As you may know, Ledge is planted completely to Rhône grape varieties. Currently, we are planted exclusively to Châteauneuf du Pape grape varieties and are currently missing our favorite Rhône wine festival in Paso Robles.
In honor of Hopsice Du Rhône, the largest celebration of Rhône wines in the world, we wanted to post a few factoids and resourses for further exploration. We look forward to future gatherings!
THE LEDGE WINE SHOP IS OPEN.
If you are looking for rare or hard to find bottles, please EMAIL US WITH YOUR WISH LIST
Please also check out these Rhône Wine Related Organizations.
Rhône Grape Varieties
Twenty-Two Rhône Wine Varieties
Bourboulenc: (Burr-buh-lanc) light bodied, delicate floral, citrus, peach, melon, earth
Camarese: (Cam-are-ess) firm, tannins, delicate aromatics, pepper, spice
Carignane Noir: (Care-ig-non No-our) tannic, solid acidity, good color, cherry, raspberry, pepper
Cinsault Noir: (Sahn-so No-our) elegant, soft & lightly aromatic, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, earth
Clairette Blanc: (Claret Blan) big bodied, floral, aromatic, honeysuckle, tropical flowers, tropical fruits
Clairette Rose: (Clare-et Rose) light aromatics, fruit notes, soft strawberry, cherry, rose petal
Counoise Noir: (Coon-wahz No-our) lively acidity, spice, richness, raspberry, cherry, cranberry
Grenache Blanc: (Gra-nash blan) big bodied, soft, delicate peach, melon, pear
Grenache Gris: (Gra-Nash Gree) full-bodied, light in color, delicate strawberry, cherry, rose petal
Grenache Noir: (Gra-Nash o-our) big bodied, supple, & rich strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, black pepper
Marsanne: (Mar-san) broad palate, soft & rich, peach, nectarine, stone fruits, tuberose, sweet nuts
Mourvèdre: (More-ved) tannic, deeply colored, aromatic, black currant, dark cherries, leather, smoke, earth
Muscardin: (Mus-car-dan) floral, aromatic, firmly structured, rose petal, barnyard, earth
Muscat a Petits Grains: (Mus-cat ah Pet-eet Grahn) aromatic, floral, musk, honey, honeysuckle, lily, stone fruit
Picpoul Blanc: (Peek-pool Blan) floral, soft, aromatic, pear, earth, lily, daisy, wildflowers
Picpoul Noir: (Peek-pool No-our) floral, elegant, aromatic, rose, violet, dark cherry
Roussanne: (Roo-sahn) firmly structured, powerful, very rich, apricot, honey, almond, nutmeg, honeysuckle, iris
Syrah/Shiraz: (C-rah)/(She-raz) highly colored, firmly structured and aromatic, plum, raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, violet, roasted meats, smoke, chocolate, pepper, anise
Terret Noir: (Tare-it No-our) delicate, perfumed, bright acidity, rose petal, lavender, dark berries, spice
Ugni Blanc: (Ewn-yee Blan) delicate fruit, good acidity, pear, honey-dew melon, earth
Vaccarese: (Vac-car-ess) aromatic, firmly tannic, floral, pepper, spice, earth, smoke
Viognier: (Vee-ohn-yea) big bodied, very aromatic, complex apricot, musk, peaches, grapefruit, lychee, papaya, mango, tropical flowers
You guys should have purchased this wine when it was available.
Review by Stephen McConnell.
Honestly. Thanks for your purchases.
We are grateful.
Bien Nacido is not to be missed. Fair warning.
Shop is open.
If you are in the medical field we will send you wine for free.
SOOOOO FRUITY. But not in a *fruit-FWD* way or a Jolly Rancher way, no, this is dark, ridiculously concentrated and plummy fruit but with a sharp youthful edge to it, teetering on fresh-cut crass and even mixing barnyard around with the cherries on top. Nutty gravitas backs up the fruit on the nose almost like Champagne does. Toasted almond and a the pang of thorny berry leave a searing gash freely gushing pink cherry and crème de cassis.
Oh how I love the ways of Tannat. but this is not Basque country here boys & girls–this is pure Californ-i-ay, with barely a hint of rusticity. Straight BLOOD on the nose, a bloody pandemonium of bubbly fruit, but oh so restrained. No chubby cores, no oxidized edges, no cellar floor, no tar & brimstone, no coarseness. That’s a Hugh Johnson word. One I think I might mix into common wine-usage again. “The wines of the Pyrenees are coarser than the rest of France.”
More restraint in the mouth. Paso??? Restraint??? I remember many years ago I posted one of my stupid conversation-points on the facebook–this time about *wines with restraint* from Paso Robles. Of course many many comments later–most of which were ludicrous in their assertions–most of them jerk-off fanbois of a style quite hilarious alongside restraint–Ian Cauble goes, “Ledge.” I was like, WTF is this Mark Adams guy and where do I get these wines?
