Home > Good, ModGoodDevelop, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Aromatic and Textured, 2011 Two Shepherds Wines

Aromatic and Textured, 2011 Two Shepherds Wines


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William Allen’s first commercial release of Two Shepherds wine was with the 2010 vintage.  I recently tasted through four of his wines from his second vintage, the challenging 2011.  I was particularly impressed by the 2011 Pastoral Blanc and the 2011 Grenache.   The 2011 Pastoral Blanc was best after the first night.  It was a humble but confident wine which continued to reward until the end of the bottle.  The 2011 Grenache was beautifully aromatic from the start and a unique example of the varietal.  It was a bit tighter in the mouth so I suspect it will benefit from several months in the cellar.  I am amazed at how William can produce such good wine right away.  I suggest you order some of his wine to find out yourself.  These wines were ordered directly from Two Shepherds.

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2011 Two Shepherds, Grenache Blanc, Saarloos Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley – $24
This wine is 100% Grenache Blanc which was fermented with indigenous yeasts in neutral French oak barrels, underwent malolactic fermentation then aged on the lees in a combination of oak and stainless steel.  Alcohol 13.8%.  The color was a very light straw.  The nose was not-quite piercing with aromas of white fruit and citrus.  There was a fresh start in the mouth with white fruit that rode the acidity.  There was a little acidity on the tongue tip.  The wine slowly built texture and flavors of stone.  There was a long aftertaste of expansive flavors, rounding out as it warmed up.  Youthful with many fine tartrates.  ***  Now-2015.

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2011 Two Shepherds, Pastoral Blanc, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley – $26
This wine is a blend of 40% Roussanne, 20% Marsanne, 20% Viognier, and 10% Grenache Blanc which was fermented then aged on the lees in oak.  Alcohol 13.8%.  The color was a light, gold straw.  The nose revealed tropical hints and weighty floral aromas.  In the mouth there was crisp white and yellow fruit which quickly took on some weight.  The tropical flavors turned towers white tropical flowers with minerals in the finish.  There was a very fine texture and ripe spice flavors before the flavors built up in intensity during the aftertaste.  This wine reacts well to air and develops good length.  *** Now-2015.

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2011 Two Shepherds, Syrah, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley – $35
This wine is mostly Syrah, with some Viognier lees and stems, which was fermented with indigenous yeasts, underwent malolactic fermentation, then aged for 10 months in neutral oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose revealed ripe, scented lemon and fresh fruit.  In the mouth there was a bright start with flavors that were tart on the tongue and somewhat lively.  It remained tight and young with tart red fruit and a woodsy finish.  Potential.  **(*) 2015-2019.

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2011 Two Shepherds, Grenache, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley – $35
This wine is 100% Grenache which was 15% whole cluster fermented in small open top bins then aged for 10 months in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 13.9%.  The was a complex and expressive nose of lifted berry notes, cardamom, orange peel, and fresh, mixed “not mint” herbs.  In the mouth there was a little tart red fruit which was kind of firm.  The orange peel notes returned in this fresh wine which showed some midpalate weight.  This showed best on the second night becoming tighter on the third night.  *** 2014-2018.

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  1. William Hughes
    May 21, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Glad to see you enjoying and writing about Two Shepherds. You missed them at the ‘hipster’ tasting. I do highly recommend that your readers on the east coast consider becoming members of the Flock wine club.

    • May 21, 2013 at 9:48 am

      Thanks for commenting. Yes, I was disappointed at not being able to attend the Hipster tasting which is one of the reasons why I ordered them. I am glad that I did. I hope the wines eventually make out to the East Coast, they would make a tasty and well-priced addition. By the way, I try to hang out with Frank Morgan when he is in town, I heard that you two met before.

      • May 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

        I meant the “the” wines not “your” wines.

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