I’ve been lucky to have worked alongside some very talented Rhône-style rockstar winemakers. And Cindy Cosco, owner and winemaker of Passaggio, is one such lady. Though I wouldn’t say she has a specific ‘niche,’ she does amazing things with those Rhône grapes and her 2016 expression of Grenache Blanc is a perfect example.
Whereas less refined expressions of the grape seem to be overly dramatic with the fruit flavors, downplaying the textural components, Cindy has crafted a well-rounded Grenache Blanc drinking experience that taps all the senses.
Aberration: A departure from what is normal or expected…
Usually one for Rhône varietals, it certainly is a “departure from what is normal” to see a Cabernet Franc from Larry of Tercero Wines. But, as is his nature, if something is interesting to him, he’ll experiment with it, not letting a “reputation” or a “theme” hold him back.
“This is my first year with Cab Franc,” says Larry, “a variety that I’ve been intrigued with for quite some time, especially those coming out of Chinon.” Chinon, is another “unexpected” when it comes to influencing New World wines. It’s a small town just outside of the Loire valley whose red-centric wines are marked by a gritty rusticity due to the mountainous terrain. And that’s just what Larry loved when he tasted those wines and what he’s re-created — California-style.
Larry Schaffer, owner and winemaker of Tercero Wines, has a personal appreciation — really a respect — for single-varietal wines. His niche is using what his vineyards provide him to create a wine that truly highlights the fruit in its entirety — from soil and seed to bud and berry. And it is with this respectful craftsmanship that Larry has created Verbiage Blanc, a white Rhône blend that celebrates each individual grape’s character as part of a seamless, narrative whole.
I only recently enjoyed my first single-varietal bottling of Mourvèdre, so was excited to hear when Larry, owner and winemaker of Tercero Wines, released his 2016 Mourvèdre Rosé. It’s certainly not something I’ve seen before, but Larry’s been playing with this style of rosé since 2012. It’s an interesting texture and flavor profile — versatile enough to stand on its own or pair with food (see Larry’s recommendations below) — and Tercero Wines Mourvèdre Rosé is certainly unlike any other “pink” wine I’ve had before.
“I love to talk – a lot! I also love to make wine – a lot! This label pays homage to the fact that every wine tells a story.” So reads Larry’s 2011 Verbiage Label. He’s a lover of words who’s eager to share the story of each vineyard, grape, bottle, and vintage. So it’s a heart-warming sentiment when, instead of describing Verbiage on the back of the bottle, he pauses, takes a step back, and acknowledges us as lovers of wine ourselves. “Share your story,” he says.