Double Gold - San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Best of Class - Lake County People's Choice Awards
93 Insider Points
The 2011 Crimson Hill Vineyard Cabernet from Gregory Graham is a truly delicious and complex wine drinking very well after a few years in the bottle. Expect a highly aromatic nose with plum and black cherry blending with violet and other floral notes. Sweet berries and baking spice dominate the palate, with black cherry, blueberry, vanilla, licorice and pipe tobacco all showing through on the palate. A zippy acidity and smooth tannin make for a very well balanced glass of wine with a mouthwatering, lingering finish. Enjoy now through 2020. - DZ Sept 2016
Red Hills, Lake County, California
The bigger, the better when it comes to this Red Hills Lake County Cab! The concentrated, full-bodied and elegant wine ages gracefully as a product of small, thick-skinned berries from a tough terroir. The Crimson Hill Vineyard is a special 13-acre area of 2,000 feet in elevation. Its late season Cabs are extraordinary due to intense daily sunshine and very cool nights. Optimal ripeness and valuable acidity is what we all long for, and this vineyard delivers!
So, why the name Red Hills? Taking a peek at the crimson red volcanic soil will give you a clue. The region’s extinct volcanoes are the welcoming culprits whose eruptions have left the ground composed of distinct free-draining soil. Vines are tasked with digging their roots very deep into this soil for nourishment. The result? A low grape yield and extremely concentrated berry flavors. A mouthwatering delight to just think about!
This 2011 vintage thrived under its ideal climate. A great red wine lucky enough to be sourced from near California’s largest natural freshwater lake. And proved to be a critic’s favorite when awarded the Double Gold at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Reasons why we love it
Winemaker Gregory Graham is a man to watch as he has helped pave the way to great Lake County wines. Plus, he is a consumer’s winemaker believing that wine should be enjoyed on a daily basis. We most certainly admire him for that! You may recall that Gregory became a renowned winemaker while at Rombauer Vineyard. He has now graciously applied his education and high standards to producing his own captivating Gregory Graham wines. And who would have thought that he got his viticulture start on a 10-acre Concord grape vineyard in Cleveland?
Gregory is not the only one who has been charmed by the scene known as Lake County. An SF Gate article highlighted the area’s “stunning views, uncongested roads and interesting wine varietals... [for] a rewarding, laid-back experience.” The article specifically mentioned Gregory Graham and how “sustainability is his focus, and the winery, built in 2006, was converted entirely to solar in 2011.”
And we say this “solar-powered” Cab offering will take any lover of the bold reds by the hand and lead you on a mouthwatering adventure. Pick up a few bottles of this thrilling Estate-grown delight and enjoy for many years to come!
The wine exhibits aromas of ripe plum and fig with highlights of chaparral spice, clove and dried herbs. The lively concentrated flavor bursts with ripe berries and sweet oak.
Nine years ago, Gregory Graham set out to produce world-class wines from Lake County. His hands-on approach to winemaking, complemented by 25 years of experience, is giving consumers fresh, structured, fruit-forward vintages that are reflective of a high quality winegrape growing region
“Wines are made in the vineyard, and harvest should take place at the perfect moment – not when dictated by a schedule” is Greg’s approach to his winemaking.
In the vineyard, he harvests the grapes at the peak of fruit flavor development. In the winery, he uses boutique winemaking techniques and early bottling to preserve the flavors. His techniques allow him to control the quality, bringing out the grapes’ superior characteristics. The results are excellent Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet, Viognier, Sauvignon blanc, and Riesling.
While working as winemaker at Rombauer Vineyard in Napa Valley, Greg envisioned producing wines under his own label. He began to do so in 1992, using fruit he purchased in Napa, Carneros and Knights Valley. In September 2000 Greg seized the opportunity to grow his own wine grapes and thus increase the quality of his wines. He and his wife Marianne purchased a 13-acre Zinfandel vineyard in the Red Hills Appellation of Lake County.
With its clean air and ideal climate and soils, Lake County proved to be the best choice for producing high quality wine grapes. The area’s warm days and cool nights, as well as freedom from fog in the summer allows the grapes to receive sun all day. Soils in the Red Hills appellation are red, rocky, and well-drained – ideal characteristics for the wine grapes Greg wanted to grow. Noticing too that there were only a few wineries in Lake County at the time, Greg and Marianne saw an opportunity to make a mark in an increasingly expanding wine region.
The Grahams live in their home upon a hill overlooking the span of vineyards, the estate winery and tasting room. Following the purchase of the property near Lower Lake, Greg replanted seven acres of the Zinfandel to pursue his dream of producing Syrah and Grenache, two varietals the Grahams had enjoyed during their honeymoon in Gigondas, France. First production from the vines occurred in 2004, and in February of the same year, the Grahams expanded operations by purchasing the adjacent property including a 13-acre Cabernet vineyard.
Gregory Graham’s winery sitting at the base of the vineyard-covered hills was constructed in 2006. The on-site facility (solar-powered since 2011) with its proximity to the vines allows the winemaker to harvest his grapes at the perfect time and engage in the winemaking immediately. As the grower and winemaker, Greg believes that grape selection, well-timed harvest, and careful production are critical to making great wine.
His practice of winemaking techniques has resulted in a number of awards. Consumers enjoy bright, fresh fruit aromas and intense, flavorful wines. He now uses the Stelvin® screw cap closure on his white varietals which preserves the wine’s vibrant fruit while eliminating cork taint and other problems associated with corks. The wines may be tasted in the Gregory Graham Tasting Room, which is open Fridays and weekends, and often staffed by Greg and/or Marianne. Rex and Reba, their chocolate labs, are frequently there to greet guests at their pet-friendly winery.
This structured wine calls for full throttle fare such as grilled meats and game.