SIERRA FOOTHILLS, California
You wouldn’t think it was possible to rock a stetson, a punk rock bullet belt, tattoos and a maniac’s grin while making some of California’s most faithful representations of place and history but it's a world of contradiction after all. Matthew Rorick swaggered into the wine world as somewhat of an orbital curiosity, jamming out a zany collection of super small production wines from California’s less evangelized grape varieties and vineyards. Times have changed and now with the help of renegade coconspirator Danielle Shehab and their team of vine ninja-pirates, Forlorn Hope has become a pillar of the modern Californian wine industry. The sprawling Rorick Heritage Vineayrd is a treasure trove of apocryphal varieties planted into a natural limestone amphitheater. The wines they produce are both modest and radical: free of the chaos so frequently attributed to wild child natural wines, these wines are compelling in a sunsoaked, good natured Cali way that still likes to crack a dirty joke from time to time.
QUEEN OF SIERRA RED
A surprising blend of Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Mondeuse, Trousseau, Grenache all processed a variety of ways to bring out the best from each variety. After a few months aging, the lots were blended in winter, aged a bit more and then bottled in spring.
QUEEN OF THE SIERRA AMBER
Vermintino, Muscat long macerated for four months in Flextank eggs with some stems in with some of the Muscat. Drained off and blended with destemmed, skin-fermented Chard. Blended into small barrels and bottled a year after harvest.
Languedoc's lowly Picpoul variety energized by RHV's limestone soils and altitude. Brief presoak with the skins and then a super long 10 month ferment in small barrels. Racked once and aged another year on fine lees before bottling.