Matt Rorick was in town Fri (1/20/17) and we tasted a few wines:
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/
Forlorn-Hope Que Saudade Verdelho Calif (13.83%; 637 cs) 2014: Med.gold 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tokaj Noblis Koverszolo (Sweet; 11.5%; Minosegi Edes Feherbor; BlueDanube) Szolobirtok 2009: Med.gold 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.
Pedro Domecq Venerable Very Rare PedroXimenez Sherry (Btl drawn: 17/6/81; Btl#34; 17%) Jerez
NV (late 1800’s) : $35.00 (CB)
Forlorn-Hope DieNachzugler MokelumneGlenVnyd/Lodi (25 cs; 14.36%) Murphys 2013: Med.gold 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.