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2018 Forlorn Hope Queen of the Sierra Trousseau Blend

2018 Forlorn Hope Queen of the Sierra Trousseau Blend

Region: Sierra Foothills AVA < California

Grapes: Trousseau Noir, Mondeuse, Zinfandel, Barbera, and Grenache

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming on the Rorick Heritage Vineyard; 2000' elevation, featuring soils comprised of a layer of schist over dolomite-rich limestone; Each variety was fermented separately due to differing pick dates: the Barbera, Trousseau, and Mondeuse were each fermented in open top fermenters with 100% stem inclusion; Grenache was de-stemmed and fermented in an open-top; the Zinfandel was de-stemmed and fermented in a closed-top tank. All lots were pressed at dryness, averaging 14-21 days total time on the skins, and placed into neutral 227L barrique. In the winter of 2018 the individual lots were racked and blended together; they remained in neutral oak until being bottled, unfined and unfiltered, with minimal So2; 12% ABV

Winemaker: Matthew Rorick

Matthew Rorick is a truly one-man operation -- he farms his own beyond organic vineyards, then shepards all of those pristine little grapes through the whole winemaking process, from fermentation through to bottle.  But he was drawn to water before wine - surfing as a SoCal teenager, serving in the Navy during the first Gulf War.  Then he returned to Oceanside and moved in with his grandfather, a wine enthusiast who shared his deep cellar of old wines and encouraged his grandson to study enology.  So Matthew came north to UC Davis, then worked his way around a few big Northern California wineries -- and some bigger ones in Chile. These years of making processed wine soured him on the modern California cellar, guiding him instead towards the low-intervention practices he would employ with his own project: always organic fruit, no added yeast or acid, just a touch of sulfur dioxide, and the use of whole grape clusters.

And thus Forlorn Hope was born. As for the name, he apparently read a book about the Duke of Wellington's peninsular campaign against the French, becoming intrigued with "forlorn hope" - Dutch for "lost troop," referring to soldiers chosen as the first wave in an offensive. Massive casualties were a way of life, but survivors reaped significant benefits. In the wine world, he sees himself as part of this first-wave of natural-leaning, low-intervention producers, many of which will fall, but those that survive will reap the rewards.

We love his philosophical and literary musings, so up our alley!  As is this light, juicy, easygoing red blend from his meticulously farmed estate fruit.  Bright and fruit forward, with sour cherry, red berry and that raw, sexy spiciness that comes from whole-cluster, there's a vibrance and energy to this wine, carried to the finish by the lively acidity.  Amazing quality for the price, stock up on this one!


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