If you have ever tried Two Shepherds wine you know what a treat we had at the recent Winemaker's dinner at Toast Wine Lounge in Oakland's Rockridge area. We got to speak with William Allen and hear about some of the philosophy behind his yummy wines. Made in a style he calls Old World, he uses growing techniques like long hang time to control acidity via nature. He gets great food friendly wines, not manipulating them, but rather by selecting great grapes and allowing those grapes to "speak" And if you listen closely they will say "Buy Me"
2010 Marsanne-Rousanne-Viognier, Saralee's Vineyard Russian River Valley, with Asparagus Soup: Showcases the wine's food friendliness in an asparagus challenge We also got a little snootful of the Viognier which was delightful in its balance--- citrusy, with dash of floral taste. William charms the fruit from Saralee, then treats it carefully to let it find its own expression.
2010 Two Shepherds Syrah Mourvdre, Saralee's Vineyard Russian River Valley Paired with an oniony mushroom Chickpea Farinata which surprised the other Chicks that the the smooth nature of the wine complemented the spice of the food. Unfined and unfiltered with natural yeasts, again a lovely expression of Saralee's vineyard.
You can only visit Two Shepherds by appointment but it is worth looking for them at events like Rhone Rangers:
Find more info at Http://www.twoshepherdsvineyards.com
Thanks for the nice writeup Liza, and your support. Its always a pleasure to share the wine with people who appreciate it.
The cool climate Russian River Valley climate really allows me to make wines of balance and expression. Some find it odd to focus on cool climates for Varietals thought of as Southern Rhone, warm climate grapes, but as you point out, that allows me to getting longer hang time for flavor profile development, but at the same time make balanced wines, under 14% alc, and not have to add water, acid, or other things, commonly done. Every vintage should be unique, and my goal as a 'grape shepherd' is to let each vintage express itself as it should.
Cheers and thanks!
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