Posts Tagged ‘grenache’

Celebrate Friday Sept 20 #GrenacheDay With the Rhone Rangers in Healdsburg, 2-7pm Tasting

The members of the North Coast Chapter of the Rhone Rangers are riding into Healdsburg Friday Sept 20th in celebration of International #GrenacheDay, as events all over the world are being held to recognize this wonderful grape variety, now becoming very popular in the US.2013 Grenache Day

Join us to taste Rhone wines made from Grenache no prescription online pharmacy Noir, Grenache Blanc, Grenache based blends, and Grenache Rosé from 11 wineries.

The event is from 3-7 p.m. at the Stark Tasting room in downtown Healdsburg, one block off the square.

NOTE! This event will be small, intimate, with limited space. Tickets WILL sell out based on the last two years and tickets at the door will be subject to capacity and not guaranteed.

Purchase tickets here: https://grenacheday2013.eventbrite.com/

 

Taste Through Grenache wines, Red, White, Blends & RoséRhone-Rangers

This is your chance to taste wines from a wide range of wineries, from veteran icons to new and emerging wineries that make small productions and 100 case lots.

Wineries include: Anaba, Donelan Family Wines, Frick Winery, Mounts Family Winery, Quivira, Stark Wines, Steele Wines, Skylark Wine Company, Two Shepherds,  AND special guests from the Sierra Foothills Baiocchi Wines (one of the winners of the 2010 tasting) and SF Chronicle touted Skinner Vineyards.

Taste multiple wines from 11 producers for less than price of one tasting room fee, $15 in advance. ($20 at the door, IF available.)

 

Have Fun, Compare, & Vote For Your Favorite

Similar to our smash hit Grenache Day, Rosé, and Napa tastings – attendees get a clipboard of information with detailed notes on each wine, and walk around to interact with each winery.

Attendees will have a chance to vote for their favorite wines. Help pick the top wine of the day!

Celebrate Anywhere & Look For These Global Events

Can’t join us in Healdsburg? #GrenacheDay is an International and virtual event. Open your favorite bottle of Grenache and share it virtually on Twitter with hashtag #GrenacheDay.  Also, look on the Grenache Symposium website for an event or tasting near you. You can also find daily updates on their Facebook page.

Participating Wineries Include:

  • AnabaStark logo
  • Donelan Family Wines
  • Frick Winery
  • Mounts Family Winery
  • Quivira
  • Stark Wines
  • Steele Wines
  • Skylark Wine Company
  • Two ShepherdsWine Road Logo
  • Baiocchi Wines
  • Skinner Vineyards.

Many Thanks to Our Host  – Stark Wines, and Sponsor, The Wine Road.

 

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Wine of the Week: Campovida Grenache Rosé – Mendocino

Several weeks ago, on behalf of the North Coast chapter of the Rhone Rangers, Quivira Winery and I hosted a rosé tasting featuring 12 rosés from North Coast producers. The event was a smash success with attendees with dozens of positive comments and feedback.

As part of the audience participation, attendees received a handout with details on each wine, and when they were done with their tasting submitted a ballot for their top two wines of the day. All wines were well represented and received multiple votes, by the winner, by a fair margin, was the Campovida Grenache rosé.  To celebrate their success, and a classic summer sipper, its featured as wine of the week.

About Campovida

Campovida is a family owned and operated certified organic farm and working vineyard. This unique place offers deep connections with nature, wine tasting, a professional culinary kitchen, a 10-room retreat center. It's a place where you can relax,enjoy and create your custom gatherings.20130601_132909

Several years ago Campovida embraced Rhone varieties, and under the watch of new winemaker Sebastian Donoso, formerly at Saracina, some amazing wine are being released. A winery and winemaker to watch.

Campovida also recently opened a new tasting room in Oakland, which I am eager to go visit. (Campovida Announces New Winemaker and Tasting Room)

  • Oakland Tasting Room: Address: 95 Linden St, Oakland, CA 94607 Phone:(707) 400-6300
  • Campovida Tasting Room: 13601 Old River Road, Hopland CA Phone: 707.400.6300

Wine of The Week: Campovida Grenache Rosé

To The Eye: The Campovida rosé is an immediate eye catcher. A brilliant, beautiful light orange hue of pink grapefruit skin

On The Nose: Expressive notes of tangerine, pink grapefruit, powdered sugar (not sweet though)2013-06-20 10.30.34

On the Palate:  Wonderful bright  but round fruit and citrus on  the front palate. Mid palate, mouth watering flavors of citrus. The finish is long, lingering with notes of spice and mouthwatering acidity and minerality.

I tasted both at room temperature, and proper chilled cellar temp, this wine exhibits no flaws or astringency, only great balance, the sign of a well made rosé. Rosé is actually one of the most difficult wines there is to vinify, with narrow margin for error, bravo to Sebastian for job well done.

