Blending several varietals might sound simple, but it takes a masterful winemaker to get it just right.
Big Basin Vineyards has nailed it with its 2018 Homestead ($28). A blend of 33% Carignane, 25% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 19% Mourvèdre and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a big mouthful of tasty wine with spice-and-red-fruit-flavored Carignane leading the pack.
“Our Homestead represents the extraordinary granitic and limestone terroir of the Gabilan Mountains where we sourced the majority of the fruit,” winery owner Bradley Brown says. Homestead features several well-known vineyards in the area—Big Basin’s estate provides “the backbone.” An area map on the bottle’s back label shows each vineyard source in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And the front label depicts a California homestead, complete with a dog, rifle, banjo and rocking chair, painted by local artist Matt Jones. Visit mattjonesart.com to see other labels he designed for Big Basin.
Big Basin’s Feb. 24 Coastal Wine Dinner has already sold out. Make sure you get tickets early for 2024.
Big Basin Vineyards Santa Cruz Tasting Room & Wine Bar, 525 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz; 831-515-7278; bigbasinvineyards.com
Big Basin Vineyards Olive Oil
Also at Big Basin Vineyards is their 100% organic, extra virgin, cold-processed olive oil—now available for sale. “After two years lost to fires and recovery, our estate olive oil is back,” says Brown, adding that nothing captures the freshness of the olive harvest like their Olio Nuovo, “new oil.” Electric green-gold in color with aromas of artichoke and grass, it has a “very nice balance between pungency, richness and softness.” A limited amount was made, so check the website for info.