CALIFORNIA WINES FOR SECOND SATURDAY!
We're celebrating Second Saturday right on the heels of a holiday weekend, and this week we've got an all-California lineup! First up is, yes, white zinfandel! Before you panic, this is a far cry from the sugary pink stuff of the 80s and 90s, but instead a bright, bone-dry expression of what this wine can really do in the right hands. If you like dry French rosé, you'll be blown away! From Jolie-Laide Wines comes another amazingly interesting wine, a skin-fermented trousseau gris with wild aromatics and both floral and savory character. The trousseau gris grape, once common in California, is now on the verge of extinction, and this extremely limited production wine is a tantalizing and rare find! Forlorn Hope Winery offers up a fresh take on barbera, with all the brightness and character of the northern Italian original without losing its California identity. Finally, a Rhône-style blend from La Clarine Farm sure to please those seeking something more substantial.
Turley Cellars Zinfandel Napa Valley 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY / Varietal(s): ZINFANDEL --- Not your grandmother’s white zinfandel! The Jezebel of rosés, white zin has a good heart, but a bad (sometimes deservedly so) reputation. While Sutter Home built a brand and a fortune on sweet white zin, the original version made 40 years ago was actually dry. Only in 1975, with sugar accidentally left over from an incomplete fermentation, did the sweet form come into being and take over. Responsible for giving rosé a bad name as sweet, vapid, cloying pink wine, white zinfandel is given a shot at redemption here by Turley Cellars, who uses select Napa Valley fruit fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in old oak barrels. The stunning result is a bone dry, high acid, low alcohol rosé that drinks more like one from Provence or Loire, while still retaining its uniquely Californian character. Bright, dry, and thoroughly refreshing, it hits with strawberry notes and surprising depth, with hints of orange peel and mint leaf. Pair this with seafood galore: oysters, shrimp, lobsters, clams, or with a big plate of charcuterie, and enjoy what white zinfandel can truly achieve when treated right!
Regular Price: $23.99 Tasting Sale Price: $21.59
Jolie-Laide Wines Trousseau Gris Russian River Valley Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard 2014 - SKIN FERMENTED
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY / Varietal(s): TROUSSEAU GRIS --- Trousseau gris is an increasingly rare variety that once thrived in California viticulture. Now it’s hovering near extinction, except for a few old vines like the near 40 year old planting at Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard. Founder of Jolie-Laide, Scott Schultz, began as a sommelier at Bouchon in Yountville, before switching to the production side of wine with a job as cellar manager at Realm, and then becoming Assistant Winemaker at Wind Gap. “Jolie-Laide” is a rough translation of the French for “unconventionally beautiful”, and although these wines may defy convention, they are certainly beautiful! The grapes are crushed by foot and left on the skins whole cluster for about a week, extending the time on the skins to maximize texture and aromatic complexity. Then they are pressed, fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels for 6 months. The skins contribute a peachy color to this daring, light and pretty wine, making it a surprising delight. Bright and focused, it walks a tantalizing tightrope, managing to be wildly floral yet savory with a visceral complexity. A luscious blend of pomelo, melon, stone fruit, mustard flower, tea and sweet earth come together for a harmonious and elegant finish. Try this with grilled trout stuffed with herbs.
Regular Price: $31.99 Tasting Sale Price: $28.79
Forlorn Hope Barbera Amador Co. "San Hercumer Delle Frecce" Shake Ridge Vineyard 2012 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: AMADOR COUNTY / Varietal(s): BARBERA --- Named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of its Winemakers to Watch a few years ago, Matthew Rorick is standout even among his peers. A man of seemingly tireless energy, Rorick is a supreme experimenter. When tasting with him that January, he walked us back and forth around the winery pulling samples from a dizzying number of barrels. Sometimes tasting the same wine, but from barrels where he employed slightly different fermentation techniques. Rorick worries little about exactly how the wines will turn out, it's more about the process. Shake Ridge Ranch might be one of the most exciting vineyards in California: 46 acres planted with a mix of varieties, farmed organically by former Napa vineyard manager Ann Kraemer. Matthew Rorick, who makes wine from all sorts of varieties across California, makes this terrific barbera from the site, which has all of the sought-after character of the Piemontese version; bright, fresh red fruit and a racy acidity that works brilliantly whether you’re having pizza or braciole.
Regular Price: $36.99 Tasting Sale Price: $33.29
La Clarine Farm "Josephine & Mariposa” Sierra Foothills 2013 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH --- One of the great occurrences in modern winemaking is the recent shift towards a winemaking philosophy. In the past, particularly in Europe, winemakers would make a basic series of wines. Perhaps one red would be un-oaked, another with oak and perhaps a few single variety wines. Today winemakers are approaching the process armed with a set of principles to guide the process rather than attempting to make specific wines. This is particularly true in California, and Caroline Hoel and Hank Beckmeyer of La Clarine Farm are some of the most principled. For instance, their farm was at one time certified biodynamic, a complex system requiring the winegrower to work diligently to maintain the soil and produce a healthy crop. However, they found the preparations to be powerful and wanted to allow the vineyard to be even more expressive of terroir and vintage, so they moved away from this philosophy and took a bit more hands-off approach. Still using biodynamic, organic and sustainable practices, they produce wines expressive of their farm. This red blend is evocative of the great wines of the southern Rhône Valley in France. Blends of these grapes, grenache & syrah, have a storied history in the region. Grown in Sierra Foothills, this wine certainly delivers an experience worthy of a great tale. Dark fruits like ripe plums are abundant on the nose and palate with spice nuances playing off the fruit. The drying tannins of the wine call for a grand roast or a tangle of stewed collards with dirty rice.
Regular Price: $30.99 Tasting Sale Price: $27.89