A wine that will pair well with a wide array of summer dishes, from oysters to summer salads, and cialis order online grilled white meats and fishes.

Vineyard Info

  • Appellation: Mendocino County
  • Year planted: 2006
  • Elevation: 960 feet
  • Soil: Clay loam
  • Yield: 4 tons/acre

Wine Making Notes

  • Harvest date: October 20, 2012
  • Brix: 22.0
  • Fermentation: Crushed and cold soaked for 24 hours. Pressed and barrel
  • fermented in neutral French oak. No malolactic fermentation.
  • Aging: Aged in neutral French oak for four months with lees contact and stirred three times.
  • pH: 3.15
  • TA: 6.0 g/L
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Cases produced: 134
  • Release date: April 2013

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Rosé the Rhone Way – A Post in Pictures

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Tasting Notes: 2011 Curtis Heritage Rosé – Santa Barbara

Rhône Rosé Panel: Quivira, Mounts, and Skinner Vineyards

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Rosé the Rhone Way – A Post in Pictures

A few weeks ago, William and the North Coast Rhone Rangers organized a beautiful Rosé tasting in the garden at Quivira Winery. Between the wonderful weather and the gorgeous bottles of Rosé, I ended up with a lot of really great pictures. I decided to just put them all up here and let the wine do most of the talking (with my own notes interspersed of course).

The pictures below represent just a few highlights from the tasting. The whole event was lovely and I look forward to adding some of these wonderful wines to my personal collection.

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2012 Broc Cellars Santa Ynez Rosé $20

We started the day with the Broc Cellars Rosé. The blend is 50% Counoise and 50% Cinsault. It was a great refreshing way for us to start off the tasting. With clean, fresh, watermelon flavors it felt like a perfect start of summer wine. I personally am really excited about Broc Cellars – with a tasting room located in Berkeley, I know I will be stopping by before at least one Cal Football game this year.

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2012 Campovida Rose di Grenache $34, 134 case production

The next Rosé was from Campovida. I had met the winemakers a few weeks earlier at the 7% Solution Tasting and was excited to get a chance to try their wine. Grenache Rosé is definitely something I've been enjoying a lot lately and this was no exception. To go from loving Grenache to discovering Grenache Blanc, it is only fitting that I've now progressed to Rosé and am growing quite passionate for it as well.  The Campovida was also selected by attendees as their favorite wine of the day, in a poll completed by attendees, by quite a margin, congrats!

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2012 Front Porch Rosé $25, 90 case production

My personal favorite of the day was the Front Porch Rosé being poured at the Idlewild table. As a blend of 70% Grenach and 30% Syrah, it has a lovely juicy flavor that was reminiscent of guava.

Of course, there were also some amazing Idlewild wines (which for some reason I didn't manage to get a picture of). The 2012 Vin Gris ($22, 70 case production) was an exceptionally light Syrah Rosé. With only 1.5 hours on the skins, it had delicate strawberry and crisp citrus tones.

The third wine at the table was another favorite – the Idlewild Grenache Gris ($28, 122 case production). With 3 days on skins and stems, it was darker in color than the Vin Gris. The wine had a beautiful nose and lovely cranberry flavors. I had tasted it a few weeks earlier and was happy to try it a second time and see that it was still as wonderful as I remembered.

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Mounts Family Winery 2012 Grenche generic viagra Rosé $16, 82 case production

The Mounts 100% Grenache Rosé caught my eye initially just with how light and peachy the color was (I told you the pictures did a lot of the talking here). With only 4 hours of skin contact and low sugar content, it had such a light and crisp grapefruit flavor. It was absolutely perfect on the sweltering Sonoma day.

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Quivira 2012 Rosé $19, 602 case production

It wouldn't be a complete review without mentioning the host winery's Rosé as well. This Rosé is a blend of 51% Grenache, 32% Syrah, and 17% Mourvedre. There was a lovely strawberry flavor that I very much enjoyed along with the bright pink color. The wine is also organic which I always support. In addition to the Rosé, I also picked up the Quivira 2011 Grenache. I had to contain myself from buying anymore and I'm sure next time I visit I will also be grabbing a few of their blends.

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Drink Pink, Dress Pink

It wouldn't be a day of wine tasting without me hamming it up for a few photos as well. I was very enthusiastic that my dress matched many of the wines. I would love to say this was a happy accident but I noticed that most of my dresses had some wine spots on them and I figured in this case, no one would see if I spilled wine on myself. Ironically, since I took the precaution, I managed to refrain from my usual clumsy nature and keep all of my wine in the glass.

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I can't take her anywhere…

The commentary on the event would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful sustainable garden at Quivira. It was fun to explore and see just how many different types of produce were flourishing. I can hardly keep my key lime plant alive so I was definitely impressed. My friend, Natalie, really enjoyed exploring the gardens as well. I hear the raspberries are delicious…

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A wonderful end to a beautiful day of wine tasting!

