A Little Santa Barbara in Sonoma: Two Shepherds

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A Little Santa Barbara in Sonoma: Two Shepherds

Postby Phil_Carpenter » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:32 pm

For Christmas, my wife decided to give me a trip to Sonoma. One of my required stops, Two Shepherds.

Two Shepherds was highly recommended by my friend Shawn Burgert (http://wandering-wino.com/). The label has really started to gather steam and was recently named, "Top 10 Hot Brands" by Wine Business Monthly (http://www.winebusiness.com/blog/?go=ge ... aId=110741).

William Allen has written about wine for a while on his blog, "Simple Hedonism" (http://simplehedonisms.com/). William decided to put his money, where his mouth, or more appropriately, his palate is.

One of the big reasons I wanted to visit with William was due to the rec, but also to try some Santa Barbara fruit in the heart of Sonoma. A little bit of home on our trip.

We were lucky, William was able to make time for us. We met at the Sheldon tasting room in Santa Rosa. This is where William is currently making his wine. Right now, William is making a grenache blanc from the Saarloos Vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley. We had the distinct pleasure of trying the 11 grenache blanc from neutral barrel, and 11 grenache blanc from concrete egg. Both left me wide-eyed. I couldn't believe what I was tasting.

William's focus on winemaking is on the old world. Making wines with acid and life, with cool climate sources that allow for food pairing. Only neutral oak, or concrete eggs. These grenache blancs clearly followed these lines. Both had amazing acid streaks with amazing tropical and citrus lemon lime. The concrete had a beautiful gravely accent. My wife and I were thoroughly impressed.

William makes the rest of wines from a honey hole of a vineyard called Saralee's Vineyard. This vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley, and was recently purchased by Jackson Family Wines (http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20 ... /121119690). Quite the nice purchase I gotta say. The wines William showed us out of barrel were exceptional. Cool climate fruit, picked at the right time, and treated correctly. Utilizing stem inclusion up to 100% on some of his barrels. All Rhones from this amazing vineyard source.

The tasting experience with William was exciting and made me feel right at home. We weaved from one building to the next. Each room holding barrels in an industrial setting. I felt we were back in the Wine Ghetto. Showing a blue collar, "Every Man's" feel.

William has taught himself how to make wine, and has used his amazing palate to make some world class fruit. His tenacity to fulfill his philosophy will lead him to some astronomical heights. Be on the lookout!

For more info on William, and his label, please go to: http://twoshepherdsvineyards.com/
Attachments
Whole_Cluster_Grenache.jpg
Whole cluster grenache from neutral oak. Pure fruit...spice...lively.
Whole_Cluster_Grenache.jpg (122.44 KiB) Viewed 4116 times
William&Egg.jpg
William getting some grenache blanc from concrete. This will freak you out...in a good way!
William&Egg.jpg (128.39 KiB) Viewed 4116 times
Grenache.jpg
Pinot-esque, feminine, with a great acid streak.
Grenache.jpg (128.03 KiB) Viewed 4116 times
bottles.jpg
Bottles, pre-tasting
bottles.jpg (80.14 KiB) Viewed 4116 times
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Re: A Little Santa Barbara in Sonoma: Two Shepherds

Postby wandering wino » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:49 pm

So glad you made it up there Phil and gratitude for the shout out and link!

Two Shepherds might be the most exciting new wine brand on the market in my humble opinion. The wines are jar dropping across the board. His Syrah/Mourvedre is a stunner, and one of my favorites among the treasures is his Pastoral Blanc.....a white cuvee blend R/M/GB/and V. The Saarloos & Sons fruit from his GB is also on the ridiculous list of great wine. I hope to make my way back up there to taste the up coming vintage. The prices are shockingly low for the quality. I felt a bit like I was stealing ;)
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Re: A Little Santa Barbara in Sonoma: Two Shepherds

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:43 pm

Sounds like a great project. Will definitely have to find/try these!

Cheers,

Steve
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