Drink Zin, Avoid Hantavirus

Rapscallion to the rescue!

This month has been busy. And, I’ve spent quite a few days up in a little mountain town in northern Arizona with my mom. This is always a good thing—I love spending time & helping out my mom. However, being in a wooded area, and it being late Spring… yep, you guessed it: First ever mice invasion! Ack!

Look at this lady & gent. They’re not overreacting to a few little rapscallion mice. They’re cool, calm, & having a lovely conversation.

Always be prepared have wine on hand.

Luckily, when I had to drive back up to this mile high, critter infested, lovely place my mom has chosen to live (that lasted more days than I’d planned to stay) I was prepared with wine. League of Rogues is a team of two awesome winemakers who happen to make great wine—including this unique, bright Zinfandel. Per their website:

This wine melds both black and red fruit flavors combining spice and escalating tannins. The Russian Oak provides elegance and balance similar to what you find with French Oak.

O.k., back to the horror story: Upon noticing one mouse dropping in my mom’s kitchen, my old dental hygiene infection control instincts kicked in. I was on a clean and sanitize mission, and proceeded to empty out my mom’s cabinets & pantry, armed with my gloves and Clorox bleach foamer. I’ve never been around mice, never had them in any home I’ve ever lived in, (another reason cats are so awesome) so needless to say I was trying to not overreact. They’re cute creatures, but they’re also known disease carriers. You can contract Hantavirus from mice (should be spelled Haunta Virus)!

Fact: I’d rather be stung by a bark scorpion again than have rodents in or around my home.

The Rapscallion Reserve was $28 & worth every penny.

I don’t know if it was the elegance of the Russian Oak, or the simple calming effect of a good glass of wine, but this Zin was just what I needed after an exhausting few days of: cleaning frenzies, MacGuyver (more like MacGruber) method of patching a mouse hole behind the stove, and desperate online searches for non-toxic, natural repellents (moth balls, fabric softener sheets, and peppermint oil are all supposed to deter mice). Yes, my mom’s house now smells like a minty, fresh linen, mothball nightmare (sorry, mom;).

Some of the many barks of Northern Arizona… Long walks with pine tree scented, clean, mountain air are a lung-saving, olfactory favorite. I love trees and Chico (mom’s dog) loves taking his time. It’s more of a walk a few steps and wait for him to decide when it’s time to walk again.

Back to the wine…

I’ve written about League of Rogues in the past, because I’m a fan of their budget-friendly Absent Minded Professor—a GSM inspired blend. They launched in the summer of 2014, but you wouldn’t guess their young age by their beautiful wines. I’ve had their Rapscallion Zinfandel in the past as well, and this was my first time enjoying their Reserve Zin. I hadn’t thought much about Russian Oak until Jess, the winemaker, mentioned it. Would it have been obvious to me whether I was drinking a wine aged in French, American, or Russian oak? Nope. Now, if  it had been aged in stainless steel as opposed to oak, more than likely… but, what I did note was that this bottle wasn’t “oaky” at all (a good thing)!

This isn’t your typical Zin.

I’ll spare you detailed tasting notes and give a comparison. If you’ve ever had an inexpensive Paso Robles Zinfandel and found it super jammy, almost chewy, with heavy, overly stewed, oaky, ripe fruit—you need to try this one. Jess and Jake have made a lively wine, full of complexity (& nothing like the inexpensive lackluster ones you might remember). While most Zins are generally decent to drink, Rapscallion is unique, with a lovely balance and ultra smooth tannins. Maybe there’s something to the Russian Oak? I’ll have to update this post later once I bug the winemakers for their thoughts!

You won’t find League of Rogues at a huge, sprawling estate with a sleek wine tasting room (not yet). So, I urge you to seek out one of their wines and give support to these passionate, hard-working, nice winemakers who are making exciting wines for us to guzzle enjoy!

#SupportWineMakers #SupportLocal #SupportLeagueOfRogues #Cheers

This is another picture I took of tree bark with my iPhone!




I write about wine as well as the unique stories behind each label. I'm a R.D.H. with an applied science degree in dental hygiene, and have been geeking out about wine for over 20 years. Before obtaining a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certification, I learned about wine just by trying different styles and regions. I've also worked with a local distributor in wine sales. Wine brings people together and makes the world a smaller, friendlier place... Cheers!



Do you know where they are in Paso? I don’t know them – tasting room?



Hey Lori! I’m not sure, so I just emailed Jess. I know she does events at different locations in CA & AZ, but I don’t think they have a tasting room. I’ll let you know once I find out for sure. Slainte!


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