A Young and Exciting Project Out of Sonoma County

Today’s Story: Source & Sink

Source & Sink is a growing wine producer established in 2018 by Chicago natives Rande Feldman and Aaron Cherny. Rande has wine in his blood, having worked as a grower, winemaker, and cellar master over the years. Meanwhile Aaron comes from an Investment Banking background, though he left his Finance life behind to work harvest in Sonoma in 2017. Rande and Aaron met during this harvest experience, and the idea for Source & Sink spawned out of their desire to showcase the incredible wines of Sonoma through a new venture.

Rande and Aaron view starting in the vineyard as a necessity to making incredible wine, so they utilized their connections to source fruit from some of Sonoma’s great sites. Kimberly Vineyard is of special importance, not only for its gnarly old vines and plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, but because Rande and Aaron have been able to spearhead farming in a transition to organic and biodynamic practices. The duo also sources from Liquid Amber, Hooley Vineyard, Bedrock Vineyards, and Benguerel Vineyard with an emphasis on organic farming and minimal intervention the name of the game. Rande and Aaron prize their old and often own-rooted vines, all while revitalizing varieties like Alicante Bouschet in a march forward for quality Sonoma wines. Meanwhile when it comes to harvest and winemaking, an emphasis is put on preserved natural acidity and the use of minimal intervention, amphora, and neutral oak to allow the wines to show their sense of variety and place.

Fun Fact: Source & Sink gets its name from the “positive flow of energy created by the vine’s sources that is later translocated to the vine’s points of interest known as sinks (i.e. roots, leaf tips, and fruit).”

Today’s Wine: 2019 Alicante Bouschet

100% Alicante Bouschet; 12.2% ABV

The 2019 Alicante Bouschet is deep purple in color with deep ruby hues. I decanted this for 30-45 minutes and drank it over the following hour or so. The aromas are of medium intensity, with the nose offering up a bouquet of black cherry, brambleberry, black plum, blackcurrant, anise, charred green herbs, crushed rock, and black pepper. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium intensity and the palate showcases notes of blackberry compote, black plum, black cherry, licorice, sweet tobacco, black pepper, and mineral. This dry red is medium-bodied with medium acidity, medium (+) tannin, medium alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. A touch jammy but very well-balanced and a great representation of the variety. 74 cases produced.

Price: $35. This is a very fair price-point for this bottling, as it offers a restrained yet at the same time powerful representation of Alicante Bouschet. The 50% whole cluster fermentation shows a bit, offering added herbal and spicy complexities, while the aging in amphora and neutral oak allow the wine to show itself in transparent fashion. There is good balance, length, and depth here.

Consistently Delicious Zin

Today’s Story: Ridge Vineyards

This is an easy one again today, as I previously wrote about Ridge Vineyards in my post History. Quality. Ridge. back on October 19. Long story short, this is another historic Californian winery and they produce some of my favorite Zinfandel-based wines and Cabernet Sauvignon. I highly suggest you read about their history if you haven’t already.

Without further ado…

Today’s Wine: 2012 Geyserville Vineyard

71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Syrah, 2% Mataro, 1% Alicante Bouschet; 14.4% ABV

I’ve had this wine several times and across multiple different vintages, each time being a delightful experience. The wine is medium ruby in color while being moderately opaque. I simply let this breathe in the glass which helped bring out aromas of blackberry, plum, blueberry pie, black licorice, violet, and sweet tobacco. There is not a lick of tertiary aromas yet, which does not surprise me. Once in the mouth, I get notes of very dark plum, black raspberry, blueberry, dates, a hint of charred earth, and a touch of vanilla. This Zinfandel blend is medium-bodied showing medium (+) acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish with notes of black cherry.

Price: $45. As much as it pains me (as a consumer) to see Ridge prices rising from ~$30 a few years ago to where they are now, I still love these wines on a quality perspective. These are consistently well-made wines I suggest everyone try. Pair this with bbq pork or chicken, lamb, or duck breast.