Posts Tagged ‘Wesley Ashley’
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.
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.
Experience 6 Micro-Wineries You Normally Can't Taste, Feb 4th, In A Unique Try& Buy Tasting, Santa Rosa
My mantra that Wine Tasting events must evolve remains steadfast, as I have written numerous times. (See buy cheap cialis online
href=”http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/date/2011/12/archives/5237″ rel=”bookmark”>Wine Tasting Events Must Evolve, Taste of Mendocino June 13th, A Fresh Unique Format.)
In the ongoing competition of events, organizations need to evolve what they offer consumers. Likewise, for small wineries to survive, they can not simply continue to pour dozens of bottles of wine at events, without some level of ROI, beyond brand recognition.
Thanks to the concept of custom crush, where winemaking facilities can be shared, the advent of virtual, microwineries continues to grow. Yet if these wineries don’t have normal hours, how does one get to taste, and purchase these handmade (often hand bottled, labelled) true artisan, very small lot wines?
The state of California does not make premise wine sales very easy, but the industry and technology continues to evolve to facilitate wine tasting combined with sales.
One of these events is occurring Feb 4th in Santa Rosa.
Micro-Winery Collective Open House at Inspiration Custom Crush
Many wineries now share their facilities with other small winemakers. This win win arrangement allows them to faster recoup their large capital investment, and simultaneously allows new, small wineries to get started without the capital investment up front, albeit at a higher production cost per bottle.
Inspiration Vineyards, itself a micro-winery producing ~1000 cases a year, is one of these facilities. Under its roof, Jon Philips has other wineries making wine. These small vintners have no tasting room, and sell by appointment only, and to restaurants.
Taste Small Lot Wines You Can’t Normally Try or Buy
Feb 4th, from 11 am to 5 pm, you will be able to try and buy these wineries.
- Colagrossi Wines
- Inspiration Vineyards A little Inspiration makes every day a celebration.
- Little Red Vineyard
- Premonition Cellars
- Simple Math Cellars …right place, right time…
- Two Shepherds Unique Rhone Wines that Express Their Sense of Place
- Wesley Ashley Wines Wine with a soul
Ticket Price Includes Wine Purchase Credits
The event features small bites to go along with the
wines, and Ultra Crepes, one of my favorite food trucks will be on hand.
Tickets in advance are $20, but come with $10 credit towards wine purchase, and $5 towards food, reducing your cost for the event to a mere $5.
You may purchase tickets online at: http://inspirationvineyards.eventbrite.com/
Don’t miss the great opportunity to taste wines you can’t normally!