But wait. We were tasting this wine. Try to focus, Steve. In the mouth, the acid and structure take center-stage. All that fruit sits there and dwaddles in this rich bath of acid, fluxing everything for the application of tannin to follow shortly. Oh but it’s rich and decadent–holy shit one of those wines you just go HOW DO THEY DO THAT. Black cherry, tart and fresh runs rampant, blood orange and oily paprika in a pan. Cool and indifferent to your Paso stereotypes, the light and fresh finish is pure Tannat tannin heroin in a sweet tea package.
Kinda in awe of this wine not gonna lie.
2014 LEDGE Tannat G2 Willow Creek Paso Robles 15.5
Here is a nice review of our 2018 Bien Nacido Block 11 Syrah. Available for delivery in the shop now!
From Stephen McConnell April 7, 2020
The color on this kinda gives away what it’s got in mind for you. Stupidly florescent purple crimson, day-glow Welch’s with a core of black so moon-less an owl couldn’t see through it. Impenetrable in the nose too–or rather doesn’t allow anything else to penetrate. Carmel-sugar briar, the kind of green buggy stew only arising from flogging brush, spray flying, tight cranberry providing the top layer of bright fruit and dense black licorice-ridden bloody stew blackberry. Lots of air pulls some buttery richness out–all that fruit and spice stays on its blood-orange-zest perch–brooding hand-in-hand with the acid.
I promise I will not use the word BLACK in this review again. Here’s the deal with these wines: Easily one of the best-kept secrets on the Central Coast–if not all of California. These wine lay so far under most serious Syrah collectors’ radar, it frankly shocks me sometimes. And they’re not *that* expensive. Let’s put it this way: if Saxum or Pax or some of Washington’s new darling child’s are in your cellar–or glass–you OWE it to yourself to get these wines. I’ll even promise your money back if not 100% thrilled and converted. *George Zimmer voice* I GUARANTEE IT.
Coy in the mouth. It doesn’t whistle randily at you as you might suspect from the jam-packed nose. Clean and tight and laser-focused. *Thin* isn’t exactly the proper word here, but the amount of transparent fluidity that deposits itself onto the tongue is shocking. The first one-third is ruled by elegant cherry and cola. A streak of sexy bitter raises up–raising the hair on your neck–arcing shark-fin-like from the rear forward, disappearing into the now-chunky fruit roll-up partitions your poor brain is trying to compartmentalize this wine into. Fresh fruit keeps pouring in, obfuscating your attempts to wrap up any thoughts. Sagebrush tannin and herbes de Provence angst prod the wild youthful fruit that has now occupied the finish.
Paso Robles Syrah brilliance meets Bien Nacido. That’s all I’m gonna say. This is a ridiculously delicious wine slaughtering Syrah stereotypes and doing it with such unpretentiousness.
2018 LEDGE Syrah Bien Nacido Santa Barbara Co. 15.5
Quick update and then I need to get on the tractor and mow like the wind. The generous rainfall has turned our cover crop into a veritable nitrogen-fixing jungle.
WINE SHOP UPDATE
We ordinarily taste by appointment and sell most of our wines directly, but in these challenging times we have opened our online wine shop to the general public and will ship these wines directly to your door. Please review the list and visit the shop at /wines
Currently in the shop:
2018 Bien Nacido Syrah (95-97+ pts Dunnuck) NEW RELEASE
2017 Adams Ranch Vineyard (95 pts Vinous, 94+ pts Dunnuck) NEW RELEASE
2017 Ledge “MCA Cuvée” Red Blend NEW RELEASE
2019 James Berry Vineyard Rosé (Counoise) NEW RELEASE
2017 James Berry Vineyard Rhône Blend (95+ Dunnuck) WINE CLUB ONLY
NOT IN SHOP BUT AVAILABLE BY REQUEST (please email us with a wish list):
2015 Ledge Grenache (95 Dunnuck, 94 Vinous)
2016 Ledge Grenache (94 Dunnuck)
2015 Ledge “MCA Cuvée” (92-94 Dunnuck, 93 Vinous)
2014 Ledge Dante Dusi Zinfandel (91-93 Dunnuck)
2015 Ledge Dante Dusi Zinfandel (NR)
2014 Ledge Vineyard Drive Red Blend (91-93 Dunnuck, 93 Vinous)
2016 Ledge “MCA Cuvée” (93 Dunnuck)
Don’t hesitate to email us with any questions.
We wish you all well.
Mark and Ciera Adams
A skunk sat on a stump.
The stump thunk the skunk stunk.
The skunk thunk the stump stunk.
