The 2018 Lithic is a blend of 46% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre, and 19% Syrah – all coming from Ann Kraemer’s incredible Shake Ridge Vineyard, situated at 1700 in the Sierra Foothills of Amador County. Organically farmed to perfection, the extraordinary Sierra uplift soils, loaded with quartz, basalt, soapstone, and shale always combine to create wines of great purity, richness, and minerality. The Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah blocks are all on rock-filled slopes with excellent exposure and drainage. The hillside blocks were harvested in partial picks for optimal ripeness on four different dates, and combined into small co-fermentations, each with a different percentage of whole cluster grapes. The wine was aged in a combination of new (15%), once-used and neutral French Demi Muids for 18 months before being bottled without fining or filtration. The 2018 Lithic pulls you into a deep dive of ever-evolving aromatics – violets, blackberry, blood orange rind, black cherry, allspice, blue fruit, rosemary, pipe tobacco, black pepper – on and on. The silky entry opens to a broad midpalate, with fine tannins underpinning the entirety of the long, pipe tobacco-raspberry finish.