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The 2013 Drifter originates from the Bell's Echo vineyard, where the beauty of the terroir between Anderson Valley and the Mendocino ridge is embodied in this jewel of a wine. The nose is dominated by richly ripe currants and black pepper, coupled with a hint of smoky bacon. This majestic Rhone blend is dense, richly fruit forward, yet smooth in tannins and complex on the finish.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Hodgins attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he often had conversations with his plant biology professor about winegrowing. Though he explored a few careers upon graduation, his interest in wine was piqued, and he soon relocated to California and enrolled in the Master’s program at U.C. Davis and graduated with a degree in Viticulture & Enology. As a means of researching the topic for his thesis – Pinot Noir tannins in the Willamette Valley – Hodgins got his first hands-on vineyard experience while working harvest at Witness Tree Vineyard in Salem, Oregon. Upon graduation in 2004, he spent a year gaining experience in other regions at wineries such as Acacia Vineyard in Napa, where he served as harvest enologist, and Krishna Valley Winery in India, where he served as visiting winemaker.
In 2005, Hodgins returned to the United States and accepted a full-time position as assistant winemaker and viticulturist at Hanzell Vineyards, a role that helped hone his expertise in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sonoma. While at Hanzell, Hodgins also worked as the founding consulting winemaker for Breggo Cellars in the Anderson Valley. Cliff Lede’s acquisition of Breggo Cellars (now FEL) in 2009 allowed Hodgins to become full-time winemaker. Lede purchased the Savoy Vineyard in 2011, a benchmark vineyard in the Anderson Valley, giving Hodgins access to his first estate vineyard.
Hodgins has a strong connection to the region and to his vineyards. He spends much of his time in the vineyards and exercises a hands-off approach in the winery, in favor of letting each vineyard and each block speak in the bottle. Both Hodgins and Cliff Lede share the same vision: to create an exciting portfolio of wines that are complex and elegant with pronounced acidity and the ability to age well.
Thanks to a balanced pattern of warm days, cool nights and a long growing season, the new Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon releases from the 2013 vintage are already receiving rave reviews from wine writers, chefs, sommeliers and wine retailers around the nation.
The same is true for the many of the special proprietary red wines from this special vintage. The latest examples is the Outcast 2013 Drifter, a sophisticated red wine made primarily with ripe Syrah berries from Bell’s Echo Vineyard located in historic Sanel Valley near Hopland in Mendocino County.
With a deep purple hue, the wine immediately seduces the senses with aromas of ripe berries, fresh violets, seasoned meats, ground espresso, licorice, and a hint of smoke. On the palate, the wine expands with deep flavors of ripe boysenberry, fresh-baked blackberry pie, black currants, dark chocolate nibs, ground pepper, and roasted walnuts. Then, as the wine opens up in the glass, the full-bodied flavors and savory elements are further complemented with a brilliant mixture of a big, round and almost suede-like texture, chewy tannins, broad structure, and a long elegant finish. Sexy, seductive, and rewarding in each sip!
With food, try this wine with ripe cheeses, wild mushrooms, barbequed ribs, grilled lamb, braised meats, and complex Chinese dishes. Only 400 cases made. Get yours today!