The 2013 Forlorn Hope “Que Saudade” Verdelho is so delicious, with a fleshy palate of tropical fruit and bright citrus, refreshing acidity and an electric streak of minerality. This aromatic white is silky and full-bodied, and one of the best Verdelhos I have ever tasted. Heirloom LA sidled up alongside with a shepherd’s pie of short rib, yam, and marshmallow topping. Very yummy!
The 2012 Forlorn Hope “Mil Amores” Red Wine Dewitt Vineyards weaves a seductive spell of blue and black fruit, earth and spice. “Mil Amores”, Portuguese for a thousand loves, is crafted from the exact same fruit and the exact same vineyard block as the rosé, just 2 weeks later, yet this wine couldn’t be more different. Very unusual aromatics, more white than red wine, it’s lean and mineral. Heirloom LA paired their Porchetta style pork belly, roasted for 8 hours with fennel, garlic, onion, and bay leaves with glazed brussel sprouts and agrodolce onions. Very savory!
The 2012 Dexter Lake California Red Wine, inspired by pre-Prohibition field blends in California, is a blend of Zinfandel, Barbera, Carignan, a touch of Valdiguié and Trousseau Noir, plus additional minor characters. An homage to California’s viticultural history, this multiple vineyard/grape varietal blend is juicy and well balanced, robust and spicy with aromas and flavors of plums, black cherry, blackberry, and cinnamon, a screaming deal for $14. This wine was paired with Heirloom LA’s signature TurDuckEn, a rouladen of boneless free range turkey, Jidori chicken, and Muscovy duck breasts, layered with arugula, roasted in poultry skins, and served with Ciabatta stuffing, an impressive dish.
The Petite Sirah, genesis of Forlorn Hope wines, was the result of a bet between Rorick and a fellow winemaker. He endeavored to convince Rorick that he just hadn’t found the right vineyard for Petite Sirah, and after experimenting with a ton of the grapes in a backyard project, Rorick was convinced and Forlorn Hope Les Deux Mathieux was born. The 2010 Forlorn Hope “Les Deux Mathieux” Petite Sirah Tenbrink Vineyard is a dense, powerful wine of finesse and balance. Black plum, wild berry and cherry fruit, sandalwood, and warm spice give way to relatively velvety tannins, a bold wine with a long finish, perfect for the holidays. Heirloom LA served up mini-pumpkin tarts with whipped cream topping, the spice of the wine matching the spice of the dessert, but I can see this wine more with a savory and/or spicy entree.
Forlorn Hope Wines champions the underdogs in California’s wine universe, a lost cause that has found footing, resonating with a growing number of wine drinkers. Matthew Rorick, named a “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2013, has come into his own, an extreme soldier of terroir, crafting expressive, funky, and unusual wines. And wine lovers are watching, as Rorick has invested in his own Sierra Foothills vineyard, where he can experiment like a mad scientist, with varietals whose time may come again.
Seek out Forlorn Hope Wines where you can find them, their miniscule production truly makes them “Rare Creatures”. And don’t forget, during this holiday season, reach out to Heirloom LA and Silverlake Wine to make all your entertaining dreams come true!