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Laird Foshay
February 21, 2024 | Laird Foshay

Rangeland News February 2024

Contents: Petite Sirah and Ultramafic Wine Specials, Winter Sights and Hints of Spring

Rugged Pleaser: Petite Sirah 

Petite Sirah has been planted in the fields and hillsides of California for over 130 years. It is a key ingredient in the rustic jug wine of "old" California, as well as the hidden kicker in luxurious dark, modern Cabernets that draw fantastic price premiums. The wonderful thing about our Adelaida Springs Ranch estate vineyard Petite is that it combines the dark textural power of the variety with an energetic acidity imparted by limestone soils. Rangeland 2020 Petite Sirah offers savory aromas of walnut wood and mocha followed by a powerful and brawny palate of plums and wild blackberries. Fresh acidity makes it a good "food wine" too. Pair it with lamb shanks, braised in an au jus gravy, enriched with carmelized onions.  Purchase 6 bottles for just $199, shipping included. That's just $33.16 per bottle, before your club discount. Order here

Merlot: a Noble Wine Tortoise

Whether it's the latest in coastal Pinot Noir, an expensive mountain Cab or a north slope organic Grenache from a geeky savant winemaker, the wine world always has a trendy favorite. Meanwhile, Merlot occupies the wine slow lane, producing distinctive, subtle bottlings that achieve nobility when grown on the right spot and handled with care. Our estate 2020 Ultramafic Merlot is another in a long string of complex, drinkable beauties. Its evocative aromas include bay leaves, acai berries, and ancho chile. The palate is round with silky tannins and notes of vanilla, nectarines, and wild raspberries. Pair with a savory dish like mushroom pizza or cured meats. Purchase 6 bottles for just $199, shipping included. That's just $33.16 per bottle, before club discount. Order here

Transitions and Reflections 

Spring starts early in most of California. Green carpets the hills in January, below the snowy ridges. Horses and cows lower their heads and nosh the juicy stems with relish. Exotic acacia trees show their copious canopies of yellow blossoms first, in February. Then the almond trees start to bloom, turning orchards into dream fields or punctuating a dormant hillside with pink. Sour grass buttercups pop up in vacant lots and roadsides. I remember tasting those lemony stalks at the edge of the ballfield as a boy. Often we couldn't wait for real spring to arrive, so we'd break out the baseball mitts and practice in the puddly grass, the leather ball soaked slippery and heavy.

But in many years, like this one, wintery weather still overlays the promise of spring. Storm after storm darkens the horizon. Mountain passes are closed and winds whistle around the chimney. The rainfall total here on the ranch is approacing 30 inches. We're ready for spring, but winter won't let us go. 

We spend a lot of our lives in transition. We think expectantly of the next season. We savor the next challenge or the next trip, ready to move on from the present. But sometimes it's best to settle into the now, build a fire and sip on a glass of wine. Give yourself time to reflect a little on the past, on the time and place and effort that brought you these gifts. 

Time Posted: Feb 21, 2024 at 8:49 PM Permalink to Rangeland News February 2024 Permalink
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