For the 2012 vintage of Mordecai, we once again centered ourselves on a roughly 50/50 base of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals highlighted by some excellent Cabernet Sauvignon from near Calistoga and cool climate mountain Syrah from Broken Leg Vineyard in Anderson Valley. These key parcels were supplemented with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Grenache. While our base blend was probably already up to par already on its own, the signature of Mordecai has been the "other" varieties we blend to give it a certain flair. This is where the fun starts. We have fallen in love with a Carignan vineyard in Mendocino which will be an ongoing component in future Mordecais. We also went back to a Sierra Foothills source for Barbara that was in the 2011 version. The headline grabber of this year's "spice rack" will probably the Touriga Nacional from Rockpile. This traditionally Portuguese variety possessed an amazing white flower nose that belied its red/black color. See if you can pick out that note. The resulting wine is a unique beast. While many red blends try to bowl you over with full throttle richness and power, Mordecai wants to excite and charm you as well. It possesses a blend of both red and black fruit characteristics, bramble and spice on a medium plus frame. The warmth of the vintage makes this one juicier than the last, but the structure is still beautifully integrated. It will drink well for a decade.