From making wine for one of Napa Valley's most sought after estates to farming pigs in Sonoma County may not be the most obvious move, but for Matt Taylor, it was. For starters, although Araujo Estate doesn't put it on their label, the coveted wine is made from biodynamically farmed grapes, which means legumes and chicken shit are as much a part of the program as high-end and high-priced Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
And Taylor was in charge of it all. Araujo took a truly European approach to making wine, meaning that one vigneron (Taylor) was in charge of the wine from bud to bottle. At Front Porch Farms in the Russian River Valley, Taylor is farming pigs and vegetables on a greater scale while continuing to make wine from the (much more) expansive estate. His Front Porch Red is a blend of Rhone varieties (predominately Syrah and Grenache) and is remeniscent in some ways of the Syrah he made for Araujo — deep, complex aromatics of dark fruits and purple flowers; rich and concentrated without being heavy.
2011 Front Porch Red, $35 direct.
Courtney Humiston is a sommelier at Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg where she leads a wine list that includes over 500 labels from Sonoma County. Each week she will be selecting a Bay Area wine just for 7x7 readers.