McEvoy Ranch Red Piano Blend (4)

McEvoy Ranch Red Piano Blend 4-Pack
$69.99 $160.00 56% off List Price
2012 McEvoy Red Piano Blend, Marin County

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This looks fairly interesting. Cool climate Syrah blend from an unknown winery (to me at least).
Debaters would have been an excellent choice here.

Hi, my name is Blake and I’m the winemaker at McEvoy Ranch. We are located in the “Petaluma Gap” region of southern Sonoma and northern Marin counties. Happy to answer any questions you all might have. I’ll be checking the forum periodically throughout the day in between chores in the cellar :slight_smile:

Good morning Blake, thank you for jumping on. Can you provide the RS % for this wine. When I see naturally occurring yeasts used I always wonder if the sugar was able to fully by converted.

HI Blake, thanks very much for jumping on boards.

Very happy to have McEvoy with us.

Blake, do you see correlations to wine making and Olive Oil making?

Love me some McEvoy EVOO.

btw, this is a fantastic wine for the price. McEvoy does everything top shelf.

Wow, the varietal blend of this wine sounds really cool, I have been really enjoying GSM blends lately… Would love to hear from a lab rat to echo the great tasting notes provided by the winery but will most likely buy a set either way :slight_smile:

Hi CT,
I am happy to say that the fermentation went completely dry and the lab analysis at bottling showed 0.2g/L. The tasting threshold for sweetness for most people is 4g/L. Hope that helps.

Hi Winedavid39,
I’ve been with McEvoy for over 10 years now. It’s a great place to work and I appreciate your kind words about our products! I got to help with oil production in the mill for a few years, and I found the process to be quite opposite from winemaking for several reasons: no fermentation involved, the process is mechanical rather than biological, olives can become olive oil in about two hours as opposed to months or years for grapes to wine, freshness is paramount and aging is unnecessary. There are similarities too, but far more differences. Happy to answer more specific questions if you’d like.

Also are big fans of GSMs and interested in any notes or comparisons for this blend.

Thanks, B&B

Hi CreuelMelody,
In my personal opinion, this wine does share a lot of characteristics with GSM blends you would find in France. Obviously, there is no Mourvedre to bring the dark brooding quality, but the inclusion of Montepulciano and Alicante bring a lot of structure and interesting fruit characteristics and the Refosco brings lovely aromatics and fresh acidity. At 60% of the blend, the Syrah characteristics are in the forefront, like violets, cracked peppercorns, plums and anise.

Thanks for jumping on board. The wine sounds enticing. A few questions:

  1. How are puncheons different from barrels and why did you choose to use them over barrels?

  2. What is case the production?

  3. Never heard of Marin County appellation. Is it relatively new? What grape varieties is it known for?

  4. Would you say the olive trees and fruits on ranch have an influence on your wine? If so, how?

Curious about story behind the label.

Thank you!

A puncheon is twice a tierce (but still smaller than a pipe).

Hi losthighwayz,
All great questions…

  1. The typical wine barrel you see everywhere is 59-60 gallons. Puncheons are 132 gallons. As barrels get larger, the volume relative to surface area of wood increases, resulting in a more subtle oak influence on the wine and slower aging. Wine aged in 100% new puncheons would be much less “oaky” than wine aged in 100% new barrels. We really like the more delicate quality of wine aged in puncheon. Also, we can open up one of the caps and ferment inside the barrels to add extra complexity.
  2. We bottled a total of 1138 cases of this wine. We make about 3500 cases total.
  3. Marin County is immediately north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge and immediately south of Sonoma County. We are in a sliver of northwestern Marin County that is a part of the Petaluma Gap. Both Petaluma Gap and Marin County are becoming recognized as excellent sources of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and other cool-climate grape varieties.
  4. The olive trees have a direct effect on this wine because our best Syrah vineyard is actually interplanted with olive trees. We believe the roots both compete for resources and cooperate by sharing mycorrhizal networks, but it is all anecdotal. Some years, I swear I smell notes of green olive in our Syrah. The trees also shade the vines and change the microclimate in the vineyard.
  5. Our owner, Nion McEvoy, is a musician and music collector. We have a red piano on the ranch that was played by Elton John. As Nion likes to say, “This wine has many notes!” :slight_smile:

Hi rpstrong,
You are absolutely right. However, winemakers and brewers often use the same words to refer to different size barrels. Terminology can vary by country as well. Since our barrels come from France, we use their definition of a puncheon (500 liters or 132 gallons).

Last wooter to woot: CruelMelody

Looking forward to trying this one :slight_smile:

I simply could not pass up the opportunity to use the phrase “twice a tierce” - but your comments on the significance of the barrel sizing was certainly more edifying.

Thank you for the information. I attended USF and I am quite familiar with Marin, Petaluma, Windsor, Santa Rosa, etc…thanks to an ex who took me wine tasting I was in a student budget). I always thought of Marin Co. as an affluent suburb and never knew there was a AVA for the area. Love Petalum. Drove by there a few times with family in our way to Bodega Bay a few years back.

One more question: do you destem before punchdown? I May be wrong, but I sometimes get green notes when winemakers do not destem

It is a really beautiful area. There is another side to Marin that has a rich agricultural history and lots of parks and open space.

In 2012, we did include a small amount of whole clusters in the fermentation, I believe it was about 5-10%. You are certainly right that whole clusters can add green notes to a wine, but we try hard to avoid that. 2012 was a ripe vintage and we were very selective about which clusters to add. We add whole clusters to build structure in the wine.

Wine labeling laws are very complicated. Marin County does not have an official AVA. Wineries have the option to label with either an AVA or a geographic designation. Several other counties do have county level AVAs, like Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. Marin does not, but it can still be used on a wine label as a geographic designation.