2018 Evangelho Vineyard Red Wine Blend, Contra Costa County
They say old vines make the best wine. While we couldn't agree more, we know it's not just the vine's age that makes these wines highly sought after — it's also the heart and soul infused throughout their storied past.
The Evangelho Vineyard exemplifies an old vine vineyard in ways few can — showcasing 140-year-old vines that defy all odds to produce some of the state's best Carignane and Mataro.
Surrounded by strip malls, residential communities, and an ominous PG&E plant, the head-trained vines of Evangelho have roots that dig 40 feet deep to reach water, helping them produce ultra-ripe, balanced fruit. Many believe that this juxtaposition between the vineyard's surroundings and the wine it makes is magical and worth fighting for. Most of all, its namesake, Frank Evangelho.
Twelve years ago, when the city frivolously seized several of Frank's acres (claiming eminent domain for a project they never finished), Mr. Evangelho became an evangelist. "They just don't get it," Frank explained to us, "this is our state's history." He's right, you know. The vines should be national landmarks — an example of unique varieties prospering in the rarest of elements. Hard to find and rightfully so, wines from this vineyard have a cult-like following.
An homage to the tough old vines that continue to grow world-class fruit, this blend combines Carignane and Mataro into a wine that excites with a plum color and a nose of raspberry, forest floor, and lavender. The Carignane brings bright red fruit (think cherry, cranberry, and currants) to the palate while the Mataro provides an earthy, European, old-world style characteristic. The harmonious convergence of Mataro and Carignane produces a soft flavor profile with an acid-driven finish. A wine that stands up to heavy Napa Valley reds, ideal food pairings include creamy mushroom risotto or veggie pizza.