Posts Tagged ‘Quivira’

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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Fun Earth Day + Wine Events in Sonoma County

Wine comes from the earth. More and more of today’s wine growers are conscientious  shepherds and stewards of the Land. What better way than to combine the two.

Here are a selection of Events coming up in celebration of Earth Day, feel free to add others in comments!

Sunday April 17th – Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley at Iron Horse

This is a really great event I attended last year, and bought tickets to again this Cialis 100 mg year. Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley serves up food, wine and Ted Turner at this fifth annual “Eat, Drink & Be Green” festival held at Iron Horse Vineyards.This delicious eco- event features a walk around food and wine tasting, showcasing the spring releases from the aptly named Green Valley, represented by DeLoach Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield, Freeman Vineyard & Winery, Hartford Family Winery, Iron Horse, Marimar Estate and Sequana.

In deference to Ted Turner, who owns 50,000 head of bison across 12 ranches, the main food station will be 6-oz. grilled bison filets along with Sonoma’s finest, fresh, “sous-vides” eggs on crostini, local, seasonal produce, cheeses, brick oven breads and an array of heavenly chocolates.

The star attraction and speaker is Ted Turner, Planet Green’s second favorite billionaire, one of GQ’s 25 “Coolest Athletes of All Time, and winner of Mikhail Gorbachev’s “Man Who Changed the World Award”. The focus of the day is The Future. There will be a one-day exhibit in a 1920s redwood barn turned temporary art gallery, curated on the theme “Vintage Future: What the Future Used to Look Like” (Think The Jetsons, the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Future Shock.). Other highlights include a time capsule with bottles of vintage Iron Horse 2010 Sparkling that will be “buried” in the cellar for 15 years to be ready for Iron Horse’s 50th anniversary, vineyard tours, which in Green Valley is where the real future lies.

Thursday April 21st 630 pm – Quivira Winemaker Dinner at Spoonbar

In celebration of Earth Day, Spoonbar has prepared a special spring farm dinner featuring Quivira‘s own certified Biodynamically grown produce and stellar wines.

Winemaker Hugh Chapelle will be on hand to share Quivira’s equally inspiring wines including the gorgeous newly bottled Rose, fantastic Zinfandel and unique varietals including Mourvedre and Grenache. Chef Rudy Mihal has crafted a delicious menu based on Quivira’s harvest paired to compliment each wine. A true expression of our local land.

The Evening:

  • Welcome 2010 Sauvignon Blanc ~ Gewurztraminer, Dry Creek Valley
  • 1st Course 2010 Rose, North Coast. Little gem leaves with fava beans, young pecorino and toasted walnuts
  • 2nd Course 2009 Grenache, Wine Creek Ranch. Grilled California swordfish with spring garlic and white gaeta olives
  • 3rd Course 2008 Mourvedre, Wine Creek Ranch & 2008 Flight, Dry Creek Valley. Braised beef short ribs with rainbow carrots and zinfandel cuisson
  • Dessert 2009 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Wine Creek Ranch. Buckwheat crepe, honey chevre, macerated peppered strawberries

$65 per person Tax and Gratuity not included.  For reservations, please call Spoonbar at 707-433-7222

 

Fri. 22 April & Sat. 23 – Special Vineyard Tours and Tastings at Inman Family Winery

Kathleen Inman, a neighbor, friend, and favorite vintner, is well known in the Bay area not just for her Pinot Noir, but for her incredible focus on sustainability, including water reclamation & composting, and has been recognized with numerous awards for her contributions.

To celebrate Earth Day, Fri. 22 April & Sat. 23 April, Kathleen will be leading tours at 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. of the new winery and vineyard. Inman will be doing mechanical weeding, spreading of compost, brewing of compost teas throughout the day. The tour is followed by a sit down tasting of 2006-2008 OGV pinot noir, and tastings of the current releases. Only 20 people each of the four slots. Tickets are $20, very limited and can be purchased here.

April 23 Kunde Family Estate – Earth Day Hike & Taste in the Vineyards

April 23, 10:00 a.m. $30 per person (includes wine tasting)

Join Sonoma Valley Docent Bill Myers on a fun, casual and up-close hike through the 1,850 acre volcanic and vertical Kunde Estate. This is a great opportunity to see sustainable winegrowing practices at work while taking in some of wine country’s most spectacular scenery. Bill’s tours wind through the estate’s distinct eco-systems, each one uniquely contributing to the process of sustainable winegrowing. This moderately strenuous hike lasts approximately four hours. Please pack a sack lunch and wear hiking boots or appropriate footwear. Also bring sunscreen and water, especially on hot days.

