So, breaking with my (probably unappreciated) tradition of trying to rhyme all my wine blog posts, this one doesn’t sound like my sixth grade attempts at poetry. Ninety percent of that has to do with the fact that the only thing I could think of to rhyme with Ordaz is spazz. The other ten percent is due to my inability to post any blogs on a reasonable timeline. I tried these wines at the end of winter, and it is now June. I’m trying, but the struggle between work life and writing is real.
Do you know what cuts the edge off though? Wine. Between pouring glasses for book club, family members, and the occasional evening alone, I’ve upped my consumption of wine this year while maintaining quality. Part of that is thanks to #WineStudio. I know I talk about this program once a month or so, but it really has had an impact on my understanding of wine and my ability to enjoy it. There are other twentysomethings into wine, but I always feel like a novice when I attempt to bridge the gap between myself and the more seasoned winos. I can’t name every grape out there; I would most likely fail miserably at a blind tasting; I also feel like the girl always asking the dumb questions. If you ever feel the same way, tune into a #WineStudio on Twitter on a Tuesday night around 9 p.m. It helps.
Going along with the way I always question myself about wine, usually I don’t include too much about the wineries in my posts. I’ll throw out a fact like when it was established or how the winery is run, but from my experience with my friends, they don’t ask many questions about what makes a wine special. It’s not that they don’t care, but more often than not, the top two factors in picking a wine is price and taste. In that order. However, I know there are others out there like me who geek out over the little details, so I’m switching things up from now on, and I’m going to share those tidbits that make the wine exciting to me.
A few months ago, we explored the offerings of Ordaz Family Wines, a company that is committed to producing single vineyard wines. From our discussions, it appeared that Eppie, the son of founder Chuy Ordaz, really took over the reins of the business, growing it into a family-run operation dedicated to the grape. They are the wine, and you can sense the emotion put into each bottle when chatting with this family that hails from Mexico. It’s about terroir and letting the vineyard speak for itself. They’re following through on what they think is best for their wines, and it’s paying off in big ways.
Pinot Noir is one of those wines of which I wish I always drank more. It’s light and fun while retaining personality. Luckily, this winter I was forced into trying more with the jewel-colored 2014 Pinot Noir from the Placida Vineyard with Ordaz. Normally Pinot brings up ideas of fruit-driven wines, but this bottle had nuance to it. There was that telltale flavor of ripe red berries, but there was also an earthiness to be found. The silky mouthfeel helped it all go down faster than I intended, although you’ll hear no complaints from me. The SRP is $38, which maybe isn’t an everyday wine price, but still a steal enough for me to invest in a handful of bottles. I’m going to be adding this one to my line up; it’s one you can pull out during any season, which I appreciate in the summer when my body thinks it will reject one more sip of something golden or pink.
For those who like something a little spicier, the 2012 Malbec from the Sandoval Vineyard offered up a bit of variety to this #WineStudio session. Sharing a name with my favorite drama queen on Vanderpump Rules, this vineyard helped Ordaz craft some interesting juice. There were fruits to be found, but all of that was underscored by the slate and coffee flavors that kept this wine robust. It was heavy, yet reminded me of those hippos from Fantasia with the tutus that balance out the otherwise rotund appearance of the animals. There were a lot of flavors to unpack with just an edge of refinement. With an SRP of $25, it’s one to invest in and enjoy once the weather cools off and you need a glass to warm you from the inside out.
Two very different wines from one consistent winery- I’ll take it! We didn’t get to experience the breadth of offerings, but we did dive deep with two standout options. If it’s a testament to what else they offer, it all seems promising. They are on their A-game right now, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for this family-run operation.