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This blog is migrating!

January 27, 2012

All future FH updates and blog postings can be found on the blog at our newly integrated website:

We’ll see you there!

7×7 Magazine says: Watch the Rare Creatures in 2012

January 5, 2012

Cheers to San Francisco’s 7×7 magazine for including our very own Matthew Rorick on their list of 7 winemakers to watch in 2012!

Read all about it here:


And keep an eye out here for news of that Trousseau gris…

Catbird Seat, James Beard House, and Rare Creatures

December 23, 2011

2012 is looking delicious already!

Nashville’s lauded The Catbird Seat restaurant will be hosting a dinner at the James Beard House in NYC in February; chefs Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger have put together an amazing multi-course menu that is absolutely irresistible and will be masterfully paired with a selection of beverages by our dear friend Ms. Jane Lopes.

All of the pairings put together by Ms. Lopes make our eyes widen with delight, not the least of which are the three which include our Rare Creatures: the 2010 Sihaya, Suspiro del Moro, and Trou Grit — the last of which will be making its worldwide debut that evening.

Information about the dinner, the menu (with pairings), and contact information for reserving a seat may all be found via the following link:

JBF Catbird Seat Dinner: Monday, 2/13/2012

Check out the FH pairings:

Forlorn Hope Sihaya 2010
Spanish Octopus with Jerusalem Artichokes, Fennel, Black Olives, and Charred Eggplant Purée

Forlorn Hope Trou Grit 2010
Poached Cod with Bone Marrow, Preserved Matsutake Mushrooms, and Cuttlefish Ink–Grilled Lemon Sauce

Forlorn Hope Suspiro del Moro 2010
Wagyu Short Ribs with Kale Ash, Green Onions, Potatoes, Horseradish, Mushroom–Beer Syrup, and Nasturtiums

…and the other dishes and pairings are astounding and delicious as well — just take a look via the above link, and go ahead and reserve your seat. Not to be missed!

And for more information on the Trou Grit, click on the “Trousseau Gris” link on your right in the “What’s Shakin'” column. There is precious little information about this new Rare Creature and even less of the wine itself, but stay tuned for more postings here and on the soon-to-be revamped FH website. Cheers — and see you at the Catbird Seat JBF dinner!

Que Saudade makes SF Chronicle’s “Top 100 Wines” list!

December 5, 2011

We’re most pleased to report that the 2010 Que Saudade (100% Verdelho from the DeWitt Vineyard, as most of you know, farmed in the Sierra Foothills just outside of Plymouth) has been included

in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Top 100 Wines of 2011” list. Their notes on the wine can be found here:

SF Chronicle’s “Other Whites and Rosé” section from the “Top 100 Wines of 2011”

We agree with the Chronicle when it comes to Verdelho’s potential in the Sierra Foothills — the decomposed granite and volcanic soils coupled with hot days and cold nights truly allow this Portuguese variety to truly shine. And with no new oak, all natural fermentation, and no additions at all to the juice or wine (no yeast, no nutrient, no water, no acid, no nothin’) save for a touch of sulfur at bottling to ensure stability, we feel quite strongly that the Verdelho that is poured from our bottles is an honest and pure representation of the variety and site.

So far, all of the other Rare Creatures have been supportive, though we’re sure they’re all at least a little jealous.

Order your 2010 Que Saudade here, and raise a glass along with us in celebration:

Go the Verdelho!

A Fall Dinner with Forlorn Hope: Clandestino Dining, Chicago, and Delicious!

November 28, 2011

We’re very excited to announce that on Wednesday, December 7th Chef Efrain Cuevas and Clandestino Dining will be preparing a winemaker dinner at Logan Square Kitchen.

Seating is limited; reservations may be made at or via the following link:

Click here to reserve your seat now!

