2019 Amplify Mixtape Red 'The Lees Session'
Region: Santa Barbara County < California
Grapes: 33% Grenache Blanc, 33% Refosco, 30% Tempranillo, 4% Merlot
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; Refosco (1/3 destemmed and fermented whole berry on the skins, the other 2/3 direct-to-press and co-fermented with Grenache Blanc), rest of the grapes are traditionally fermented separately before combining; aged in neutral oak for 3 months. bottled unfined/unfiltered with 10ppm So2; 11.5% ABV; 248 cases
Winemakers: Cam + Marlen Porter with Tyler Bell
NEW VINTAGE ALERT! I had the pleasure of visiting Marlen and Cam Porter two summers at their production facility in Santa Maria, and taste their wines at the source – and was seriously blown away. Since then, I’ve tasted a bunch of new wines with Marlen, and they keep getting better! These guys are making some of the best natural wines in Santa Barbara County under their brand, Amplify, working thoughtfully and respectfully, rather than dogmatically. ‘Mixtape’ is a collaboration between Amplify and partners Tyler Bell and Sara Philpott (who also make wine in SB county) who share Cam and Marlen’s love of natural wine and vinyl (he has an insane record collection).
Cam explains it like this: “Viewing a great mixtape as a series of disparate songs coming together to form a cohesive whole, we approached our Mixtape wine from this perspective, combining grapes both red and white, from different sites, fermented and approached in slightly varying styles. The resultant wine is a cohesive, moving whole, a light, succulent red wine that possesses the freshness and brightness of a white wine, the buoyancy and joyfulness of a rosé, and the savory aromatics and textural presence of a red wine. For government labeling purposes, we call it a “red table wine”, though we think it’s much more versatile than ‘table wine’ suggests. “
WE call it freaking delicious! Light, bright, fresh and extremely gulpable, but not simple, this is the ultimate party wine, summer wine, chillable red wine. Tiny production but we got 3 cases, meaning supplies are pretty limited. Suggested pairing: Swedish fish + Depeche Mode!