After tasting a lot of lovely Rosé, we all went back to William's house for a wine filled homemade dinner that went way past sunset. It was a wonderful day and I'm looking forward to more of these smaller Rhone Ranger tasting events. At $15/ person, the Rosé tasting was a fun and inexpensive way to explore a very specific wine topic. Quivira was a perfect location for it and intimacy of the event really let me talk to the winemakers a little bit more. Thanks William for putting together such a beautiful tasting!

Related Posts

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Millennial Writer to Join Simple Hedonisms – Introducing Nikki Lincoln

Interview: Nikki Lincoln, Simple Hedonisms New Millennial Writer

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What I Drank Last Week (May 19-25)

By Nikki Lincoln

As some of you may know, this week started off with a big event in San Francisco known as Bay to Breakers. I enthusiastically participated and after all was said and done, I was looking forward to taking a little break from drinking so no wine was cracked open for a couple of days. However, that didn't last long and by Tuesday I was back on the wine grind.

RN74

Tuesday I'd finally felt recovered from Bay to Breakers and decided to go to Happy Hour with a couple of work friends. My only requirement was that the place have wine so I was happy when RN74 was thrown out as an option.JC Quincy

My coworker and I were in a particularly silly mood and after spending zithromax overnight the whole walk laughing and joking around, I decided it would be nice to cool down with a crisp white. Ideally, when I want something cool and refreshing, Sauvignon Blanc is my go to so I was happy to see one on the menu, and extra excited that it was from the Loire Valley after having read about it earlier in the day. The wine was very light and refreshing with mild flavor and acid.

For my second glass, I decided to go for a Grenache from Southern Rhone. My friends all decided to follow suit and it was fun to see that they all trusted my judgement. This wine was big and fun with an earthiness to it. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to get a second glass. If drinking this wine at home though, I think it would do a little better having some time to breath in a decanter or passed through an aerator.

After the three glasses of wine, we were all in fine spirits and despite one friend having tickets to the Giants game (now close to being over), we decided to try one more wine. I thought it would be fun to try something I wasn't familiar with at all and went with the Louis Antoine Pais from Chile. The bartender then proceeded to explain the wine to me and warn that I shouldn't be shocked by the hint of bubbles since this wine was a little “gassy.” Needless to say, my coworker erupted in a fit of giggles over this. I really enjoyed the wine and I love a bit of effervescence in a wine, especially when it unexpectedly comes from a red. Next time I come back to RN74, this is going to be the first wine I order so I can get a better idea of the taste.

All in all, it was a very fun happy hour both in company and location. I  love when a bar has a great selection of wine by the glass since it let's me try more wines that I might not normally have access to. It's also fun to share my interest with my friends, as well as a bunch of laughs. I did feel bad about my friend missing the Giants game though so I promised next time we'll go somewhere that he can at least watch it.

SAUVIGNON BLANC, JEAN-CLAUDE ROUX QUINCY, LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE 2011 $12/glass

GRENACHE, PIAUGIER GIGONDAS, SOUTHERN RHONE, FRANCE 2010 $16/glass

PAIS, LOUIS ANTOINE LUYT QUENEHUAO, MAULE VALLEY, CHILE 2011 $12/glass

Macallan Finest Cut Event

A couple of months ago some friends and I went to a Macallan tasting event. I'm sure you've heard of these – they put you in a big pretty room, give you a free cocktail and then some samples while an MC shows you a video and explains why the scotch is superior to others. Basically, they're a really fun time to try a new spirit with your pals. So a couple of weeks ago when I got an email about another Macallan tasting event, I was caught off guard. Hadn't I JUST gone to one of these? However, upon opening it, I was pleased to find out that this was a smaller scale event at a local whiskey restaurant, Nihon. I enthusiastically signed up and invited a friend who went with me to the big event.

This event baffled me in the best way possible. Having been to plenty of events where the idea is to sell you on something, it was oddly refreshing to show up in a room, be handed two tasting coupons, and be told to sit anywhere and enjoy the free (very fancy) sushi. The only announcement that was made was to let everyone know that it was actually a charity event for the World Children's Initiative and that they were making a donation on behalf of all of the attendees. Well played, Macallan, well played. In addition to having great scotch (and an ice ball machine), you also have a place in my heart for just being really, really good people.

2010 Coppola Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon

Coppola Diamond CabAfter the Macallan event, we decided to go back to my apartment for some wine and GeoGuessr (the most addicting game on the Internet, I'm sorry). I was feeling a big red so I decided to open up the 2010 Coppola Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon. This actually ended up being surprisingly light for a Cab. I picked out some blackberry tones and felt that it was the kind of red that would be very enjoyable to drink in the summer. That particular note in red wine is nice in that blackberries aren't known for having an overwhelming flavor and likewise, this was a gentler red. I could imagine being able to enjoy it even on a warm day.

