Notes from Iridesse Wines

The Buzz from Patrick & Genevieve

Mission So Possible!

Posted by oenophilus on September 13, 2007

Agent Red at the wine spies brought our 2001 Anam Cara Napa Valley in for a round of tasting and guess what? The Wine Spies gave us 90 points! Woo-Hoo! Not only do they have some extraordinary tastebuds – clearly – but they do have a really good thing going!

Visit their site at to check out the covert scene!

btw – they are offering a fantastic price for today only with free shipping on orders over six bottles. Yowza!


Posted in Special Offers, Stores Selling Iridesse | Leave a Comment »

Hot Hints from My Latest Trip

Posted by oenophilus on September 10, 2007

Hey. I almost forgot. I want to give a couple of “Shout-Outs” to some unexpected yummy treats I discovered on this trip to Portland.

St. Honore Bakery in Lake Oswego is fantastic. This is the closest thing I have come to French bakery paradise! It is a little “Epcot-ish” I’ll grant. However the breads, pastries, Croques, etc. all looked and smelled amazing. My Cafe-au-lait and Normandie Apple Tart (Oh Yeah!) put me in just the right frame of mind to get to the airport with an adjusted attitude!

Airport food? Tasty? Ya, Shure. Y’Betcha. SEA is the code for the airport shared by Seattle and Tacoma, also known as Sea-Tac. In the frenzy that is the change of planes on the way home, I needed to gulp down some sustinance for the remainder of the journey. Anthony’s Fish Bar has a great fish taco – either Mahi Mahi or Alaskan Rock Fish! It’s grilled flavors and slightly piquant cabbage slaw would have paired beautifully with the Iridesse Zinfandel Rose, but alas…

Last note: Horizon served us thirsty wine folk – and the other passengers too – COMPLIMENTARY Red Hook Brewery Sunrye Summer Ale! Wow. Delish. Thirst-Slacking. Did I mention FREE???? Kudos to our very cute cabin crew of Kippy and Scott who together with a mischievous pilot, kept us in giggles from Seattle to Santa Rosa.

Posted in Groove on this!, Our Wines | Leave a Comment »

Rapid Insertion Strike Team

Posted by oenophilus on September 10, 2007

I just flew in from Portland, and boy are my arms….No really. I did just get back from a tasting in Lake Oswego (just outside of Portland). Usually we try to schedule our VIP and Wine Club tastings when I can spend a few days in the area promoting Iridesse Wines. This time, because of scheduling conflicts, I was to dash in, pour our wines for a group of potential customers, and dash out the next morning.

What a great opportunity to use the new Horizon Airlines service out of Charles Schultz Sonoma County Airport. Located at the northernmost extremes of Santa Rosa, the airport is less than 15 minutes from our house. Compare that to the heinous drive through the Bay Area mazes and bridge traffic and back-ups to get to Oakland or San Francisco airports in 2-3 hours. No contest. Horizon will get the lion’s share of my business!

Even though we got off to a rough start with a major delay (who wants to get on a plane that has mechanical troubles, anyway?), my flight to Seattle was quick and comfortable with a snappy connection for the hop to Portland. I made it with time to spare – my wine that I checked as baggage didn’t. Eeeek! The very kind baggage services allayed my fears and it did come on the next flight. Whew!

Genevieve’s Stepdad, who lives in the area, graciously picked me up and we rushed into the tasting just a wee bit late. I poured our Albarino, Zin Rose, and Anam Cara blend for a lovely gathering of my new friends that loved them and are sure to become valued customers! I rested my weariness at Genevieve’s mom’s house in the neighboring town before catching the 10:30 am flight the next day. The return flight was easy and actually got in more than 15 minutes early!

The actual time in Portland? 6:45 pm on Saturday – 9:45 am on Sunday. All for love of the wine. Interested in hosting me for a VIP party at your house? Let me know!

Posted in Groove on this! | Leave a Comment »

A Good Friend Passes

Posted by Genevieve Rodgers-Llerena on August 29, 2007

FeliceIt is with great sadness that I sit down to write today. In reality, I’ve been putting it off for a few weeks. I was kinda hopin’ that someone would do it for me…which is hard when your company is composed of exactly 2 people. So it falls to me to share the bad news: Felice has passed away. There, I’ve said it. It’s ok to tear-up, I am.

