Sunday, December 12, 2010


Coquelicot Slowhand

Coquelicot – pronounced "ko-klee-ko" - is the name of a brilliant red poppy found in the French countryside.  It is also the name Bernard Rosenson gave to his estate vineyard of organically-grown grapes, and the corresponding winery.  Rosenson became acquainted with the beautiful flower while growing up in France.  On the wine's label, he even asks, "Who's your poppy?"

Rosenson's partner-in-wine is Louis Van Tonder, who oversees the vineyard and the winemaking process for Coquelicot.  The winery's tasting room in Los Olivos is French countryside charming.  That's where I purchased the half-bottle of Slow Hand for around $25 about a year and a half ago.  It took a while to get around to opening it, and it was worth the wait.

Slow Hand is a half-and-half blend of late harvest Chardonnay and late harvest Riesling.  Its 12.5% abv leaves plenty of room for the sweetness expected in such a marriage.

On the nose, the smell of over ripe fruit is overwhelming.  If you ever spent any time as a child playing in the summertime around a fruit tree, you know what to expect.  The taste is that of baked apples, apple custard, and raisins.  It's a very viscous drink that really fills the mouth well.  If the acidity were a little higher, it would be perfect.  However, it's hard to complain about a wine as good as Slow Hand.

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