Price: $18

2011 Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon20130522_211723

We decided to end the night with one more wine. This time I decided to open a wine I had received as a sample. The 2011 Mirassou Cabernet Sauvignon was much more robust than the previous Cab. The flavor was fruity and had more black currant tones than blackberry. The slight jamminess of the wine was a noticeable contrast compared to the Coppola Cabernet.

Price: $12

2011 Coppola Director's Cut Chardonnay

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The next day brought us to Chardonnay Day and the arrival of Momma Lincoln. Lucky for me, this was a fortuitous coincidence as my mother loves Chardonnay. I decided to pop a bottle of 2011 Coppola Director's Cut Chardonnay in fridge as I waited for her much delayed flight to arrive. She was very happy to arrive at my apartment and be immediately treated to a glass of her favorite kind of wine.

The wine was very light with an almost floral nose that I presume to be the presence of the cloves that the tasting notes suggest. I hadn't had a Chardonnay in a while and had forgotten how different the acidity is than a Sauvignon Blanc or the other whites I'd had recently. It was interesting to think about those differences more and figuring out my preferences. More importantly though – Mom liked it.

Price: $21

2011 Pueblo Del Sol Sauvignon Blanc

20130525_200439For the rest of Mom's visit, I wasn't actively keeping track of the drinks we had because I just wanted to enjoy spending time with her. However, Saturday night, after spending the day rearranging my apartment and setting up some much needed wine racks, she picked out a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc she wanted to try. As it was a sample that I was given, I told her I should probably take notes on it… and I'm so glad I did.

This wine was exactly what I look for in a Sauvignon Blanc. It was very dry and acidic with a crisp apple flavor. I really enjoyed this wine and I am definitely going to find where I can buy a few bottles because this would be perfect for a picnic on one of those rare warm SF days or with some oysters.

Price: ~$11

Last week was a pretty busy drinking week for me so now that Momma Lincoln has left, I've decided to take a few days off from the vino. My big drinking this week will be at a couple more specific tastings so no wines of the week next week, but I'll try to post something regardless.

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Join The Rhone Rangers and The Grenache Symposium, Friday Sept 21st for #GrenacheDay

Can you name the second most widely planted varietal in the world? Yes, it’s Grenache. A grape beloved in France and Spain, under appreciated in the US, but growing in popularity.

Indeed, San Francisco wine writer Jon Bonné has been emphasizing  for sometime now that Grenache represents everything American consumers are looking for in wine.

Rhone icon Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon waxes poetic about Grenache regularly on Twitter. The Twitter hashtag has been active for weeks with enthusiasts eager to gush about their passion.

Grenache is  also my persona favorite varietal family. Family? Yes, when we celebrate Grenache Day its not just the red grape Grenache  (Noir) but also Grenache Blanc (yes thats actually a white grape, not a pressed version of Grenache) and Grenache Gris, which is almost non existent in the US, sadly.

Grenache Blanc should be celebrated indeed- with less than 300 acres planted in California, we are fortunate to have it here, thanks to the efforts of Tablas Creek, ten years ago.

 

What is Grenache Day aka #GrenacheDay

The International Grenache Symposium, led by Marlene Angelloz, an energetic passionate lady I had the pleasure of meeting in Avignon earlier this year, is group dedicated to celebrating Grenache. The Symposium holds a number of events in Europe during the year.  The culmination and global celebration is the third Friday in September, which co-incidentally is mid harvest for most Rhone vintners, self included.

The ‘#” sign in front of Grenache Day is reflective of the Twitter “hashtag” a mechanism that allows users on Twitter to sort the stream of “Tweets” 140 character posts, into one useful feed.

Varietal Days have

become quite popular on Twitter the last few years, and with a little practice is a great way to interact and share with other Grenache lovers.

This is a non commercial, non sponsored event. No monies are collected to participate, advertise, or be a part of. All that is required is a bit of passion, which you will find abound amongst Grenache lovers.

You can follow their website or Facebook page for more information and updates, and global event listings.

 

The Rhone buy overnight viagra Rangers Lead The US Charge

The Rhone Rangers are the leading US non profit organization dedicated to the education of American Rhone wines – that is Rhone style wines made from domestic grapes. With Hospice du Rhone seemingly muted and in transition, our organization is more committed than ever to this cause, and have rallied in a big way to support Grenache Day.

I say ‘our’ because I am a steadfast, contributing member. Originally as a ‘Sidekick‘, then on the Marketing committee running Social Media. Ultimately that led to a Board of Directors position, and involvement in multiple committees. In 2011 I proudly also joined as a Vintner.

Not stopping there, most recently, I lead the re-forming of the North Coast chapter, consisting of 32 wineries, mostly in Sonoma county, but spanning Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. If you tapped a vein right now, Grenache might indeed flow.

