Horse & Plow is in the rarified wine area of Sonoma known as the Russian River. It is owned by the husband and wife team, Chris Condos and Suzanne Hagins. Chris studied plant ecology at San Francisco State and enology at UC Davis. Suzanne worked at many of the fine restaurants in South Carolina before her wine interest took her to France where she worked harvest at Comte Armand, one of the finest producers in Burgundy.
Today, they work with top organic and biodynamic producers in the North Coast of California, principally Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. They carry that organic concept into the winery as well with no synthetic additives used and an absolute minimum addition of sulfites.
Our selection is an interesting concoction of grapes aged in French oak barrels. The blend is 41% Carignane, 22% Petite Sirah, 19% Grenache and 18% Syrah. The interesting character here is the Carignane. There are fewer and fewer plantings of this wine worldwide because in its youth, it makes very coarse, rough wine. Unfortunately, that youth lasts about 50 years, so its profit projections are not very good.
However, vines that are 50-100 years old produce outstanding grapes and there is not much left of these old-growth vines. Our selection shows off the lusciousness and density that only old vines can produce. Along with the supportive grapes, the wine sports black cherry, licorice, spice and earth that could wrap around charred meats lathered with garlic and sage.