2007 Rock N Red - Sonoma County Red Wine
California: Sonoma County
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Because it feel so good
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate the rock ’n roll inspired Headbanger winery, and retreive a cache of the 2007 Rock ’n Red, a bold and racy red blend, for our fun loving Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Headbanger
Wine Subject: 2007 Rock ’n Red
Winemaker: Paul Hoffman
Backgrounder: While the majority of the wines we feature here are single varietal stunners, every now and then we show off a racy red blend. Today’s Sonoma County red blend of “Syrah, complimented by Grenache, Mourvedre, and a touch of Zin” is a big, bold, in-your-face blend that has great, bold flavors that might just inspire you to break out your air guitar!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – This Rock n Red is a deep, rich purplish color that is solid from the middle out to the rim. Intense dark staining lines the glass as the tears slowly trickle down the wall of the glass
Smell – Bold aromas of allspice, cedar and baked blueberry pie are the opening notes that greet you. This is definitely a big wine so getting more air in the glass helped to reveal added layers of aromas that included dried cranberry, dark cherry, overripe blackberry and black pepper.
Feel – Big and bold, yet balanced and clean at the same time. The wine is full-bodied, but it presents a balanced and linear feel from end to end. That is to say that it maintains an even feel, all throughout the drinking experience.
Taste – The full body of this wine, along with finely integrated tannins effortlessly join together to help reveal an elegant backbone of spice. As revealed in the aromas, the flavors of blueberry pie and dried cranberry are there with bright bursts of wild raspberry and dusky cherry appearing at the end.
Finish – Long and clean, the spice settles on the front of your tongue and stays for quite a while. Then, essence of blueberry and dark cranberry round out the experience as the flavors and tannins dwindle slowly.
Conclusion – The Headbanger Rock n Red is a serious wine! First and foremost, to really, truly experience what this wine has to offer, open it up and let it breathe. This is the big wine drinkers wine, with plenty of character and boldness. It has enough fruit to appease the palette that seeks out a big flavor profile, but it is also spicy and full to satisfy darker desires as well. This can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of foods.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Paul J Hoffman
WINE EDUCATION: Over 18 years in the wine industry in all facets of the business including distribution, wine education, national account sales, brand development, winemaking and business ownership
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Bellows International Distribution, St. Thomas (95-00); Robert Mondavi Winery (2000-2005); Folio Fine Wine Partners (2005-2006); owner and wine maker of Medusa and Spellbound Wines (2002-2007); VP of Sales Henry Wine Group (2008-2010); owner and winemaker of Exclusive Fine Wines (2006 – present)
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: – Wines are made in the vineyard, not in the lab. I believe in balanced wines that represent their time and place.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Good wines taste like a grape, great wines taste like a place.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: (DATE) Medusa Old Vine Zinfandel 2003
AGENT RED: Greetings, Paul. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Headbanger Rock n Red today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
PAUL: My pleasure!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
PAUL: At the age of 22 I was working as a restaurant manager for the Stouffer Hotel Group in Florida. I had the opportunity to create and write the wine list, which in turn received the “Reward of Excellence” from Wine Spectator.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
PAUL: Robert Mondavi. He had a balanced approach to every wine he made.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
PAUL: I make wine for everyone. All styles and price points that represent value and uniqueness.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
PAUL: The Headbanger brand is a reflection of my love of winemaking and rock n roll. The premier vintage of Rock n Red is a Rhone driven blend from various lots we source in Sonoma County. This wine is well structured and balanced with bold berry flavors. The integrated tannins provide an energetic and vibrant finish from the natural acidity retained in the wine.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
PAUL: AC/DC – “For Those About To Rock, We Salute You” – and a fried egg pizza from El Dorado Kitchen
RED: Awesome! In your opinion, what makes Sonoma so special?