 

US Grenache Tastings & Events

Many Rhone Ranger wineries and Grenache producers are doing a number of special tastings, verticals, sales to celebrate.

Highlighted Rhone Rangers events include:

  • Four walk around tastings held in Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Paso Robles, on Friday Sept 21st. These events are being held at no charge, and are an excellent way for you to experience Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Rosé, as well as blends based on Grenache, and intereact with the winemakers.   A listing of times and locations can be found here.  (You can also RVSP for the Santa Rosa event here, come visit, I will be pouring.)
  • As a special warm up for our palates, the Rhone Rangers will lead a two hour Twitter Grenache seminar and tasting, the day before, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.  Each 30 minutes a special guest winery will lead the tasting and questions:

Ridge Vineyards(5:30 PM)

Bonny Doon, Randall Grahm (6 PM)

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Two Shepherds (6:30 PM)
Tablas Creek & 
Tercero (7 PM).

Any winery can join in with the consumers and bloggers. The more the merrier. Bring a glass of Grenache (we’d prefer domestic for the tasting, but there are no rules) your questions, and be a part of the celebration.

 

I recommend the use of a tool like Hootsuite for Hashtag sorting, but you can also use the Twitter page via web browser, simply put #grenacheday in the search window.

 

For more information, and to RSVP, please go to: http://grenacheday12.eventbrite.com/

 

A Special Day, Amidst Our Most Special (and busy) Time of Year

Harvest comes only once a year, and is a joy filled, sleepless, rewarding time of the year for any passionate winemaker. We get one shot a year to express ourselves in our artisanal craft, factoring in a wealth of moving parts and things we have no real control over. (The largest being Mother Nature.)

Thus it is an extra special gift that wineries are taking precious time away to celebrate this beloved varietal with you. I hope you will by a bottle (or two)

and toast with friends and loved ones, in the spirit of appreciation, and celebration that is intended.

Cheers and Happy #GrenacheDay!

 

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The Chronicle Recommends: Grenache Blanc

Grenache finds a star turn in California

Wine of the Week, Winery of the Month – Tablas Creek 2010 Patelin de Tablas Blanc

Winery of the Month: Highlights of Bonny Doon Vineyard’s ‘Day of the Doon’ at San Juan Bautista ‘Popelouchum’ Vineyard

Why Rhone Wines & Wine Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee – #WBW71

March 24-25th in SF: “A Weekend Celebration of American Rhônes” or “Palate Enlightenment”. Read, Learn, Share and Win Grand Tasting Tickets

Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

Last week I kicked off the Rhone Countdown, as we almost one month away to the March 24-25 Rhone Rangers “viagra cheap

and_tasting.php” target=”_blank”>Weekend Celebration of American Rhones” and the April 26-28th 20th anniversary of Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines” in Paso Robles.

I am frequently asked “why Rhone wines.” I love, drink, taste, and buy wines of many varieties and categories, but I REALLY love Rhones. Why? I will write a more in depth article soon, but highlights were captured in an article a year ago in: Why Rhone Wines & Wine Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee.

I’d recommend reading the full post, but if I can capture one meaningful paragraph:

Rhone wines have more diversity across the varietals and give winemakers a huge flavor portfolio to work with, and thus consumers a myriad of combinations and flavor profiles. In Rhone wines, often the Sum of the Whole, is greater than the sum of the parts.”

Palate Evolution – Blends Are Good!

This is an important turning of enlightenment for the American wine consumer, who is lead to believe over the last three decades that single varietal wines are best. When one visits and tastes the Old World wines of Spain, France etc you learn quickly how untrue that is, and how uncommon. (There are of course some exceptions, like in Burgundy for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.)

That isn’t to say that 100% varietal wines are bad – I think the French are missing out by not making 100% Grenache Blanc. I can also readily admit often White Rhone blends with Grenache Blanc, are better, and easier to make, than many of the mediocre 100% Grenache Blancs. Blending gives a winemaker aroma and flavor profile tools you otherwise don’t have with a single varietal.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight’s review is about a Red

Rhone blend, from a brand that pays homage to Rhone blends: Wesley Ashley Wines. The above principles are sound, and the same.

Red Rhone blends, because of the great diversity of their components, offer the exploring wine drinker an infinite number of flavor profiles, far more than a Bordeaux blend. The variance between Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec etc, especially (sadly) when made in a New World style provides a far less range of differentiation than the red fruit of Grenache or Cinsault or Counoise, meatiness of Mourvedre, smokey complexity, white pepper of Syrah, and the raspberry of Carignane. Red Rhone blends are a never ending series of new discoveries as they vary by their composition and region.

 

Wine Review: 2009 Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design – Cuvee – Santa Barbara2009 Intelligent Design Cuvee

Even before tasting, I knew I was going to likely love this wine when I saw that it had changed from the previous release, and Grenache was now the primary vintage. I also knew they had a hit on their hands when I was a guest at a wine club event last summer, and a few bottles sneaked out, and crowds went loco, even though owner Jim Sloate thought it wasn’t ready and didn’t want it released yet.

