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I'm sorry if I hurt you, but I just can't bear to spend my final days slowly shrivelling up and drying out. We all know the end is coming. You might say I just took a shortcut. Please remember me as I was - green, moist, gently swaying in the breeze - and not as the grotesque red thing I turned into at the end. I love you all. Don't cry for me. I'm somewhere better now (on the ground, I mean) and I look forward to meeting you all there again someday.
The people at Roshambo Winery like to have a good time. And they
don't particularly care about conforming to some narrow, ossified idea
about how a proper winery carries itself. So they give their wineries
names like the Rat and Obvious. They put on events like a Willy Wonka
costume party and a Drag Brunch and conceptual art shows. They even
named the winery after a children's game: Roshambo is another name for
the game also known as rock, paper, scissors, and Roshambo Winery hosts
the longest-running rock, paper, scissors tournament in America (the next one is
October 6 in Santa Rosa, Sonoma). It's all in the name of democratizing
the appeal of wine, and showing that wine and fun are not mortal
Problem is, sometimes people get the wrong idea.
They look at all the antics and assume that the actual wine must play
second tuba to the spectacle. These uncouth upstarts couldn't possibly
produce wine worthy of an educated palate! And besides, if Roshambo
convinces the great unwashed to put down their beer cans and pick up
glasses of wine, then being a wine snob will lose all its cachet.
let's hope so. See, as the scion of an esteemed California
grape-growing family, Roshambo owner Naomi Johnson Brilliant has the
skills to make the Roshambo mission more than just a cynical marketing
gimmick. She grew up among grapes on her grandfather Frank Johnson's
vineyard, innocently unaware that those grapes were hotly sought by
winemakers, and that Frank Johnson Vineyard was one of the first
vineyard-designated appellations. Wine isn't literally in Naomi's
blood, but we bet the two substances share some striking similarities.
pedigree is one thing. As Roshambo would be the first to tell you, what
really matters is what's in the bottle. And what's in this bottle of
Roshambo 2005 Rock, Paper, Scissors Merlot is as unpretentious and
engaging as a round of rock, paper, scissors. Currant and black cherry
cover everything, while mint and coconut cut through the nose, and
chocolate and vanilla break through on the palate. It likes pizza and
pasta, but really, it's up for whatever.
guttersnipe name, Roshambo 2005 Carignane "The Rat" managed to score
Double Gold Best of Class Winner at the 2006 Sonoma County Fair. While
your typical wine rat won't recognize the varietal, a few wafts of its
big, accessible framboise, smoke, and violet aromas is all the
introduction they'll need. It's red, but psst: try it lightly chilled.
Go on, the Wine Police won't arrest you.
It's an American
tradition to oak chardonnay, and it's a wine-snob tradition to turn up
one's nose at it. As you'd expect, Roshambo turns both traditions on
their crusty old ears. Roshambo 2004 Chardonnay "Imago" is fermented in
nothing but stainless (and flavorless) steel, so you taste the fruit,
not the tree. Instead of oaky butter, here we find crisp, tropical
flavors of white peach, pineapple, pear, and lemon zest. The "anything
but Chardonnay" brigade ignore it to their detriment.
the snobs snicker and the scolds scoff. Let the exalted grand poobahs
of the grape issue their fatwas against those who violate proper wine
decorum. Roshambo's heard it all before. Although lately, they're
hearing it less and less...
Roshambo Rock, Paper, Scissors 2005 Merlot
Vintage: 2005 Varietal: 100% Merlot Appellation: 100% Dry Creek Valley Alcohol: 13.9% pH: 3.85 Release Date: pending Production: 2,141 cases Wood: 100 pounds New French oak infused
Roshambo The Rat 2005 Carignane
Vintage: 2005 Varietal: 100% Carignane Appellation: 100% Angeli Vineyard, Alexander Valley Alcohol: 14.4% pH: 3.50 Release Date: 9/30/06 Production: 480 cases Wood: 100% neutral oak Roshambo Imago 2004 Chardonnay
VINTAGE: 2004 VARIETAL: Chardonnay APPELLATION: Sonoma County ALCOHOL: 13.9% RELEASE DATE: spring 2005 PRODUCTION: 4000 cases WOODS USED: never had it, never will.