G18 to the G14

Those in the inner circle know my fascination with historic highways in California, so when I saw this label I HAD to have it. The county route G-roads were signed and numbered in the 70’s with G18 being a short east-west connector between El Camino Real (US101) and the much-longer G14 which runs North-South across San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties. The G-roads are all two-lane, meandering roads in various stages of modernity all stemming from ancient wagon trails criss-crossing the state. They rise and fall with the countryside, never bypassing miniscule towns, and often slice through communities long gone. This winery lies near the confluence of G18 and G14 in the San Antonio Valley–a decent-sized but mostly over-looked region producing often-shocking quality wines.

REALLY pale and light in the glass: a completely transparent rosy core with hints of garnet. The visual screams Grenache, though no indication of varietal composition on the label. Equally rosy and bright on the nose, with dark toasty berry, supple briar backing and spicy vegetal notes.

In the mouth, a rich, savory stuffing hints again at Grenache, but lurking is sharp spicy texture and a bit of jamminess nodding towards a Zin or PS inclusion. Warm and packed with lively fruit: the raspberry and strawberry bruised and flush with acid, the middle cavitating into bitter structure pointed with wet leather and sage-y bark. Extremely reminiscent in clarity, color, texture and stuffing of Arizona’s hi-elevation wines around Willcox, though this valley is barely 1000′ feet above sea-level. Kind of a geeky red blend: not for everyone, but very nicely done.

2019 CALIFORNIA STREET ‘Jolon Road Red’ Wellong Vyd San Antonio Valley AVA Monterey Co. California 14.2


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