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|Drinking window: Drink between 2013 and 2016 (based on 10 user opinions)|
|Community Tasting History|
Community Tasting Notes (average 133 notes) - and median of 91 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by spidersva on 7/22/2015 & rated 88 points: Good not great. I really enjoy the Bedrock juice overall, and this was solid. However, I don't know if it needs more time or just ain't gonna get any better. (217 views)|
| ||Tasted by Tubulus on 2/22/2015 & rated 87 points: Full bodied, almost waxy/viscous texture. Good amount of tannins. Tons of red fruits. I liked but did not love this today, though I think it has enough structure to shed some of the primary fruit and get really interesting in 5-10 years. (1155 views)|
| ||Tasted by df1962 on 2/15/2015 & rated 92 points: Had half the bottle last night sealed it in the fridge to try today. Dark purple garnet dense but not saturated with lilac rim. Earthy blackberry (zin) with licorice herbs and raspberrys on the nose. Medium weight with polished tannins with nice grip on the finish. Red and black fruits with a savoury amaro note. Big flavours with an elegant balance and lots of complexity. Lingering amaro finish. Delicious on its own and with food (998 views)|
| ||Tasted by spidersva on 1/15/2015: Purposely not scoring this. REALLY interesting bottle - thought it was borderline corked on day 1. Let it sit. Day 2 started to come around. Let it sit. Day 3 it was really tasty, and wished I'd left more for Day 3. Not sure what to make of all that...someone more wine savvy than I please jump in and tell people when to drink this wine... (1378 views)|
| ||Tasted by indiscriminate palate on 12/22/2014 & rated 90 points: I enjoyed this quite a bit, as did the rest of the table. Very fruit-forward wine, primarily red-fruited, but not simple. Strawberry, cranberry, cherry, and herbs on the nose. Somewhat soft and plush, with plenty of acidity and a crunchy cranberry mid-palate. Struck me as zin-like in the attack, and Beaujolais-like in the mid palate and finish. Incredibly well-balanced. While this is a rich wine, it hid the alcohol quite well (I would not have guessed that it was over 14%). Nice. (1469 views)|
| ||Tasted by paydon9 on 12/20/2014 & rated 85 points: This was my first Bedrock, while I liked it more than my wife it is probably nothing I'd buy again. Aromas were nice, an evolving mix of red and dark berries, lavender, vanilla and dried herbs. The palate was lightish medium body, but at the same time more lush than I expected, featuring red berries, raisin, herbs. Gentle tannins and a lively acidic cut keep it from being too jammy. Will let my other bottle sit for awhile and see how another year of so treats it. (1289 views)|
| ||Tasted by Sauvyfan on 12/16/2014 & rated 90 points: This has improved a great deal since my last bottle. better integrated, softer, very pretty both above and in the glass. (1211 views)|
| ||Tasted by dhammer53 on 12/13/2014 & rated 90 points: First taste 60 minutes after opening. This is a dark red wine. It's elegant, smooth, and easy to drink. Can't complain. Drank with family at our Hanukkah party. Dinner was flanken (pot roast). (1031 views)|
| ||Tasted by Cashious on 11/15/2014 & rated 92 points: This is so friggin good. Cherry cola, cranberry, fruit-o-licious. Well integrated and drinking really well. I guess you could wait, but why? Meanwhile, if I keep buying Bedrock by the case and waiting for deeper development I will run out of cellar space. Drink up! (1095 views)|
| ||Tasted by Mike Dildine on 10/3/2014 & rated 94 points: Luscious! (1443 views)|
| ||Tasted by mgstull on 8/5/2014 & rated 90 points: Consisten with previous note. (1418 views)|
| ||Tasted by alpha_ori on 7/27/2014 & rated 93 points: Delicious, nervy wine with notes of raspberry liqueur, cranberry, and just a tiny touch of oak. I love it. Not as intense or concentrated as the 2012 Bedrock Bedrock Heritage, which is my only reference point. But a thing of beauty. This is a reminder to me -- and to you -- that I should never buy less than my full allocation of any of the Bedrock Heritage wines. (1811 views)|
| ||Tasted by 10centpower on 6/19/2014: This is my idea of a great, unique California wine - a Zin dominated blend with a nuanced nose, some blueberry/raspberry notes (but not a jammy wine), with some herbal notes and very lighthanded oak. Moderate tannins means it's fine to drink now but I'll sit for another year or two. (1889 views)|
