TN: Some Wines w/ MattRorick/Forlorn-Hope

Matt Rorick was in town Fri (1/20/17) and we tasted a few wines:

  1. Forlorn-Hope Que Saudade Verdelho Calif (12.73%; 367 cs) 2015: Light yellow color; lots of bubbles that rapidly
    dissapate; very attractive floral/pineapple/appley slight honeyed very attractive nose; fairly tart appley/
    pineapple/floral light mineral/stoney honeyed flavor; long appley/pineapple/floral light stony bit honeyed finish;
    no signs of CO2 on the palate nor in the glass; much better than the one over a month ago; quite a nice/
    pleasant-drinking white.

  1. Forlorn-Hope Que Saudade Verdelho Calif (13.83%; 637 cs) 2014: color; very perfumed quite fragrant/
    flowery/mango/pineapple/gardenia light chalky/stony quite attractive nose; fairly tart/tangy/metallic some
    floral/gardenia/pineapple slight chalky/perfumed talc/stony very perfumed flavor; very long/lingering tangy/tart
    some rich/lush very perfumed/floral/gardenia/perfumed talc bit chalky/stony finish; a very perfumed & rich very
    attractive white.

  1. Combe Trousseau StolpmanVnyd/BallardCanyon (13%) 2015: Med.light color; rather fragrant violets/lilacs/
    bit Nebb like slight earthy/dusty/bit loamy light toasty/oak/smokey very attractive nose; lightly tart/tangy
    floral/lilacs bit metallic dusty light smokey/oak bit lean/hard flavor w/ light tangy tannins; med.long bit
    tart/tangy/metallic lightly floral/lilacs slight earthy finish w/ light bitey tannins; quite a nice TN but
    seems kinda clumsey next to the F-H.

  1. Forlorn-Hope TrousseauNoir RorickVnyd/CalaverasCnty (12.23%; 127 cs) 2015: Very pale garnet color; very fragrant/
    perfumed very strong floral/lilacs/almost Gamay-like/spicy bit earthy beautiful nose; tart very perfumed/floral/
    lilacs/violets slight herbal/woodsy/mushroomy/earthy flavor w/ very light angular tannins; very long/lingering
    lightly tart/tangy/metallic very floral/lilacs/violets bit earthy/herbal/woodsy finish w/ light sharp tannins;
    bears some resemblance to Trousseau w/o the strong earthy/loamy character those often show;a lovely lilting
    kind of wine in which you can hear JulieAndrews singing “The Hills Are Alive” if you hold your ear close
    to the btl.

  1. Forlorn-Hope Mil Amores DeWittVnyd/AmadorCnty (50% Touriga/30% Tempranillo/15% TintaCao/
    5% TintaAmarella; 14.5%; 47 cs) 2009
    : Very dark color; very strong grapey/plummy bit Portish pungent/licorice/
    very smokey lovely nose; lightly tart strong rich/lush/structured quite plummy/grapey slight Portish some
    complex flavor w/ modest ripe tannins; very long strong plummy/grapey/Port-like bit licorice/pungent bit complex
    finish w/ modest smooth/ripe tannins; can still go out another 5 yrs or so; much like a good Duoro dry red.

  1. Forlorn-Hope LesDeuxMathieux PetiteSirah 10BrinkVnyd/SuisunVlly (14.5%; 52 cs) 2008: Very dark color w/ no
    bricking; somewhat earthy/dusty/loamy bit peppery/PS lightly spicy nose; bit soft rather hard/tannic some
    earthy/dusty/loamy/rustic bit plummy/peppery/PS flavor w/ some hard/rough tannins; long rather earthy/dusty/loamy
    light peppery/PS/plummy rather rough/rustic finish w/ ample hard/rough tannins; not showing much evolution and
    may never soften; sorta of a TyranusaurusRex clumsily gallumping off into the sunset and may never develop into
    something…or maybe it will, w/ more age.

  1. Tokaj Noblis Koverszolo (Sweet; 11.5%; Minosegi Edes Feherbor; BlueDanube) Szolobirtok 2009: color;
    quite aromatic/honeyed/pineapple/mango/spicy no botrytis slight earthy rather attractive nose; slightly sweet
    soft honeyed/dried mango/pineapple slight earthy somewhat dull flavor; med.long pineapple/dried mango/slight
    honeyed soft bit sweet flavor; pleasant enough sweet wine but just that; rather attractive nose but a bit
    dull on the palate because of low acids.

  1. Pedro Domecq Venerable Very Rare PedroXimenez Sherry (Btl drawn: 17/6/81; Btl#34; 17%) Jerez
    NV (late 1800’s)
    : $35.00 (CB)

  1. Forlorn-Hope DieNachzugler MokelumneGlenVnyd/Lodi (25 cs; 14.36%) Murphys 2013: color; intense grapey/
    dried mango/baked pears very passito slight earthy fairly complex nose; quite sweet slightly tart rich/lush/
    mouthfilling intense grapey/dried pineapple/baked fruits/spicy slight earthy passito flavor; very long/lingering
    intense grapey/raisened/dried mango/baked pears & apples quite sweet lightly tart finish; a classic example
    of an Italian passito that should live forever…or at least 30 yrs for my next fruitcake.

