Candor wines aim to fill a gaping hole in the wine marketplace: really good, varietally true, affordable California reds made from Merlot and Zinfandel. There are plenty of soft, quaffable, easy-drinking wines from these varieties out there for ten bucks or so, and some stunning, exceptional bottles for $40 or $50. In between, in all Candor, the pickings can be slim.
With all the vineyard acreage and winemaking knowledge in California, mid-priced wines don’t have to be forgettable. The raw materials and talent are there to grow and bottle serious varietal wines, full of ripe, rich fruit, wines with a come-hither nose and a real, live finish. Complete wines that don’t max out your credit card.
What you need to pull this off is knowing your vineyard sources and keeping a steady hand on the winemaking. The Hope family—the people behind the wines of Liberty School and Treana—have built up over decades a stellar set of relationships with family-owned vineyards up and down the state. They know a good site from a weak one, a careful farmer from a careless one, and how to work with growers to get the best out of a piece of land. Having all those separate lots available—and, where it helps the wine, using multiple vintages as well—gives a good winemaker plenty to work with.
Candor’s winemaker is a good one indeed: Austin Hope, who also makes the highly –regarded, highly-rated wines for Treana and his own Austin Hope label. Austin’s track record with ultra-premium wines shows up in every value-priced glass of Candor.
Over-delivery: that’s the idea.