The hike will also conclude at the Tasting Room, where invigorated hikers can sample Kunde’s hand crafted estate-grown wines. MAKE A RESERVATION. Please no pets or children under 10.

Whatever you do to celebrate Earth Day – give something back, and then celebrate with a glass or bottle from a local grower/winemaker. Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !

Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting – A Complete Rhone Weekend, not just a Tasting. Learn More & Win Tickets

The Rhone movement is underway. (I am still riding high from the recent Paso Robles Rhone Ranger experience, check out the video.)

The Bay’s area’s  own Jon Bonné, esteemed wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle published not one but two articles over the weekend about Grenache, a rising Rhone star, and such a beautiful wine when made properly. (Winemakers take note, we are not looking for your heavy hand here. Think minimal wine making technique, and Pinot Noir like, not Cabernet.) Some great examples of are in Jon’s article ‘The Chronicle recommends: American Grenache.’ As well as as “.. make way for Grenache” which explains the rise in popularity and nuance.

But Grenache is only one of the many Rhone varietals to be poured at the Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting event. Taste through Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, Carignane on the reds;  Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc and more on the whites. (Yes my beloved Sonoma-ites Grenache Blanc IS a white varietal – the Rhone Rangers primary goal is – education!) And of course the endless combinations of Rhone blends. At the end of this post is a contest too win tickets to the Grand Tasting – try and bear with me for a few paragraphs of Rhone rambling.

Why Rhones Are Popular, Unique

What makes Rhone wines unique in my opinion, as that while many of the varietals drink very well as a individual wine, Rhones in France are most commonly blended. Each varietal has something unique to offer, and far more variance than the traditional nobel Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet, Merlot,, Malbec etc). The sum of the whole often far exceeds the sum of the parts as they say, and there and almost endless number of combinations and end results when blending, both for red and whites.

Become a Rhone Ranger Sidekick & Save

The Rhone Rangers has launched a new version of its popular Sidekick consumer program. We have eliminated membership fees in favor of a more streamlined process. Sidekicks need only enter their contact information into the list signup form to get priority information about Rhone Rangers events, the opportunity to meet winemakers and growers of Rhone varietals, discounts at member wineries, special notice of member winery events, an information-packed educational newsletter and more.

Membership is free, carries no commitments, and can be cancelled at any time. Click here to become a Rhone Rangers Sidekick! Sidekicks also get a promo code for $5 off.

It Isn’t Just A Sunday Walk Around Tasting – Education Abounds

Many I talk to think of Rhone Rangers SF event as the big tasting at Ft. Mason. Actually thats only one part of it, and this year,  I am more excited about the seminars than anything I think. There are 2 seminars on Saturday and one on Sunday, which include tastings. Bonus: Jon Bonné is the moderator.

March 26, 2011, 1:00 – 2:15 PM. Seminar #1 – GREEN RANGERS: SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC & BIODYNAMIC AMERICAN RHONES.

Sustainability has become a buzzword, but it has been an essential part of the practices of many Rhone Rangers wineries for decades. Discuss and taste wines of sustainable, organic and biodynamic producers, and taste wines from each as we explore how and why Rhone producers sit at the forefront of sustainability in American wine. Wineries include: AmByth Estate, Bonny Doon Vineyard, J. Lohr, Landmark, Montemaggiore, Qupe and Terre Rouge.

Saturday, March 26, 2011, 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM. Seminar #2 – MOURVEDRE ON THE MOVE

Dark, brooding, meaty, loamy,  Mourvedre is a grape for Rhone fanatics. Long known for its ability to add structure and age-worthiness to blends, American Rhone producers are pushing Mourvedre to new heights both on its own and in its traditional blending role. Taste six different Mourvedre-based wines from up and down the west coast — both varietals and as leading roles in blends — and learn why Mourvedre is on the move! Wineries include: CORE, David Girard, Folin Cellars, Kenneth Volk, Quivira, Tablas Creek and Tercero

Sunday, March 27, 2011, 11 AM – 12:30 PM. Seminar #3 – WILD WINES AND THE STORIES OF HOW THEY CAME TO BE

Whether it’s a 12% alcohol Syrah, a Buying online propecia Viognier made with a month of skin contact, a Rhone blend made from grapes that European winemakers consider suitable only for blending, or a dessert wine made from air-dried Mourvedre, Rhone Rangers producers are pushing the envelope. Come taste these unusual wines from eight winemaking pioneers, as they share with you the inside stories on their wildest wines and how and why they headed off into uncharted territory.  Wineries include: Big Basin Vineyards, Caliza, Clos Saron, Katin, Pax Mahle Wines, Stolpman, Tarara and Terry Hoage. Ticket includes VIP early admission (at 12 noon) to the Grand Tasting.

