The 2018 GB Crane “El Coco” crafted by Dave Phinney is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Sirah and Old Vine Zinfandel. Aromatics, abound and complete, the “El Coco” is replete with a wide spectrum from boysenberry jam and black plum to candied raspberries and nutmeg. The palate is ripe with dark stone fruits, blueberries, a hint of meatiness and confectionary orange, akin to mandarin encased foie gras. With just enough tannin to bind the flavors together. The wine finishes elegantly with a salivating savoriness that lingers.
Robert Parker 95 Points: “The medium to deep garnet-purple colored G.B. Crane Vineyard el Coco sings of dried plums, cherry cordial and Christmas pudding with nuances of potpourri, Ceylon tea, roses and Chinese five spice. Wow—the palate is super concentrated with voluptuous fruit and a plush frame plus plenty of freshness, finishing very long.”
Winemaker Notes: “Bold and concentrated, the 2016 El Coco is abundant in a ripe dark fruit continuum—black plums and boysenberry compote—and a hint of meatiness and toffee. Energetic and rich on the palate, the wine radiates with dark stone fruits, cinnamon and fresh Madagascar vanilla. With a nice balance of acidity, tannin and fruit, the El Coco begins to soften and finishes with length.”
Dave Phinney: “Life is an endless procession of surprises. The expected rarely occurs and when it does, make sure to erase it from your memory because it’s highly unlikely to repeat itself. That should be the definition for farming and more specifically grape growing. When we first purchased a portion of the iconic Crane vineyard it was mainly because of the four acres of ancient Zinfandel that are a St. Helena landmark. Of course, we knew there was Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and two rows of Merlot as well, but we considered these a bonus, if you will. That all changed the first time that we tasted the Cabernet in the fermenter. The young wine was massive. It had huge amounts of brambly black fruits and tons of weight on the mid pallet. The color was an amazingly dark violet hue. The aromas were so sophisticated for a wine of this age. We were dumbfounded…. in a good way. Immediately we began the discussion of what barrels to use, how long to leave it on the skins, etc… etc. It was a pleasurable panic. Grown men acting like a couple of giddy school girls. Eventually we calmed down and just enjoyed the moment. We welcomed the surprise. Now three years later we welcome you to enjoy this surprise, our surprise. Because none of us know when it may come again.”
High tones of ripe cherries and cassis come together and coat the mouth in richness. The finish is broad and expansive. This youngster lingers elegantly for over half a minute!
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