Onward Wines

Markus Molitor

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese Riesling 2018

Molitor has intensions for crazy tension. Vibrations 1000 beats a second, floats in place like a hummingbird. Auteur in that you really can't imagine this could happen by accident.

There's an elegant element from first nasal prick onward. Finger limes, clementine, lemon confections, gasoline, and flint reaching way up back. Level 8 acid hides a dose of sweet. Flavors that remind me of sugar coated grapefruit halves drizzled in honey - they go on and on and on.
— 5 days ago

Ira, Ted and 14 others liked this
Lyle Fass

Lyle Fass Influencer Badge Premium Badge

the real deal

Onward Wines

Pétillant Naturel Hawkeye Ranch Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017

Fruity and watermelony. A bit of celery with lovely acidity and a dash of RS provides a nice little pet nat. — 4 years ago

Bedrock Wine Co.

Ode to Lulu California Old Vine Rosé Blend

Mason Balistreri
9.6

It might shock you, but my favorite rosé is not French but instead comes from California! Blasphemy, I know - but Bedrock's Ode to Lulu is just that good. The difficulty is actually finding a bottle. For the last three years, I've only been allocated a case (or less) to sell here in Denver. It's possible you are one of the select few I've actually told about this wine... If not, now is your chance. This is the first year there's an "okay" supply. It won't last, but you should be able to get a bottle.

So yes, it's not French but it's made in the same style and method of Tempier Bandol Rosé- the most sought after, cult rosé out there. The name "Ode to Lulu" is actually an homage to the 4.5 foot tall, 101 year old woman named "Lulu" Peyraud (born Lucie Tempier) whose father gifted the Mourvedre heavy estate to her and her husband Lucien Peyraud. The wines they would go on to produce from the 1940's onward quite literally defined Bandol and put it on the map as some of the best rosés out there. She's still alive and presumably drinking plenty of wine.

This California-born "Ode to Lulu" is modeled after the great Tempier, but has some unique properties compared to it's French namesake. For one, the vines are EXTREMELY old. Tempier defined itself by focusing on old Mourvèdre and Grenache plantings, but even these French vineyards cannot compare to what Bedrock is working with in California. If you don't know, Bedrock is the winery of Morgon Twain Peterson, son of legendary Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson. Morgon grew up making wine and through his father has cultivated relationships with some of the most important heritage vineyards in California. The "Ode to Lulu" is made from Mourvèdre and Grenache planted as far back as 1888! These are some of the oldest plantings of these grapes around and make for unbelievable wines. Tempier's average vine age is around 40 years old today. Bedrock's is over 3x as old. Insane.

Morgon may be young, but he has a life time of winemaking experience. He started making wine with his father when he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped yet. In addition to absorbing his father's knowledge on heritage vineyards, he is a real student in the world of wine, earning a "Masters of Wine" designation (this industry's highest achievement). I've been drinking his wine for several years and I can say that his wine is made extremely thoughtfully and with expert attention to detail. This is true even with a wine as humble as rosé.

Unlike most California pink wine, Bedrock is not produced by "bleeding off" juice from a red wine. Instead, the grapes are picked early and separately at very low potential alcohols, and whole cluster pressed with low extraction. This preserves the freshness and acidity, creating a wine of clarity. In an old blog post I dug up, Morgon explains this idea:

"I pick at potential alcohols lower on the scale where brightness and lift still exist. This is not to say that fruit does not matter—I use Mourvedre from a block planted over 120 years ago for requisite concentration of complexity of flavor—but like fine champagne, the wonders of rosé lie in its unbearable lightness of being."

I agree with this idea of rosé and I think most people instinctively do as well. It's no coincidence that our best selling bottles come from provence. However, I urge you to pick up at least one bottle of this Ode to Lulu. It's a wine that's close in spirit to the best French rosé but made from vineyards that are American and unrivaled in age.

This is the fourth vintage of Ode to Lulu I've tasted, and I would say that's the most elegant yet. The 2015 was maybe my favorite for it's depth and I picked a few up to age, drinking my last bottle recently... This new vintage is great now, but it will reward with a short cellaring time. Honestly, if you can hide 2 bottles and drink them before fall or into next year, you will be blown away. Bandol rosé is a wine that improves dramatically over the course of 6 months to several years (Tempier Rosé is known to go decades). This bedrock is no different.

