Shake it Up With Two Wines from Keep
In these parts Cab is King and Chard is Queen. For this I’m grateful as California Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are glorious and have supported my livelihood since 1992. But I wouldn’t be so grateful if I that’s all I had to drink. How does it go…variety is the spice of something?
Peel down to the next layer of popular grapes for your Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels. Go down to the next layer and you’ll find the likes of Viognier, Sangiovese and Barbera. I’m taking you deeper with my two wine recommendations today. They are a white and a red from Keep Winery of Napa.
How the Keep wine offer on Flavor Mountain works:
These wines are sold to you winery-direct. When you buy, you’re buying from Johannna and Jack of Keep.
Members of Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor (DDWA) get a 15% discount. A DDWA Membership is $5.95/month or $60/year. Take it from me, you get a lot with membership. LEARN MORE and then JOIN (unless you already have, then never mind). Non-members, aka Readers, get a 5% discount.
Keep is owned, operated and made by wife/husband Johanna Jensen and Jack Roberts. They’re great…smart, experienced and keenly focused on where Keep wines below in the bustling wine world. Old world winemaking, championing restraint and natural winemaking without being dogmatic. Wines made from grapes farmed for perfect ripeness at 13ish% alcohol. The grape and land shine if you know what you're doing. Johanna and husband Jack Roberts know, and it shows in their wines, reviews and slow, steady growth. Read more about Keep Wines on their Flavor Mountain profile page.
Keep makes a few wines – 10 wines in 2018.* Going back to my onion metaphor, you gotta take a few layers off to find Keep’s realm. (Ciliegiolo anyone?) The wines unanimously make you ponder the grape, its vineyard and smells & flavors. Here’s my mind: “What’s that flavor? I recognize it, like it, but can’t get put my finger on it.” Time and more sips answer my questions ultimately. It’s a fun process and one I’d like you to experience. Here are two wines that will make it happen.
The Keep Wine Cellars Offer
Keep “Delta White” Cortese/Falanghina
"Lost Slough Vineyard" Sacramento Delta 2018
A DDWA “Great Value.”
$22 → $20.90 Readers’ price →
$18.70 Members’ price (15% off).
Cortese and Falanghina: two grapes of Italian origin (Cortese in Piedmont-northern Italy, Falanghina in Campania-southern Italy). They are two of the many lesser-known (you could say esoteric) grapes grown at “Lost Slough Vineyard” outside the town of Rio Vista (on Highway 12 west of Lodi).
Made to drink young and bright like a lot of California wines…Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc two leaders in this category. The “Delta White” takes a turn from the norm, aiming for an old world, traditional Italian style of less fresh fruit and more rocky/salty smells and flavors.
My tasting notes include green apple skins, watermelon rind, lemon cucumbers, lemon pound cake and salt block. Descriptors that make go HMMMM Idunno I imagine. Not to worry because these flavors in “Delta White” are softer, not so aggressive. An intriguing, unique wine but not “acquired taste” weird. Medium-high acidity, no oak, rocky/salty finish. Enjoy “Delta White” with white pizzas, grilled oily fish and salad nicoise.
Keep Carignane “Evangelho Vineyard”
Contra Costa County 2016
A DDWA “Great Value”
$35 → $33.25 Readers’ price →
$29.75 DDWA Members’ price (15% off).
Before I start with my fancy writing, listen up: For $30 this is an awesome bottle of wine. It’s WAY under-priced for what it is.
From the sand-swept wine district of Contra Costa on the Sacramento Delta. The 130+ year old own-rooted Carignane vines of “Evangelho Vineyard” make for a complex, aromatic, hauntingly delicious red wine. Wound up when just opened, let the wine stretch for 20 minutes and blossom. True to the Carignane grape, you get black raspberries, black pepper, pomegranate, dried violets, chopped rosemary, new leather and game. The tannins start firm then soften as it opens up and linger throughout the 25 second finish. Acidity lifts the wine like a hydrolic lift. A joy to drink, especially with grilled white meats and sausages as well as fire-roasted onions and root vegetables.
*The 10 wines made by Keep in 2018: Delta White - Cortese/Falanghina, Cortese/Falanghina /Vermentino 60 days on skins, Albariño, Counoise, Pinot Meunièr, Ciliegiolo, Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Keep Wine Cellars Offer
Keep “Delta White” Cortese/Falanghina 2018
DDWA 90 points, Great Value. $22 → $20.90 Readers’ price → $18.70 Members’ price (15% off).
Keep Carignane “Evangelho” 2016
DDWA 90 points, Great Value. $35 → $33.25 Readers’ price → $29.75 Members’ price (15% off).