69% Grenache - Clones 136, 224, 287, & 362
20% Mourvèdre - Clones 369 & 520
11% Syrah - Clones 174, 470, & 877
Traveling by train through southern France many years ago, we had a chance to really explore the wines of that region. We discovered wines that showed forward fruit without the overwhelming, jammy character often found in New World wines. Once home in Sonoma Valley, guided by our memories of those delightful French wines, we created our own red blend of estate Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes. We chose the name Chemin de Fer, a French phrase that means "railroad," to honor the path that led us to this wine. The label painting depicts our steam train as it meanders through the Syrah vineyard. Deep garnet in color, this wine has aromas of raspberry and spice, followed with mouth-watering berry flavors that harmonize with soft, supple tannins for a smooth finish. It is a well-balanced wine that is easy to pair and easy to drink; one that reminds us of relaxing, laidback European train trips.
Our estate in Sonoma Valley is rich in historical significance, encompassing organically farmed vineyards and an eco-friendly winery. Justi Creek Vineyards, part of the stunning 95-acre ranch on the outskirts of Glen Ellen, is comprised of three adjacent parcels, formerly parts of Rancho Vallejo and Rancho Los Guilicos. Nancy and John Lasseter embarked on an environmentally sensitive upgrading of their property, lovingly restoring the natural habitat and converting the vineyards exclusively to organic farming practices. The pond was revitalized, and beehives and insectaries were established in order to provide homes for beneficial insects. The ecosystem flourishes under the watchful eye of vineyard manager Phil Coturri. Rhône varietals Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre grow on our seven-acre Creekside Blocks along the east side of the Calabasas Creek on the valley floor. These vines, planted in the rocky soil of an alluvial fan, provide us with the exceptional fruit from which we craft Chemin de Fer. This luscious, fruit-forward wine is assertive yet elegant, allowing us to create a classic blend with an innovative style.