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“Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.”–David Foster Wallace

If this were the 1950s, I’d counsel Erich Russell to go into hiding or hire a high power attorney. McCarthy would have a field day branding this winemaker as a Communist.

Wine of this quality simply isn’t sold at this price.

The man is either a madman or a communist. Or a genius. It’s like Josh McDowell’s “More Than a Carpenter,” but in this case a more prevalent winemaker.

Erich Russell has outdone himself. The 2010 Paso Robles wines that I’ve tried thus far have been marvelous. From Robert Hall’s glorious Rose to Trader Joe’s Reserve Primitivo produced by Castoro Cellars to the new offering from Rabbit Ridge: delicious and absurd quality to price ratio.

While the Allure de Robles wine is amazing, apparently the 2010 crop was less than abundant. (See Jason’s Wine Blog for good inside info.) So stock your cellars. Store some under the bed, the couch, the unused treadmill, but please not on the fridge. That’s the worst spot. The constant vibration is akin to giving your wines carpal tunnel syndrome.

Brilliant. Full, rich, tannic with smoothed edges, and this vintage seems to expand the next day while the ’09 seemed to take on a pickled asparagus characteristic.

A jubilee of cherry, plum, strawberry tart, and an addition of spice that buffers the other flavors without combating the fruit.

While Mr. Russell and Rabbit Ridge seemed to have gone for a more “Proprietary Rhone” description leaving some leeway in what the composition is, this is a generous wine, especially at this price. Visit Rabbit Ridge for more info and ridiculous affordable wines.

Great with holiday fare. Fabulous for a BBQ. Weddings. Finding out you have a kid in Chilliwack, BC with that girl while you celebrated your return from the Bering Sea.

This wine does best after decanting, or aerating, to develop all its flavors and textures. But pretty damn tasty right away.

Also great for the cellar.

5 out of 5 Bellies

Available online @ Rabbit Ridge, as well as at Trader Joe’s (not all locations).

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