2018 Relic Wine Cellars Ritual Red Napa Valley
2018 Relic Wine Cellars Ritual Red Napa Valley The fruit-forward character of the year has brought tons of high-toned fruit and spice aromatics of strawberry jam, raspberry coulis, five-spice, a dusting of white pepper, underbrush and sage to the glass. On the palate, the classic up valley richness and depth is there, with a lot power in reserve, but on a gorgeously juicy frame. Flavors of blackberry, oolong tea and damson plum abound and play off one another on the long, silky finish.
Relic was founded in 2001 by husband and wife team Michael Hirby and Schatzi Throckmorton, with a focus on ancient winemaking techniques. They began with the production of a miniscule amount of Pinot Noir, and have since continued to mine history for the old secrets in the making of Rhône varietals and Bordeaux varietals from Napa Valley, and Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast. When these traditional methods – such as indigenous yeast fermentation, whole-cluster fermentation, extended lees ageing, minimal-intervention, etc. – are applied to California’s great terroirs, the resulting wines are world-class, complex, layered, and vibrantly aromatic. The diverse vineyard sources are tended with the utmost care, are organically-farmed whenever possible, and are always grown to Relic’s specifications of yield, light exposure, irrigation, etc. Relic’s small production is sold mainly through the mailing list. Michael is currently the consulting winemaker for D.R. Stephens Estate, Husic Family Vineyards, and Sarocka Estate, and was the consulting winemaker at Realm Cellars for 8 years. Schatzi is the General Manager for Behrens Family Winery.