Posts Tagged ‘andrew jones’

Wine and Beer Lovers, Unite, or Marrying Hops and Grapes

April 9, 2016 4 comments

Sacrilege? Possible. Should I be ostracized by beer and wine aficionados alike, and this very blog been banned forever from their reading lists? I will leave it to aficionados to decide. I’m merely doing what I’ve always done in this blog – sharing my experiences, those which I deem worth sharing. That’s all there is to it.

When I got email from Andrew Jones, the winemaker behind one of my favorite labels, Field Recordings, advertising something called “Can Club”, the decision was quick – “yada, yada, yada – I have to do it” (the “yada” part is here to explain how much attention I was paying to the exact email content). Then I glanced over the following: “ Pure, free-run rose from a pair of our westside Paso Robles vineyard partners, mostly Grenache.  100% whole cone citra hops [sic] were added prior to canning.  The results, a super refreshing elixir, combining your love of Provence with a touch of Belgian brew.  I have a tough time explaining it because it isn’t like anything I have tried before.  It’s impossible for me to properly analyze.  I just want to drink it.“, and the next thought was “whatever. I have no idea what he is talking about, and I don’t care”. So yes, I signed up.

Few days ago, the door bell rung, and FedEx guy asked me to sign for something which rather resembled the set of engineering drawings – “hmmm, what is it” was my first thought. And then it downed on me (“this box contains alcohol” sign was a good cue) – aha, the can club?! I liked the unorthodox presentation so much that I even shared the puzzle on twitter, asking people to guess how the object in the picture can relate to the wine:

FedEx TubeThe most prevalent idea was “poster”, so I had to share an answer a few hours after:

Citra Rosé shipmentAnd then I opened the can. The liquid in the glass had an appeal of a perfect Rosé. Classic salmon pink color. On the nose, it was perfectly Provençal Rosé – touch of strawberries, hint of onion peel, refreshing minerality, touch of lemon. And the palate was, once again, perfectly Provençal – strawberries, touch of lemon, fresh, crispy. With the tiny beer bite on the finish. You know, the one which you get from the fruity, light Belgium beer. You don’t have to believe me, but I only read Andrew’s exact words when I sat down to write this post. “love of Provence with a touch of Belgian brew” – wow. It would be rare, very rare case that my take on the wine would match its description with such a precision . And then I have to fully agree with Andrew on one other thing – “ I just want to drink it“.

What can I tell you about this 2015 Field Recordings Citra Rosé Paso Robles (13.1% ABV, $14 retail/$10 club – 500ml can, 67% Grenache, 22% Picpoul Blanc, 8% Mourvédre, 3% Syrah)? It was delicious, perfectly combining the best of both beer and wine worlds – crisp, fresh, bright, thoughts provoking. Dangerous as well – as the wine comes in the can, you pretty much treat it as a single serving – while it actually contains more than 3 standard glasses of wine. But I think the taste is well worth that danger. And until you will get your hands on one of those cans, my words are all you got, so yes, take my word for it.

I want to raise my glass to never ending creativity and courage. Beer and wine lovers, rejoice! Cheers!

Daily Glass: Of Wonderwall and Unwooded Pinot

June 7, 2013 2 comments

How can you tell when blogging is becoming an addiction? When you drink great wine, you think about it in the terms of the blog post. And when you are not producing that blog post for whatever reason, you become upset and feel incomplete…

I don’t want to feel incomplete – who does? And to avoid that feeling, let me tell you about few great wines I experienced recently.

Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot NoirLast week, when it was hot and not crazy rainy as today (did someone up there forgot to turn off the faucet?), I walked into the wine store and told Zak that I’m in the mood for a nice bottle of Rosé. “Here”, he said handing me a bottle, “you have to try this”. Okay, I’m ready to try whatever Zak hands me with such a conviction. 2011 Haute Cabrière Unwooded Pinot Noir Franschhoek South Africa (12% ABV, $15.99) didn’t look like a Rosé, but hey, the proof is in the glass.

