Our first pick is in the books and we can report the existence of a happy tank filled with 70% Syrah, 20% Roussanne and 10% Grenache. We whole-bunch-foot-stomped all of the Roussanne and Grenache and about half of the Syrah. This is likely to be a highly aromatic and elegant cuvée and will be used to bring complexity to our future picks in the coming weeks.
Thanks for visiting and we hope you enjoy the photos.
Pigeage (foot stomping) a lovely box ouf Roussanne from the Lake Block at Adams Ranch Vineyard
Harvest Sunrise in the Bunkhouse Block.
The fall allocation is currently in progress. These wines are for wine club only. If you are not already a member and would like to join, please navigate to the wine club page at the header above or CLICK HERE.
2021 FALL WINE CLUB RELEASE NOTES
2019 Ledge - Adams Ranch Vineyard
Paso Robles, Willow Creek District
62% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 4% Roussanne
100% Adams Ranch Vineyard
10/4/19 (Syrah and Roussanne) 11/7/19 (Grenache)
The Adams Ranch Vineyard was first planted in 2005 and is the Ledge estate vineyard. It is in the Paso Robles, Willow Creek District AVA in the Santa Lucia Mountain range near the York Mountain AVA. The red varieties planted are Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and Counoise and the white varieties are Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Clairette Blanche. The vineyard is designed to produce two field blends, one red and one white. The white wines will come online in 2023 and the Roussanne is currently cofermented with the red grapes for additional complexity. Rosé will always be an option and Cinsaut and Counoise were planted partially for this potential, inspired by the 2017 and 2019 Ledge rosé wines sourced from James Berry Vineyard. The estate vineyard is currently 15 acres with another 15 acres plantable. The vines are farmed in a variety of styles and spacings including 11’x11’ head trained, 8’x3’ cordon and the insanely tight meter by meter spacing.
The Syrah and Roussanne were harvested and fermented together with wild yeast from 10/4/19 to 10/28/19 in a stainless steel tank. The Roussanne was included 100% whole cluster and the Syrah was 50% Whole Cluster. The Grenache was also a wild ferment, 100% destemmed and in a stainless tank from 10/17/19 -11/7/19. The wines were sealed and cold-soaked until the onset of fermentation (2 to 3 days) and saw pump-overs, delestage and manual punch-downs until completely dry. The wines were then sealed and deprived of oxygen for a day or two before free-run and pressing into barrel.
The wines sat on gross lees prior to bottling and were aged in new and neutral large-format French and Hungarian oak barrels.
Sandy clay loam, sandstone
Arbuckle-San Ysidro complex
Gaviota-San Andreas association
The Arbuckle series consists of very deep, well drained soils that formed in alluvium from sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Arbuckle soils are on low terraces, and have slopes of 0 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 508 millimeters (20 inches) and the mean annual air temperature is about 16 degrees C (61 degrees F).
The San Ysidro series consists of very deep, moderately well drained soils that formed in alluvium from sedimentary rocks. San Ysidro soils are on fan remnants and stream terraces and have slopes of 0 to 9 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 20 inches and the mean annual air temperature is about 59 degrees F.
The Gaviota series consists of very shallow or shallow, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from hard sandstone or meta-sandstone. Gaviota soils are on hills and mountains and have slopes of 2 to 100 percent. The average annual precipitation is about 20 inches and the mean annual temperature is about 60 degrees F.
The San Andreas series consists of moderately deep soils that formed in material weathered from soft sandstone. San Andreas soils are on hills and mountainous uplands and have slopes of 9 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 20 inches and the mean annual air temperature is about 61 degrees F.
2019 Ledge - Bien Nacido Vineyards
Santa Maria Valley - Santa Barbara County AVA
100% Syrah, Estrella Clone
Block 11B, Bien Nacido Vineyards
The Estrella clone of Syrah was brought to Paso Robles from the south of France by Gary Eberly, then an Enology student at UC Davis. In 1986, his was the first 100% Syrah bottled in America at his Estrella River Winery. Bien Nacido Vineyard’s nursery was the source for the James Berry Vineyard/Saxum Bone Rock Syrah, and JBV is where we sourced cuttings for our “Ledge Block” of Syrah. Ledge co-owner Ciera Adams was raised in Santa Barbara and we wanted to develop a presence in the county. Fortunately for us, Bien Nacido expressed enthusiasm for our wines and we were able to secure a contract for their coveted Syrah in 2018.
