Most children dream of becoming something exciting when they grow up: a firefighter, an actress, a sports star, a princess, or an astronaut. I was no different. My dream was to be a rock star. Undeterred by the fact that I possessed no musical talent whatsoever, I bellowed into my spoon microphone, played a wicked tennis racquet air-guitar, and sported some sweet 80’s hair.
My buddies and I wiled away countless hours listening to our favorite albums and debating the merits of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Kiss. We knew all the lyrics, repeatedly watched all the ‘rockumentaries’, and were MTV addicts. As time rolled by, my rock star dreams waned and my attentions turned to the conventional aspects of adolescence: girls, grades, and irritating my parents.
My rock-and-roll passion was temporarily reignited by the cultish and devilishly funny rockumentary/mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap”, which I first saw in 1988 as a sophomore in high school. With that one perfect scene, all things that were awesome became an ‘11’; just one better than a ‘10’.
By the time I was a senior, I had traveled extensively in France to help my family glean as much knowledge as we could about the craft of winemaking. We were pulling the cord and parachuting out of Los Angeles to the foothills of sunny Santa Barbara. Together we founded our family winery and vineyard. My passion for winemaking was born, but the steady beat of rock-and-roll still drummed in my being.
I’ve spent 20 years making Rhône-style wines. With each vintage, I work relentlessly to divine the slightest nuances out of my favorite varieties. With This is E11even Wines, I break into different varieties and break the rules of conventional winemaking.
This is E11even Wines is the synthesis of childhood dreams and adult discipline. While I take the art of winemaking very seriously, I do believe there is room for a little rock-and-roll style rebelliousness in my craft. I’ll be blending wines because I know the flavor profile I want to achieve, not because I was taught to do it a certain way…convention be damned! Originally, I planned to price these wines at rock star levels, but as I watched friends lose their jobs and their homes over the past several years, I changed that philosophy. This is E11even Wines are approachably priced, with an aim to over-deliver…like getting a deal on great seats at a concert and the band playing two encores. The wines will be sealed with Stelvin screwcaps, because corks work about as well as my old 8-tracks.
I’ll be blending to achieve just the right melody, and experimenting with non-Rhône varieties to bust out a solo. The net result? Just one better, just one louder, than a 10…an 11. So invite some pals over, put on some great music, pour some great wine, and Let’s Rock!
2012 THIS IS E11EVEN Unplugged White Blend 750ml 3-Pack
A rockin' white blend of Chenin Blanc & Sauvignon Blanc
20 years into my winemaking career, I am finally realizing this boyhood fantasy with the inaugural release of our new white blend, simply named…UNPLUGGED. Though I still cannot play a lick of guitar, I learned that I can compose with flavors. Think of this blend as un-amplified duo of acoustic guitars, each played by a legendary icon. Of course each variety (I mean guitarist) stands out a bit, but there is also a tremendous harmony here. The lead-solo is the Chenin Blanc…smooth and haunting…backed up by Sauvignon Blanc…bracing and racy, trying to steal the show…The result is an un-oaked, crisp, fresh, and dry harmony. We have cut the cords, so just the pure varietal and vineyard driven flavors shine through.
2012 THIS IS E11EVEN Big Bottom Cabernet 750ml 3-Pack
Rich, Ripe, Cabernet from Happy Canyon AVA
The 2012 Big Bottom Cabernet Sauvignon is mostly south facing hillside Cabernet Sauvignon with a small amount of Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The Cab is the lead guitarist…trying to bust out a solo, but rather finding harmony with his band mates. The Cabernet is amazingly dark and concentrated, and a bit brooding. The Cabernet Franc and Syrah act as the rhythm section, backing up and smoothening out the Cab with high tones of pencil lead, forest floor and flowers as well as some bright cherry notes. On a scale of 1 to 10? Well, it’s an E11even of course!