Morgan Twain-Peterson, proprietor of Bedrock Wine Company, has quite a pedigree. Son of legendary winemaker Joel Peterson, the founder of Ravenswood, Morgan crafted his first wine at the age of five, working with Sonoma Pinot Noir. More than 20 years later, Morgan continues to make Pinot Noir, as well as Syrah and Cabernet. But, showing his debt to and interest in California winemaking history, he's currently most enamored with the concept of field blends.
To hear Morgan tell it, these field blends -- ancient-vine plantings where Zinfandel grapes grow alongside varities like Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mourvedre and many others -- represent a time when the winemaker's ability to craft wine in the cellar was severely limited. In the absence of modern winemaking technology like small tanks and efficient presses, allowing for final blending, producers were dependent on mixed plantings to deliver distinctive, complex wines.
For Morgan then, these field blends, dominated by old-vine Zinfandel, represent the most "Californian" wine available. These are wines that make no attempt to replicate any global trends, but stand on their own as unique creations.
This 2008 Lorenzo's Heirloom Wine, from a vineyard over one-hundred years old in the Dry Creek Valley, is an outstanding example of Morgan's efforts with these field blends. Made from roughly 50% Zinfandel, 25% Carignane, and 25% Petite Sirah, with trace amounts of Alicante Bouschet, Valdigue, and Cinsault, all the grapes were co-fermented using native yeasts, before being barreled in 40% new French oak for 11 months.
The result is a wine filled with serious black fruits on both the nose and palate. Also expect aromas of graphite and iron. The sweeping, but soft tannins carry through on a lengthy, broad finish.
If you're feeling ambtious, try this wine with pork belly, first dry-cured, braised, then seared. But this wine will do just as well with burgers on the grill, especially topped with bleu cheese.