Saturday Night Wine Makers Dinner – Rub Elbows with the Big Dogs

Saturday, March 26, 2011. 6:00 – 9:30 PM. Join more than 15 top Rhone Ranger wineries participating in a walk around tasting of current and library releases, dinner with the winemakers and live auction at Dogpatch Studios, 991 Tennessee St in San Francisco. Catering will be provided by Girl & the Fig (the well-loved Sonoma food purveyor and restaurant, famous for its Rhone-Alone wine list).

Wineries include: Bonny Doon, Caliza, Clos Saron, Folin Cellars, J. Lohr, Kukkula, Landmark, Quady North, Quivira, Qupe, Ridge, Rock Wren Wines, Stolpman,Tablas Creek, Tarara, Terre Rouge, Terry Hoage, Thacher and Waterbrook. Proceeds benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund. Attendance limited to 200. Advance tickets only; no tickets available at the door.

Last But Not Least -Sunday Tasting – Over 500 Wines, 100 Wineries

Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:00 – 5:00 PM. The weekend culminates with the Grand Tasting, come taste over 500 wines from more than 100 Rhone Rangers wineries. For a list of participating wineries, click here. Sample gourmet foods from 25 or more specialty food purveyors, including cheese, bread, olive oil, charcuterie, fruits and other sweets and chocolates. A silent auction will feature Rhone Rangers wines and wine-related items; proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund. This event takes place at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. Attended ZAP? You get a promo code for $5 off.

Make it a Rhone Immersion Weekend with the New Rhone Rangers Weekend Pass

New this year! Spend a weekend with the Rhone Rangers!  The weekend pass ticket, new for includes tickets to all three educational seminars with early VIP admission (with the trade) to the Grand Tasting on Sunday. And the $150 price is a $40 savings over the price of the individual tickets.  Winemaker dinner not included.  Limited availability.  TICKETS: $150/each.

OK OK – How do I Enter to Win Tickets Already?

It couldn’t be easier. Simple enter in comments one of three things:

  • Your favorite Rhone Ranger member winery, and why. (List here.)

OR

  • Your favorite Rhone varietal or blend (Syrah, GSM, White Rhone blend etc)

OR (I told you this was easy)

  • What varietal or blend would you be most excited to taste at the event.

Contest ends this Thursday night. Two winners will be drawn and announced then.

I will be streaming ‘live’ both days at the event. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and the Twitter hashtag #RRSF (hint, you can just click that hashtag and follow on the web, use of Twitter not required!)

Rhone on!

Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !

Related Reading:

‘Sonoma William’ Joins Forces With the Rhone Rangers; Some History & New Directions

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

Are wine clubs a good value? Do they make good gifts? I will explore the various benefits, but in a short answer,  for the wine aficionado there are a number of reasons to consider. These  make an excellent gift for parents, kids over 21, people in far reaches of the country, as a way to expand their horizons, and get them off of ‘plonk’.

There are a variety of types of wine clubs; generally you can categorize them into Three:

  • Wineries Clubs that are Direct to Consumer (DTC)
  • Wine Shop Wine Clubs
  • 3rd Party or Aggregator like Wine Clubs.

Winery Wine Clubs

The most common of wine clubs; these can vary significantly by winery, but have numerous advantages.

