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Neyers Vineyards Bruce's Journal

Neyers 2018 Sage Canyon Red – Wine Spectator Praise

Friday 14th May, 2021

By Bruce Neyers

An old Carignan vine on the Evangelho Ranch in Oakley

An old Carignan vine on the Evangelho Ranch in Oakley. Records are incomplete, but some of these vines were planted in 1888. The yields are less than 1 ton/acre.Word just arrived in the latest issue of The Wine Spectator that our 2018 Sage Canyon Red was listed as one of the ‘Top Values’ in the piece entitled ‘Recommended California Rhône-Style Reds’. Here’s what they had to say:

Neyers Vineyards – 2018 Sage Canyon Red ‘California’

“Vibrant and distinctive, with snappy cranberry and cherry flavors, laced with smoky anise and white pepper notes. Carignan blend.” 91 POINTS – Tim Fish

This is one of our favorite wines around the Neyers household, and we enjoy it with everything from grilled flank steak fajitas to pan sautéed Petrale sole. The blend is 60% Carignan, 30% Mourvèdre, 8% Grenache, and 2% Syrah. It’s a wine made in the tradition of the finest reds from Châteauneuf du Pape and combines a juicy freshness with a fascinating range of exotic flavors that make it especially attractive in its youth. In a piece that included more than 30 recommended wines, all but a handful were more expensive. None of those higher priced wines scored as well as the Sage Canyon Red. In addition to its extraordinary charm, it’s a notable value.  Barbara once remarked to me: “I could drink a glass of this wine every day.” Everything she cooks seems to go so well with it that we generally do. I especially enjoy it when it’s served slightly chilled.

2018 Sage Canyon Red

Old Mourvèdre vines looking north at the Evangelho Vineyard

Old Mourvèdre vines looking north at the Evangelho Vineyard. These vines were planted in 1888. They are just beginning to flower now, and each vine has four or five clusters.

Tadeo examines the crop on a Mourvèdre vine on the Evangelho property

Tadeo examines the crop on a Mourvèdre vine on the Evangelho property. These vines are only 120-years-old, but the crop is still small, and the flavor is concentrated. Note the sandy soil, characteristic of the south side of the Carquinez Straits. In some areas, it’s 100-feet deep.

A fully mature cluster of Carignan about to be harvested.

A fully mature cluster of Carignan about to be harvested.