January flew by, didn’t it? With so many alternative facts lurking around this busy, nonsensical month, I’ve been thankful for the distraction and happiness that comes in the form of a (good) bottle of wine (or two). While there were plenty of wines to choose from, I’ve decided on two standout, noteworthy superstars:
Grenache from cacti infested Arizona? Yes.
This 100% Grenache from Rune Wines was a deep, pretty ruby of a gem. Palate pleasing dark red fruit, herbs & spice, smooth tannins, & just a hint of earthy, desert floor, made this exceptionally easy to drink. It’s perfectly different from an Old World Grenache from France or a spicy Garnacha from Spain—a fantastic example of this grape grown and harvested in the Arizona desert. The next time I purchase this bottle, I’ll have to do a horizontal tasting from all three regions! Tasting wines from the same vintage (same year), side by side, is a great way to see how different and unique a particular grape (like Grenache) can taste depending on a number of variables (region the grapes are grown, how it’s fermented & aged, the winemaker’s magic training, etc.) From Rune’s website:
Rune: A mark or letter of mysterious or magical significance.
Wine is the most ancient and influential beverage ever known to mankind. Through its craft, a story of time and place is bottled and consumed.
For this reason, every wine has a story……
Get it now. It’s too hot to ship from the brutal inferno that is an AZ summer.
The grapes were harvested from Pillsbury Vineyard in Sonoita (about a 3 hour drive, south of Phoenix). Summer days can boil over 100°F, while powerful monsoons roll through, providing much needed afternoon cooling and moisture. Most wouldn’t think of frost being an issue with grapevines grown in Arizona, but in the winter, nights can get freezing cold (into the teens!). Their website, RuneWines.com, has a lot of great scenic photos & snippets from the winemaker. I’m all about supporting local, and for under $30, this 2014 Grenache can easily be paired with just about anything (or delicious on its own;). Seriously, now is a good time for shipping to/from AZ, before it gets dang hot!
This Zin is a Rapscallion (in such a good way!).
I learned about League of Rogues last year, while I was visiting (my old stomping ground) southern California. I stopped into We Olive in La Jolla and asked for a good red by the glass. Mike, the manager, served me a glass of The Absent Minded Professor, a GSM inspired blend (they only carry CA wines & are great for supporting local as well!). I fell in love with that bottle and learned more by emailing the winemaker, Jessica, who was extremely friendly & happy to share some backstory…
It’s a bright, lively Zinfandel.
Hope all of you wine lovers had a great, happy start to 2017 & cheers to a winederful year!
“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
~Martin Luther King Jr.
After posting this, I learned Jessica (“Jess”) from League of Rogues would be hosting a wine tasting event at a local beer/wine shop, BottleShop48, so my husband and I were able to stop by and meet her! Fun! She’s super friendly, knowledgeable, & happy to share her winemaking adventure stories (which I could listen to all day!). She & her boyfriend followed their passion for winemaking & now we get to reap all the benefits by drinking their great wine! Annnd, we were honored to meet them for pizza & (a little too much?) wine at LGO (highly recommended when in Phoenix/See Kimber for your wine selection!). Great people and great wine! Cheers!