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2011 Contra
Wine Specs
56% carignane, 28% mourvèdre, 9% grenache, 6% syrah, 1% zinfandel
Contra Costa County
Vineyard Designation
54% Del Barba, 34% Evangelho, 9% Ventana, 3% Alamo Creek, 2% Rancho Solo, 1% Bien Nacido
6.0 g/L
Bottling Date
Alcohol %

2011 Contra

Wine Spectator - Daily Wine Pick

“A charming and refreshing red, offering tiers of juicy berry, plum and raspberry flavors. Maintains a core of fruitiness and ends with a cleansing aftertaste. Carignane, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Zinfandel. Drink now through 2019.” 
- JL, February 3, 2014

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$18.00 per bottle / $194.40 per case
$15.30 per bottle / $172.80 per case (Members)

Dan Berger’s Weekly Wine Commentary - Wine of the Week:
A blend of Carignane and Mourvedre with other grapes, it has what Randall Grahm says is rustic elegance, an oxymoron, he notes. Carignan offers a lot of simplistic red fruit; complexity and minerality come from other varieties, notably blueberry from the Mourvedre and a hint of pomegranate from 9% Grenache. This stellar and decidedly quaffable wine needs at least an hour in a decanter to develop its depth. Best slightly chilled. -Dan Berger, September 5, 2013

Watch the Video: Randall Grahm on the 2009 Contra

Wine Profile
Tasting Notes

The 2011 Contra marries the fresh blackberry and cranberry aromas of old vine carignane with the classic old vine mourvedre character of licorice and leather. This vintage provided a bright acidity with black cherry, blackberry, and a mix of spice on the palate. The silky tannins provide this wine with a texture to savor.

Vineyard Notes

Contra is a wine that reflects the opposite of modern winemaking sensibilities, meaning wines overworked and amped up, pushed and prodded into Procrustean palate-numbing sameness. À rebours, this wine is a contrarian blend of the most old-fangled grape variety, carignane, from several extremely old (100 year+), nongrafted, dry-farmed head-trained vineyards, located in Contra Costa County, and the puer aeternus syrah, young, vibrant, racy and peppery. Contra is a somewhat contradictory flashblack/forward to the straightforward, frank wines of yester- and future-year. A field blend that contravenes contraindicated convention, with aromas of cherries and licorice, flavorful cassis, blackberries, and silky tannins. A wine (hardly) contraindicated for gastronomy, it is above all, contrapuntal.

Production Notes
2,256 cases
Winemaker Notes

Dedicated to producing wines in a more unaffected, hands-off style, with a particular emphasis on the expression of terroir, or unique sense of place, Bonny Doon Vineyard fashioned the 2011 Contra from hand harvested grapes from the Central Coast — from the northernmost reaches of old vines from Contra Costa County’s Del Barba and Evangelho Vineyards, and its more Southern climes, Arroyo Seco's Ventana vineyard, San Luis Obispo's Alamo Creek vineyard, Monterey's Rancho Solo vineyard, and Santa Maria Valley’s famed Bien Nacido Vineyard. Hand sorted, indigenous yeast fermented in individual lots, extended maceration and 100% ML, before blending to achieve to a wine that is bursting with life, exuberance and deep vitality.

Food Pairing Notes

Ribs, barbecue of any stripe.

Other Notes
Serving Temperature: 55-60º F Optimal Drinkability: Drinkable upon release, 4-7 years ageability Pronunciation: Kon-truh
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