Archive for May, 2012
This Sunday in LA, 40 Rhone Ranger wineries assemble in
LA to help the enlightment and evolution of local palates.
As they did for the San Francisco #RRSF, the Rhone Rangers (@RhoneRangers) will host a live Rhone tasting on Twitter from 530-630 pm.
Simply follow hashtag #RRLA, the same hashtag that will be used at the event.
If you have to Google who Randall Grahm is your Rhone education is just beginning. Read about Randall Grahm , the original Rhone Ranger. Yours truly (@SonomaWilliam) will take part of course, never one to miss a Rhone event.
Open your Rhone bottle, share what you like, and interact with Rhone Rangers wineries, ask questions about all things Rhone!
See you on the Twitter airwaves, Thursday night as well as Sunday, where I’ll ‘broadcast live’ from the event. Cheers and Rhone on!
5 Responses to “Sunday June 3 – Ride to SoCal With The Rhone Rangers at LA Pouring. (Also, Discount Code,Ticket contest & Live Twitter Tasting Thursday.)”
Sunday June 3 – Ride to SoCal With The Rhone Rangers at LA Pouring. (Also, Discount Code,Ticket contest & Live Twitter Tasting Thursday.)
Live in Southern California and missed the big San Francisco 2 day Rhone weekend this March? Visiting LA next weekend? Or a LA local looking to evolve your palate?
This Sunday June 3, The Rhone Rangers ride into Los Ange
les on Sunday, June 3, 2012, with over 45 wineries pouring over 200 American-grown Rhone wines.
Read on for Discount code, a contest giveaway AND a live Twitter tasting with Guest Celebrity and Rhone legend!
New Venue – The 130 Year Old Vibiana
All events take place this year at a new location: the recently renovated Vibiana, a 130 year old
(yes, in LA) historic site located in the vibrant downtown area of Los Angeles at 214 South Main Street, near the LA Times Building.
This is event is small, intimate and limited ticket capacity that sells out every year.
Summary of Events:
(1) Trade & Media Tasting, 12 noon – 2 PM.
Indoor walk-around tasting, complimentary to qualified trade & media. Registration takes place online now through May 30 at http://www.rhonerangers.org/traderegistration/la_trade.php. Cheeses from Ancon Fine Cheese will be served.
(2) Courtyard Lunch for the Winemakers & Backstage Pass Ticketholders, 2-3:30 PM.
Wineries will break wine out into the courtyard for a lunch break. Backstage Pass Ticketholders (Tickets are $85) will join us for lunch served from gourmet food trucks. Everyone will be given 3 coupons, one for each truck, for food for lunch.Participating food trucks are Slammin’ Sliders (lobster sliders, kobe beef sliders), Flying Pig Truck (pork belly buns and other Asian-inspired foods) and Coolhaus (ice cream). This will be informal, picnic style, no reserved seating, get up and move around to taste wine from your favorite winemaker.
(3) General Admission Consumer Tasting, 3:30 – 6 PM.
Walk-around tasting, tickets are $45 ($40 with Promo Code, SDKLA612) Taste from over 200 wines poured by more than 40 wineries. Food trucks in the courtyard will provide tasty treats for purchase to complement our wines. Bid on wine and wine-related items at the silent auction; proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund. This event ends at 6 PM.
Great, Informative, High Energy Video About Last Years Event.
Enter To Win A Free Ticket, Two Winners: only 48 hours!
I told you to be patient and keep reading! Two lucky readers will have be able to attend this event.
To Enter to win, in comments below, simply tell us
Why You Love Rhone wines
Which one of the 40+ Participating Wineries (list here) are you Most eager to taste, and Why.
We pick this Wednesday night at 7 pm Pacific, so don’t delay!
Thursday Night – Live on Twitter: A Rhone Ranger #RRLA Chat with Icon Randall Grahm, and Other Wineries.
As they did for #RRSF, the Rhone Rangers (@RhoneRangers) will host a live Rhone tasting on Twitter from 530-630 pm. Simply follow hashtag #RRLA, the same hashtag that will be used at the event.
If you have to Google who Randall Grahm is, (and thats ok) your Rhone education is still blossoming. Read about Randall Grahm , the original Rhone Ranger. Yours truly (@SonomaWilliam) will take part of course, never one to miss a Rhone event.