PAUL: Sonoma’s geographical location in the North Coast of California is unlike any other. Diverse influences on climate and soil type enables us to grow more varietals than any other location in the world. Sonoma’s grape growers have a long history, dating back to the 1800’s, of being quality focused while maintaining a cutting edge.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
PAUL: Right now we are getting ready to bottle the 2009 whites and blending the ’08 reds, while keeping a close eye on frost protection in the vineyards
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
PAUL: Taste the wine, and judge it for yourself. My wines are overall are meant to be part of a meal, not “the” meal. Have fun with them, wines are for everyone, not just a select group of people.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
PAUL: I personally believe wine should be fun and a part of your everyday lifestyle without snobbery, or elitism.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The 2007 Rock n Red reflects our love of blending while listening to some pure hard rock. The blend is rhone focused with Syrah as the majority complimented by Grenache, Mourvedre, and a touch of Zin to bring the energy and and structure. Bold berry and spice Flavors and a broad tannic structure make this a wine that keeps you coming back for more.
Fermentation & Aging (How we made the Stuff): As with all of our wines, the process starts in the vineyard. The right maturity level of each lot of grapes is determined by tasting them while still on the vine. We look for the right balance of flavor, sugar and acid so that translates right into the wine. Each of the lots were harvested and fermented separately with the Syrah in Stainless Steel while the other lots were in small bins within the first two weeks of October. After fermentation the lots were kept separate in small French Oak Barrels for 9 months. The Rock n Red Blend was then determined and put back into barrel for another 3 months. About 30% of the Oak was new while the remainder was a spice rack combo of once & twice used barrels. The wine was bottled and remained to
rest for 1 year before release.
The pairing (What we’re doing when we drink it): First you must start with AC/DC’s “For those about to Rock, We Salute You.” The tempo of the song resembles the nature of the wine. The opening guitar riff reflects the anticipation of what is to come, just like the opening of the wine. A deep core drum beat is just like the deep and concentrated flavors in the wine. The song progresses evenly and balanced like the wine until the end where the energy and explosive nature of “The Salute” leaves you wanting more. Oh, and to eat….Try something with some kick ass spice and a good amount of acidity like Cajun Shrimp and Pasta in a Lemon Cream Sauce.
About The Winery:
What is a Headbanger? Wines that rock
It’s me, it’s you, any age, any gender, any race, any nationality of people united by the sights, sounds and energetic feeling you get from kick ass Rock & Roll
You may be considered a Headbanger if you have ever…..,
- Thought your music would change as you got older and it never has nor will
- Had a uplifting change of mood from the sound of one guitar riff, a base stroke, or a single thump of a base drum.
- Started driving faster when a classic tune comes on the radio and you crank it up.
- Lined up the night before for an album release and/or concert tickets
- Pissed off your friends because you made them see the opening act that they never heard of (consequently it’s now their favorite band of all time – ask anyone who saw Metallica in 1984 open for Ozzy)
- Refused to get rid of old tour T-shirt and ticket stubs even though your spouse threatens to cut you off.
- Been laughed at by people in the next car at the light while beating the steering wheel to death or screaming along with the windows down…..add you don’t give a shit what they think
- Driven or flown to a city further than 3 hours away to see a metal show (sleeping the buzz off in the car after, optional)
- Skipped school, work, or simply lied so you could attend a show. And took the punishment for it with pride
- Find yourself still buying CD’s instead of downloading because you love the sound quality and physical element of reading the stories and credits inside.
- Had the cops arrive at 2AM because the f’n neighbors are complaining about your loud rock music. And they’re a half mile away
- Never got into Rap, never will
- Walked into a show alone and after a 4 hour experience you feel as though you know hundreds, if not thousands, of people around you.
- Woke up with a sore neck from the night before even though you were just at a bar or at home with friends bangin’ your head to classics while reminiscing about every show you’ve been to
- Threw your fist or horns up in the air for hours unleashing all of your stress at the best sounding and visually stimulating theatrical experience you have ever been to….that is, until the next show
If you can associate with one, many, or all of the situations above, welcome to the club. It’s not a club you can pay for or be invited to join. It simply exists in your blood from birth until your death. You are and always will be, a Rock n Roller for life, affectionately known as a Headbanger.
Now, I bring you a set of wines which are as energetic and racy as the music we love. Enjoy my other passion of winemaking with your favorite song or CD and see how wine and Rock n Roll are a true natural pairing. Horns and Glasses in the air, Headbanger!