2016 'Hock & Deuce' Mae's Vineyard
Mae’s Vineyard is a LIVE-certified, sustainable site in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, owned and grown to organic standards by Herb Quady, to whom we owe thanks for all of the grapes that we work with in from this region. The vines are 11 years old and thrive in the healthy, volcanic soil full of rich organic material (along with chunks of quartz). This is idyllic, rural wine country, the hills and valleys speckled with small farms here and there, interspersed with winding little rivers and bubbling creeks. The foliage is aromatic with evergreen, eucalyptus, and madrone trees breaking up the pastures and becoming more dense near the tops of the mountains. Elevation ranges from 1,200 - 1,600 feet. So even as the days are hot, the nights always cool off, usually under clear, starry skies in the summer.
The 2016 vintage of Hock & Deuce is exactly what we set out to produce with this wine. In a nod to the traditions of Côte Rôtie, the wine is a co-ferment of Syrah and Viognier. But in a New World sense of style, the proportion of Viognier is elevated, in this case to 20% of the blend. The amped up presence of Viognier serves to temper the otherwise savage character of the Syrah, leaving us with a Côte Rôtie that went to charm school. No hard edges to be found on this beauty even at this young age, as it shows aromas of black cherry, blackberry, dried violets, and a hint of new leather. The medium-bodied palate is tightly wound at first but eventually folds out into robes of sleek tannins framing cool blue fruits and white pepper. Not to be forgotten, the Viognier contributes a lush plum character to the mid-palate, as well as a blooming floral undertone. It's quite the marriage of brawn and beauty.
92 points John Gilman in View From the Cellar: "The 2016 Hock and Deuce from Brianne Day is evolving beautifully since the last time I tasted it in January of last year. Readers may recall that this is a Côte-Rôtie-styled blend from Ms. Day, composed of eighty-five percent syrah and fifteen percent viognier. The wine delivers fine aromatic complexity in its youthful blend of cassis, dark berries, smoked meats, pepper, lovely spice tones, a solid foundation of dark soil and just a touch of cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and complex, with a fine core, superb soil signature, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a long, classy and intensely flavored finish. This is a low octane beauty of 12.75 percent that recalls some of the old school Côte-Rôtie producers from the 1970s and 1980s, before Marcel Guigal changed the region’s style with his influence. The 2016 Hock and Deuce is already very tasty, but it will only get better with further bottle age. 2020-2045+." (Jan/Feb 2020)