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Today's Wine:

2009 Amphora Kylix Proprietary Blend

2009 Amphora Kylix Proprietary Blend Dry Creek Valley *Top Selling Exclusive

2009 Amphora Kylix Proprietary Blend Buy it for a friend!
$ 12 99
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Today's Wine Comments:

The 2009 vintage will be remembered as one of the best in the past decade. This proprietary blend displays elegance and extremely well balanced, silky tannins that carefully weave together the earthy, dusty nuances of this Bordeaux-esque wine. A Cabernet blend from one of Dry Creek’s smallest, most hidden gems, this is an effortless amalgam of Bordeaux varietals, Sonoma County’s terroir and the serious winemaking talents of a little-known boutique oenologist.

Members may not yet have heard the name Rich Hutchison. In the wine community of Dry Creek Valley, it’s well known and definitely revered. Hutchison is as dedicated as they come and fascinated with small-production, sophisticated wines that speak of their unique place of origin.

Made primarily from Cabernet Franc, Hutchison’s Kylix is a fruit-forward Bordeaux blend offering incredible floral and spice aromatics with silky tannins and sumptuous black and red fruit. Whether to drink now with red meat and lusty chicken dishes or to cellar over the next decade, this Kylix more than holds its own compared to Cab blends from Napa and Bordeaux costing four to five times more.

Reasons We Love It:

Kylix is the name of an ancient Greek cup used throughout the Greek empire for drinking primarily—you guessed it—wine! The cup was stemmed, although was much shorter than modern wine-drinking vessels with two horizontal handles on opposite sides. The Kylix is among the most commonly discovered remnants of pottery from the ancient world and offers serious proof that the role of wine in ancient society was of essential importance.

The name of this winery is a sort of double entendre. Sure, amphora are widely recognized as western civilization’s first vessel for fermenting and storing wine. But the name Amphora is also a reference to owner and winemaker Rich Hutchison’s other great love and hobby: pottery and ceramics. Hutchison has worked with some of the Wine Country’s brightest stars including Doug Nalle and John Kongsgaard. He has also created a series of his own modern take on the ceramic Amphora, hand burnishing and pit-firing them with the same careful eye and hand as in the making of this spectacular wines.

We can’t get enough of small-production, boutique gems like the wines made at Amphora. Honing its attention on Dry Creek Valley, and a limited release of just a few wine styles each season, means Amphora focuses on quality rather than quantity, with the heart and soul of proprietor Rich Hutchison going into each and every bottle.

Mouthfilling, showing all the attributes of Dry Creek Valley fruit that we've come to love, black cherry liqueur, spice notes, currants and fine tannins all show prominently. Deep and dark, round and juicy, this would be great with grilled beef, ribs or chicken.  

A winemaker is often seen as an artist, carefully working with nature to craft a masterpiece with each vintage. For Amphora’s owner and winemaker Rick Hutchinson, art and wine are life-and he pursues each with fervor.

A native of Sonoma County, Rick first became directly involved with wine at a job on the bottling line at the Sebastiani Winery at the tender age of 20. Entering the cellar there for the first time, Rick immediately felt at home, as the aromas of fermentation and wine reminded him of the enticing scents of jams and jellies in his mother’s kitchen during the late summer canning seasons of his youth. Those are aromas he’s been immersed in ever since, and over the ensuing years Rick has continued his apprenticeship in the art and business of winemaking with some of the best talent in the business, including Doug Nalle and John Kongsgaard. Over twenty-some vintages, Rick has grown deeply familiar with the vines and various terroir of Sonoma County, especially the incredible Zinfandel and Petite Sirah of Dry Creek Valley. At the same time, a pottery class Rick joined on a whim uncovered his natural talent for working with clay. Among the projects inspired by his new avocation were a series of original amphorae (clay jars used by ancient Greeks and Romans to store wine) he painstakingly hand-burnished and pit-fired.

When the time came to follow his calling and make his own wine, Rick married both passions. His original amphorae became the icons for his fledgling winery, and continue to grace the label today. The winery began in the autumn of 1997, when Rick crushed three tons each of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, and tucked the barrels into the tiny basement of an old redwood barn in a Dry Creek Valley vineyard. Word-of-mouth publicity by friends and colleagues rapidly built an enthusiastic following, and those first wines were practically sold-out before they were even bottled! Over the next several years, Rick expanded his offerings to include small lots Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah crafted from the grapes of neighboring vineyards. Excellent ratings by wine critics pushed demand for Rick’s wines, and by 2006 the “old barn” was bursting at the seams. Rick seized the opportunity to move the winery to a spacious new location about a mile across the valley, where Amphora is currently at home in a former cold-storage building in the Timber Crest complex.

Since the 2006 move, he has taken advantage of the ample (temperature-controlled) space to extend the barrel-aging program, and to slowly expand the Amphora “lineup” of wines to include small lots of many more varietals. A mineral-driven Russian River Valley Chardonnay joined the list in 2006, and remains Rick’s sole white wine. In 2008 Amphora joined a mere handful of California producers of Teroldego, (a rare northern Italian varietal), and the 2011 vintage brought small lots of Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Alicante Bouschet…and that’s just a glimpse of the current offerings! While the size of the winery has changed, Rick’s winemaking philosophy remains the same: partner with hands-on farmers to nurture the best grapes from proven vineyards, and then work with that fruit to create balanced wines that reflect their varietal and vineyard.

A wine to enjoy with Veal Marsala, Pork Chop Marsala, Grilled Tuscan Skewers, Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Filet Florentina or Lobster Ravioli. Or try it with grilled chicken pasta salad with sweet peas and raspberry vinaigrette or spiced black bean burgers with baked sweet potato chips.

Wine Ratings

92 Insider Points

90 Points- Cellar Tracker 

Wine Reviews

How about a crazy good deal from our friends up in Dry Creek Valley at Amphora, this is great access on a fun and robust red that is perfectly aged.  The wine presents with a creamy nose of crushed berries and milk chocolate, leading to black cherry, plum and cassis on the palate.  Expect a bright acidity and gentle tannin on the lengthy finish, robust and delicious all around, doing a great job expressing the terroir and long sunny days in Dry Creek.  Enjoy now through 2019. - DZ May, 2015


"Still a deep and youthful purple in the glass. Lots of blueberry and blackberry compote on the nose. The palate still feels quite young, almost tight, with spicy oak embellishing but not masking the rich core of dark fruit. Solid acidity, mild tannins, lightly earthy secondary characteristics and excellent mid-palate density made this a thinking person's crowd-pleaser. Just a bit hot on the long finish. At $13 from Invino, a truly excellent value. Drinks better than many $30-40 Napa/Sonoma Cabs & Meritages."- CellarTracker Review 

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