Wine,

Rapscallion & Rune

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:

The winemaker, James Callahan, stated that a friend did the art for all of his fantastic labels! This one looks a bit like Ned Stark?

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!

The 2013 Rapscallion tastes like optimism.

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…

“The name, League of Rogues, stems from a couple of things. First, I’m British and I wanted to include my British heritage into our label. Before we named our label, we first named our Zinfandel, which was the first wine we learned how to make. Our Zin is very bold, complex, and full of character, so we thought it was most appropriate to name our Zin, “Rapscallion.” 🙂 Rapscallion is an English term meaning rascal/scoundrel kind of character. Rapscallion is synonymous with a “Rogue” so that’s where “League of Rogues” comes from.”

 

It’s a bright, lively Zinfandel.

Naturally, I had to get my hands on a bottle of Rapscallion, which turned out to be a delightful bottle for right under $20! It was one of, if not, the most vibrant and lively Zinfandels I’ve ever tasted (but nicely balanced!). In the past, many of the California Zins I tried were inexpensive, burnt jam, lackluster, & heavy. This Zin, from Paso Robles, was medium-full bodied, but bright & complex, with just the right amount of acidity to inspire you to take another sip. I’m a fan. I also encourage anyone (anyone?) reading this to try a bottle and support these nice winemakers!

 

Mug Shot:

Yes, that is red wine in my cat mug…

Sweet!

I also got a surprise gift in the mail this month. This ultra cool cat mug from Ochith (@WendyOchith) was super sweet & thoughtful (& multipurpose, as it can be used for many beverages, not just wine!). We are two days apart, & both turned the big 43 this month! I love that crazy, sweet, smart, Red-Head (who needs to move to Jerome, AZ this year;).

 

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.

 

Update!

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!

Loved meeting Jess from League of Rogues! She’s holding her Absent Minded Professor blend, & I’m holding the Rapscallion Zinfandel! I’m not kidding, they’re great wines & beyond reasonably priced!

 

16 comments

writer

I'm a wine enthusiast, writer of words, & hoarder of books. I have an applied science degree in dental hygiene, but writing, reading, & learning about wine is much more enjoyable than administering local anesthesia and removing biofilm! Cheers to being happy & healthy (so you can enjoy more wine!) Follow me on Twitter: Misty@RedWineCats & Instagram too: __MistyC__ Thank you!

6 Comments

Heather

Lovely read cheers!

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Misty

Thank you, Heather! Cheers, & love all your positive energy! ~Misty 🙂

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Jeffrey Kralik

Agree, excellent read! Keep up the good work!

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Misty

Thank you! Cheers!

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Lori

How awesome you got to meet locally!

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Misty

Yes, super awesome! I need to make it your way… I’d love to meet you too (when I buy more of your Cab Franc!;).

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