Harvested and fermented wild from 10/31/19 to 11/20/19 in a stainless steel tank. The fruit was completely destemmed with 35 percent of "choice" stems returned to the tank. The wines were sealed and cold-soaked until the onset of fermentation (2 to 3 days) and saw pump-overs, delestage and manual punch downs until completely dry. The wines were then sealed and deprived of oxygen for a day or two before free run and pressing into new and neutral large format French oak barrels.
Loam, shales, uplifted marine volcanics and limestone.
Los Osos Clay Loam
Santa Lucia Shaly Clay
The Los Osos series consists of moderately deep, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from sandstone and shale. Los Osos soils are on uplands and have slopes of 5 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 25 inches and the mean annual air temperature is about 60 degrees F.
The Santa Lucia series consists of moderately deep, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from white shale containing some ash, and some siliceous and diatomaceous material. Santa Lucia soils are on uplands and have slopes of 2 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 25 inches and the mean annual air temperature is 59 degrees F.
2019 Ledge - MCA Cuvée
Central Coast, California
70% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 5% Roussanne
Adams Ranch Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyards and James Berry Vineyard 15.5% ABV
MCA are my initials (Mark Clement Adams) and a lifelong nickname, but this wine’s name also pays homage to friend and mentor Justin Smith, who casually refers to Ledge wines as “MCA Cuvée”. 2019 saw substantial new plantings at the Adams Ranch and led to our streamlining fruit sourcing to three vineyards: Adams Ranch Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyards and James Berry Vineyard. MCA Cuvée begins its journey in what we call a “hodge podge” barrel, a barrel that houses the remaining pressed wines from various vineyards. The blend is completed using hand-selected complimentary barrels from our other lots resulting in the final blend. A slight labeling miscalculation is present here, as this wine includes a very small percentage of Mourvèdre not noted, from the 2019 James Berry Vineyard co-ferment of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Roussanne.
This is a blend of barrels from Adams Ranch, Bien Nacido and James Berry Vineyards. The wines were sealed and cold-soaked until the onset of fermentation (2 to 3 days) and saw pump-overs, delestage and manual punch downs until completely dry. The wines were then sealed and deprived of oxygen for a day or two before free run and pressing into new and neutral large format French and Hungarian oak barrels.
Sandy clay loam, sandstone, shales, uplifted marine volcanics, and limestone.
Here's a little update on what's happening in all of our blocks. Ripening is moving along and we will be picking soon. Scroll down to see what's happening at the Adams Ranch Vineyard.
WINE CLUB UPDATE: 11/11/21 is our shipping date. Email offers coming next week. Email us if you are concerned about missing out. We can pre-set your orders. We will be offering all of the 19s, with customization options available. 2019 James Berry Vineyard, 2019 Adams Ranch Vineyard, 2019 Bien Nacido Vineyard and 2019 MCA Cuvèe.
"The Fin", Grenache
"Lower Ledge", Cinsaut
"The Lake", Roussanne
"The Bunkhouse", Syrah
"The Orchard", Grenache
"Lower Ledge", Syrah and a few remaining own rooted Mourvédre vines
"Meter by Meter", Syrah mostly but field blending in Counoise, Mourvédre and other Rhônes.
Grenache from the Fin
Roussanne from the Lake
New planting of "Upper Ledge", Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Roussanne and Syrah
More soon. Thanks for reading!
It's been a minute since the last update, but that is not due to a lack of activity up here on the ranch or in the cellar. The remaining 2019 Ledge wines are in bottle and we couldn't be happier with them. These 3 new wines are complex, elegant, inky and unique from one another, representing the magical terroir where they were farmed. The 2019 Bien Nacido is 100% Estrella Clone Syrah, The Adams Ranch is Syrah, Grenache and Roussanne and the MCA Cuvée is a blend Syrah, Grenache, Mourvédre and Roussanne from the Adams Ranch, Bien Nacido and the magnificent James Berry Vineyard.
In farming news at the Adams Ranch, we are adding to our holdings of Cinsaut, a grape that seems to rival Grenache for it's happiness here, with fluffy, vibrant canopy and gorgeous fruit sets. We have also added to our blocks of Syrah, Counoise and Roussanne, while the Grenache continues to flourish. Finally, we are adding fresh blocks of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette Blanche, intended for our first Estate white wine. More updates and photos to come.