This red Rhone blend is comprised of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Petite Sirah, a big change from the online pharmacy viagra uk previous Carignane dominant release.

To The Eye: Translucent, nearing opaque dark red. (As it should be, Grenache is by its nature not a deep purple color producing wine.)

On The Nose: This nose knows its Grenache. That classic undertone of cherry hard candy, strawberry, hint of spice. Fortunately the Grenache was kept in neutral oak, allowing its essence to shine through.

In The Mouth: Red fruit at the front, the syrah’s meatiness comes through mid palatte, with hints of coffee & mocha at the finish.

Recommendation: Buy. A Great Rhone red blend. I like it solo, but would love to pair it with lamb, grilled pork or chicken. $38 online or taste by appointment in Santa Rosa. (As well as the upcoming Rhone Ranger event.) Media Sanple.

 

 

Tasting Notes – Gilbert Cellars 2007 Allobroges Red Rhone blend

How I buy cheap viagra online came upon this wine is a mystery, I have no idea how it ended up in my cellar,. (Now over 1200 bottles, heavy on Rhones of course.)

I don’t recall ever receiving it as a media sample, as I keep that pile seperate and marked, and I don’t ever recall buying it. It may have been a gift in the blur of the Grenache Day tasting and BBash after.

Its possible I also had aquired the year I lived & worked part time in the NorthWest and just forgot to put it in Cellartracker. Whatever it’s origins, I was glad I found it.

Note that 2008 appears to be the  current vintage. I generally don’t review wines no longer for sale, but wanted to share this Rhone find from WA.

An interesting tidbit from the Gilbert Cellars website:

The blend “Allobroges” was named after a Celtic tribe that made its home in the Rhone River Valley in the days of the Roman Empire.  Their capital of Vienne is across the river from present-day wine region Cote Rotie.  The Romans named their wine from the Rhone Valley “Allobrogica” and

they were known for being dark, rich, red wines.  Pliny first referenced Allobrogica in his book Naturalis Historia. It had been rumored that “Allobrogica” was an ancestor of modern Syrah, but that has not been proven. 

Review: Gilbert Cellars 2007 Allobroges Red Rhone blend

This wine is 55% Syrah, 31% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, each from a different vineyard.

To The Eye: Deep purple, Syrah clearly dominating

On The Nose: Meaty, bacon fat, elements of the Mourvedre possibly. Black fruits.

In The Mouth:  A ‘comfort’ wine. It’s not overly complex, and that’s part of its charm. Sometimes you want a wine you can dissect with many layers, some times its fun to just enjoy a glass of something that tastes good, by the fire or ever a simple meal. Its lush in the mouth with out being over ripe or juicy. Nice texture. The wine is well balanced with nice integration of the Syrah and Mourvedre components. The Grenache adds a touch of spice, but is mostly dominated by its bigger brothers.  The finish is long and pleasant. 14.9% alc.

Recommendation. An easy drinking, fun crowd pleaser. Pair with any meat, most grilled fare, or your favorite chair and warm fire. . For ~$20 you can’t go wrong. 88 points

Tasting Notes: Ortman 02 Series Grenache Rosé – Paso Robles

Last Friday was International Grenache Day – not as prevalent as Cabernet Day – but people celebrated all over the world, abd hundreds of thousands of people were reached via Twitter during this celebration.

I held a walk around tasting  for 9 wineries and 80 people hosting vintners QuiviraRidgeMountsSheldon, Wind Gap Wines,  Baiocchi Wine, R2 Wine Co, and last minute entry Stage Left Cellars. More on this in an article later this week.

To compliment this tasting, the Ortman Family was nice enough to send rose’ samples to share, which I splashed in peoples glasses as a

palate cleanser and kickoff wine, for save one exception, we had reds all being poured.

The 02 Series

I am a fan of the o2 Series and its concept, and loved the Ortman Cuvee Eddy, 02 Series, San Luis Obispo County Rhone blend when I reviewed it last December.  What is o2?

Wines that are fresh, affordable, delicious, coming from a small family owned winery with 40 harvests under its belt.

Review:  Ortman 02 Series Grenache Rosé – Paso RoblesTo the Eye: Dark Salmon, Watermelon Flesh colored

On the Nose: Peach and Strawberry fill the nose.

In the Mouth: Bright, vibrant, refreshing. Watermelon, citrus. Juicy mid palate, lingering acidity on the finish. This wine is easily downed solo, but would pair with with oysters, salads, grilled chicken or fish, BBQ with tomato sauce, pizza. 14.5% alcohol.

Recommendation: As Lisa Ortman says:

A word from the ladies of Ortman Family Wines: Man up and drink pink!

