April’s Last Sunday Tasting: Rhônes of our Own

Good day, Feastlings,

While we here at Feast enjoy wines of all stripes, if I had to choose specific varietals to be in the running for Staff Favorites, it would have to be the varietals who spring from the Rhône River Valley.  With such a broad spectrum of styles and textures, we’re smitten with the versatility of both the reds and the whites born out of the region.  And while we love the Rhônes proper, it turns out that the Viogniers, Marsannes, Grenaches, Syrahs, et al. of California are quite delicious.  This month, Mary Grace Rodarte joins us with half a dozen wines in tow, all Rhône varietals, all from California, and all delicious.  The tasting is this Sunday, April 26th, at 3:30 pm, and each of the six wines will be paired with an amuse bouche.  The price: $35 plus tax and tip.  To reserve a place, please call 326-9363, as web or email reservations will regrettably not hold you a place.  We hope you can join us.

Rhônes of our Own

2011 Zaca Mesa “Z Blanc,” Santa Ynez Valley                                                                         $17.00

“This blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viogier is, in a word, wonderful. While it’s dry and crisp, with minerally edge, it’s fantastically ripe with oranges, apricots, peaches, limes and honey. So delicious, you just want to drink the whole bottle.” – S.H. 90 points Editors’ Choice, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Dec. 2013

2012 Freemark Abbey Viognier, Napa                                                                                           $25.00

Very rich in tropical fruit, orange, apricot, lime, Asian pear and honey flavors, this tastes like an orchard in a glass. It’s so powerful in fruity essence that it tastes sweet until the finish, which turns nicely dry and crisp in acidity.

rich, powerful wine with flavors of tropical fruits, Meyer lemons, limes and honeysuckle flower.

2011 Qupé “Maxtap Cuvée,” Central Coast                                                                                 $21.00

This is a wine that works well with foods that would normally be served with a rich red. With its soft tannins, plump fruit and spices this wine works well by itself as well. The aromas and flavors show nice berry fruit and dried cherry with hints of tobacco and wild herbs. This wine is not meant to take up cellar space but if you are so inclined should continue to age nicely for 5-8 years.

2011 Arrowood “Saralee’s Vineyard” Syrah, Russian River Valley                                         $32.00

The 2011 Syrah is densely aromatic with notes of smoked meat, black pepper and spice. The juicy palate is filled with raspberry and ripe plum flavors. Big, round tannins and toasty oak compliment the long dark chocolate-mint finish.

2011 Quivira Grenache, Dry Creek Valley                                                                                     $30.00

Out of the gate, the nose reveals a forest floor component that gives way to a deep core of red fruits. The freshness and natural acidity of the 2011 is clearly evident from the start and carries through to the mid-palate. Fresh and dried strawberries are prevalent along with red cherries and a touch of baking spices.

2010 Zaca Mesa “Black Bear Block” Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley                                             $63.00

This wine displays rich blackberry, cassis, mocha, cedar and our signature sage spice aromas and flavors.  Powerful, yet elegant, this wine coats the palate, and the finish lingers with sophisticated tannins and exquisite fruit. This full-bodied wine should be enjoyed over the next ten years.

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