The Vigilance Cimarron 2014 is 79% Syrah, 8% Grenache, 7% Mourvedre, and 6% Petite Verdot sourced from vineyards located in several AVAs inside the Lake County AVA which is inside the larger North Coast AVA of Northern California. Lake County is north of Napa, Mendocino is north and west and Sonoma is south and west. A fun fact about Lake County is that it was the largest wine-producing region in California before Prohibition, during that time the farmers pulled up the vines and planted other cash crops. Winemaking didn’t return in a meaningful way until the 1960s. If one grape varietal comprises 75% of the grapes in a bottling you can legally label the wine as that single grape variety. But here, they wanted to give a shout-out to the GSM blends of the Rhone Valley of France. Though the blend is actually a SGMP, the Petite Verdot is a grape used in small percentages in Bordeaux blends and is finding new life in California. Vigilance is a brand from Shannon Ridge Winery, growers of sustainably framed grapes, they have integrated a flock of sheep to weed the vines and provide natural fertilizer. The Cimarron blend has been aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is a bright, rich raspberry jam red. The nose is red berries and spice, herbs and dried fall leaves, along with cinnamon and whiff of smoke. This is a well-balanced blend, medium bodied and full flavored. It starts with blackberry, cherry, licorice, and pepper (black), .The mid-palate shows black cherry with a touch of cream, mild exotic spice, and herbs. The tannins are silky and the acidity gives the wine length. The finish is bright red berries and it lingers for some time.
The Vigilance Cimarron 2014 drinks like an expensive wine should, I found it on sale for $9.99 (a steal at that price), but the Shannon Ridge website shows the suggested retail to be $24 and a quick check of the web shows to selling closer to the $10 range. It’s a good $24 wine, it’s crazy good at half off. Smooth, sleek, full-flavored, classy and balanced are the hallmarks of a well-made Red blend and the Vigilance Red blend fits the bill.