Diners seek out the Clandestino mark for a truly delicious culinary experience

Chef Cuevas will be preparing a menu decided by… you! For each course, diners may select their food and wine pairing options, or leave the decisions in the hands of the Chef and winemaker. We’ve just taken a look at the options and can hardly wait for dinnertime! Check out some of the course choices:

Butternut squash gnocchi/2010 The Faufreluches

pork blood sausage/2010 Ost-Intrigen

sardines in escabeche/2010 Sihaya

duck confit mole/2010 Suspiro del Moro

And for dessert there’s a never-before-released FH sweet wine among the choices. Yes, we’re excited!

Clandestino Dining featured Forlorn Hope wines for a pop-up dinner last season and we were much chagrined that we were not able to make it to Chicago for the event. Rest assured, we will not miss this one!

Please don’t hesitate to reserve your seat. We’re looking forward to sharing this Fall Dinner with you, Chef Cuevas, and Andy the crew at Lagniappe.


About the venue:

The gorgeous Logan Square Kitchen is one of only three Chicago restaurants certified LEED GOLD by the US Green Building Council. You’ll see a sustainable kitchen in action and sit in a stunning dining room filled with beautifully reclaimed materials.

Crush update: home stretch for Harvest 2011

October 15, 2011

You can stop hiding! The hard work's almost over

And then there was one. Well, actually, two — but until yesterday afternoon it was just one. As of Thursday afternoon, all of the Forlorn Hope fruit for the year had been picked save the King Vineyard Petit Verdot. We’d almost promised ourselves that there would be no eleventh-hour addition to the array of vineyards we were making wine out of this year and were very much looking forward to having only one pick left on the season when the phone rang and a small patch of entirely irresistible old vines was offered up. A bit of Napa Valley Tokai Friulano and Grey Riesling (Sauvignon vert and Trousseau gris, for the sticklers) were just a bit too compelling for me to pass up, and we’re quite excited here at FH-HQ to get our hands on it as soon as Monday. The other remaining pick of Petit Verdot will likely happen at the end of the coming week.

In the cellar, the 2011 Nacré and La Gitana are through their fermentative stage already and are starting to take on the first of their mature personalities. The Les Deux Mathieux Petite Sirah is most of the way through ferment and relaxing in a pair of puncheons; we’ll probably press it on Monday depending on how it continues to take on texture and palate presence. There are some early favorites in the cellar, too, as a pair of new Rare Creatures are showing great promise at these nascent stages: A lean, light and taut Barbera that may see one iteration as a “sans soufre” bottling, and the Trousseau gris I had hoped would produce a skin-fermented rosé and is already overdelivering on funky character.

So, two more picks for the year. It’s certainly feels like it’s that time — we’re pretty whipped!

Crush update: Where did the past 14 days go?

September 29, 2011

And just like that, we’ve gone from barely starting harvest to nearly done. The past two weeks have been a mad dash of vineyard visits, bin and grape hauling, getting to know the new (to me) presses at Tenbrink, and wishing that my cellar notes from last harvest hadn’t been stolen out of my car. Glorious madness, to be sure, but the quality of the fruit this year has been stunning to date. Yields are down quite a bit — outright painful in a few cases — but flavor intensity and balance are phenomenal.

This week we’ve picked our tiny bit of Ribolla gialla (thank you George), Chenin blanc, Barbera, and Alvarelhão, and we may go back for more Chenin over the weekend as there are crazy vin de paille visions haunting us. This would leave only the Tenbrink Pets (Les Deux Mathieux) and the King Andrews Petit Verdot (Gascony Cadets), and I can’t imagine either of those vineyards will be too far off.

With a little more time (and sleep) available to me I might have worked these photographs into a video like the one JDK made for our Gewürz pick, but pigeage calls. So, here are a few photos of FH Crush 2011:

wee Verdelho clusters at the De Witt Vineyard

60 year old Semillon vines on the Yount Mill Ranch. Deep roots for the Nacré

loading Torrontes in Alta Mesa

On the skins, we taket the 2011 Faufreluches Gewürztraminer for a walk

There are more to come, but the winery calls. A bientôt!