Bring a glass of a domestic Rhone, red, white or Rosé , your favorite Twitter client loaded with hashtag #RRLA, or click your browser here. Open your Rhone bottle, share what you like, and interact with Rhone Rangers wineries, ask questions about all things Rhone!
See you on the Twitter airwaves, Thursday night as well as Sunday, where I’ll ‘broadcast live’ from the event. Cheers and Rhone on!
I realized its been quite a while since picked a ‘wine of the week.’
Look no further, especially for local Bay area readers. Here is a local Healdsburg highlight of my May journeys through Rosé, so far.
I am again delinquent about reviewing Cartograph, best known as an emerging Pinot Noir producer to watch.
I reviewed their Gewurtraminer some time ago, which (ironically) was my debut wine of the week. I have a stash of their Pinot Noir I really must write about. Generally when I open a bottle of Cartograph, its for ‘me’ time, sorry, on occasion I don’t share everything I drink.
Since I last wrote, Cartograph has teamed up with Stark Wines to open one of the coolest tasting rooms in Healdsburg. Friday nights there have been especially fun as they have rotated in live music, artists, writers and more. Tonight for example, is singer Steve Pile. The tasting room is Garagiste Healdsburg, which in addition to its highly lauded tasting room, is a small production facility.
During the summer, you can sit outside on their amazing patio, order wine by the glass, and have food delivered from Healdsburg restaurants. Great wine, food delivered, and a gorgeous patio – Simply Hedonistic!
Release Party, Saturday May 25th
This wonderful Rosé is available tomorrow at their release party in Healdsburg tomorrow 1-5 pm. (But open until 7 pm.)
Review: 2011 Cartograph Pinot Noir Rosé, Russian River Valley
To The Eye: Light vibrant pink, with a salmon orange hue.
On The Nose: Expressive nose of fresh strawberries, white peach, rose petals.
In The Mouth: Bright, fun, and (too) easy to drink. A red fruit bowl of strawberry, fresh raspberry, bright cherry, pomegranate. Fresh fruit on the front palate, nice mouth feel mid palate, balanced with Bright mouthwatering acidity on the finish.
Recommendation: canadian pharmacy no prescription This one is a keeper, buy 3-6 bottles, and make sure you hide away 1-2 for Thanksgiving! Tasting room only, $19. Only 55 cases made. (And a handful of the cutest damn 375 ml bottles you ever saw. ) 91 Points
Wine Geek Info:
- TA 6.7
- pH 3.16
- Alc: 13.2
It’s been a fun month of Rosé tasting, as part of my Rosé Panel/Series (see: A Call For Rosé – May Panel Rev
iew (Drink Pink!)
iew (Drink Pink!)) I am about half way through 60 or so samples, which means I need to crank up the pace! Rather than sit down and do 10-20 at once, and risk palate fatigue, and insufficient attention, I have been tasting in small batches. You can see results, so far, on my Cellartracker event. By early June, I will release a series of summary articles and standouts, take a quick break, and then dive into a special Sauvignon Blanc themed series I will announce shortly.
My apologies for less writing this month – it’s a perfect storm of many things; end of the quarter for my new day job, lots of travel, the winery project, the vineyard and more. June promised a bit more normalcy.
Now, onto the business at hand.
Santa Barbara County and Rhone Wines
Santa Barbara county is a Rhone destination, I am long overdue to tour. (I make a quick in/out trip each year tSanta Ynez to pick up Grenache Blanc grapes.) While Paso Robles is considered the motherlode of Central Coast, and indeed California Rhones, Santa Barbara county is not far behind, and with its cooler climate and nights, typically produces wines well balanced wines of lower alcohol.
I am hoping sometime this summer or fall, to make an 2-3 media tour and visit wineries, whom many I have tried, but never visited. Curtis is one of these, especially after tasting this Rosé, one of the standouts in my panel so far.
2011 Curtis Heritage Rosé – Santa Barbara
Curtis Winery and winemaker Chuck Carlson, have been dedicated to Rhone wines since its inception. In fact they state:
..we put down roots as one of California’s first wineries dedicated exclusively to Rhône-style wines. Since then, nothing has changed. We still live for Rhônes.
The 2011 blend has changed cheap viagra from the 2010 to be Mourvedre, not Grenache based. (54% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 21% Grenache.)
To The Eye: The color is a light pale pink.
