Quench + Temper



Planted at an elevation of 1400’, the BÃS vineyard is located in the Santa Lucia mountain range on the geological Monterey formation with siliceous shale stone and Miocene marine sediments.  Dry farmed and organic, the vineyard was planted at high density (2,000 vines/acre) and trained in the Échalas tradition found in the Cornas and Hermitage regions of the Northern Rhone valley in France. With a philosophy of more vines per acre but less fruit per vine there is a focus in complexity and concentration in fruit quality. The vineyard was established in 2013 in the heart of California’s 5 year drought. On +45 degree slopes and with no irrigation, the vines represent extreme struggle and resiliency. The vineyard site has a South-East exposure and is within a stone’s throw of an industrial Rock Quarry exposing a 500’ deep cut (excellent soil profile example) into the Mountain side that is commercially mined for shale stone used for road base. 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean creates the extreme diurnal temperature changes of plus 30 degrees for cool nights and warm days.



2016 CHAPTER 1

50% Grenache *  40% Mourvedre * 10% Syrah

Annual rainfall for 2016 was 10.28” classifying it as another drought year, resulting in small berries and very low yields.   The growing season was a fairly typical Californian coastal year, hot days and cool nights.  Harvested early September and barely eking out 0.5 tons/acre each, the Mourvedre and Syrah were picked the same day and co-fermented in an open top fermenter.  The Grenache at 0.65 tons/ acre was harvested two weeks later to allow more sugar development to balance out ample amounts of acidity.

  • Native yeast fermentation
  • Non-fined, Non-filtered  
  • Sur lie aged for 18 months in French Oak Barrels, 30% New Oak, bottle aged another 6 months prior to release.


Quenching and tempering is the process that strengthens and hardens materials like steel by subjecting the steel to the extremes of heat past the transformation range and then rapidly cooling (quenching) down the steel.  The quenched steel is then returned to the furnace again at a lower temperature to temper the hardness.  This produces a harder, tougher steel that’s stronger than the sum of its parts.  It is this concept that Brennan has applied to his project:  the vines were planted in one of the most severe droughts in the last 500 years, and forced to seek out water in the hillside depths of the rocky Adelaida District of Paso Robles, California.  These extreme conditions of climate and site contribute to the development of strong vines which have been forged out between the anvils of necessity and the hammers of anguish.  Like a phoenix rising from ashes, his wines carry an undertone of renewal and transformation as their struggle becomes their strength.