| ||Tasted by Mtpisgah on 5/3/2014: Fantastic pairing wife beef tongue soft tacos. I think it could benefit from another year in bottle to really stand out. Great stuff. (1837 views)|
| ||Tasted by youngjc1 on 4/9/2014 & rated 93 points: Wow! This wine, for me, is a dramatic example of why I need to let my Bedrock reds rest in the cellar longer; what a difference a year made. I popped this and left it slow decant for about two hours. At first the wine had an absolutely beguiling light perfume to it, and was full of red fruits and exotic spices. Over the course of the evening it darkened considerably. The nose was full of dark fruits, meat, and brambles, while it tasted of dark fruits, blueberries, and cherries. On the back of the tongue I could detect a touch of raisin, which I often associate with Zin. The dark flavors were balanced by nice acidity. Wish I had a bunch more of these, I bet it only gets better! (1883 views)|
| ||Tasted by storysworld on 4/8/2014 & rated 91 points: Hmmm...a very different experience than others. Perfumed berries on the initial pop, but a prominent almost Pinot-like, earthy, funkiness on the nose. This persisted throughout the night at all stages of the evolution. Lighter in style, but with a nice peppered spice for the 1st hour or so. Hints of tea leaves and tobacco also there. Interesting layers here, an elegant wine. Curious to see where this goes in the next few years. (1742 views)|
| ||Tasted by tcufletch on 3/26/2014 & rated 93 points: Morgan said it best...this is absolutely delicious! Intoxicating nose and layered. (1578 views)|
| ||Tasted by mgstull on 3/21/2014 & rated 90 points: This is a mid weight wine compared to other Bedrock heritage field blends. Tart cranberry, strawberry, raisins, brown sugar, and a bit of rhubarb, all backed by a mineral streak. Others have noted some heat but I didn't get that at all. The acidity is a bit soft. A different style for Bedrock but delicious just the same. (1366 views)|
| ||Tasted by Mike Dildine on 1/28/2014 & rated 94 points: This is a hell of a wine, one of the most complete Bedrock Heritage blends I've had. Should get even better with more time. (1811 views)|
| ||Tasted by River Rat on 1/25/2014: Brought this to dinner at The Backyard and decanted through the evening. Been a little over a year since i last tasted it. This came across a lot more extracted and rich than my first bottle. It has a huge juicy core of blackberry and vanilla that just envelops the mouth. Whole lotta flavor going on here with some briary elements and mild tannins. Perhaps a better pair with some good BBQ than with Chicken Pot Pie. Regardless, I liked it and am tagging it as a drink sooner than later wine. Summertime cookouts! (1523 views)|
| ||Tasted by Sauvyfan on 1/15/2014 & rated 88 points: I found this to be unfocused and overextracted. Tasty yes, but not what I'm accustomed to when I open a Bedrock wine. Lots of reds and blacks fighting for what acidity there was available, to bring this into balance. Also a touch hot. (1568 views)|
| ||Tasted by markandsusanw on 1/2/2014 & rated 89 points: Decanted approx. 2 hours ... Tart and quite tight, even after a decent decant. Cranberry fruit, mineral notes, tannins a tad pokey and acid a bit out of balance. Generally enjoyable, but probably way too young. Not bad now, but, like most Bedrocks, I'm guessing this will be better with bottle age. The structure and stuffing are all there, but it's not quite in harmony, yet. (1588 views)|
| ||Tasted by risaacs on 12/22/2013 & rated 92 points: I thought this was drinking great right now, better than I expected. (1624 views)|
| ||Tasted by AMM3RD on 12/21/2013: This was a little disjointed, probably a dumb phase. This is likely better in a year, but drink over the next 3-5. Acidity was off balance and the finish was a little weird. Did not score, but would have been lower than my last...AM (1357 views)|
| ||Tasted by Grillgod on 12/14/2013 & rated 92 points: Fantastic red fruit flavors bursting through blue fruit. Incredible structure for a Zin based wine and great acidity. Velvety smooth and a long pleasant finish. (1443 views)|
| ||Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)
|By Antonio Galloni|
Vinous, Sonoma...A Thrill a Minute (Jul 2013)
(Bedrock Wines Evangelho Heritage Wine Contra Costa County) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Josh Raynolds|
Vinous, May/June 2013, IWC Issue #168
(Bedrock Wine Company Evangelo Vineyard Heritage Contra Costa County) Subscribe to see review text.
