2018 ThereAfter Sandy Lane Red
Region: Contra Costa County < CA
Grape: Carignan, MourvedreVineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; old, dry-farmed vines on sandy, clay soils; the two varietals are are harvested together and spontaneously co-fermented with 25% whole clusters with daily punchdowns; aged in neutral French oak barrels for 10 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 12.8% ABV; 25 cases
Winemakers: James Allen & LorenzaThereafter is the passion project of a lovely young couple, James and Lorenza, who both work day jobs for other wineries but with Thereafter are focused on regenerative viticulture and super low intervention winemaking. Their philosophy is that the land, vines, and wine will exist far longer than we can imagine. They say, "With this in mind, being good stewards of the vineyards and the ecosystems within them is our top priority. Everything else falls into place more easily afterwards."
We're big fans of the restrained, refreshing wines of Thereafter, along with their focus on next-level farming, both unusual things for the Napa/Sonoma regions where they work and source grapes. This red blend reminds us of classic, old-school Napa red blends of yesteryear, before they got stuffed full of chemicals, additives and alcohol. The generous fruit is crunchy and rustic but the tannins are friendly. There is a lovely earthiness and structure to the wine, but no sensation of oak. Its an excellent, all-purpose red that nearly everyone would enjoy, with food, no chilling required. Stock up for summer grilling situations.