Winemaker Matthew Rorick is a one-man operation in the winery, tending each fermentation and guiding the wine’s cellaring through to bottle. Each of the Forlorn Hope wines is a window into the vineyard in a particular vintage; vital to this is a partnership with growers who share the vision of achieving balanced ripeness on the vine that requires no further adjustment, additions or manipulation in the winery during fermentation. The result yields wines that are an honest and natural representation of site and vine. The Forlorn Hope wines are the result of a project devoted to displaying the wealth of California’s viticultural potential — as well as championing varieties less common. Taken as a departure from the stereotypical Californian product, the Rare Creatures of the Forlorn Hope display what is possible when great care is taken in combining soil type, climate/site, and variety to produce wines which require no manipulation.
A Portuguese red grape variety from a Napa vineyard. Does it work? The wine’s dark purple yet subdued at first in flavor, opening slightly into tones of blueberry, raspberry and ripe plum, aromatic and savoury on the palate with a smidgen of spice on the finish.