2016 Keplinger Lithic Red
2016 Keplinger Lithic Red The aromatics of this 2016 wine are incredibly vibrant, with layers of candied red fruit, lavender, gunmetal, garrigue, French violet candy, blackberry, and dried thyme. Broad, plush tannins frame the palate; savory notes laced with brambly blue and red fruit, dried herbs and heady floral notes carry the finish. Winemaker
It has beautiful elegance and purity as well as a great nose of blueberries, ground pepper, wild strawberries, and violets. It’s another Châteauneuf du Pape look-alike that does everything right and is up with some of the top GSM blends coming out of California today.
Helen Keplinger is one of our current Winemaking greats. She is a 100pt Parker Winemaker. She is as good as it gets, most famous being cult cab heavy weight Bryant’s winemaker and she has worked under greats like Heidi Peterson Barrett, Kathy Joseph, Claude Gros, David Abreu, Michel Rolland. She has graced the covers of the Wine Spectator and James Laube, Wine Spectator, praised her ability to create “captivating and uniquely styled wines that are stretching the boundaries,” of distinctive California reds, adding her own label is “one of the most exciting and innovative wineries to emerge in California in years.”
Today I bring a spectacular wine from her own label the 2016 Keplinger Lithic Red. The wine is why Keplinger has become so famous for, innovation and pushing the envelope. This wine would be best described as California’s answer to world class Chateauneuf du Pape, a blend of Rhone varietals, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that combines spectacular opulence and richness balanced with drinkability, remains lite on its feet. The wine is drinking superbly I can attest to that having a bottle or three over the weekend (had friends over and everybody looooved this wine). The wine comes from the great 2016 vintage one of the greatest ever in California and bodes well for at least another ten years of drinking pleasure.
Keplinger strives to create seamlessly-crafted, terroir-driven, Rhone varietal wines from diverse sites in Napa, Sonoma & Sierra Foothills. All the vineyards are hillside or mountain sites, carefully farmed for small berries and concentrated flavors, in close collaboration with Helen. The wines are made in small lots, with careful attention paid to every detail. Keplinger constantly strives to make unique wines that are expressions of their vineyards and vintages. Today production is a tiny 1600 for all wines, making these very hard to get and very sought after.