California Rhone Rangers

I’ve discussed before how fabulous Rhone Valley wines are, and what great values they present in France.   But in recent years, we’ve been able to find those unique grapes and complex wines closer to home – in  California.

In Wine Spectator’s feature article this month, they discuss some of the best Rhone varietals coming out of California including Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah, Truchard Syrah, Lewis Syrah, and Rosenblum Petite Sirah – some great finds.  Syrah is definitely leading the production numbers and sales for this varietal but Petite Sirah and Grenache (my favorite) are not far behind.  And even in some hidden vineyards you can find small plots of Mourvèdre, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier.  So here are my top three favorite wines from those non-Syrah California Rhones…

3.  Booker Proprietary White Blend, 2008
A relatively new find, a blend of 60% Rousanne and 40% Viognier…this wine displays the complexities which I love about Rhone whites.  Full bodied palettes with complex tree and tropical fruits balanced ever so slightly with oak.

2. T-Vine Grenache, 2007
Mmm Grenache how I love your spicy, fruit flavors.  But from Napa Valley?  This wine is made true to Napa and French style represnting the best qualities of the Grenache grape while also displaying the unique growing conditions of Napa – building wines for strength, power, and age.

1.  Scholium Project Androkteinos, 2007
“An – drok – i – nose,” that’s my closest phonetic spelling for the pronunciation of the name of the wine.  If you haven’t had one of Abe Schroener’s wines…well I guess you haven’t been reading our blog!  Abe’s wines are big, bold, unique and mysterious.  It’s something you have to figure out our your own – I could tell you, but that would take away the experience!  (Here’s a hint – this one’s Syrah).


Posted on March 2, 2011, in Wine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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