2011 Vintage of the 1448, Jeff Runquist Winery

The family winery of Jeff Runquist is located in the Amador County foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains – 1,448 feet above sea level, where this zesty red blend gets its name. Runquist has seemingly made his bones on Zin and Barbera wines (I have yet to try myself) but saves the leftovers of these premiere bottlings for the 1448 – called a “kitchen sink” blend by our local wine store staff.

2011 vintage of Jeff Rundquist's 1448; Sierra Nevada California USA

The 2011 vintage of Jeff Rundquist’s 1448; Sierra Nevada, California, USA.

Originally purchased for our weekend on Lake Gaston, the 1448 actually lasted until this week when we knocked it down with grilled chicken and my 2014 summer favorite: orzo arugula salad, with roasted red peppers.  This red blend lines up really well with the grilled stuff, believe me. It’s a red–nearly purple–medley of Petite Syrah, Barbera, and Zinfandel, with a few other (his Verdot perhaps?) thrown in for good measure too. This red has some depth to it, and a smoky underpinning that plays well with your grillwork.

The winemaker remarks, “1448 – an assembly of wines from throughout California that delivers fruit-forward flavors with a rich texture sure to delight every palate.

And so it does. With some after-the-fact-research I can offer this breakdown of the 1448’s composition: 54% Petite Sirah; 31% Petit Verdot; 4% Barbera; 3% Syrah; 2% Zinfandel; 2% Carignane; 2% Souzao. Seems like I was headed in the right direction, and can share now as well that the 2011 is barrel aged to create its nuances and robust mouth feel.

I picked this bottle to share with lifelong friends and was perhaps a little disappointed we didn’t get into it together last weekend. On the other hand, it meant more of the 1448 for yours truly and I was appreciative of the Runquist touch here. Not only would I move swiftly to seize another 1448, but it put the premiere reds of this winery squarely in the cross hairs too.

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