Vermillion Red Blend 2016 | Cult Winemaking Brilliance
The Vermillion Red Blend 2016 is a Côteaux du Languedoc inspired blend of six varieties sourced from Sierra Foothills and Sonoma County. A melange of aromas ranging from black raspberry and red cherry fruit to strawberries and pomegranate leap from the glass. Secondary notes of savory herbs, roasted earth, and brown spice cut through the vibrant fruit with hints of wet slate. This effort has the mass appeal for those who gravitate toward plush and juicy reds with layers of spice and meaty texture. Enjoy now through 2025.
Jeb Dunnuck called the 2016 “about as charming and delicious as it gets” adding he’d be “thrilled to drink bottles over the coming 4-6 years.”
In 2012, Keplinger was honored as Food & Wine Magazine’s “Winemaker of the Year” and just two years later, she landed on the cover of Wine Spectator. But the great press wasn’t just for her mastery of Bordeaux varieties; instead, the critical spotlight shined equally on Grenache and the other Rhône-centric wines she produces under her eponymous label, Keplinger Wines.
Vermillion started as a second wine to Helen’s flagship label, utilizing extra fruit from her single-vineyard Keplinger wines. But it wasn’t long before Vermillion Red Blend became such a sought-after bottle for its incredible value and expressiveness, that the wine became its own entity.
Today, Helen and her husband DJ source fruit from top-tier sites — specifically for the production of Vermillion Red Blend 2016. The trick to the deliciousness of Vermillion Red Blend 2015 is that there are no tricks – just honest winemaking, great farming, and a lot of attention. At $35 per bottle, this wine gets the strict Keplinger treatment, and should cost at least twice the price — consider it your world-class weeknight wine.
Keplinger and Vermillion
A winemaker cannot live by Cabernet alone, though Winemaker Helen Keplinger absolutely could spend her entire career on that variety alone if that was her desire. Just look at this Napa Valley superstar’s stewardship of Grace Family Vineyards (California’s original cult Cabernet winery) along with past success at Bryant Family and Kenzo Estate.
Grace Family founder Dick Grace once said that Winemaker Helen Keplinger “is extremely talented. In addition, Helen brings a new perspective that will steer the winery into the future. He was, of course, talking about his own property. As Spectator sees it, “one of the most exciting and innovative wineries to emerge in California” is helmed by a masterful winemaker whose passion and talent extends into Grenache, as well.
Winemaker Helen Keplinger
The culture of wine has been a part of my life since I can remember. My dad had a wine cellar, which was the source of my childhood wine bottle collection. In addition, I also collected rocks, an early indication of my future as a winegrower. The wine accompanied every gourmet dinner my mom prepared nightly. Hence, this combination of food and wine was an important part of our family evenings together.
I always had an intense curiosity for science plus a huge appreciation of art. Furthermore, gravitation toward and revitalization in nature – all which dynamically come together in winemaking.
I absolutely love what I do. As a result, I constantly strive to make great wines. Responding to the curveballs of Mother Nature, and respecting that each wine is a reflection of its origin. Therefore, the wine embraces the variables and characteristics of a particular vintage.