When Cindy Cosco of Passaggio Wines first started on her winemaking adventure, her initial intention was to create a white wine house because, well, those were the wines she enjoyed most. With her cool, crisp Clarksburg Chenin Blanc; her fun, almost funky Rosé of Tempranillo; and her all-to-rare-for-California single varietal Roussanne, I do believe that Cindy does justice to the wider wine category that is “white wine.” But, just wait until you see what this woman can do with red…
It’s said that ‘God created man; Sam Colt made them equal.’ This is, of course, in reference to Samuel Colt’s invention of the Colt .45 revolver: the first mass-produced, commercially available handheld gun. A weapon that could fit inside a pocket or be strapped to the leg evened the playing field of the ‘Wild West’ era — indeed, even elderly women began carrying the piece.
Wine is more like snowflakes than bullets — no two are created equal. But what Ammunition has done is even the playing field for the wine drinker, crafting an Old World-inspired red blend that fits in with the modern palate (and budget). With all the strength of character known to the Rhone and the finesse associated with the Left Bank of Bordeaux, The Equalizer bridges the gap between the two styles. And yet, with all that depth and complexity, this red blend is, at the end of the day, a fun and easy drinker.
I was born and raised in San Francisco. To me, a breath of fresh air includes sea salt and seaweed; a warm day is in the high-sixties; and seafood is always fresh because, well, there’s just no excuse. But as life’s twists and turns would have it, I’ve found myself living in the South Bay. Now, fresh air only happens in the early hours of the pre-dawn; a warm day can be triple-digits; and any fresh seafood is that which I can find at a Safeway or Whole Foods. I don’t mesh with this tech culture, where the word “park” is preceded by the word “business.” Where’s the art? Where’s the unique forms of self-expression? Where are my people?
Every once in awhile I’ll find an answer to those questions. When I met the folks at Three Arches Winery in Sunnyvale, I found all three — art, meets unique, meets people with a passion beyond the silicon chip…
You can’t claim to make Rhône-style wines without at least one GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) in your portfolio. Well, The Withers has not one, but three, each highlighting one of those core ingredients. A traditional GSM will always have more Grenache than either of the other two varietals, though exact percentages will vary from vintner to vintner (based on yields, the grapes’ flavors, and the resulting wines of each varietal before blending). The reason it’s called GSM is because that’s the order, from highest to lowest, of percentages of each varietal. But every once in awhile, a winemaker will mix it up. Again, this could be because of the success of certain grapes (or lack of it) during harvest; it could be that once all the individual wines were created, they just blended better “out of order;” or it could be that the winemaker is looking for a specific flavor profile in the blend. And so, I present to you, The Withers “GMS”… (more…)
Troon Vineyard may have a 40 year old winemaking history, but they seem to be on the cusp of what’s new and innovative in winemaking. Not out to make the fast, easy sell, they embrace what their little piece of Oregon terroir has to offer — climate and terrain similar to the Old World France and Spain, and yet still uniquely Oregonian. That means their focus is on under-appreciated grapes: Vermentino, Tannat, Malbec, simply because this is what grows best. (Learn more about Troon Vineyard’s Applegate Valley)
As Craig Camp says, “If you want to bring real pleasure to peoples lives, your wines have to have personalities as interesting as the people that drink them.” (You can read more of Craig’s thoughts on Troon Vineyard’s Wine Camp Blog.)