For those of you who did not know her, Felice was our Black Lab – well actually a Labrador/Weimaraner mix (3/4 Lab – 1/4 Weimer to be exact). She was an exceptional dog with a great disposition, a love of balls, sticks (really anything that could be thrown by a human), a great swimmer (as long as the water was not clean), and a cookie fiend.

I got Felice when I first moved to Healdsburg in 1997 and was living on my parents property that would become Chateau Felice Winery. I like to think that the the winery was named for her, but it was, in fact, coincidental. Even after she and I moved to town she came with me to work every day. If you’ve ever been to Chateau Felice you’ve probably met Felice; she came to most of the events. The Harvest was Felice’s favorite time of year. She waited anxiously for the grapes to come in so she could eat the berries that fell on the ground, then sleep the rest of the day away in a sugar-induced coma. After an afternoon dip in a smelly, algae filled lake, her day would be complete.

Felice lost her battle to cancer on August 9th. Last December, she had surgery to remove a tumor that was interfering with her digestion, basically not allowing her to eat. The surgery went well. We hoped the worse was over. Maybe she would be cancer free. Maybe she would live for many more years. But, it was not to be. Last month she got dramatically worse and we knew the tumor was back. It was a tearful and difficult goodbye.

We’re still getting used to her not being here. It’s odd to come home and not have a happy dog waiting for me. Or to get in the car and not have to open the hatch for her to jump in. Our 4 year-old keeps trying to buy her cookies at our local coffee spot. (The Flying Goat makes their own dog cookies.) And I have to remind her that Felice has died. It sorta freaks out the person behind the counter. Patrick is plotting the next dog, Malia wants a rabbit. But, I think it’s going to be a little while. For now I think we’ll just remember her fondly.

A special thank you to the folks at Winery Dogs for giving us the photos from their book of our use. You can find Felice on pages 29 & 29 in Winery Dogs of Sonoma.

Posted in From the Heart | 4 Comments »

Not a Fading Rose!

Posted by oenophilus on August 21, 2007

(Pronounce it roh-ZAY as I can’t figure out how to make an accent mark!)

Summer weather feels like it will be here for another couple of months here in Healdsburg. Nonetheless, here we are mid-August and while grapes are coming in, kids are off to school. Most importantly, our 4 1/2 year-old daughter, Malia started Kindergarten this week. Eeeek! Oy the drama! Not hers…Ours! I know I’ll get over the separation anxiety and enjoy the pride soon enough. What a great excuse to drink some more of the 2003 Iridesse Zinfandel Rose!

Why 2003??? Isn’t that too old for a fresh, young rose? This isn’t just some summertime, bubblegum wine cooler. As with many Iridesse wines, we used extended aging to allow the wine to develop and come into a new, multi-faceted flavor profile…Iridescence. Yes, this is cool, crisp and refreshing. But don’t even think about dismissing this wine as “just a rose”.

There are different ways to make what people categorically call Rose. Some take their grapes,crush and press them and make a white or pale pink wine, adding back a grape juice concentrate to give color and sweetness. Others will blend finished white wines and finished red wines to make a blend whose color is light. We have chosen to use a classic technique that the French call Saignee, where the crushed fruit macerated for a while before some juice is bled off to darken the red wine. That which is drawn off has the depth of color and compexity of flavor that we find most desirable.

The Iridesse 2003 Zinfandel Rose was gently pressed from naturally high-acid fruit, grown on a steep hillside on the edge of the Russian River Valley. After a longer than usual cold soak to extract more color and structure from the dark purple-black skins, the drawn-off juice fermented with a specially selected yeast from Champagne that allowed us to control is with very cold temperatures. The wine then settled in tank for over a year before being bottled and cellared for another three years!

While it is a fantastic aperitif, the recently released Iridesse 2003 Zinfandel Rose is a knockout with any number of food pairings. Try it with seared tuna, any pasta Arrabiatta, a salad tossed with vinaigrette, even some BBQ ribs. It’s fantastic with my Hawai’ian Ahi Poki! Check out the recipes section for my world-famous recipe. Is anyone else lucky enough to have a Big Green Egg? What’s that? You don’t know about the Big Green Egg? Oh don’t worry. You’ll regularly hear me waxing poetically about the virtues of the MOST amazing grill/oven/smoker that changed my life. Well, my outdoor cooking life, anyway. But, more of that later…

Posted in Our Wines, Rose | 4 Comments »