90 points –  A recommended, high quality, value priced rose’. $16 online, and it appears they currently have great shipping specials – 1-5 bottles shipped to CA is $12, and shipping for 6+ bottles is only a penny. (Welcome to California ABC laws.)

There was only 90 cases made of this great summer sipper – grab a few. And lets get another thing straight –  Rosé is not just for summer – that’s about as true as bubbles are only for holidays. You can enjoy rosé any time of year, and its an especially great food pairing, value priced wine for the holidays – stock up and drink pink!

Info and purchase here. 

Enjoy!

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A Memo to All Domestic Rhone Producers – Friday September 23rd is #GrenacheDay – Rally To The World's 2nd Most Planted Varietal

To: All those domestic producers of Grenache, Grenache Rosé, and Grenache Based Blends

From: William Allen; Editor, Simple Hedonisms, Board Member, Rhone Rangers

September 19th, 2011

RE:  Call to Action for #GrenacheDay

Overview: The Grenache Symposium has declared Sept 23rd as Grenache Day. Details and how to list even can be found here. You can also follow the Grenache Symposium on Facebook. The International Grenache Day Google Map is here  and you may find  a help document on how to post your event here.

Based on postings on the official map, domestic support is light, especially in comparison with recent social media #CabernetDay and #Chardonnay day. Yes I know more wineries produce those varietals, but nonetheless some senior players are absent.

It’s possible many wineries do have plans, but haven’t posted them.  Lets change that, I am happy to help. You can also post it on the Grenache Symposium Facebook page, and ask them for help.  I know it’s a busy time – I myself am amid harvest and launching a tiny Rhone label, Two Shepherds.  Nonetheless, anything you can do helps and shows the love. As vintners, writers, consumers and aficionados its time we gave the world’s second most widely planted varietal its due.

Grenache has become my most beloved of red varietals. Wrest it from the hands of New World and Cabernet vintners who want to oak and over ripen it, and it makes a beautiful, feminine wine – elegant like Pinot Noir (minus the Syrah additions) but with a different complexity, nuance, and spice. This was my epiphany Rhone grape, not Syrah. (Which I love and have many cases of.)

Personally I am holding a walk around tasting for 8 wineries and 80 people. Vintners Quivira, Ridge, Mounts, Sheldon, Wind Gap Wines, El Dorado vintner Baiocchi Wine, and R2 Wine Co. It couldn’t be a worse week for me, but if there is ONE social media wine day I WILL support, its this one, and I challenge every single Rhone Ranger member winery, grower, and Sidekick, and of course anyone else who produces Grenache and Grenache based blends, to celebrate in some way. Yes that includes those who fancy themselves Spanish producers of Garnacha as well!

 

What is Grenache Day (or #GrenacheDay)

It has become increasingly popular for a Varietal to be picked in advance on a predetermined, and then celebrated over Social Media, as well as live events.

While much of the activity and measurement will be based on Twitter, one need not be on Twitter to celebrate.  As a winery, simply spreading the word, holding a tasting, special sales incentives, special bottles, all are valid participation.

On Twitter we use ‘hashtags’ or words that start with a # symbol – this signifies a sorting mechanism, and allows a user in a Twitter platform like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to see all posts grouped together that use this hashtag.  You can also see basics by clicking: http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23grenacheday

Why have these become popular? The May 26th #Chardonnay day reached over 4 million people, 29 MILLION impressions, and 12,000 related tweets. That’s just ONE medium, add in Facebook, live interactions, and the impact is impressive.    Grenache deserves some love, lets show it.

 

What Can I Do?

Anything is better than nothing.

If you are a Winery:

  • If nothing else, post a simple 8.5 x11 sign in an acrylic stand up on your counter of tasting room and let everyone know its #grenacheday and make sure you pour one.
  • Encourage them to check in on FourSquare, Facebook & Twitter, and enter #GrenacheDay when they do – your brand then joins the mix.
  • Offer a special price on single bottles, 3 packs, cases.
  • Hold a special Grenache vertical or library wine tasting.
  • Contact your local restaurant and encourage a pairing, special wine by the glass, or go youself and do a pouring.
  • Make sure you post whatever you decide on the Grenache Day Map  here

Encourage participants to mention #grenacheday and your winery bran on Facebook and Twitter.

My blog has  4500 Twitter followers, and 2500 Facebook Fans. The Rhone Rangers, 1500 & 2000. All of these will be used to share your event if I know about it. Also feel free to post it on either or both walls on Facebook and cc both on Twitter.

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/RhoneRangers  and http://www.facebook.com/SimpleHedonisms

Twitter: @RhoneRangers and @SonomaWilliam

You may email me at SimpleHedonisms @ gmail.com  for help. Please note mid week I am out of pocket during the day judging a wine competition, so response maybe after hours.

