Wines from Kiona Vineyards and Winery tend to be traditionally blended, bottled, and marketed. We call Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Merlot, and Lemberger Lemberger. The wines that we send out into the world in three-tier distribution mostly all follow the same naming structure: <VINTAGE> Estate Bottled Red Mountain <INSERT GRAPE NAME HERE>. It's a very traditional way of doing things.
But when we get to build smaller-production, direct-to-consumer wines, that's when things tend to be a little less traditional. Here you can find wines like "Old Block" and "Big Kiona," wines that have a bit more personality and a story to tell.
At the extreme end of this practice is our Mythology Series, a set of wines that are highly experimental both in composition and presentation. What started off as a quirky one-off in the original Cyclops has now blossomed into a lineup of four wines, each with a unique mythology-based pencil/charcoal drawing. Cyclops, Nyx, and Zeus are not strangers to the Kiona faithful, and we're excited to add to that well-respected lineup with our newest entry, Fortuna.
High-end wines from South America are seriously delicious; we've been impressed with quality Carmenère and Cabernet-based blends from Chile's Maipo Valley, as well as Malbec from Argentina's famous Mendoza region. We're always looking for inspiration, and couldn't help but wonder how a Red Mountain interpretation of those South American wines might turn out. Enter our Estate Red Mountian Fortuna, a brand new wine that we are very proud of—it pays homage to the wines that inspired it while also landing somewhere wholly new and unexpected.
More often than not, these Mythologies Series releases are vertically blended, which is to say that they include more than one vintage in the wine. Fortuna employs this practice as well; the wine is 1/3 2015 Kiona Estate Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon, 1/3 2017 Heart of the Hill Carmenère, and 1/3 Heart of the Hill Malbec.
The Cabernet Sauvignon component is de-classified material that was initially slated to become part of our 2015 Estate Red Mountain Old Block; we pulled a few barrels out of that blend in order to use them here. Those 1975 old vines at the Kiona Estate vineyard produce Cabernet Sauvignon with stronger pyrazine and savory influences than our other plantings on the hill. When blended with younger Heart of the Hill Carmenère (itself a cultivar well-known for its pyrazine-dominate profile), the end result is a wine with lots of traditional Bordeaux-variety savory/herbal character. The 2018 Malbec component (also from Heart of the Hill) brings youthful, fruit-forward razzle-dazzle to the whole package.
By blending youthful components with more mature components, we end up with a wine that has a unique profile that I believe would be impossible to achieve with a vintage-designated wine.
Now, a note on mythology. Fortuna is a prominent figure in Roman mythology, often depicted blindfolded and holding a cornucopia. She manifests chance, luck, and fate; Machiavelli suggests that Fortuna rules one half of men's fate (the other half reflects our free will). For our purposes, we focused on her Fortuna Annonaria aspect, connected to agriculture and luck of the harvest. The term "blind luck" is attributed to Fortuna.
Our Members will receive some Estate Red Mountain Fortuna in the upcoming 2020 Spring Release. We're also currently pouring it in the Red Mountain tasting room and it is available online and at Richland's Dovetail Joint restaurant.