Nose:A Fresh fruit bowl of wild strawberry. rose hips, and watermelon
In The Mouth: The wine is a delight; bright, lively, with very quaff-able flavors of strawberry, watermelon Jolly Ranger, citrus and raspberry, The acidity is bright and pleasing, and the alcohol, while not high at 14.3, is a reminder that numbers are numbers, and a wine, including Rosé can taste balanced in a wide range of empirical values. The finish is long, lingering, and mouth watering….making you want another sip.
Recommendation: A must buy, if you like Rosé. 92 points.
At $18 online, stock up for the summer while some is left. Media Sample. Call 805.686.8999 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if distributed near you, or have them ship 6 bottles, it won’t last long.
This week I participated in a Greek Wine live tasting. I get more invitations now to live tastings then I can possibly attend, or want to, so unless they are compelling wines, or a theme, I generally decline.
This one was generally well done (alth
ough little two way interaction) with the best video of a live tasting, yet. I could have easily spent two hours in this session – 6 wines in an hour is a bit of a fast pace. Nonetheless it was educational, and the 3 white wines and one Rosé stood out. There were two reds as well, but the whites were simply stunning, and my focus of this article.
The “New Wines of Greece” website is very well done, and an excellent resource.
Stunning Wines of Place
If you have read this blog for any time, you know I am passionate about interesting, unique wines of balance and subtle complexity. I was bowled over by these white wines – 12-13% alcohol, but full bodied, complex, ripe. Greece is very hot country with lots of sun, it seems we’d find more ‘new world’ higher alcohol coming from the region.
Instead, between native varietals that seemed to have adapted over hundreds, if not thousands of years, very old vines, and the Terroir of ocean influence, the region produces these stunning, balanced, phenolically ripe, complex wines.
I have always wanted to visit Greece, having been an enthusiast of Greek culture and literature as a child. Now
with my life about all things wine, I’d love to go tour the lands that brought this lifestyle changing beverage to the world.
2010 Tselepos Moschofilero – Greece, Peloponnisos, Mantinia
100% Moschofilero. 12.5%
- To The Eye: Pale yellow color.
- On The Nose: A floral nose reminiscent of Moscato and Viognier: Orange Blossom, Floral, Peach and Stone Fruits.
- In The Mouth: More Sauvignon Blanc like, crisp and bright, Bright white peach, lemon. Some minerality and nice weight, despite the acidity, mid palate.
Clean lingering wonderful finish. A great aperitif wine.
- Acidity: pH: 3.17 TA: .615
2011 Santo Wines Assyrtiko Santorini – Greece, Aegean, Santorini
A dense, viscous white wine made from Assyrtiko. 13.5% alc. $20
- To The Eye: Pale straw yellow color.
- On The Nose: Nose of citrus, lemon zest, orange blossom.
- In The Mouth: Stone fruit, Meyer lemon, minerality. An amazing, lingering finish and acidity.
- Acidity: pH3.1 TA .60
Love, and recommend. Pair with a variety of dishes, will stand up to many food types.
2010 Domaine Gerovassiliou Malagousia – Greece, Macedonia, Epanomi
- To The Eye: Medium yellow color.
- On The Nose: Nose of white flower, stone fruit, peach.
- In The Mouth: Viscous texture in the mouth that goes wonderfully with the high acidity. Full bodied ripe fruit in the mouth. Over night skin contact clearly adds a great aspect to this wine, as well as partial oak barrel fermentation.
- pH 3.62 TA .52
Great value, complex wine. Acid hounds and white geeks will love this wine.
2011 Gaia Estate Agiorgitiko 14-18h – Greece, Peloponnisos, Nemea
Perfect overlap of the Wines of Greece tasting with my May Rosé’ panel/series, as I am halfway through 60+ Rosé wines.
13% alc $15
- To The Eye: Color is a vibrant light to medium pink.
- On The Nose: Expressive Nose of Watermelon, Strawberry, Hint of Wet Stone
- In The Mouth: Bright but not overwhelming acidity that makes this an easy quaffer. A fun picnic right on your tastebuds with watermelon Jolly Rancher, fresh strawberry, some notes of minerality. A pleasing finish that makes you want more.
- Acidity: pH 3.37 TA .61
A wonderful Rosé that will delight almost any wine drinker with half a palate, your wine geek friends will go ‘ooooo’ over a varietal they have never had.
