Adobe Road Winery’s Racing Series: splurge-worthy perfection

We were first drawn to Adobe Road Winery because of their reputation for elegant, luxurious red wines made with artisanal meticulousness in small, exclusive amounts. Then we saw their Racing Series and were bowled over with their unique bottling.

Adobe Road is uniquely tied to the exciting world of professional sports car racing. Let’s face it, garnering wins from racing around a track at 180 miles per hour at the highest levels of professional competition takes extreme focus, attention, and a drive for perfection. To professional race car driver and team owner, Kevin Buckler so does winemaking.

We tasted Adobe Road’s Redline, Shift and Carbon, wines in a class of their own but so originally packaged with compelling racing details on the bottles that they are irresistible.

Redline 2018 ($45) is emblazoned with a tachometer on its front and is crafted from some of the most prestigious Napa and Sonoma vineyards. The wine was complex, lush and elegant, singing of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel. Petite Syrah and Malbec. This quality wine jumps out of the glass with ripe blackberries, black cherry, licorice, and a hint of toasty oak. A broad mouthfeel meets ultra plush texture on the palate, delivering chocolate covered blueberries and blackberry pie with wafts of hardwood charcoal grill. Silky tannins frame the incredibly smooth finish.

Shift 2018 ($63) has an actual steel vintage gated gear shifter bolted to its bottle and cap, symbolic of how this wine breaks all the rules of traditional winemaking: it is a blend of richly-fruited Zinfandel and deep dark Tempranillo with a dash of Syrah and Petite Syrah. This is a serious, long-lasting wine with deep lusty intensity, ideal for cellaring.

We found in Carbon 2018 an inky, intense blend of Petite Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah that, like its namesake, carbon, is superior and made to last. Carbon comes charging off the line with opaque black color in the glass.  Aromas of black cherries, licorice, and deeply toasted oak seamlessly transition to flavors of ripe plum and crushed blackberries, finishing with sculpted tannins and violet accents.
Following the legendary success of his professional race team The Racers Group (TRG), Kevin and his wife Debra opened Adobe Road Winery in the heart of Sonoma County in 2002. Their goal is to craft wines that exemplify the true essence of California’s most revered wine-growing regions.

“We work hard to make sure each bottle of Adobe Road wine showcases the best attributes of each individual vineyard, within each appellation we source from,” says Kevin. “We choose the best parts of Sonoma and Napa Valley for our elite Cabernet Sauvignons, Dry Creek for our hedonistically rich Syrahs and Zinfandels, as well as the Petaluma Gap for our ethereal Pinot Noirs and lavishly flavored yet sleek Chardonnays.”

Adobe Road sacrifices nothing when it comes to producing its line-up of premium wines. Kevin himself spends countless hours working closely with his Winemaker, Garrett Martin, and team, to perfect the flavor and balance of each and every release. He takes the time to study the fruit, experiments with new blends and meticulously monitors the fermentation process ensuring the ideal conditions throughout production. Adobe Road knows the importance of nurturing its relationships with California’s most renowned and passionate growers. It is this attention to the details that bring out the personality and character of the wines and has garnered so many awards with prominent wine publications and industry competitions throughout the years.

“There isn’t always a need for speed in my life,” jokes Buckler. The winery was specifically designed to allow Kevin and his team to spend time with each lot. Carefully monitoring each barrel allows him to make the right decisions at the ideal time. Kevin savors the process which helps him fully understand and manage the many variables that go into developing these prestigious wines. In 2016 Kevin and Debra once again did what was necessary to support their fast-growing winery. They purchased a warehouse property on the riverfront of beautiful, historic Downtown Petaluma, a booming, character-rich, wine country town. The new facility will house not only the winery and tasting room, but a car museum, catering facilities, dining rooms, and visitor center. The exceptional quality and success of Adobe Road’s wines and the multitude of accolades and notoriety awarded to this small boutique winery boil down to one of Buckler’s most profound perspectives. ”The best grapes, from the best vineyards, make the best wines, period.” 
Visit for more on these dynamic, innovative wines.
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