At a virtual invitation to a sponsored tasting of Upshot Wines – produced by Rodney Strong Vineyards, I had the opportunity to hear Justin Seidenfeld the winemaker and hear how he put his passion into creating these blended wines to reflect lifestyle and fun. Justin sources the fruit from the California regions that are known for producing quality grapes from that region, and creates enjoyable, easy to drink wines.
These wines are designed for everyday drinking and not to be too serious! What’s fun about these wines is that the White Blend has some (red grapes) Pinot Noir in it, and the Red Blend has some (white grapes) Riesling!
Check out the cool labels. The Diagrams show the monthly journey from vine to wine and what happens at each phase of the process.
When I first put my nose into the glass of 2019 Upshot White Wine Blend, it seemed very much like a Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of grassiness to it. I then could smell stone fruit, white peach with some floral overtones. When I tasted it, I could taste the peach, lime, and minerality. It was well balanced and had a long finish. This wine can be a great porch sipper and enjoyed with food. I paired this with a butternut squash risotto. This wine is composed of 53% Grenache Blanc, 18% Pinot Noir, 16% Gewürtztraminer, 8% Viognier, and 5% Sauvignon Blanc. The Pinot Noir provides some freshness and the Grenache Blanc helps to provide the structure.
The 2018 Upshot Red Blend is all from Sonoma County. Justin enjoys creating wines that reflect what the vineyard represents. Looking at my glass, I noticed a blackberry/blueberry hue. When I put my nose into this glass, I could smell those black raspberries that I used to pick to make jam with. There was a hint of spiciness, richness, and herbaceousness to this wine when I tasted it. A hint of oak. This wine has some meatiness to it, and is comprised of 37% Zinfandel, 34% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, and 4% Riesling. The Zinfandel comes from old vines. The Petit Verdot provides tannin and the toasty notes come from the wine being in French Oak for 16 months. This is a wine that can be had on it’s own and paired with food. I had a glass of this with some lentil soup. This Red Blend would pair well with a burger!
Let me know how you enjoy these wines! Cheers!