Bedrock Wine Co. Producer website
2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Evangelho VineyardWinemaker comments - I might be more excited about this wine than any wine in the cellar this year. The 100+-year-old mixed vines of Evangelho Vineyard stretch upwards on their own roots out of 40’ banks of sand. This wine was made on a lark and a percentage of its profits should probably be given back to my friend who called me September 9th of 2011 saying that Frankie Evangelho still had some fruit. I arrived at the vineyard having never been to Contra Costa County before. Upon arriving I rubbed my bleary eyes, trying to clarify the image of vines from California’s viticultural antiquity standing starkly against the backdrop of softly blinking lights atop the tours of the PG & E power plant behind it. I was greeted by Frank Evangelho, forever to be known as Frankie from here forward, and as my bins were loaded on the picking trailers I was asked what I wanted to pick. I asked about Zinfandel, but after tasting delicious unpicked Mourvedre and Carignane I asked about that too. We started picking: first the Zinfandel, mixed with Carignane and Mourvedre, then the Mourvedre mixed with Carignane and some whites, and then the Carignane mixed with Mourvedre and whites. He asked if I wanted the whites. Sure! Back at the winery the fruit was all destemmed together into the same fermenter. I am not quite sure what is actually what but my guess is that it is about 40% Zinfandel, 25% Mourvedre, 15% Carignane, and 10% mixed whites. The wine, if I may say so, is fucking delicious. As with Rhone wines that grow on sand, the wine is marked by high-tone perfume and lift, broad rich fruit, and a pirouette of bright acid that leaves the mouth watering for more. What is perhaps most exciting is that in the three years of 2009, 2010, and 2011, where I generally have to tell people to “wait! Don’t drink that yet!,” I can say,” Drink this! Drink it with this year’s Turkey!”
Red BlendRed Blend is used for any combination of red grapes that does not fit into CellarTracker's preset blends (Red Bordeaux Blend, etc). Actual blend composition for a given wine should be entered under the per wine or per wine vintage wiki articles.
Evangelho VineyardFrom Bedrock mailer:
It’s not uncommon to say that century-old grapevines have weathered a lot in their lifetimes. But Frank Evangelho’s 120-year-old vines have seen and survived more than most.
Evangelho’s vineyard is in Contra Costa County, south of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta and east of Mount Diablo – the black sheep, you might say, of the Bay Area wine family. This might lead you to presume that its challenges are geographic (the area has an overstated reputation for heat), but Evangelho’s location is actually an advantage in that regard. Situated right on the San Joaquin River, its temperatures are ameliorated by afternoon breezes from the Carquinez Strait, and the fact that the vineyard is literally on a beach has allowed it to avert the phylloxera scourge, as that much-feared louse can’t survive in sand.
No, Evangelho’s trials have more to do with “civilization.” Since Frank took over the property 50 years ago (inheriting it from his father Manuel, who had been farming it since the Thirties), the vineyard has withstood one human onslaught after another. Indeed, it’s a miracle that these venerable vines survive at all, much less in the amazing health that they continue to exude.
Like many Antioch and Oakley grapegrowers, Manuel Evangelho came to California from Portugal – specifically the Azores Islands, which have a winegrowing tradition of their own. His first local job was tending a vineyard at a monastery in Los Gatos, after which he moved to Antioch to work in a paper mill – then the only industry in this area other than agriculture, which consisted mainly of orchards (notably “sandcots”: apricots grown in sand). He also worked in a vineyard that, at the time, was already 40 years old, having been planted in 1890 with a combination of zinfandel, carignane, and mourvedre (the latter known as mataro among early California growers).
In 1952 the vineyard was sold to PG&E, which built a power plant next door. The company preserved the vines, but built a series of electrical towers and power lines amid them. Manuel, however, capitalized on this development, buying 11 of the vine-bearing acres and leasing another 26 from PG&E – an arrangement that continues to the present day.
Frank, the youngest of four children, was born in 1946. All of his siblings were girls, so he was “the spoiled baby boy” – which may or may not be connected to the fact that he got lost in the vineyard at age four. “My father found me crying under a vine,” he remembers. “The funny thing is, one of my own daughters did the same thing when she was four.”
After recovering from that trauma, Frank grew up working in the vineyard. When he graduated from Antioch High School, however, he went to Cal Poly to study engineering. It lasted for only a year.
“I wanted to farm,” he explains. “Being out in nature is a whole different thing from being in an office.”