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. MattRorick is the winemaker/owner of Forlorn-Hope wnry. I have followed his wines from the very start, when
    JonBonne/SFChron first brought them to my attention. LauraHamilton, Pig+Fig Cafe in LosAlamos, has also become
    a big fan of Matt’s wines. When she decided to do a F-H dinner in January, she convinced Matt to come out to
    LosAlamos for the event last Sat night (1/21/17).
    Matt was to fly in to SantaFe the Fri afternoon, so I organized a small gathering of folks at Susan’s home
    in SantaFe. Alas, Matt’s flight out of Denver was cancelled. United was able to get a flight into ABQ, but it
    didn’t arrive until 8:30pm, well after our 6:30pm start time. So Laura drove down to the ABQ airport to pick him
    up an delivered Matt a little before 10:00pm. It was a long day for Matt, but he gamely joined us, had some
    ChoucrouteGarni and then the highlight of the evening, my 30-yr old fruitcake (reportedly separately) and the
    ancient PedroDomecq PX Sherry Venerable. We finally folded the tent a bit after midnight.

  1. QueSaudade:When the '15 arrived back in Dec, I immediately tried it. It was a very bizzare wine, loaded w/
    CO2, and pretty vapid. I thoroughly trashed the wine, the best thing I could find about it was the lovely
    fractals the CO2 bubbles formed on the surface. My review on 12/4/16:

I, of course, sent my review to Matt and he had absolutely no explanationwhere the CO2 was coming from. The wine
should have been totally stable going into btl. He had not had a similar experience w/ any of his btls. So I
wanted to try another btl w/ Matt. This 2’nd btl was totally unlike the first, CO2-laden, btl I had. Matt had
no explanation for why my first btl was CO2-laden.

  1. DieNachzugler: Laura wanted a dessert wine for her dinner but, alas, it had been dome time since Matt had made
    a dessert wine. He just happened to have in barrel this wine, so sent 4 750ml btls to her.
    The grapes come from the MokelumneGlen vnyds from which he draws his GemischerSatz wine. Grapes are Bacchus/Kerner
    and two other German varieties. Matt got a call late in the season that they still had some of these grapes, now
    getting pretty ripe, and would he like them? He stalled around a bit, they went unsold, and finally, shortly
    after Thanksgiving, he harvested them. The grapes were very raisened but no signs of botrytis or any other kinds
    of mold & rot. Because there was so much raisening, there was precious little juice yielded.
    The release for this dessert wine has not yet been decided. He was going to price it about $25/hlf btl, but I
    think I convinced Matt it was worth at least $35/hlf, if no more.
    This is a classic example of an Italian passito, non-Muscat, wine…a genre I think should be pursued more
    in Calif. It reminded me quite a lot of the Maculan Breganze Torcolato passito wine, or a few of the Friuli Picolit
    passitos I’ve had. This is a wine F-H fans must buy when it’s released. And thank TomHill for getting the price
    up where it belongs.

  1. TrousseauNoir: These two were an interesting comparison. I liked the Stolpman quite a lot when I first opened it.
    But, then, the F-H rendition sort of blew it a away. A much lighter wine, but an astounding fragrance & perfume
    that made the Stolpman seem a bit on the oafish side. The old F-H lament: “I shoulda bought more”.
    There’s plenty of TrousseauGris (Grey Riesling) around. but not as much TrousseauNoir. Matt says there is quite
    variable color in TN, very much a clonal effect and a function of site.

  1. Koverszolo: This is a grape that is indigenous to Transylvania but also found to a small degree in the Tokaj region
    of Hungary, where it almost became extinct after phyloxera. Hungarian for “fat grape”, it is susceptible to
    botrytis. Obviously a grape they should be planting all up&down the coast of Calif.

  1. LesDeuxMathieux: This was a one-off joint effort w/ MattRorick and MattDees/Jonata. Grapes came from the Tenbrink
    Vnyd in the SuisunVlly. AbeSchoener made an agreement w/ the Tenbrinks that only he (and they) could do a vnyd-
    designate of the PS. Hence the 10Brink on the F-H label.

Nice notes, Tom - thanks. FWIW, I tasted a couple of the same wines plus several more with Matthew at a tasting at the Ordinaire wine shop in Oakland on 1/14:

2014 King Andrews White, Trousseau Gris, Rolle, Green Hungarian, Chenin Blanc field blend from Suisun Valley
2014 Que Saudade, Verdelho sourced from the estate vineyard in Calaveras County, DeWitt Vineyard in Amador, and Vista Luna Vineyard in Lodi
2013 The Faufreluches, skin-fermented Gewürztraminer from Hill Family Vineyard in Russian River Valley
2015 Kirschenmann, skin-fermented Pinot Gris from Lodi
2015 Trousseau Noir, from the estate vineyard near Murphys in Calaveras County
2014 Suspirio del Moro, Alvarelhão from Silvaspoons Vineyard in Lodi

Didn’t take any formal notes. Enjoyed all of them, but my favorites were the King Andrews White, The Faufreluches, and especially the Trousseau Noir.