All of these wines are a great value, under $20. I encourage you to branch out, and try some Greek wine at your local wine shop or restaurant.
by Katherine Parker
I attended PINK OUT! SF this week, an event eagerly anticipated and long-awaited by me. PINK OUT! is an annual wine tasting and food-pairing celebration focused entire
ly on Rosé wines. It’s hosted by Chef Robert Lam at the San Francisco waterfront location of his Butterfly Restaurant. PINK OUT! SF, in its 8th year, is organized by the Rosé Avengers and Producers (RAP).
Rosé came onto my radar when I moved to Sonoma in 2009 and started classes in the wine studies program at Santa Rosa JC. Instructors like Bob Frazer, Ray Johnson and others opened my palate to a broad spectrum of wine varietals and winemaking styles I had never considered drinking. Rosé was one of those.
Living on the border of Carneros, Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast, I was soon smitten. My piece “Romance with Rosé,” became one of Simple Hedonisms’ most popular. When I found out there would be a tasting of 30+ Rosé wines in one place, I was excited. The wines, the Butterfly waterfront venue and food, and the sassy spirit of PINK OUT! SF lived up to my expectations and more.
Rosé is so versatile. Think of the many ways you can use and enjoy it: As a low(er) alcohol wine for a business or vacation lunch (Envolve or Korbin Kameron); as a mouth-cleansing refresher with spicy Asian or BBQ food (Lasseter Family); as an appetite-stimulant with a plate of fabulous cheeses (Dunstan or Kokomo); as a celebration wine, when you want a Pink Champagne with (Gloria Ferrer) or without the bubbles (Chateau D’Esclans) as an aperitif for a festive occasion. Also, a very good Rosé can be had for a great price. Of 40 or so wines, most are priced under $25 with several good value Rosés at $14-18. These were just a few faces of Rosé at PINK OUT! SF.
I found Rosés of all origins, varietals and colors at PINK OUT! SF: France, Spain and Australia; Sonoma and Napa; Yolo and Lake county grapes are represented. There are Rosés made from Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah, Sangiovese, Vermentino, Zinfandel … to name a few. And at least one (MidSummer Cellars) co-fermented with Viognier (Like!).
Straw. Pale Gold. Silver. Platinum. Peach. Salmon. Pink-Pink.Foamy Pink. Licorice Red Candy. Clear Ruby. Hot-Pink! Deep-Pink. Take your pick of pink.
As a whole I found the wines well made. I had a few favorites, which are influenced by my personal preferences (running to dry, low-alcohol Rosé, particularly of Pinot Noir, a varietal I favor).
Kokomo Grenache Rosé 2011. Grapes from Pauline’s Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma CA. This wine is elegant in every dimension: Crystal clear pale platinum in color, dry berry bramble nose, round and mouth-filling on the palette. Drinks well by itself and would pair excellently with an aged Spanish Manchego cheese, shellfish or naturally seasoned grilled pork. It was the perfect accompaniment to Chef Lam’s spicy paella. 13% Alcohol, $22.
Dunstan Rosé, 2011. Signature salmon color,
light fragrant nose, dry and cleansing on the palette. Balanced and satisfying. From Sonoma’s famed Durrell Vineyard Pinot Noir grapes.
VML 2011, Rosé of Pinot Noir. Winemaker Virginia (Ginny) Lambrix (Truett-Hurst and VML labels) made this lovely Rosé of Pinot, which retails for $19.
Many other wines here were also worthy of mention:
Chateau D’Esclans, Whispering Angel Rosé 2011, and Rosé 2011 from Cotes de Provence, France. Whispering Angel seems to create a category all it’s own. Made from a blend of 7 varietals – predominantly Grenache and Rolle – it is silvery pink in color, soft and round, and so light it seems to evaporate pleasantly in the mouth. Almost like champagne without the bubbles. 14% alcohol, $19. I liked the Rosé 2011 for its direct and structured approach – Grenache and Rolle with 20% oak. 14% alcohol, $35.
Gloria Ferrer was memorable for sparklers. They I tasted a couple of interesting and well-priced Spanish pink wines, Segura Viudas NV Brut Rosé ($8) and Freixenet NV Rosado Brut ($13). These were great paired with the oyster appetizers.