  • Club members get discounts. Wine Clubs often have multiple tiers, and the higher the commitment, generally the larger the discount. (This is less of a benefit if you are already receiving Industry discount; although I have one wine club that doesn’t give Industry, a bit irksome, but love the wines.)   If you aren’t Industry, and buy a case or more a year of wine from a winery; consider joining the club if for no other reason  to save money. Wine Clubs like Quivira offer a large discount, on par with Industry, for the First 30 days of a new Wine Club release.
  • Access to Releases for Wine Club Only. Many of my clubs will do very small releases, perhaps 25-50 cases. These wines maybe reserved for Wine Club only and not for sale. Often this is a compelling reason why I join; lesser know varietals like Cinsault, a Rhone red varietal I am fond of; is the only way I can get it from Preston Vineyards.  Similar with Paso Robles Rhone producer Tablas Creek. Even very large producers like Kendall Jackson, who ship hundreds of thousands of cases a year; have wine clubs that offer small, under 20k case a year productions, available only in the tasting room and/or to Club members.
  • For Locals: Wine Clubs offer pickup events with music, food, and of course wine, often free pour. Sometimes these are free, or at very low cost. At a recent Wine Club event at Longboard, for $25  the event offered a band, an awesome pulled catered pork feast, free pour of new releases, and a bottle of Sauv Blanc to take home…find entertainment like this for that kind of money! Plus as a local you get to interact with the winemaker and the hospitality staff. Wine is as much about the experience and artisanship as it is the beverage.
  • For Non-Locals: Many great small wineries can’t find distribution as you go East. Why buy only mass produced wines, or be limited to what your local wine shop has, when 2-4 times a year you can receive a few bottles (or more) from your favorite producer.  If you are having your wine shipped, look at shipping costs and see if a larger membership makes sense.
  • Other benefits. Occasionally something very unique is offered. Rotie Cellars, one of my favorite Walla Walla Rhone producers is offering, until end of year only, Lifetime Pricing.  New members signing on by 12/31/10 get fixed pricing for the duration of their membership. FYI, Rotie Cellars is a highly rated, sought after producer, and the wine club list is nearing full and will close soon to allocation only.

Wine Shop Wine Clubs

No matter if you live in Wine Country, or in Wisconsin, I always encourage finding a good local wine ship to frequent. Here in Wine Country, its generally how we get wine from outside the area. In much of the US, this is your best bet to get small producers you can not find via retail. Mounts Family awesome Malbec or Grenache, or Cartograph Wines Pinot or Gewürztraminer isn’t going to be on your local Safeway, but your local wine shop may have it, or could order it if asked.

My favorite wine shop and wine shop club, is K&L Wines, also known as ‘my dealer.’ Why?

First their selections of wine, especially International, is amazing. They send buyers out all over the world to buy direct, so their prices are great. (Takes the sting out of not getting industry discount!)

Second, you can order quickly online, and WillCall your orders for 2 months. I order a bottle here, a bottle there, and then pick up my few cases when I swing through San Fran. (Other options are Redwood City, and Hollywood, CA.) They will also accumulate and ship; I used K&L regularly when I lived in Denver after I left the Bay area in 2002 .

Third, K&L has a number of wine clubs, but their most unique is the Personal Sommelier Service. You literally create your own wine club, picking price range, wine type, region. You can also pick from their extensive list of buyers, who makes your selections.So for example,  each month I have Mulan Chan-Randal pick for me a Rhone Red blend, from the Rhone Valley of France, for $20-$40. I have additional club picks where I have her select a Gigondas, and a Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Then I have a West Coast Red Rhone club, picking from CA, OR, WA. If I wanted I could make that as specific as Paso Robles, or Sonoma, only. If your selection is too narrow, the system will advise you perhaps you should widen your selection. You can revise any of the many variables each month if you like, or suspend one. You can have your monthly selection shipped, or held for Will Call. Highly Recommend.

3rd Party Wine Clubs

Lastly, there are ‘aggregator’ like wine clubs, like the International Wine of the Month Club, whose Chianti I reviewed recently. California Wine Club is one I belonged to many moons ago when living in Texas. Many lifestyle publications, like Sunset Magazine also have one. These can vary widely in focus and benefits, but typically they source wines from many producers, and include educational material, food pairings, winery information. These can be a great way to get diverse exposure of wines, domestic and International.  If you live in an area where unique, interesting wines are hard to get, this is a great way to get a regular supply of something new and different.

A Gift For Others, Or Yourself

Many wine clubs are available in a giftable, pre-paid fashion. Buy your parents, adult children, or your boss, a 3, 6, or 12 month pre-paid  membership, and let them enjoy your present throughout the year, as well as perhaps broaden their horizons and palate.

Cheers!

The 12 Days of Wine Christmas

Part 1 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas”: Wine Road Winter Wineland, Redwood Foodbank Raffle.

Part 2: “12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Gadget Review of the VinniBag

Part 3 of “The 12 Wine Days of Christmas” – The Wine Check (no, its not money!)

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