The 2013 Cuvée Alis Estate (66% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre and 12% Syrah) is a hefty, high-octane style (15.6% alcohol) with loads of kirsch liqueur, pepper, lavender, earth and underbrush. It is Provençal, deep, full-bodied, and a total lusty treat. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. It’s hard to believe that Dick Arrowood, who starred at Château St. Jean in the 1970s, has logged 50 years of winemaking in Northern California, primarily in Sonoma. He pretty much put Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese-styled Rieslings on the map, developed an ambitious program at Château St. Jean for single vineyard Chardonnays, and gets little credit as one of the early pioneers and believers in the Rhône Ranger movement. I had a chance to taste with him at his winery just north of Sonoma, and there’s no resting on his laurels, even after a career that started in 1965 and continues 50+ years later. (RP)
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