Brett Keller and his wife Andrea own Mineral Wines in Murphys, California. Brett started out in Hospitality Management but eventually went back to school earning his degree in Viticulture and Enology in 2003. When Brett and Andrea moved back to Angels Camp (Calaveras County), Brett took over management of Andrea’s family 4 acre Cherokee Creek Vineyard. Initially this property grew exclusively Merlot, but subsequently Brett grafted three acres of vineyard to Roussanne, Viognier and Petite Sirah. These are the main stay and define Mineral Wines today. In addition, they produce a Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec, and various Meritage blends, Barbera, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their tasting room is located at 419 B Main St. Murphys, CA.
I met Brett through the 2nd Annual Cabernet Franc Celebration in late 2020. However due to Covid and various other commitments, just recently have I had the chance to taste a lot of his wines. His Cabernet Franc won Silver Medals from both the Professional Judges and People’s Choice Judges with his first entry. Recently he was awarded a Double Gold for his 2016 Meritage from the Calaveras Foothill Wine Competition. The 2017 Zinfandel won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Wine Competition. His wines continue to be impressive with his Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec all being winners for my taste buds!
The Wine -2018 Syrah
Brett makes his Syrah in the French style as he states, “great complexity, structure and complex cherry and lavender aromas followed by rich berry flavors”. The grapes come from their winery in Angels Camp. First on the eyes, a deep and robust color and medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, berries, leather and spices are the predominate aromas that waft into your senses. But on the palate is where robust, dense and lively blackberry and blueberry flavors engulf the mouth. On the finish, velvety texture and very subtle tannins caress the back of the mouth to provide a long lasting enjoyable tasting.
The Wine and Food Pairing
Having an unusual hot spell, decided to BBQ a nice filet mignon steak. Now our customary wine to pair is a Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc, decided to try something “different” this evening. Pulled out the 2018 Mineral Wines Syrah and it was an excellent pairing. Besides the filet mignon seared and grilled to medium rare, Yukon smashed potatoes and broccoli were served. With the filet mignon spiced the fruit forward (but sweet) Syrah made a delicious food pairing.
This is now only the second wine that I have written about from Mineral Wines but looking forward to try some of his additional wines in the near future.