"Outland Wines, the newest spot to taste wines, is an important addition to the local scene because it provides a place where three separate wine makers and wine labels can showcase themselves to the public . . .We love the idea of wine cooperatives, which harken back to the early days of Napa Valley when wineries and wine makers worked together to achieve success for themselves individually with the understanding that it would enable success for all . . .While the three wineries produce a wide range of different wines, there is an overall philosophy that binds them together: minimal intervention in the making of the wines and letting the varietals show their true aroma, flavor and character. Our recent visit to Outland leaves us wanting to try more wines from each of the three producers and, of course, return to the wine bar soon."
- John & Irene Ingersoll, Topochines Vino, March 14 2017
"When I tasted the wine, the first thing I thought of was Chambolle-Musigny in Burgundy—it has the uplifted elegance and earthy notes of a Chambolle, albeit with a deeper fruit component that brings you back to California. In the glass it is a deep ruby with garnet reflections at the rim, while the nose is a sweet and savory mix of strawberry, huckleberry, candied rhubarb, dried orange peel, rose petals, black tea, wild mushrooms and a hint of oak spice. The addition of some whole grape clusters during fermentation has lent the wine some grip on the palate, and the acid, too, keeps the wine’s energy high—no syrupy, cola-like notes here! It’s got tremendous aromatic complexity, a silky texture, and the finest of fine-grained tannins. Drink this wine now, with relish, in Burgundy stems at 60-65 degrees. It has great finesse, enough that it can do double-duty as a ‘meat’ or ‘fish’ wine; check it out alongside these marinated and grilled tuna steaks. Cheers!"
Somm Select: Poe Wine Company, Van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
- ian cauble, SOMM select, march 18 2017
“Sheehan, the maker of Poe Wines, pours us each a taste of her 2016 Pinot Nouveau, bottled only a day earlier. The liquid was pressed off of grape skins one week ago. Whereas most California Pinots made in the 2016 vintage won’t be sold for, say, two more years, the Poe Nouveau will be barely 2 months old when it’s released a few weeks from now ... It’s a brilliant fuchsia color and murky, nearly opaque. A fresh floral smell, like dewy petals, emanates from the glass, and there’s a red-cherry aroma...Then, on the palate, it’s all autumn: baked apples, cinnamon pastry and that nostalgic sensation of a big pile of damp autumn leaves — the kind you used to jump into. Mists and mellow fruitfulness, the whole thing. Without being warm, it’s warming ... Poe is among a sudden surge in California nouveau efforts."
— esther mobley, san francisco chronicle, november 11 2016
"Matthew Rorick was drawn to water before wine - surfing as a Southern California teenager, serving in the Navy during the first Gulf War. Then he returned to Oceanside (San Diego County) and moved in with his grandfather David, a wine enthusiast who encouraged his grandson to study enology, enticing him with a deep cellar of old wines.
That helped shape the sensibility that now guides Rorick's Forlorn Hope: microbatches of wines like his Que Saudade Verdelho and Gascony Cadets, a Petit Verdot from little-known Suisun Valley. They are Rorick's "rare creatures," typically made in lots of fewer than 2,500 bottles.
...It was, perhaps, a hopeless way to launch a winery. But Rorick had warmed to the improbable. After reading a book about the Duke of Wellington's peninsular campaign against the French, he became intrigued with "forlorn hope" - a permutation of "verloren hoop," Dutch for "lost troop," both of which refer to soldiers chosen as the first wave in an offensive. Massive casualties were a way of life, but survivors reaped significant benefits. The name was surprisingly on point.
But his whites have become serious examples of form. A Semillon, Nacré, is a tribute both to Australia's Hunter Valley whites and to the long-aging Livermore Valley examples from California's Kalin Cellars. There's a similar seriousness in his Que Saudade, from the Portuguese grape Verdelho, an effort that rivals the best European versions in its finesse.
Years in the wine industry soured Rorick on the modern California cellar. He decided that his future lay in minimalism: no added yeast or acid, just a touch of sulfur dioxide, and the use of whole grape clusters in fermenting red wines, a choice affirmed when he read "The Wine Press and the Cellar," Emmet Rixford's 19th century text. Rixford's work boosted Rorick's skepticism of dramatic ripeness and acid additions."
— jon bonné, SF GATE, February 2013
"Even if you haven’t heard of Coombsville, you’ve probably drunk its wine. The secluded pocket of vine-studded hills just east of Napa has for years been quietly growing grapes for the big-name labels farther up the valley. In December, it became the region’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA), putting Coombsville on tasting routes for thirsty tourists from the Bay Area and beyond. The secret is out.
“This is a big deal for us,” says Tom Farella, longtime winemaker and lead author of the AVA petition. “Getting our name on the appellation maps says we’re a legitimate neighbor- hood in this valley, and one worth visiting.”
Earning an AVA designation is no small feat: Only 16 have been approved in Napa since 1983, and just 3 in the last decade. To be certi ed, Farella and company had to prove that the
soil, climate, and wines produced in this 11,000-acre horseshoe of land between the Napa River and the Vaca Mountains were different enough from the area’s neighbors ... Despite what its name suggests, Coombsville—unlike Yountville—is not a town. Its few dozen wineries and growers are small family-run affairs sprinkled among residential neighborhoods and horse ranches."