Having made that decision, he took courses at U.C. Davis to augment his own experience. He started overseeing the vineyard in 1963, when the main problem it faced was lack of demand – pre-California-wine-renaissance, many regions were still in post-Prohibition rehab, sustained mainly by home winemakers in other parts of North America. Antioch and Oakley – directly served by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, which follows the banks of the San Joaquin – had a couple of local shippers, so Evangelho decided to join their ranks.
“It was a cutthroat business,” he recalls. “I called a broker in Toronto out of the phone book who put me in touch with the Italian embassy in British Columbia; a company with an import business agreed to take 19 or 20 tons, but the next year they wanted it for 50 cents a box cheaper, even though they were higher quality.
“I said I’d let it rot first,” Evangelho recounts. “I found another place out of the B.C. phone book, then went up and made friends with the people there. We signed a contract, but the next year they weren’t putting in their order. Finally I learned that one of my competitors found out who was buying my grapes and charged them less.”
What about the contract? “Crossing borders in Canada, what are you gonna do?”
It could have been worse. Another of his competitors was reputed to have Mafia connections, and when Evangelho got into the business, the guy asked Frank he’d “gotten the flowers yet” (implying an imminent funeral). “I told my mother not to stand in front of her window,” Frank says. “Later the guy went to prison for driving the car for a murder in San Jose.”
A suitable corrective arrived in the 1970s, when Brother Timothy of Christian Brothers came calling. “He went through each block and tested the ages of samples and clones,” Evangelho says. “He found they were consistent, and bought the grapes for 200 dollars a ton. Because of sugar bonuses, though, we got closer to 450.”
This refers to the fact that, before intensive canopy management was introduced, wineries paid extra for ripe grapes. In eastern Contra Costa County, where harvest typically begins in August, that was money in the bank. As Evangelho explains, the solar reflection from Antioch’s sandy soil helps grapes ripen. (“It’s like the volcanic soil in the Azores,” he says.) Nevertheless, his riparian location is several degrees cooler than vineyards planted two miles inland.
“Only one year did we harvest the whole field in August,” he says. “Usually we start at the end of the month and finish at the end of September. Zinfandel is usually first; carignane [which he pronounces “care-ig-nan”] is last, except for last year, when it was one of the first.
“Each [variety] has their own issues,” Evangelho elaborates. “Carignane is susceptible to mildew, but its skin is tight so it doesn’t break. Zinfandel’s skin is softer, so it can burst and can get bunchrot if it swells too much. You really have to know what you’re doing to ripen zinfandel – it can have 18 to 26 [degrees Brix, a measure of sugar] on the same vine, but you can balance it out more with what you do during the year. Mourvedre’s foliage is more open, so it can get sunburn, but carignane and zinfandel have bigger [leaves], so in the last few years we’ve been doing more thinning and leaf-pulling. In the past, we just let the old vines decide what they wanted to do.”
In some ways that’s a good idea. “Old vines on their own roots are strong,” Evangelho believes. “I had ours tested for virus, and they were clean and healthy. Some are really big – their taproot goes down 40 feet or more. The health comes from their location – nothing prevents breezes from coming through here, and the vineyard has always been cared for. It’s been in my family for 78 years and farmed continually since it began.”
The property still produces between 2.5 and 4.5 tons of fruit per acre – an amazing figure for a dry-farmed, century-old vineyard. “I could get even more tonnage out of it if I wanted to pump them up. We used to irrigate in drought years, when we had access to a canal line in the Sixties and Seventies. When we sold the grapes for white zinfandel, they only had to be 18 or 19 sugar, and we got nine tons an acre.”
The turning point for Evangelho (and Oakley/Antioch in general) came in the late Eighties, after the white-zin boom subsided and Fred and Matt Cline appeared. Junior members of the Jacuzzi family – the notorious hot-tub purveyors who owned property nearby – the brothers began buying Contra Costa grapes for their eponymous Sonoma winery, which focused on “California heritage” varieties. Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon followed, searching statewide for mourvedre and finding it only here.
Gratified to be working with quality wineries, Evangelho encouraged skeptical winemakers to start with two or four tons. Soon enough, the old vines were commanding premium prices, though the recent market trend toward superripeness brought him a new kind of headache.
“A lot of times, wineries aren’t ready for Labor Day when the fruit is ready,” Frank reveals. “I don’t like waiting for 30 sugar – 24 or 25 is good, but as soon as you get over 26, the grapes dehydrate and lose weight. At 30, their concentration and character changes. It’s like an old man holding up a bunch of weight for four days – they’re just trying to survive, and it’s gonna hurt them. There’s no reason to do that to them. It’s a waste.”
