Wild West Winery
2006 'Calamity' Rose
Rosé •Los Amigos Vineyard
California: Sonoma County
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Wild West Winery.
EXCLUSIVE ALERT!: Today’s wine can only be found online at The Wine Spies. Once again our clever wine agents secure a cache of wine for you before it becomes available anywhere else
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Mission Codename: Calamity Rhonda
Operative: Agent Blush
Objective: With temperatures hitting record highs across the country, our hot and thirsty Operatives have been demanding a refreshing rose wine. Locate a superior rose and secure an ample quantity
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Wild West Winery
Wine Subject: 2004 Calamity, Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Rhonda Hood
Backgrounder: Back in February we uncovered a double agent at Wild West Winery and, in the process, uncovered an original and bold Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Agent Rose is sent back to Wild West Winery to recover their delicious and unique rose of Cabernet Sauvignon. Read her tasting notes below, followed by a retelling of our original mission to Wild West.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A beautiful sparkling copper to peach in color, this wine has a super tight surface that settles quickly when swirled, leaving behind fat, tightly-packed and slow-moving legs
Smell – A front of the nose blast of bright pineapple, citrus and peach are followed by a more subtle deep-nose aromas of soft candied pear, Fuji apple and subtlest pomegranate
Feel – Light, round and very wet in the mouth, with a glycerin slickness, then drying with medium tannins
Taste – Tropical flavors with pronounced pineapple, peach, and an almost hidden tart raspberry, with flinty mineral
Finish – Sweet then slightly tart with a slight zing at the end as flavors fall off slowly with a hint of tannic dryness
Conclusion – Its about time we located a fun and tasty Rose. And, its about time that I got to review a wine. Winemaker Rhonda has created a unique Rose that is anything but the kerosene-JetFuel concoction than some lower-priced Roses. This is a wine with a unique character, deep aromas and great flavors. With the high temps that we have been experiencing here in California’s wine country, this wine, served well-chilled, is the perfect afternoon refresher! Sipped on its own, it easily delights as an afternoon aparetif. Served with a light summer waldorf salad or a nice cheese plate, this wine also shines. In fact, it glistens, for it is also a pretty wine to behold.
Agent Blush reporting in brief: When Wild West Winery Winemaker (say that 3 times, fast!), Rhonda, called me directly, I knew that it could only mean one thing: Her Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon must be ready! Sure enough, it was, and we quickly made arrangements to sample the wine. I loved it, secured a bunch and, Viola!, Bob’s your uncle; Now its available for you to enjoy.
What follows is Agent Red’s original Wild West Winery Mission report, presented last Valentine’s Day, and mow republished here for your enjoyment:
Agent Red reporting:
As you know, one of my primary objectives as a Wine Spy, is to keep a keen eye out for new wineries and wineries that our Operatives have never heard of.
Sometimes we happen upon wines while on a mission. Other times, wines just seem to find their way to us – as was the case with today’s wine.
Agent Sparkle and I had just come off of grueling back-to-back missions and finally found some time to relax and ‘debrief’ each other. Our plan was to enjoy a fine meal and a great bottle of wine while winding down in Sonoma County.
We made it to our favorite restaurant on time and when we checked-in with the Hostess, a trusted Wine Spies Asset, she handed us a bottle unlabeled wine and whispered, “This was handed to me by a confidential source, earlier today. I was told to had it you, and to tell you to try the wine and await further instructions.”
Intrigued, I asked, “Is this confidential source a friendly? Is the wine safe?”
She assured me that the source and the wine were to be trusted implicitly. Then she seated us and had our wine opened and decanted for us.
On sniffing the wine, my mind raced. There was something very familiar about this wine. I sipped. Interesting. Could my palate be so finely tuned that I could recognize the actual fruit in the wine? That the had a signature that could lead me to its source? Nah, I must just be tired, I told myself.
Without trying to over-think the wine, or the intriguing circumstances under which it found its way to us, we simply enjoyed the great wine with our excellent meal.
After the meal, a young woman wearing a cowboy hat delivered our check. “Howdy,” she said. “Did you enjoy the wine?”
Sparkle responded, “We loved it. Yours, I presume?”
It turns out that this woman was Rhonda Hood, lady winemaker and proprietress of Wild West Winery, a new winery in Sonoma County.
When I mentioned that her wine reminded me of wines made by one of my favorite winemakers, Richard “Kaz” Kasmier, she beamed. Kaz, is her sort-of adoptive father and wine-making mentor! I knew that there was something familiar about the wine!
Over another bottle of Rhonda’s wine, we sat and chatted for a spell. Before the night was over, we had negotiated a number of cases – to be made available exclusively to you, our Operatives.
Enjoy with a special Sweetheart.
Happy Valentines Day, from The Wine Spies
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Wild West Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
This is a Cattle Call for the Kazoholics United! I will spare you any yodeling, not that I don’t have a good voice, cause I have a GREAT voice, and a very loud one too, I just can’t figure out how to spell one out! If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is not Kaz, it’s the loud blonde, who is just as loud as Kaz, just not at bald!
Kaz and I made a deal with Wine Spies to give you first shot at a wine never released in a tasting room. Yes, you can only buy it through them. The Wine Spies has the best deal on shipping 6 bottles or more, so if you are shipping, it is very worth it!
The Cattle Call special is a wine that I made which has a large Kazola like influence and his approval. It is a dry rose of Cabernet Sauvignon, better known as Calamity. It is a really fun wine to try at different temperatures. My favorite is the really crisp and cold 47 degrees F.
So there you go, an as promised Kaz fashion special. From winemaker directly to consumer who should be consuming more friggin (yes, that word is a Rhondaisim) wine!
Cheers from the Smokey Mountains of Cal-if-orn-i-a.
Rhonda and Kazola-the winemaking bandits.
About This Wine:
“Who ever said Cabernet had to be red? We are sure to cause a calamity with this unique rose, The pineapple and peach nose really fits the amazing color. It is dry yet very smooth and the crisp finish will delight you. Serve chilled for the full effect.”
“Live, laugh, drink and enjoy!” – Rhonda Hood, Winemaker
About The Winery:
Out of a father’s passion for farming and a daughter’s passion for winemaking, Wild West Winery was born. It’s a very small boutique winery that only produces 300 cases annually from Sonoma and Lake County grapes, where winemaker Rhonda Hood focuses on making smooth, fruity, and fun wines. “I really enjoy making classy wines with a fun twist. I had been dying to make a white Cabernet for years before I actually did it. I was scared about how it was going to turn out and at the same time excited because its a new adventure,” she said.
The winery has 2 acres of Riesling and an acre of Cabernet Franc in Lake County that will produce its first crop in 2008. Her father, Leroy Wallace provides all of the super fruity Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon and helps manage the Lake County vineyard.
So far wine has only been produced from friends high quality vineyards in very small quantities. Currently our small winery has three varietals bottled.
A tasting room is scheduled to be opened next year on Big Valley Road in Lakeport, not more than two
miles from Jed Steele.
About the Winemaker
I am the kind of winemaker that believes Sangiovese goes great with pizza and Cabernets go great with barbeques. Basically everything backwards from what the wine industry has grind into us for years. I make wine in a light fruity and fun style-where any wine is good anytime!
Calamity is from mom and dads vineyard in Russian River Valley. Planted while I was in college in 1997 on SO4 rootstock, Clone #8 on 8×10 spacing with a quadrilateral system for Max sun absorption. My father and I prune and work this 7 acre vineyard ourselves with some help. This vineyard is drip irrigated and is thinned to improve quality. Oh, yeah and it is basically farmed organically.