Home > California, Experiences, Grapes, Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo, wine ratings > Daily Glass: Take Your Journey, Any Time: Odisea Wines

Daily Glass: Take Your Journey, Any Time: Odisea Wines

One of the most fascinating aspects of wine is its ability to change your emotional state. Best steak in the world will only pick you up during those 15 minutes you will spend enjoying it. Yes, if the meal was “an experience”, it might stay with you forever, but still, it is very hard, for instance, to enjoy your steak during 2 – 3 hours of quiet time in the evening (never mind five evenings in a row).

Wine is different. You can start from admiring it in the glass – color, nose, legs – and then slowly move on to the first sip, and go on from there, simply observing and enjoying the transformation for a while. But this is not all. Wine, unlike many other foods, very often comes with the stories. Stories of the people who made it, or who started making it 500 years ago. You can learn about their dreams, their aspirations, their hard work. Yes, there was a lot of hard work involved in making of that steak – but it is very hard to make a unique and emotional story out of it.

What is the point of this rambling? Let me explain. Over the last three days we undertook a journey, right in the comfort of our living room (okay, actually, we were mostly sitting outside on the deck, but this is besides the point). Not just any journey, an odyssey. Lead by the Odisea Wine Company out of California, we traveled through unusual grape varieties and unique sensual expressions. Odisea Wine Company was created in 2004 by two friends, Adam Webb and Mike Kuenz, and it is focused on making the wines from “Rhone and Iberian grape varietals grown in California”.

Here is my account of this odyssey:

2009 Odisea Veritable Quandary, California (13.5% ABV; 25% Syrah, 17%Grenache, 17% Tempranillo, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Field Blend, 12% Alvarinhao, 3% Carignane; 850 cases made) – dark garnet color, nose of dark fruit and touch of dark chocolate. Velvety palate of plums, touch of warm spices, profile of a classic Spanish Grenache, only slightly more restrained. Round, soft, perfectly balanced. Drinkability: 8

2009 Odisea Devil’s Share, California (13.9% ABV; 48% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 14% Mourvedre, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Viognier; 335 cases made) – dark garnet color. Needs time to come to its senses (slightly disjointed on the first sip with acidity going sky high). Cherries and herbs on the nose. Spices, hint of barnyard, sage, dark fruit, raspberries, may be a touch of tobacco notes – very round, balanced and pleasant, with the long finish. A dangerous wine once it is opened… Drinkability: 8

2010 Odisea Unusual Suspects, California (13.9% ABV; 50% Carignane, 25% Tempranillo, 15% Grenache, 10% Cinsault; 600 cases made)  – dark ruby color in the glass. Fresh raspberries on the nose, with the hint of tobacco. Some raspberries on the palate, but then green, almost vegetative notes (not the tree brunches, more of a hay, dry grass style), supported by tobacco and a savory profile. Warm feeling on the palate, good acidity in the back, very soft tannins over a medium finish. This wine begs for food, but nothing as sharp or as powerful as steak – it would be good with a veal roast, a slow cooked beef stew or roasted eggplant. Drinkability: 7+

I bought these wines online a while ago at the Wade’s Wines, I guess mostly based on the unusual names – and most of them are still available, at $16.99 or so, in case if you are interested in taking the journey for yourself. In any case, I’m glad I had mine. Cheers!

  1. August 24, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Sounds like you found some interesting blends that work well together. That’s a nice ‘odiesea.’

    • talkavino
      August 24, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Yes, the wines we unusual but very good. I would gladly drink them again.

  2. August 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Love the writing; but I’m always looking for an emotional pull in a story, as well as in a glass of wine. You combined that wonderfully. And I’ll be looking for the Veritable Quandary.

    • talkavino
      August 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! I think wine is one of the best vehicles to connect, express and support the emotion. When you drink wine to enjoy it, there is a lot happening with each and every sniff and sip…

  3. August 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    The names are certainly unusual, good price point also, very nice, look forward to giving a try soon. I sometimes will pick a wine because I like the label. Really great review.

    • talkavino
      August 25, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Thank you for the kind word, Susanne! I recently noticed that I’m a lot of attention to the labels and my initial reaction “it looks interesting” is very often driven by the label alone.
      However for these wines, this was not the case – Wade’s Wines only share names of the wines and short descriptions, and no labels…

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