DEFINE Wines 2011 Syrah/Grenache Rosé. A new entrant with a finely-tuned, bold and fruity 13.5% alcohol Rosé. $38.
Carneros Wine Co., 2011 Fleur de California Rosé of Pinot Noir. Made from grapes from Carneros and Suisun Valley, this is a straightforward refreshing Rosé. Perfect for lunch at 12.5% alcohol and $14 retail.
Chef Lam put together a menu of spicy paella, grilled-cheese burgers and salad that paired so well with the Rosé tasting it was a hard act to follow. Then it was followed by platters of cheeses with cornbread triangles that made me realize how much the cheese and the Rosé wanted to be together. The waterfront location is ideal with its floor to ceiling windows and open kitchen. I will be back soon to discover the menu and waterfront vistas.
At the same time my interest in Rosé developed, Rosé winemaking styles have been rapidly evolving from a “what shall we do with the leftovers?” into an art and craft of Rosé. This event expresses the accessibility, diversity and enthusiasm of today’s Rosé. It’s on my calendar for next year on the second Tuesday of May. That should give me enough time to shop for something pink and sassy to wear in 2013.
You will be reading a LOT more about pink, or Rosé wines here this month. As I have shared a few times, I am passionate about (properly made) Rosé wines. This month, I am tasting through about 60 for my Rosé panel. (See cialis online purchase
Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)” href=”http://simplehedonisms.com/archives/7257″ rel=”bookmark”>A Call For Rosé – May Panel Review (Drink Pink!)
I am well into the tasting and will release some of these notes separately, all will have notes released on my CellarTracker notes.
This is an interesting new brand, for sure. The heritage is unmistakable – Benziger family. But if this Rosé is any example, a fresh new direction from the classic, consumer grade wines Benziger produces. I won’t know until I taste them all , but am interested to try.
Their website is well done, with a good vibe and energy. Off to a good start it seems.
Kudos for having tech sheet on your website. As I taste through dozens of Rosé right now, its annoying how many don’t. What caught my eye first on this, was a vineyard with a large planting of Rhone grapes, I had not heard of before, Dragonsleaf Vineyard. Per their notes “There are 50 acres, planted predominantly to Rhone varietals (Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault). ” Sonoma County is still playing catchup with Rhone plantings, and Cinsault can be very hard to find. As a Rhone Ranger board member, and President of our North Coast chapter, Bravo!
Wine Review: 2011 Envolve Sonoma Mountain Rosé
This rosé is a blend of 92% Syrah, 8% Grenache. 2011 was considered one of the most challenging vintages in decades for much of the county, and this seems no exception as they note: “The 2011 vintage in Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley AVAs was a challenging one. We never received our usual August heat spell, and it prevented a lot of the fruit in these AVAs to struggle reaching optimal ripeness. We were quite lucky, however,
and picked around 21.5 brix to lock in the acidity and still have enough sweetness to add the necessary phenolic complexity
and picked around 21.5 brix to lock in the acidity and still have enough sweetness to add the necessary phenolic complexity.”
Bravo – in my opinion the acid and alcohol are where they should be. One of my biggest disappointments as I taste through this panel are rosé of 14%+ alcohol, that have drifted closer to being a red wine than
a rosé. Not that its impossible to make a great balanced rosé thats not the classic 12-13% alcohol, but in my experience its the exception not the rule.
To The Eye: Medium Pink color
On The Nose: Expressive red fruit, strawberry and raspberry. Subtle hint of earthiness.
In The Mouth: In The Mouth: A wonderful expression of Rosé; cherry, strawberry, watermelon in the mouth. Its bright and fun on the front palate, it gains complexity and some wet stone minerality mid palate, and finishes nicely with juicy acidity. A wine that makes you smile, sip, and reach for a refill. There is a tiny bit of RS sweetness. I don’t think it adds to the wine personally, and would have fermented it dry, or I’d rated it a tad higher, but its a stylistic choice, and others may actually prefer it.
Recommendation: Worth grabbing a bottle for your summer fare, or an aperitif, if you see it. Or buy it online $24. 89 Points. Media Sample received for Pink Out Tastelive.
Wine Geek Info:
- Harvest Date: September 17th 2011
- Bottling Date: January 18th 2011
- Release Date: February 1st 2012
- pH: 3.34
- Total Acid: .68
- Alcohol: 12.7%
- Residual Sugar: .50
- Production: 536 Cases