Our winemaking team has yet another hit wine on their hands with Fifteen, a 2019 Red Wine of California. Consisting of 78% Valdiguié, 17% Syrah, 4% Roussanne and 1% Grenache Blanc, this wine is giving us major Little Secrets and The Revolution Will Not Be Televised kinda vibes. If you loved those wines, you're going to adore Fifteen.
The Valdiguié was plucked from the vines in late September at Green Valley Vineyard in Solano County, while the Syrah, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc came from our friends at David Girard Vineyard. From there, we began a 50% whole-cluster fermentation on the skins for 10-22 days, depending on the individual varieties. The winemaking crew kept themselves busy with this wine, punching down and pumping over twice per day until the wine reached 5 Brix, and once per day thereafter. Barrel-aged for 18 months in neutral oak, Fifteen is chock full of punchy, red fruit flavors and brisk acidity.
Let's take a deep dive into the history books for a moment. Prior to 1980, we didn't really know that Valdiguié was even a thing in the United States. For years, the grape we now know as Valdigué was referred to as Napa Gamay or Gamay 15, hence the name Fifteen. Originating in southern France, winemakers loved the variety for its deep color and high acidity, and it's often used to make wines similar to the light-to-medium-bodied wines of Beaujolais. After working with this variety for several vintages, it has grown to be one of our fondest for crafting juicy, fruit-driven reds.
Pale Ruby at the rim, Fifteen moves to a deep magenta color at its core. Wafts of brandied cherries, violets and cedar float from the glass enticing you to take a sip. Once you lift the glass to your lips, don't expect to put it down anytime soon. This wine is all about blueberry and blackberry jam on the palate, reminding us of those shortbread thumbprint cookies we used to eat around the holidays. The tannins ripple across your tongue like velvet, with a lingering finish that leaves you longing for another sip.