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Bedrock represents a lot of what we love most about wine: dedication to farming and maintaining healthy biodiversity in the vineyards, and crafting wines that vividly express the unique characteristics of the place from which they come. In this case, the vineyards happen to be some of the oldest and most historic in California, many dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. There is also a New York connection (which you know we love!) as partners Morgan Twain-Peterson and Chris Cottrell first met while working at Pet Wines on the Upper East Side. While this all makes for a great story, the real stars here are the wines themselves, which are pure and thoughtfully made while providing enormous pleasure.
Winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson started Bedrock Wine Co. in 2007 out of a converted chicken coop in Sonoma, with the goal of preserving old vineyards across California and highlighting some of the diverse terroir the state has to offer. Longtime friend and collaborator Chris Cottrell was eventually convinced to leave New York to join Bedrock full-time in 2012, and since then the two have garnered praise from just about every wine publication in circulation predominantly for their old vine Zinfandels and Zinfandel blends. In 2017 Morgan became a Master of Wine, the first California winemaker to do so and one of only a small number of American winemakers to hold the distinction. These varied perspectives, from farming to tasting to working directly with consumers, give Morgan and Chris a unique understanding of how to craft excellent, thought-provoking wines that can appeal to a wide range of people. They aren't overly dogmatic in their approach, welcoming experimentation but always with the intent to ultimately make delicious wines that anyone can enjoy.
Today we are thrilled to offer a new selection of the 2022 single vineyard bottlings, including the always spectacular Heritage wines from Bedrock Vineyard and Evangelho Vineyard. There are also the Katushas' and Beeson Ranch Zinfandels, both great representations of two unique places. If you'd like to read more about the history of the vineyards you can do so here - each has a storied past leading up to us being able to enjoy these wines today. 2022 was by many accounts a good year in Sonoma, warmer than 2021 but with ample rain and generally favorable conditions. There is also a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc that is a must try, and the 2021 Old Vine Zin and Cabernet Sauvignon for good measure. All of the wines have their unique personality but share a common thread of focus, clarity, and precision which makes them unmistakably Bedrock. Jeff DiLorenzo
The 2022 Sauvignon Blanc comes from three sites within Sonoma - Uboldi Vineyard, Judge Vineyard, and Bedrock Vineyard - each of which impart their own characteristics on the wine. The bulk of the wine comes from Uboldi, which offers some tropical fruit and richness while retaining good acidity. Judge Vineyard adds bright aromatics and herbal complexity while Bedrock Vineyard contributes depth and minerality. The wine is fermented in a combination of smaller barrels and 320-liter cigares with some larger puncheons, adding texture and bringing everything together in the most harmonious way. This wine was absolutely singing when we tasted with Chris at the shop recently. It has some melon and tropical fruit with a lush texture that's complemented by racy acidity and a chiseled mineral backbone. This is giving but still brimming with energy and tension, and would be a versatile pairing option with its ability to hold up to richer dishes.
This is just the second vintage from Katushas' Vineyard in Lodi, which was planted in 1915 and has been farmed by Bedrock since they purchased it in 2014. They've come a long way rehabbing the vines and soils, improving the biodiversity and overall health of the vineyard greatly since they started working it. The soils are sandy and it can get hot, but a steady cool afternoon breeze keeps ripening in check and preserves natural acidity and freshness. It is aged in large format barrels with minimal new oak. The result is a vibrant and pure expression of Zinfandel with some darker blueberry and plum fruit, moderate tannins and hints of spice. It's easy to enjoy now but could cellar another five years and still be strong.
Beeson Ranch is a beautiful site situated in a steep amphitheater in Dry Creek Valley, with eastern-facing slopes consisting of silty loam soils with chunks of quartz crystal throughout. Per the winemaker: "in the 2022 vintage, we picked half of the vineyard prior to the onset of the serious heat of the first week of September and the other half after some of the later-ripening sections had been exposed to the warmth. We are quite pleased with the results, as the earlier picked fruit shows the soaring red-fruit and spicy mint aromatics we love from the site while the later picked lots provide a core of sappy fruit." The balance is quite remarkable, with pretty fruit and incredible lift anchored by monumental structure and a lingering hedonistic side. This will truly start to shine in another 5-10 years but even in its youth with some air it would go nicely alongside steak or heartier fare.
Evangelho Vineyard is a special place about 50 miles east of San Francisco in Contra Costa County, where vines planted in 1890 on sandy soils continue to grow on their original roots some 130 years later. The vines are predominantly Zinfandel with Mataro (Mourvedre), Carignan, Alicante, Palomino and some other varietals mixed in. The 2022 was picked earlier due to the warmth of the vintage, and the wine is fermented in large 600-gallon foudre and puncheons. There's no shortage of lush fruit but the acidity and freshness are what really drives this wine, with heady aromatics and succinct tannins. This is ethereal and full of tension in a way that will appeal to those who might not typically gravitate towards Zinfandel, and has the power and structure to age another 10 years or longer while still not feeling overly heavy or tight now. Truly a delight in 2022!
This is a field blend of 28 varietals planted in 1888 in the heart of Sonoma Valley at Bedrock Vineyard, which has a long history going back to the 1850s. The vines are ancient, growing in clay and basalt soils, and produce densely fruited and complex wines that can age for decades. The blend ends up being around 65% Zinfandel with a good amount of Carignan and Mataro along with some Syrah, Petite Syrah, Tempranillo, Trousseau, Castets, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and so on. Supple dark fruit and spices mingle with hints of vanilla and leather, with firm structure but not overly aggressive tannins. This could easily age another 10+ years, although in its youth still provides immense pleasure with a decant and some good food. A highlight every year, but the 2022 is particularly good early on.
This is one of Bedrock's staples, coming from a number of sites they either lease or farm directly. The average vine age is around 80 years, and the grapes are a mix of 85% Zinfandel along with 7% Carignan, 4% Cinsault and small amounts of other field-blended varietals. This is a wine you can enjoy young, with vibrant cherry and blackberry fruit and a lifted character that makes it endlessly enjoyable. There's some spice and dried herbs with subtle but present tannins, and a silky texture perfect for a cool fall night. While open and ready now this will continue to add layers of complexity with a few years in the cellar.
This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bedrock and Monticello Vineyards, made with freshness and earlier drinking in mind. There's some ripeness and it's still a full-bodied Cab, but it's not overdone and still possesses great acidity and a good amount of lift. Herbal, spicy, slightly savory, this is a great value for an old-school Cab with depth and structure that could age another 5-10 years but perfectly enjoyable now.