At Philip Wrigley’s ranch on the north side of Avalon. It is called El Rancho Escondido. Found out they were secretly growing grapes there and sending them to Rusack in airplanes. Happen to be in town and saw the very limited wine there. The cab was great with plum, honey and blackberries on the nose. After 20 minutes a great floral nose came out with loads of violet. Right out of the bottle at opening the wine was definitley on the young side. We had to wait a while on it because it felt new world with some metals. 30 minutes into the opening and look out. This wine took off and got very fruity and nutty. Almonds and blackberries with some strong cherries and eucalyptus. Great wine that was smooth and velvety and has the feeling of a serene spa. The transition and the finish were consistent with the start and the fruit hung around for a while on the finish. I got this bottle at 39 bucks and it is definitely worth a try. I am going to try the Pinot next from this producer. This was a nice effort.
From their site:
‘In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, Sept. 1, under the light of a nearby full moon, Catalina’s first grape harvest commenced at El Rancho Escondido. Due to an unanticipated and extensive heat wave that had hit the Island, sugars in the grapes had started to skyrocket, necessitating immediate picking. According to Rusack Vineyards’s winemaker John Falcone, conditions were getting “close to critical”. An early morning harvest was chosen to keep the grapes as cool as possible as they made their way from Catalina to the Santa Ynez Valley. Generators were placed in the vineyard to power work lights and some of the crew were equipped with individual headlamps. Row by row, the clusters were hand-harvested and carried in small buckets to the larger picking bins at the ends of the rows. In the next two days, vineyard contractor Stewart Rasmussen, his SAR team and members of the Rusack family harvested nearly all of the pinot noir, leaving one block (with a different sun exposure) to ripen more fully.
The grapes were then transported in half-ton bins to the Airport in the Sky where they were loaded – with razor thin margins – through the cargo door and snugly fit into the fuselage of Catalina Flying Boats Cessna Caravan. Via three separate flights, the grapes were airlifted to the Santa Ynez Airport for a quick pickup and processing at Rusack Vineyards Winery.’