Richard the Lion-Heart 2014
Our Richard the Lion-Heart is unique
It has all six of the Noble Red grapes originating in Bordeaux. This vintage’s blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Merlot 25%, Petit Verdot 15%, Malbec 4%, Carmenere 3%, and Cabernet Franc 3%. We believe the 2014 vintage to be among the best we’ve released since the first vintage in 1995. Truly a handcrafted wine. Drink this special wine now or cellar for 5 to 15 years.
Individual wines were fermented separately. After 20 months in French oak, the best lots were selected and carefully blended during days of intensive blending sessions conducted by the proprietors, winemaker and assistant. Then Richard was blended while tasting each barrel to ensure the best possible final wine.
Richard the Lion-Heart - King of England & Wine Connoisseur
Richard I was the King of England from 1189-1199. In that short period he established a legacy that is still flourishing to this day, giving us some of our most lasting ideas about what a medieval monarch looks like. He led the Third Crusade against Saladin, a confrontation that attained legendary status. He is well represented in the media, in films such as 2010's Robin Hood, 2005's Kingdom of Heaven, and our favorite, 1968's The Lion in Winter. But what does Richard have to do with wine?
Along with the kingship of England, Richard also inherited Dukedoms and Counties across Europe too numerous to list here, one of which was Aquitaine, known to us in modern times as Bordeaux, in the south west of France. Richard is famous for spending very little time in England, preferring to spend most of his time fighting. However, he understood that his war machine required one very important thing: top quality wine.
In 1199, sixteen years before his younger brother, King John, signed the Magna Carta in 1215, and soon before being struck down by a crossbow bolt to the chest, Richard signed a charter that granted, for the first time, self governance to a group of the King's subjects. The city of Saint-Émilion on the Gironde River, just northeast of what is now the city of Bordeaux, received the right to govern itself in exchange for quality-control checking every barrel of wine that was shipped from their port to Richard's troops. If the sampled barrel passed the taste test, the side was burned with the King's royal seal. If it didn't, it was hurled into the river.
The group that was established to oversee this still exists to this day. The Jurade (Judges) of Saint-Émilion is alive and well with over 3,000 members. In their long-flowing red robes, they are a key part of the celebrations and formal rituals around the grape harvest.
The six Noble Red grapes that were planted in Richard's time are some of the same ones we have planted in our vineyard at Yorkville today. Those same varietals all blended together was the wine Richard, with his refined palate, was gulping down after the heat of battle.
Awards By Vintage – Richard the Lion-Heart, Our Rennie Organic Vineyard
2014 - Best of Class, Calif State Fair
2013 - 96 pts/Gold, Critics Challenge; 92 pts, Connoisseur's Guide
2012 - 91 pts/Gold, Critics Challenge
2010 - Double Gold, New World Int’l; Gold, Orange County Wine Comp
2009 - 94 pts, Food & Beverage World
2006 - 94 pts, Food & Beverage World
2005 - Silver, Int’l Green Wine Comp
2003 - Gold, Pacific Rim Int’l Wine Comp
2002 - Silver, West Coast Wine Comp; Silver, S.F. Chronicle Wine Comp
2001 - Silver, San Diego Wine Comp; Silver, S.F. Chronicle Wine Comp
1999 - Best of Class, California State Fair; Gold, New World International
1998 - Best of Class, California State Fair; Gold, New World Int’l Wine Comp
1997 - Gold & Best of Class, Cal State Fair; 90 pts, Wine Enthusiast
1996 - Silver, Beverage Tasting Institute
1995 - Silver, Beverage Tasting Institute