Bloggers:

Break open a bottle and share your tasting notes with your followers. If you know Grenache producers whom you have a relationship with have sent you samples before, email them tomorrow to get one by Friday.

(Notice I said trusted relationship. This is not an excuse for the sample ho’s to come out of the woodwork, and I will help wineries validate requests if needed. I do PR for several wineries, and some of the correspondence is shameful. Thats terrrific you have a Snooth login -that doesn’t merit you samples because you are too lazy to create a blog, or your last post was 9 months ago about a Cabernet that wasn’t ‘too sweet’. )

Consumers:

Grab a bottle (or three) and some friends and have a great time. Perhaps compare several producers, foreign and domestic. Wine is about exploration, and fun – make it so.

 

Thanks for your support and Happy #GrenacheDay!

Sincerely

 

 

William Allen

  • Simple HedonismsWine Country Lifestyle & Educational Wine Reviews
  • Board Member – The Rhone Rangers

 

 

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Wine of the Week – Quivira Vineyards 2009 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley

I am overdue to write about Quivira. In the same vein as my review of Tablas Creek a few months ago, I am negligent in not reviewing Quivira. Certainly they are a winery I always recommend to Rhone lovers, as well as visitors to Dry Creek Valley.  (I should note they also make Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.) There is lots to like  about this winery and their wines.

I joined Quivira’s wine club on my first visit some years ago, and they have always taken excellent care of me, first as a consumer, and then as I migrated into wine writing and geeking. They are also a staunch advocate of the Rhone Rangers and GM, Director of Marketing Nancy Bailey has been very supportive in our new North Coast Rhone Rangers chapter about to emerge.

My once large stable of personal wine clubs has dwindled, thanks in part to the expense of the new farm, (grenache) vineyard, and the new wine label, and departure from my non wine job. Add to the fact my cellar is out of control with >1000 bottles, and the fact that as an , recognized member of Media after two years, samples and industry discounts are normal. (And always greatly appreciated, writing is a labor of love.) Quivira has remained in my ‘Queue’ , both due to their quality of wines & dedication to Rhone varieties, as well as the personal attention they give their members.  (Thanks Stephanie!)

Quivira also has an excellent wine club, with a feature I love. The first 30 days of a new release to wine club, Queue members benefit from the ”30 for 30″ re-order opportunity:

Taste your wine club shipment, re-order within 30 days, and get 30% off – that’s on par with Industry pricing.  They also have excellent future pricing every year for Wine Road Barrel tasting, which I take advantage of to buy a case of Mourvedre.

The hospitality and marketing team seems to be better than ever, and winemaker Hugh Chappelle, who came over from Pinot producer Lynmar, seems to have found an excellent home, of mutual respect and appreciation,  allowing him to express the creativity that exists in all talented artisans, winemakers included. Hugh is a great addition to the Quivira family.

In addition to having a strong Rhone program,  Quivira is a committed member of the certified  Biodynamic community, with  gorgeous gardens,  chickens, cows and more. The property and tasting room is worth a visit, and their Farm to Table dinners are not to be missed. After spending several days earlier this year at the Paul Dolan biodynamic writers camp, I have a new appreciation for the commitment to the process and our planet.

 Quivira Vineyards 2009 Grenache, Dry Creek Valley

Its appropriate that I picked a Grenache this week, albeit it more by chance, as I actually reviewed the wine last week. Recently, I wrote that Sept 23rd is Grenache Day. Quivira is one of the wineries attending my tasting, and will be pouring the 2009 Grenache.

Review:

To The Eye: Clear lively medium red

On The Nose:  Cranberry, red berries,  grenache red hard candy

(love that!), spice

In the Mouth: Classic Grenache profile  in the mouth; expressive but balanced red fruit, good structure but not as tannic (yay!) as several previous vintages, thanks to a more forgiving season. Supple tannins, nice acidity. Would pair well with many foods, ranging from Grilled fare and burgers, to leaner cuts of meat and lamb. A wine with both body and elegance.

Learn to train your palate you don’t need to have your taste buds crushed by excessive oak and tannins to be ‘good.’ This vintage is an excellent training ground for the wine lover looking to broaden past Cabernet, and perhaps not yet in love with Pinot Noir. (You will be one day though. )

Recommendation.  Buy and drink now, or cellar for a few years. 92 points.  Retail $26 online. Media Sample – although I purchased several bottles via my Queue Club shipments.

Wine Geek Info:

  • APPELLATION Dry Creek Valley (Wine Creek Ranch Vineyard)
  • VARIETAL MIX 92% Grenache, 6% Mourvedre, 2% Syrah
  • FERMENTATION Open top fermentors, native yeast
  • AGING A mixture of small French and eastern European oak as well as traditional 600-gallon foudre casks, 10% new
  • ALCOHOL 14.8%
  • PRODUCTION 961 cases

Related Articles:

Part 4 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Wine Clubs – A Review of Different Types and Benefits

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