Bedrock Wine Co, California

Trying the wines from Morgan Twain-Peterson’s boutique winery focusing on California’s heritage of old vineyards, many of them field blends.

Bedrock wines started in 2007, with a mission statement of preserving the heritage of California’s old vineyards by rehabilitating them and making serious wines from them. They make wines at their own facility in the town of Sonoma, working with some 30 old vine vineyards, faming about 60% of the fruit themselves. The due behind the project is Morgan Twain-Peterson, who has the master of wine qualification. The winemaking style is nicely hands off, allowing the vineyard to speak. ‘We tend to pick earlier,’ says Morgan. ‘We value freshness and natural acidity.’ Morgan was joined by Chris Cottrell as a partner in 2011: they were already collaborating on a sparkling wine project called Under the Wire. Bedrock is small, artisanal winemaking at its best.

[Aside: Morgan is the son of Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood winery in Sonoma.]

UK RRP is given in brackets after each note. UK agent is FMV (

Bedrock Wine Co Wirz Riesling Cienega Valley 2018 Central Coast, California
Own-rooted Riesling planted in 1962 on granite and limestone soils, with a bit of interplanted Sylvaner. Fermented and aged in large oak. There’s lovely crystalline detail here with some citrus pith and nice spiciness. Ripe and sweetly fruited with a chalky edge, and lovely freshness. 93/100 (£20)

Bedrock Wine Co The Whole Shebang Cuvée XII NV California
This non-vintage cuvée started when they were getting vineyards into condition: it’s a blend of declassified wines, mainly Zinfandel, Carignan and Alicante. Warm yet elegant with sweet fruit: nice red cherry and berry notes, with a hint of pepper, backed up by nice structure. 92/100 (£17)

Bedrock Wine Co Old Vine Zinfandel 2016 Sonoma County, California
This is half of the production of Bedrock, and it’s average vine age 90 years, with 10% from vineyards planted with ‘mixed blacks’. Many of the vineyards are field blended. Textured and broad with nice sweet berry fruits. Ripe but with definition. Has a lovely seductive, lush quality, but there are also layers here, and it finishes fresh. 93/100 (£29)

Bedrock Wine Co Evangelho Vineyard Heritage 2016 Contra Costa County, California
130 year old own-rooted vines on beach sand. A blend of Zinfandel, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Alicante and Palomino. A windblown site. Raised in foudre. Lovely weight here with some tannin, nice elegance and a bit of grip under the sweet cherry and berry fruits. Very bright and expressive with lovely structure. 94/100 (£41)

Bedrock Wine Co Pagani Ranch Heritage 2016 Sonoma County, California
Alicante and 18% Petite Sirah, planted on Lenoir rootstock (some of this has grown up in the vineyard and is a teinturier). The presence of Lenoir rootstock shows the age of the vineyard because people stopped using it in the late 1880s (St George was first used in 1887). Concentrated, lush, sweet black cherry and red berry fruits. Lovely texture, with sweet fruit and good concentration. Polished and refined but with dense tannins. Such precision and focus, allied to richness. 95/100

Bedrock Wine Co The Bedrock Heritage 2016 Sonoma, California
Vineyard planted in 1888 with 27 different varieties, although Zinfandel, Carignan and Mourvèdre dominate. All co-fermented except for a small block of Carignan, with 18-20% new oak and some large-format oak. Sweetly fruited and quite refined with nice spicy structure and pure red berries, as well as some bite on the finish. Substantial and very fine. 94/100

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