Houndstooth, “Rorick Heritage Vineyard” Barbera
Houndstooth, “Rorick Heritage Vineyard” Barbera

Houndstooth, “Rorick Heritage Vineyard” Barbera

California / Sierra Foothills, United States 2017 (750mL)
Regular price$30.00
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Houndstooth, “Rorick Heritage Vineyard” Barbera

Kelli White and Scott Brenner are the (married, with children) sommeliers who built the award-winning wine program at PRESS Restaurant in St. Helena, California, among other accomplishments (Kelli is the author of “Napa Valley Then & Now”). Houndstooth is their passion project, launched in 2011, focused on small-lot wines sourced from select vineyards across Northern California. Their experience cultivating the lengthy PRESS wine served them well in identifying the best plots to showcase in their wines: This Barbera is grown by California wine celebrity Matthew Rorick in Murphys, California, in the heart of the Sierra Foothills AVA. 

Purchased by Matthew Rorick (Forlorn Hope Wines) in 2013, the Rorick Heritage Vineyard does indeed have “heritage.” The site was first farmed by the Shaw family in 1844. It was later acquired by Barden Stevenot, who planted Chardonnay in the 1970s and continued to expand the vineyard’s acreage and varietal mix. Located within the Sierra Foothills AVA, this organically farmed vineyard (now 75 acres) reaches to elevations of 2,000 feet and boasts a cool, “continental” climate. Soils combine schist and limestone.

About one-third of the must was fermented in used oak puncheons with whole grape clusters intact; it was then aged in those same puncheons and bottled after about 18 months. Shining a satisfyingly deep ruby-garnet in the glass, the wine leads with lots of saturated fruit aromas, including black and red cherry, black raspberry, rose petals, dried herbs, and turned earth. Medium-plus in body, with good concentration and a taut structure. It finishes with a crisp, mineral twang, lending it good compatibility with food. Try it with burgers or steaks off the grill, Sicilian-style pizza, or baked pastas.

Houndstooth, “Rorick Heritage Vineyard” Barbera

United States


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Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become an elite winegrowing zone in record time. Pioneering vintner David Lett, of The Eyrie Vineyard, planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1965, soon to be followed by a cadre of forward-thinking growers who (correctly) saw their wines as America’s answer to French
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clay/loam and limestone.


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New York

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