Actually it is the first time we have ever "GONE ON THE ROAD" to a wine event. The only wine events we have ever participated in are the local Vitners Festival (coming up on April 16) and little parties we throw. The Rhone Rangers event was at Fort Mason in San Francisco. There were HUNDREDS OF WINERIES, and it was pretty intimidating.
I love the Line from Hoosiers, "The court is the same size, the hoop is the same height, and the rules are the same for both teams. Sure, one team is favored over the other…but nothing matters until you play the game."
You walk into a big Room Full of People that have been doing this for years, and here we are this little Family Farming company that happens to make wine. There are some big well respected names in this room, Some Damn fine Farmers and Winemakers that have forgotten more about how to make wine than I will ever learn, All I thought about for a week is that this is a big step for us, and I kept thinking about this being a "away game."
This is what my brother Kirk Saarloos would say about "PITCHING AN AWAY GAME"
"You know the mound is just as far away as it is at home, the plate is the same size, you're using the same glove, you know everything is the same! But it feels different. You try to get yourself in the same routine on the road as you do at home, but the coffee is different, the bed is different, your focus is a little off. And you do everything you can to create a rituals or routine to make it the same as it is at home. But that seems to go away when you throw the first pitch."
So as the event closed in I kept thinking to myself, the wine is the same as it is at home, the bottle is the same, I have done this a million times, there is no other team we are just sharing what we do 365 days a year in the field and pouring it out of a bottle to people who have never heard of us. Still I had a few butterflies.
Then as soon as the event opened, A few people ran up to our little table and said.
"WE SAW YOU WERE GOING TO BE HERE AND WE WANTED TO SAY HI AND THAT WE HAD YOUR WINE WITH A FRIEND OF OURS AND WE LIKE YOUR WINE......"
And all of a sudden the first pitch landed.
Then Yesterday I got a email from Local Legend Lee Tomkow.
From Lee Tomkow
(local Raconteur) of http://sbwinemakers.com/ fame said this.
Lee Tomkow April 6 at 5:11pm
"you are now an "arriviste" congratulations"http://www.grape-nutz.com/kenz/11_rangers.html
Keith Saarloos April 7 at 10:59am
and i doubt i am.
im just a farmer with a keyboard.
by Ken Zinns
After taking a few wine courses through UC Extension in the early '90s, Bay Area architect Ken Zinns developed a serious interest wine. Ken has been touring and tasting wines for nearly 20 years, and has come to love the not only the wines, but also the people behind them. Ken's interest in wine is more than passive, and he's been working at several urban East Bay wineries since 2001, and is the assistant winemaker for both Eno Wines in Berkeley and Harrington
Saarloos and Sons
Saarloos 2009 “Mother” Grenache Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley.Very light straw color, featuring fresh apple and spice aromas, this was crisp and bright in the mouth, with a long, clean finish, quite nice.
Saarloos 2008 “Father” Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley.Medium-dark color, minerally dark fruits and a dash of black pepper, lively mouthfeel and medium tannins.
Saarloos 2008 “194VII – Man & Wife,” Santa Ynez Valley.60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah. Medium-dark color, showing the herbal and cassis Cabernet character much more than the Syrah component. Fairly rich on the palate with moderately grippy tannins.
Comments: Saarloos and Sons has two estate vineyards, one in Foxen Canyon and one in Ballard Canyon.
This year we wanted to try out a few more producers with which we weren’t familiar or which we hadn’t tried in some time, so as a result we did miss out on some old favorites at the Grand Tasting. Among the wineries that were new to me, I tasted some very good wines from Dobbes Family, MacLaren, Saarloos and Sons, and Wrath. Kenneth Volk and Quivira – a couple of producers I’ve liked in the past but have not kept up with very much recently – poured some notable wines.
WE WERE EVEN ADDED TO KEN ZINN Favorites
WHITES & ROSÉS:
Beckmen 2008 Purisima Mountain Vineyard Marsanne
Bonny Doon 2008 “Le Cigare Blanc”
Chester’s Anvil 2009 “Gretna Green”
Core 2007 “b.core”
Curtis 2009 Viognier
Jemrose 2009 Viognier
Katin 2010 Roussanne (barrel sample)
Quivira 2010 Rosé
Saarloos and Sons 2009 “Mother” Grenache Blanc
Stolpman 2008 “L’Avion” Roussanne
Terry Hoage 2009 “The Gap”