Forlorn Hope, "Onavolk" Merlot 2015, Rorick Vineyard, Calaveras County, Sierra Foothills, CA
This full and earthy California Merlot has notes of red plum, spices, and stewed tomato.
COUNTRY: United State of America (USA)
APPELLATION (AVA): Sierra Foothills
REGION: Calaveras County
VINEYARD: Rorick Heritage Vineyard
SOIL: Limestone slopes
VINIFICATION: No new oak, minimal added sulfites, no chemical adjustments, added yeasts or bacteria
COLOR: Deep ruby
BODY: Full (9-10)
PRIMARY AROMAS: Moderate nose, red plum, spices, tomato, earth
PRIMARY FlAVORS: Subtle oak, dried herbs, fine tannins
FORMAT: 750 ml
SERVICE AND SUGGESTION: Pair with roasted mushrooms, pork shoulder, steak or other red meat like braised short ribs and chimichurri sauce.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Forlorn Hope
“All Forlorn Hope wines are produced from wine grapes. That's it.
We believe very strongly that site and farming produce all that we should like to find in a bottle of wine, and we don't want to confuse or muddy the story that each wine can relate by adding water or yeast or acid or enzymes that had nothing at all to do with what the vines put into each of our clusters.
Each of the Forlorn Hope wines may be put through very different fermentations en route to becoming one of our Rare Creatures -- Sèmillon is destemmed and pressed, then fermented in old and neutral barrels; Gewürztraminer is destemmed and fermented on the skins; Alvarelhão is fermented whole-cluster with no destemming or initial breaking of the fruit -- but throughout it all a common vein runs through the thought process in the cellar: listen to what the fermentation is saying as it transforms from fruit into wine. What does it want to become? In what direction does its nature want to lead it? In this manner we guide our ferments along, receiving suggestions and guidance from the wine and fermentative microbes themselves.
No new barrels are ever used in the Forlorn Hope cellar. Currently, our oldest 60-gallon vessels are from the 1997 vintage.
Most of the Forlorn Hope wines receive a modest amount of sulfur either post-fermentation or pre-bottling -- timing depending on the Rare Creature in question -- in order to ensure that they arrive in your glass in a consistently sound fashion. Our sans soufre bottlings are labeled as such.”
Matthew Rorick, Vigneron:
“Matthew Rorick has been the winemaker behind the Forlorn Hope wines since the inception of the label in 2005, and tends 75 acres of organically farmed grapevines at Rorick Heritage Vineyard. In previous incarnations he has repaired submarine telescopes for the United States Navy, ridden skateboards for a living, and built electric guitars. His love of wine was fostered in him by his grandfather David Rorick Jr., who was a consummate dining partner and storyteller. His current efforts at RHV, including producing organically farmed estate wines and reconnecting with California’s Pre-Prohibition viticultural traditions, are largely inspired by conversations at his grandfather’s table.”
ABOUT THE VINEYARD: Rorick Heritage Vineyard (RHV)
“Located in Calaveras County, just outside of the town of Murphys in the center of the Sierra Foothills Viticultural Area, the site was first ranched by the Shaw family in 1844. The property was purchased by Barden Stevenot in the 1960s; he became the godfather of the modern Calaveras County winegrowers when he planted own-rooted Wente Chardonnay from 1974-76. Several acres of these original heritage plantings still remain - they are a direct link to the first person who recognized the potential of this site's soil and climate for wine grape cultivation. Barden eventually expanded the vineyard to its current 75 acres in 2000. Matthew Rorick purchased the property in 2013 and converted the farming to organic practices. At an elevation of 2000′, it is situated on limestone soils beneath a top layer of schist. The alpine growing season combined with limestone soils leave an indelible mark on the wines grown at RHV: beautiful aromatics, textural presence, and bright natural acidity are all hallmarks of the site.”
ABOUT THE LABEL:
“At Forlorn Hope Wines, we love the longshots. We love the outsiders, the lost causes, the people/projects/ideas abandoned as not having a chance in the world.
We love the little guy because we’re all about tenacity, we relish a challenge, and – we admit it – we love us a good tussle. Taken from the Dutch ‘verloren hoop’, meaning ‘lost troop’, Forlorn Hope was the name given to the band of soldiers who volunteered to lead the charge directly into enemy defenses. The chance of success for the Forlorn Hope was always slim, but the glory and rewards granted to survivors ensured no shortage of applicants. These bottles are our headlong rush into the breach. Rare creatures from the limestone slopes of Rorick Heritage Vineyard, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope.”