswood, before they got sold to a mega-corporation), was basically raised in a cellar. (Oh, and he’s a Master of Wine, not an easy feat.) Chris Cottrell, a veteran of the New York wine scene, joined as a partner in 2011. Together they're the main custodians of the Evangelho vineyard and other such “heritage” sites. Vinous Media declared them 2020’s Winery of the Year, in no small part due to the heroic efforts in this bottling.

There’s simply too much buzz and praise about the duo behind this project to put in one place. Praise from Galloni includes descriptions such as, “nuanced to the core...among the most beautiful.” Look up previous vintage’s lavish praise (and high scores) if you need further affirmation.

When the inevitable happens and these ancient vines perish, the vineyard (and the wine) will be no more. This amazing, collectible red is a bottled piece of California history.  Put some away in your cellar for as long as you can; your grandkids will thank you!

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