Vermillion Red Blend 2017 | Cult Winemaking Brilliance
The Vermillion Red Blend 2017 pours deep ruby at its core, with a magenta hue at the rim. A cornucopia of black and blue fruit aromas, with black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and loganberry character dancing to a chorus of wildflowers, pepper, and subtle baking spice notes. Full of fruit on the palate, the flavors of black raspberry and blackberry charge forth, picking up hints of spice and mocha as the go. The tightly packed but supple tannins follow through the whole palate, leaving a lingering impression of pleasantly warming spice. From Winemaker Helen Keplinger. Drink now – 2027.
The 2017 wows for its superb structure and phenolic ripeness, spilling over with rich red and black fruits. That year, growing conditions were even and moderate, allowing for long, slow ripening, aided further by cool weather at summer’s end. Grapes were brought to the peak of maturity and richness, while still packed with scintillating acidity. Working with the top fruit of the region, Keplinger fashioned a gorgeously layered red that is one of the steals of the year and drinking at its peak.
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.
Helen Keplinger | Winemaker of the Year’s Red Steal
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.
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.