The online shop is open, and as always, feel free to call, text or email with any questions.
We hope you are enjoying your summer!
Well, the vines have finished flowering and the baby clusters seem to have set nicely. We are looking forward to watching the fruit mature. We are in the process of prepping a new block for planting. Stay tuned for those photos.
Grenache from "The Fin" - Adams Ranch Vineyard
Cinsaut - Adams Ranch Vineyard
Syrah from "Lower Ledge" - Adams Ranch Vineyard
Roussanne - from "The Lake" - Adams Ranch Vineyard
Ciera and I aren't sure when it happened, and these photos really don't do them justice, but the Grenache in "The Fin" are more like trees than vines. Blink your eyes and they're all grown up.
Welcome to the Adams Ranch. The entrance to our family estate.
I should have shown a banana for scale, but this trunk is a whole bunch of bananas wide.
Next week we will show you the fruit sets. Lots of goodness under these canopies. Grateful!
Live music is coming back. Our band played the Sensorio art installation last week here in Paso Robles. It was a blast. Thanks for being vigilant out there. We all want to be together again.
More next week.
The wine shop is open. Click the menu tab up in the right hand corner.
My cell number is on the bottle.
Talk to ya later.
The Adams Ranch Nursery - Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and Roussanne.
June has been pretty gloomy thus far, with lots of fog and chilly temperatures, especially in the mornings and evenings. As we ease into the summer months we are preparing to plant Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsaut, Counoise and Roussanne into our "Upper Ledge" block, which you can see to the left of the nursery above. While one of our oldest blocks, it was also a prime candidate for replanting due to the fact that it had lost a great many vines to sprawling weeds, a lack of water and the dreaded gophers over the last 16 years. When we planted this vineyard in 2005 I did not have the luxury of farming full time. Ciera and I both were making regular sojourns back to Los Angeles to work jobs that allowed us to keep the vineyard dream alive. When we were back on the ranch during the week I found myself at my day job here, working in the cellar at Saxum at the James Berry Vineyard. As a result of this struggle we lost a great many vines. Now that we are on the ranch full-time, our vineyard is rapidly transformong into the farm we had envisioned in the beginning. The nursery vines you see above will be transported into vacant vine spots that we call "missing teeth" throughout the vineyard. The nursery vines on the outside edge are 2 years old and are quite robust. They will bear fruit in the 2022 season. As for the Upper Ledge, those will be certified nursery vines that will be delivered this summer and given a healthy dose of TLC so that they will produce fruit in the 2023 season.
Thanks for reading.
Bye for now.
It's been about a month and a half since this blog was updated and I've been hearing it from friends and family alike. Thanks for caring and please enjoy the brand new photos below. We have been very busy in the vineyard, and my wife Ciera has been absolutely slammed on the administrative side. Her maintenance of the wine club and Ledge business in general can not be overlooked and I am grateful.
Tomorrow I will be headed to the cellar to finalize blends of the 2019 Adams Ranch Vineyard, the 2019 Bien Nacido Estate, the 2019 MCA Cuvèe and the 2020 James Berry Vineyard wines which are all still in barrel. We will bottle the 19s mid-July and the JBV early next year. I willl have our trusty assistant Kacee Fox along for the adventure, a bright young talent currently studying Enology at Cal Poly who not only helps me with all things grapes, but she also assists Ciera with administrative tasks.
Enough jibber-jabber. Please enjoy the sights below.
Thanks for checking in!
The Fin and Orchard blocks of Grenache, looking east towards Paso Robles.
The Fin (Grenache) looking north towards the Ledge Block (Syrah) and the Lake Block (Grenache and Roussanne).
The Meter by Meter block (Syrah, Counoise and Cinsaut) looking north.
The original Ledge Block (Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre) looking west.
The Lake Block (Grenache and Roussanne) looking north.
Our fallow land currently inhabited by massive swaths of white Lupine, looking south toward our new Cinsaut block and York Mountain.
Our "Ball Field" currently overtaken by Mustard, Vetch, wild grains, white Lupine and several golf balls, looking southwest toward the Ledge.
Some pretty native Sage.