2015 "Doris" Red Blend
What we love
“Doris” marries the characteristic freshness of Cab Franc with the plush body of Merlot, layering red raspberry and cool graphite minerality over nuanced notes of savory dried sage and dusty mineral tones. The wine speaks elegantly of the seamless synergy between a vineyard and winemaker, managing perfect ripeness without sacrificing this wine's potential to continue to unfold with further bottle ageing.
About this Wine
The first thing to know about Gail Wines is that they represent the best of California's emerging garagiste winemakers, with a total production of only 24 cases of the 2015 Doris! It isn't often that you can catch a producer before the word is out, but Gail and their Doris represent one of these rare opportunities.
The wine is already sold out, at the winery and their distributor, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why after you've had your first sip. Gail Wines is on the cusp on blowing up, big. So even though we're already waiting for next year's release, we're a bit nervous to see how allocations and prices will change in response to demand.
Right bank Bordeaux lovers will recognize the earthy fragrance and a restrained use of neutral oak which compliments rather than covers up the painstaking work of the grape grower, while the Napa aficionado will recognize the intentional preserving of the purity of fruit in this wine. In this way, Doris is a head turner, cherry picking the best of both worlds while sacrificing nothing. Enjoy!
67% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot. Aged 18 months in neutral French oak.
Drink now through 2020.
13.5% alc | 750ml
Meet the Brothers
Gail Wines’ recent entry to the market in 2013 does not belie a lack of experience. Brothers Dan and Patrick O'Brien established themselves among Napa's most conscientious winemakers. Pat still works his day job as cellar master for Failla wines, while Dan developed his outlook while working on the team at Larkmead.
Their vineyards tell a similar story, the Cabernet Franc for Doris wine was sourced from the Windsor Oaks Vineyard in Chalk Hill, while the Merlot comes from the Pickberry Vineyard in the Sonoma Mountains, both sites with long established pedigrees of ultra-premium grape quality, at the expense of backbreaking labor from the grape growers.
Windsor Oaks features the characteristic white volcanic ash at high elevations which gives the Chalk Hill region its name, but also distinguishes the slopes from the surrounding Russian River Valley, being both slightly warmer and above the fog line of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay below. The unique soils are perfectly suited to temperamental Cabernet Franc, allowing for perfect tannin and succulent fruit flavors to arrive at the same moment for harvest.
Pickberry likewise benefits from elevation, sitting high above the surrounding Sonoma Valley. Elevation here is key to remaining above the fog line, and warm days and cool night time temperatures allow for slow and even ripening, building layers of flavor and complexity for Merlot grown here.
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