Mischievously Big and Bold, Single Vineyard Wines from Dos Gringos Locos

The Best Winery in Silicon Valley – San Jose Mercury News


Winery: The name Travieso in Spanish means naughty and mischievous – which sums up the winery’s risk-taking philosophy of doing things in a big and bold way. This recently transformed “garagiste” winery produces 800 cases a year, started in 2003 by friends, Ray Sliter and Mats Hagström with the goal of making the highest quality single-vineyard, non-interventionist wines. The playful Spanish themes of their wine labels pay tribute to the Spanish-speaking cultural influence in the state of California.

Winemaking: Sourcing fruit from superb single vineyards from varying appellations, the Winery is in the heart of Silicon Valley in Campbell. They use meticulously grown fruit, minimal intervention, open-top fermentation, aged in up to 1/3 to ½ new French oak barrels, and bottle without fining or filtration, intentionally avoiding over-manipulation or “UCDavisized” techniques.

Vineyards: All vineyard contracts are set up by the acre, to allow Travieso control of the vineyard management, minimizing yields and maximizing quality. Travieso utilizes aggressive crop thinning, lowering yields to between 2 and 3 tons per acre, limiting fruit to two or even one cluster per cane to ensure flavor concentration. To create fruit of even ripeness, they painstakingly trim all wings and shoulders off each grape cluster, and perform hand-sorting on the vine prior to hand harvesting. Pallet pricing available on request.

“La Llorona” (Weeping Woman) 2013 White Wine, Sonoma County        New Vintage   

Winemaker Notes: “This sassy blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and Roussanne opens with pretty scents of a fresh floral bouquet. Layers of sautéed apples, stone fruit, honeysuckle and nicely integrated oak fill the mouth, and snappy acidity pulls the package together in fine balance.” “La Llorona” is named for the tragic “weeping woman” of Sonoran Desert legend. Lees-aged in neutral French Oak for a highly aromatic, complex nose.

“Traviesito Red” (the Little Rascal) “ lotes tres NV” California

This second release is rich and full-bodied with tons of black fruit, integrated soft tannins and light French Oak barrel influences. Amazingly appealing, especially at this price. Blended from intense red wine varietals grown in various California appellations and includes Syrah, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Mourvedre. 300 cases.

Rhone Blend, “El Chupacabras” 2010 (the goat-sucker), Santa Barbara County   New Vintage

Named after the legendary beast “Chupacabras” of Sonoran desert lore.

Winemaker Tasting Notes: “This is a gorgeous blend of the classic Rhone varietals with a medium ruby color and an aroma of blackberry jam on toast. Notes of white pepper and Asian spice peak through a complex mid-palate. Great acid- to-fruit balance is followed by a soft and yet somewhat spicy finish.” 50% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre.

Grenache 2013, “El Tonto” Fess Parker Ranch, Santa Ynez Valley, New Vintage

Winemaker Notes: “This wine has been confused for a light Pinot Noir in blind tastings. Nice wine to serve chilled on a hot summer day. Light body, bold red-cherry fruit throughout and crisp acidy on the finish. Perfect pairing with game or fish. Aged for only one year in neutral French Oak to preserve the vibrant fruit of this varietal.”

Sangiovese 2011, Louvau Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, “The Other Program” New Vintage

Winemaker Notes: “Dark Ruby color, with a subtle tobacco/cedar nose and smooth mid-palate. Great foodie wine. It is still young but impeccably balanced with firm acidity and assertive but fine-grained tannins. Give it time to unwind and develop complexity.” Made with native yeast, French oak, stressed vines, ruthless yield-reduction and crop-thinning (1.5 tons/acre), and harvested from one row of vines that runs the full length of the vineyard.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, “El Rey” (the King), Louvau Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

Winemaker Notes: “Deep purple-black-burgundy color. Aromas of black currants and subtle oak nuances entice the senses. A solid backbone of tannins support rich flavors of blackberries, cassis, a hint of mint and classic Dry Creek spice.”From the same vineyard that also supplies Cabernet for Chateau St. Jean’s ‘Cinq Cepages’ in the warm Dry Creek Valley, it yields a low 2.5 to 3 tons an acre. 24 months in barrel. 150 cases made.

Syrah 2012, Fairview Road Ranch (Kirk William’s Vineyard), SLH “Amaranta” New Vintage

Winemaker Notes: “A no holds barred Syrah. Dense and extracted with concentrated dark fruit layers of blackberries, purple plums, a trace of tar, and black licorice richly coating the palate. Finishes powerfully with a kick of cassis liqueur.”“Amaranta” – from (Latin) meaning “unfading color.” Robert Parker calls it a “bigger than life style of Syrah.” From the same Syrah clone, vine-spacing and similar soil to the adjacent Garys’ Vineyard. Dark and dangerously appealing. 110 cases.

Available trade materials for download. (POS, Shelf Talkers, Data sheets)