Showing posts with label Fontes and Phillips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fontes and Phillips. Show all posts

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Don't rely on supermarkets for your summer rosés. 

My grocery (Ralph's) actually has a fairly decent wine section, but only a handful of pink offerings.  On the shelf there I found La Vieille Ferme, Red Bicyclette, Mouton Cadet, a Spanish rosado which has slipped from my memory and the lone California entry, Ironstone Xpression.

There is also the usual assortment of White Zinfandel.

It doesn't take too much effort to locate some really wonderful rosés that will make your warm-weather entertaining an instant hit.

I like to buy local for most of my wine, and it's not a bad drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County.

Clos Pepe in Lompoc, with vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills, has a rosé of Pinot Noir that is fantastic.

Fiddlehead Cellars in Lompoc produces a rosé of Pinot Noir they call "Pink Fiddle" that is full-bodied and quite refreshing.

Fontes and Phillips' "Panky" is made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah from Camp 4 Vineyard in Santa Ynez.  It's bone dry and complex.

Shoestring Winery in Solvang does a rosé that's mainly Syrah with some Grenache and "a splash of Sangiovese for color."

If those are too hard to find, stop in for a visit with your neighborhood wine dealer and get some professional help.  We could all use some of that every now and then.  With summer just around the corner, any wine store should already have a great supply of pinks in stock.

Here are some rosés which should be widely available at wine stores in many areas:
Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc Rosé 2009 - A salmon-colored effort from Languedoc with a crisp minerality.
Domaine de la Fouquette "Rosée d'Aurore" Côtes de Provence Rosé 2009 - Made of Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle (you may know it in Italian as Vermentino).
La Gatte Rosé, Bordeaux 2008 - Yes, Bordeaux!  It's Merlot.
Cep "Nobles Ranch" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rosé 2008 - Cep is a second label of the noted Peay Vineyards.
Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec Mendoza 2009 - Argentine.  Any wine with Balbo's name on it is worth a try.
Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé 2009 - Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre are the grapes in this one.
Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Rosé 2009 - It's a rich, pink color and dry. 
Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Rosé 2007 - A crisp and fruity Washington State pink.
Ironstone Xpression 2008 - It won a Gold Medal at the California State Fair last year.

Please feel free to leave a comment if I failed to mention your favorite rosé.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Panky Rose 2008

With the weather hopefully turning a little warmer, I'd like to revisit a very nice rose I discovered last spring.  It's another winner from the Santa Ynez Valley.  This pink wine really impressed me.  If you're looking for a great find for summer, Panky certainly qualifies.  It was a little difficult to find last year, but it's worth the trouble.  Panky is produced by Fontes & Phillips Wines in the Happy Canyon region of the Santa Ynez Valley  Their website said "coming soon" when I last checked it, but the email address worked when I wanted to find some Panky for myself.   There's also a Facebook page.  I also understand Panky can be found at several retail outlets in the Santa Barbara area. 

A clear Rhone-style bottle reveals the salmon color that seems tinged with gold in the light. It's quite impressive visually. The Happy Canyon pink consists of 38% Syrah, 36% Cinsaut and 26% Grenache. I could not find an alcohol content number on the label, but I would not guess it was much over 13.5%. The label is rather plain, save for the name. "Panky" is printed in mixed-font "ransom note" style. I was told this was produced by Fontes and Phillips, but the label shows that it is bottled by the "Kerr E. Nation Wine Company - Buellton, CA." To find it, you may have to "axe" around.

A very fruity sniff awaits you, especially if the wine is not overly chilled. Grapefruit and apricot lead the way, but there seems to be a lot at work in the aroma department. Very interesting.

Panky is not extremely dry, but it's certainly not on the sweet end of the spectrum. There is a buttery texture on the tongue, but it's not overplayed. I find a creaminess that's almost trying to hide. Vanilla notes play against an orange peel tartness. I thought it was a complicated wine the first time I tried it, and I still think so. There is a very good acidity level and Panky goes well with salads, fish...probably an omelet, too.