Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Toast with Our Baby

Yup, this is "our" baby. Boo and I have been the "adoptive parents" of a row of malbec vines at Red Rooster Winery on the Naramata Bench for a couple of years now. I think it's a wildly inventive marketing tool for a winery. Red Rooster hosts two events for its adoptive members - a spring pruning event and a fall harvest party - where we find out some hands-on aspects to the workings behind that bottle of wine on the table. The fact that we receive a case of wine is a pretty decent perk as well.

We haven't had much luck with the scheduling of the "Adopt-A-Row" events thus far - having made only one of the spring pruning parties - but we definitely enjoy the ties to the winery and look forward to every visit that we can make. Taking a walk in the vineyard to find the row with your name plaque in place is a real treat.

Trying some of the wine is even more of a treat.

53. 2007 Red Rooster Malbec (VQA - Naramata Bench - Okanagan)

Malbec isn't that common of a varietal in BC. There are only a couple of smaller scale programs that I'm aware of - like Inniskillin, Sandhill and Quinta Ferreira - where an actual malbec varietal is made. Most of the malbec grown in the province goes into the numerous Meritage or Bordeaux blends.

In fact, we were told that was the reason Red Rooster planted their malbec in the first place; it was to flesh out their own Meritage. However, a couple of years back, they found that the malbec was of such a high quality that they decided to make a varietal wine of their own. Seeing as how they'd really only planned on using the grapes as a small percentage of the Meritage blend, there weren't that many cases available. This was another perk of having adopted a row, we got first crack at buying some of the wine.

This is the second year that Red Rooster has made a malbec varietal and you likely wouldn't confuse it for one of the big Argentine malbecs. But, I'd hardly have expected that. It certainly doesn't matter to Boo and I either. After all, don't all parents love their children - whether they can stand up to a honking big steak with chimichurri sauce or not?!

The picture of our bottle shows it nestled in some of the prunings from our row. While at the spring party in 2007, I kept some of the cuttings and threw them into a pot on our balcony. Strangely enough, they rooted. I very much doubt that we'll ever have enough grapes to make a bottle ourselves, but the connection between those vines and the bottle we're drinking is crazy good.

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