And what a proof it was! Light ruby color, the nose of strawberries, cranberries and onion peel (classic Rosé, huh?) – same on the palate – perfect substance, perfectly refreshing body – nothing wimpy, nothing sweet, only refreshing, light and exciting wine. This wine is produced by Achim von Arnim, whose blog is called Sun Soil Vine Man – which is also a motto of his winery. Tasting this unwooded Pinot Noir, I can say that his simple model works quite well. Drinkability: 8-


And then there was Wonderwall. First I tried 2012 Wonderwall Chardonnay Central Coast (14.9% ABV, $22/$17.60 for catalog members). These Wonderwall wines are produced by Andrew Jones, the winemaker behind Field Recordings wines, which I discussed many times in the blog – and of which I’m a big fun.

What is amazing about many Field Recordings wines is aromatics. Once you pour the wine into the glass, you simply can’t put it down – but not drinking, only smelling, and smelling and smelling. Some wines transform with their taste, and some just with their aromatics. Bright and beautiful fruit on the nose – together with fresh flowers. I experienced similar aromatics with some of the best Albarino wines – but not with California Chardonnay. Good amount of fruit on the palate, but tame, more controlled, balanced and perfectly weaved around acidity. When the bottle was finished (much faster than I would want to, unfortunately – this was my only bottle) – I smelled the bottle and it showed vanilla and touch of butter – but it was too late. I wish I had another bottle to try it at least in 3-4 years – oh well, may be someone will. Drinkability: 8

Then I had 2012 Wonderwall Pinot Noir Central Coast (13.9% ABV, $22/$17.60 for catalog members). To describe it in a few words, I would put it like this: from nose to palate – classic California Pinot Noir. Violet, cherries and hint of smokiness on the nose, cherries, cranberries and tart blackberries on the palate, all moving and evolving. On the palate, this wine is somewhat elusive, and it gives you a different perception with every sip. On the second day it showed bright, clean and assertive fruit, with mouthwatering acidity – you really want to give this wine some time (I will not, as again this was my only bottle). Drinkability: 7+

Before we part, I have to cite for you the words written on the back label of the Wonderwall wines:

“I’m unsure if it has been me, the grapes or the vineyards. There

has always been a barrier between me and the wine I wanted.

Finally, I have broken through the wall.”

That’s all I have for you, folks. And I feel better already. Cheers!

Wine. That. Transforms.

April 23, 2013 9 comments

If you followed this blog for a while, you know that I have a tendency to get excited around wines. May be “overly excited” is even better way to put it. Especially when I come across the wines which wow. Like this time.

Field Recordings wines are no strangers in this blog (2010 Fiction by Field Recordings was my 2011 wine of the year). Produced by Andrew Jones, grape-grower-turned-wine-maker, these wines are his personal accounts of people and places – every label on his wines will tell you where exactly the grapes came from, and who grew them – you can see an example above. And his wines have tremendous personality associated with them. What these wines do the best – they don’t leave you indifferent. Like this 2010 Field Recordings Petite Sirah Crockett Hill Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley (15.9% ABV, $22).

The very first smell of this wine just takes you away. Away from the day that passed. Away from all the little things which (of course you knew it), in essence, are not important at all. It is clean. It is powerful, It is beautiful. You can imagine any happy picture you want – the smell will support and carry it. Yes, it is pure fruit forward California wine – but it presents itself in such a bright and uplifting fashion, that this might be the way to spell “happiness” with wine.

The wine appears almost black in the glass. It is dense, it is concentrated, it is powerful. Blueberries, blueberry jam and blueberry pie all together – but without sweetness, all in very balanced, round form. You can have food with this wine – but what you really want is just this wine by itself. From the smell, the happiness continues in the glass.

Then your glass becomes empty. But you sit there, still smiling. Still carried away. To the happy place.

Is this an overly emotional account? You bet. But I invite you to find this wine and experience happy journey in the glass. Of course your personal happy wine might be different. I hope you will discover it. And I will drink to that. Cheers!

%d bloggers like this: