Once upon a time, cult-California winemaker Gideon Beinstock of Clos Saron, was a cult member. A "low-key" cult by the standards we might apply today, but nonetheless, certainly not just a friendly group of farmers. Gideon, a dedicated viticulturist and former painter, took the group's vineyard holdings, known as "Renaissance" and raised them to true glory, utilizing organic and biodynamic techniques as well as his own unique natural agricultural tinctures and techniques. During his time with the group, Gideon made several incredible vintages, particularly with Cabernet Sauvignon. Eventually, Gideon made the decision to leave the cult and was resolutely banished from Renaissance.
Since Gideon's departure, Renaissance has remained in the cult's hands, but recently has been tended to by some of Gideon's disciples. As part of an exchange to generate revenue for the cult's diminishing coffers, Gideon was given access to back vintages of his work from Renaissance, now labelled "Taken From Granite." This wine, taken from several parcels in the Renaissance property, is from the beautiful 1999 vintage. Only 400 cases of this wine were ever made. This wine shows such incredible finesse, while guarding the ripeness of fruit and tension that Renaissance so wonderfully expressed. A dip into the history of California natural wine, this is a stunning wine to share with friends and one that could still be guarded for another decade or more.