I can personally attest to past vintages gaining depth with time. How is this possible? Unlike other rosé which should be drank young, Bandol and Ode to Lulu are made of Mourvedre, a grape that is naturally reductive and resistant to oxidation. Further, the acidity is high and alcohol low. As the acidity starts to fall away, a depth and richness of character will emerge. In fruitier/riper rosé with more alcohol, this richness becomes too sweet and cloying... Not the case here. This keep balanced through time, gaining complexity while remaining refreshing. 

You should buy this wine. However, I think there is one more important facet to rosé that I should mention before you do... Rosé is not always about what's in the glass itself. Rosé is really an ethereal thing... It's more so an "essence" of terroir and vintage rather than a sturdy, hard representation like red wine is... Sorry if that doesn't make sense but what I'm trying to say is that sometimes rosé is more about the place and the people you enjoy it with than the exact flavors themselves. Of course, we cannot all visit the picturesque village of Bandol to visit Lulu Peyraud; but I think, with this sunny Colorado weather, we can come close. Perhaps Morgon said it better than I can:

"Proper rosé is refreshing, life-nourishing stuff that revives the soul... I drink as much for pure pleasure as for intellectual stimulation. In the warmer months there is something sacred about a late afternoon meal of cold chicken, fresh garden tomatoes, and rosé. It is one body in the sacred trilogy of rustic simplicity." - Morgon Twain Peterson

#rose #oldvine #lulu #tempier #bedrockwineco
— 4 years ago

David liked this

Ridge Vineyards

Adelaida Vineyard Grenache Blanc Blend 2019

More Please!

More grip and acidity than remembered with 2018 (round fruity yum-yum), seems more stable for a larger distribution. Save for April 2021 onward, needs more bottle time, hold out for that first spring warm sun “Yeah” moment, and enjoy (lightly chilled) the peachy-side of life.
— a year ago

Mike, Jeremy and 1 other liked this
Jeremy Krantz

Jeremy Krantz

Ridge is awesome, love their wines, cheers!
Adam Beasley

Adam Beasley

@Rhonely Boy I just had the 18 the other evening and liked it. Need to hunt this 19 down.
Rhonely Boy

Rhonely Boy

@Jeremy - Cheers!
@Adam - Of 18 and 19, I prefer 18, if I had to choose a vintage, though I also grabbed the last bottle of ‘19 on the shelf at BevMo

Fossil & Fawn

Do Nothing Red Blend 2017

Color is a light, bright red. Tasted of dried fruit and spices, but still juicy. I thought I’d like it with a slight chill, but i liked it more as it warmed to room temp. Flavors faded fast from day 2 onward, but honestly still nice. I mean, I’m finishing the bottle ok? A super solid light red. — 4 years ago

Onward Wines

Knox Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

Couldn’t believe how light and complex this was! Reminded me of cru Beaujolais. Changed how I see Zinfandel and definitely needed a delectable note. — 4 years ago

Raul liked this

Dom Pérignon

Brut Champagne Rosé 2006

Onward to DC! — 2 years ago

Matthew, Paul and 1 other liked this

Onward Wines

Pétillant Naturel Redwood Valley Sparkling Carignane 2017

crisp. tart white cherry. slightly sour- — 3 years ago

Castellare di Castellina

I Sodi di San Niccolò Toscana Sangiovese Blend 2008

Fell in love with this wine during our first visit to Tuscany. Technically a Chianti Classico Riserva but so much more. Small production from just outside Castellina, consistent expression of Tuscan finesse year after year (tasted and holding ‘08 onward). Dark but elegant, smooth but complex. This wine is drinking flawlessly now with continued aging potential. We ❤️ 🇮🇹. — 4 years ago

Mike, David and 3 others liked this

Onward Wines

Ledgewood Vineyard & Suisun Valley Syrah 2015

This is what domestic Syrah should taste like. — 4 years ago