When Larry Schaffer of Tercero oh so kindly sent me a few bottles to sample, he included this varietal that I admittedly have only heard of by name. Never having studied the grape let alone taste it’s fermented juices, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I, of course, sought the guidance of the winemaker (Larry) when planning my first Cinsault encounter — and then just dove right in.
Thumbing around online, Twitter-chatting about Sonoma, following pretty much every winemaker I can on IG, I can’t not notice Sonoma Cutrer. I guess it’s weird that I’ve only just now bought myself a bottle. Good things, they say, are worth the wait. No longer a stranger, Sonoma Cutrer, you are my new friend, and you can be sure I’ll be calling back again and again.
Crux Winery is by far one of my favorite boutique wineries. They’re certainly setting the pace when it comes to Russian River Rhone wines — big bold flavors that are elegantly refined into some of the most balanced wines one can taste in the Rhone style. They’re the epitome of Old World conceptions meeting New World style. And the 2015 GSM Rosé is a palate-pleaser that proved just that.
I bought this on a whim. Maybe it’s because I’m reading Passion and Pinot and the main characters are on their way to Oregon. Maybe it’s because the first wine that truly touched my heart was from Willamette. Or Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time studying the wines closest to home (Napa and Sonoma) that I felt like venturing across state borders. So it is with that notion that I present my first step onto the Oregon Trail of Wine.
Tercero Wines — this is a new one on me. And no wonder since Larry Schaffer, owner and winemaker of Tercero has only been working under his own label since 2006 and “really did not put 100%” into the brand until 2012. But Larry is no stranger to the winemaking business. Though originally in the educational and trade publishing industry, he made the courageous career leap to enology and is the former Enologist for Fess Parker Winery where he was once dubbed “Winemaker to Watch” by my very own SF Chronicle. But Larry’s real dream was to make his own name in wine with his own label. Again, Larry made a bold decision — he left the big-name brand and started Tercero.