March Wine Event | Rhone Varietals from Northern California: Big Wines, Small Producers

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Our next tasting on Wednesday will take us through California, where we will explore some big wines from small, boutique producers from various AVAs in northern California. What is an AVA?  An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features.  We’ll be exploring the following wines from 4 AVAs in northern California.  Another fun fact – all of the wines are Rhone varietals!

The Wine

2011 L’Apiculteur | Le P’tit Paysan | Arroyo Seco

100% Viognier. Stone fruit, river stones, excellent focus.

Arroyo Seco, in Monterey County, California, southeast of Monterey Bay, is famous for white wines full of tropical fruit and refreshing acidity. This AVA hosts a small but prestigious list of wineries and supplies fruit to many of California’s most prominent producers who appreciate the distinctive character shaped by this AVA’s unique terroir.

2011 Rose | Bugay Vineyards | Sonoma County (Mayacama Mountains)

97% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre. Amélange of tropical fruit, fresh-cut strawberry, ruby-red grapefruit and citrus.

The Mayacamas Mountains of Sonoma County. The proprietors of Bugay Wines immediately fell in love with the stunning beauty of this rugged, inaccessible and forested parcel. To their fortune, the parcel revealed hillside meadows suitable for vineyards and the soils proved to be a winemaker’s dream.  We’ll be tasting a beautiful Rosé.

2008 Syrah | Duende | Russian River  

Lush, rich, balanced.

The Russian River Valley provides a cool climate for growing grapes and accounts for one-sixth of the total planted vineyard acreage in Sonoma County. The climate in the Russian River Valley is similar to that of the northern Rhone Valley of France, Syrah’s ancestral home, and the wines are stylistically similar to the wines from this region.

2008 Mathis Grenache | Mathis Vineyard | Sonoma Valley

81% Grenache clone 513 and 515 Tablas Creek, 10%  Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah and 1% Alicante Bouchet.  lush fruit combined with pepper notes, hint of juniper

The Sonoma Valley AVA centers on the Sonoma Valley (also known as The Valley of the Moon) in the southern portion of the county. The appellation is bordered by two mountain ranges: the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and the Sonoma Mountains to the west.