We know that all of the current craziness really stinks and we hope you are managing as well as can be expected.
We are trucking along and staying positive.
We will open up the wine shop to the public next week. Wine Club shipments go out this Monday the 30th.
In the meantime, NEWS!
Ciera has been working hard running the business end of things and making sure everyone's wine club orders are properly prepped. Elizabeth is working on a variety of school projects from home and maintaining a healthy "cyber social life" and I've been working on pruning, building our nursery and preparing to shoot short videos about our wines and the vineyards that they come from.
This is also my favorite time to walk around the ranch and hunt for neat stones and organisms of all stripes. For example, I was delighted to literally stumble upon this volleyball-sized rock today that is loaded with shells. You wouldn't know it. The clams were almost completely covered in sandstone. Elizabeth and I took warm water, vinegar and a toothbrush to it and are excited to clean it up even further.
This is a perfect example of the rare terroir that we have up here at the Adams Ranch, old sandstone and beaches, where our neighbors have limestone, vertebrate fossils and calcareous soils.
A Volleyball Sized Rock Loaded with Shells, Found near the Meter-By-Meter Syrah planting.
Adams Ranch Vineyard (3/25/2020).
Elizabeth and Ciera at the Nursery, with the Lake Block (Roussanne) and Fin (Grenache) behind them.
Adams Ranch Vineyard (3/24/2020).
Elizabeth at the Ball Field with the Orchard and Fin Blocks beside her.
Adams Ranch Vineyard (3/25/2020).
We hope this finds you well and somewhat occupied in these times of separation and uncertainty. We are organizing the house (game closet, pantry, office, shed, attic, etc.) and preparing for bud break in the vineyard. We are happy to report that wine has been considered an "essential" item by the State of California and Ledge is accepting and delivering wine orders. We will follow up soon with a complete list of wines available for delivery, but do not hesitate to inquire by email with any questions.
Take care out there,
Mark & Ciera
PS. We havent forgotten about sharing new photos. Stay tuned and we will update this post.
The vines have been pruned in their various methods (goblet, guyot and cordon), and we are collecting cuttings for the nursery. The cover crop looks great and is loaded with various clovers, grasses and legumes which will remain in place for a week or so longer when we will mow and hoe the vineyard. We are grateful for the rain and hope to get a few more inches this week. Photos to come.
Should you need wine at this time, please contact us, we are delivering - which may be handy as you are likely hunkering down like we are. Wine club will be processed on Monday the 16th, at which time the online store will open and the general public will have access to our inventory. Thanks as always for reading and stay safe out there.
Mark & Ciera
North wind about to break
On footprints in the snow
Silence down below
You're beautiful beyond words
You're beautiful to me
You can make me cry
Never say goodbye...
Quick report from our trip to Michigan: We had a few excellent wine dinners and caught up with a great many friends up there. We had one dinner at The Wrought Iron Grill in Owosso, and another at The Soup Spoon in Lansing. Thanks to all who participated. The below photo is on Reeds Lake in east Grand Rapids, where if you look closely you can see a light green hue. That there is a golfing green. I thought we were crazy playing tree golf back on the ranch. These guys play on this frozen lake and use ice-fishing devices to carve out the holes. Unfortunately I didn't get to play, but the visit was a good one and I look forward to visiting you all again.
Stay Tuned for Ledgefest updates and more. Our next update is March 4th. Bien Nacido is in bottle and wine club is OPEN. Email us for details on how to get the wines.
Until next time, stay cool.
Get ready for a boat load of sheep and alpaca photos. These guys rule. Mom took the photo below. We were preparing our wine club offer today, so we need to put the sheep photos on the back burner for now. Rest assured there are many, many more to come. I'm thinking about starting a separate sheep blog with an emphasis on alpacas. We don't own them (they are here to graze for the season), but we are going to name them. I'm seriously thinking about doing a Barbara Walters style feature on every one of these furry fellers. Stay tuned!
In other news:
Wine Club opened today. Here is what we are sending out.
2018 LEDGE - Bien Nacido Block 11 Estrella Clone Syrah (95-97+ pts. Jeb Dunnuck)
2017 LEDGE - James Berry Vineyard Grenache Blend (95+ pts Jeb Dunnuck, 95 pts Vinous)
2017 LEDGE - Adams Ranch Vineyard Syrah Blend (94+ pts Jeb Dunnuck, 95 pts Vinous)
2017 LEDGE - MCA Cuvée Red Blend (Grenache, Cinsaut, Tannat Blend)
2019 LEDGE - James Berry Vineyard MCA Rosé (Counoise, Cinsaut)
There is still a little time left if you want to try to secure any of the above releases. They will sell out.
We'll see ya later.
P.S. I see a Clive, an Elton and a Blythe. More soon...