Another evolving factor, which has affected Evangelho more than once, is the sale of wineries he sells grapes to. “It’s a shame when the corporate guys come in,” he comments. “They’re used to handling large parcels and marketing a commercial product that goes nationwide. With small boutiques, you don’t have accountants penciling out work or asking for more crop that I don’t have. I’ve been doing this for 50 years and I like working in a good relationship, so when somebody’s dictating, I’ll go someplace else. I want to make wine that’s good for the vine all the way around, and smaller guys are able to focus on quality. They can pay better, too.”
Evangelho’s current client list includes Bedrock, Hess, Neyers, Precedent, Renwood, Toucan, Turley, and Three (Matt Cline’s latest venture). “It’s a little hectic trying to pick for so many wineries,” he acknowledges. “I always have to make sure the crew is in the right area.” It’s not bad, however, for his eccentric portfolio to be in demand. Evangelho carignane wins critical kudos, and “a number of wineries want mourvedre now – if I had more, I could sell all of it.”
Back in the day when Evangelho shipped grapes to Canada, all of them were called zinfandel. “After I became a Christian in 1977, I couldn’t do that any more,” he says. “So I went to the state and asked if I could call them mixed blacks. They said, ‘You’re crazy,’ but we did fine. Years later, they red-tagged a bunch of shippers [for misidentifying the grapes].”
The whole picture is counterintuitive: the old vines holding their own in the sand, continuing to confer superlative wines year in and year out, in the face of not only shifting markets but encroaching power plants, industrial warehouses, and housing developments. In 2006 the city of Antioch even put a pipeline through the middle of Evangelho’s vineyard, claiming the property by eminent domain.
“They took out some mourvedre and carignane vines in July, right before harvest. At first they offered to pay me $1.50 per vine, which is what it would cost to buy one today. But these were a hundred years old! There were some good, big vines – I lost probably 15 tons a year, but they compared the property value to undeveloped land between Pittsburg and Concord, which what was a tenth of what it’s worth. Mine was producing good money.”
Ironically, the pipeline – built to service a commercial development next door on “Vineyard Drive” – has been idle ever since. “It’s been here six years now and nobody’s hooked up to it. I was going to replant some of it, but now the city owns it and plans to make it a public street. They have the right to come back and take more vines out to build a road with sidewalks.
"In Napa you wouldn’t have this attitude,” Evangelho insists. “But a lot of people are coming into Antioch and Oakley now. When I was growing up, there were 14,000 people here. Now there are over 100,000. A lot of vineyards have been taken out for housing, but the area expanded way too fast and got overbuilt. It was hit hard by the recession – there have been a tremendous amount of foreclosures, and it brought different people who dump freezers and trash in the middle of the vineyard. We never used to have people purposely breaking vines, but I had some go-karts racing in the vineyard and tearing things up. Finally I had to dig a ditch around the vineyard to close it off. These weren’t kids, either. They were in their twenties, but they didn’t care – they were arrogant as could be. One of them backed his truck up at me, and after I chased another one on a motorcycle, his father came here with a pipe in his hand and said, ‘You’re trying to kill my son!’ But I have some counseling skills so I was able to talk the guy down.”
This derives from the fact that Evangelho is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. “In church, for whatever reason, people would come to [me] and ask for advice and counsel,” he explains. “So I went back to school and got my bachelors and masters degrees in three years from the Azusa Pacific University extension. I worked for Christian Family Services, but I had to cut back in ’95 after I had a heart attack.”
This coronary event lasted for two hours. “I was in intensive care for ten days – the doctor said it was a miracle I was alive. I lost half the function of my heart, so now I have a pacemaker and defibrillator. I can’t do things in the vineyard any more, but I know the vines, so I trained Manuel Caranza, who takes real pride in it. It’s still a family operation – Manuel’s daughters were out here when they were little, and one of them lives here now in a trailer, trying to defend it [from trespassers].”
The upshot, Frank says, is that “you learn to appreciate the value of things. That’s what so sad about the situation with the city – they’ve lost connection with the earth and the local heritage. Old vines are pulled out and tossed away because live in a tossaway society. Some of these young guys don’t respect the old things that brought this community into being. They have no clue about what it means to be a part of it – to treat things with respect and care.
“A person who works out a lot might have good muscles,” Evangelho says, “but not the character or understanding of people who have gone through stress. Some stress is good, and something this old, which has gone through droughts and development and everything else, has an understanding that’s much deeper.”
USA WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!
California California Wines (Wine Institute of California)
California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.