2021 Triple Junction Volcanic Red Wine
UNITING WEST COAST VOLCANICS
Over twenty years ago, we planted a vineyard on an old, abandoned walnut orchard 2,640 feet high in the Mayacamas Range of California in the midst of a ridge of solid black obsidian glass. We soon discovered that we are were farming on a volcanic shield that had last erupted only 10,000 years ago and is considered among the top 100 most active volcanic regions in the United States.
Our curiously about geology and plate tectonics inspired us to look north where a string of subduction volcanoes stretch as far as the Canadian border. As we traveled there to learn more, we found a community of growers that&Mdash;like us&Mdash;farm remote and elevated sites in volcanic soils and facings. We found that we had more in common with these distant sites (and partners) than with our own neighboring valley vineyards. Inspired by these regions and the work that they were doing, we hatched an idea to bring together these sites in a wine that we call Triple Junction. The Triple Junction is rare convergence of three tectonic plates that form the subduction volcanoes of California and the Pacific Northwest, as the Pacific Plate causes the Juan de Fuca Plate to slip under the North American Plate. For the inaugural 2021 vintage, we sourced Syrah and Malbec from the exposed fractured basaltic soils of Red Mountain in Washington, and Tempranillo from steep slopes of volcanic ash in Echo, Oregon.
In a strange twist of fate, the Kádár Hungary cooperage we own in Tokaj, Hungary sources its Quercus Petraea oak from a forest that sits on an equally volcanic region. The andesitic tuff that underlays the forest floor restricts the growth of the oak trees, resulting in 30% higher wood density. These super-tight-grain barrels are low in vanillan and relatively high in eugenol, which tends to emphasize herbal and spice components, and are toasted slowly at low temperatures to avoid imparting overt toasty notes. The 2021 was aged in one and two-year-old barrels.
Triple Junction unites the distinct characters of each region with a thread of volcanic minerality, freshness and structure that runs through the wines from all three sources. Cabernet Sauvignon from our own Estate Vineyard in California forms the structure and core of the blend. Syrah and Malbec from Washington’s Red Mountain AVA fill the blend with dense, rich, round fruit flavors while Tempranillo from Echo West Ranch in Oregon weaves in spice and savory character. Together, they form a cohesive story of high, dry slopes, and the intensity, structure and acidity born from vines grown on the side of a volcano.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker