wine spoken here

Wine Spoken Here: Rusty Eddy and Tim McDonald

Rusty Eddy and Tim McDonald are back on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger today. Harry Duke is also in the studio today. The last time they were on this show and podcast was this episode of November 1, 2017, which was all about cool climate wines. Rusty Eddy and Tim McDonald run Wine Spoken Here/Rogue Strategies, a public relations firm that specialized in the wine industry. Rusty and Tim will taste five wines with Steve, Harry and Dan, from wineries that they work with.

Rusty and Tim are partners in Wine and Spirits Spoken Here/Rogue Strategies. Both are wine industry PR veterans. Through their agency, they consult with clients about their marketing efforts and reputation building. They have been in business for 13 years. They have brought some wines from their clients in Russian River Valley, Santa Barbara, Washington and Napa Valley. Rusty is based in Redwood City and Tim is in Napa. Tim founded Wine Spoken Here and Rogue Strategies is the company that Rusty Eddy founded, also to do marketing and PR. Rusty grew up in Davis and attended UC Davis but did not major in wine. His brother Tom Eddy is a winemaker who produces great Cabernet at Tom Eddy Winery in Calistoga.

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Dan Berger has brought in a cellar wine that is called The Lane, a Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills in Australia. He got it as a sample bottle 15 years ago and has been in the cellar ever since. Rusty sent it to him, and it is a 2005. It was imported by Rusty’s brother Tom. Adelaide Hills is a great location for whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The fact that it was in a 55-degree (F) cellar helped it preserve its color, and the screw cap also helped. They all agree a cork would have killed it. Dan Berger says it’s a good idea to visit the Adelaide Hills now, before it gets filled with new homes. There are also great restaurants in the wineries.

Laeticia Sparkling Wine

First they pour a sparkling wine from Laeticia Vineyard and Winery. It is made in Santa Barbara. Dan Berger says the flavors in the sparkling wines from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo are particularly Californian, strawberry, raspberry, pink without being dark salmon color. It’s 35% Pinot, 65% Chardonnay. It sells for $25 and matches the quality of more expensive bottles. The winery is in the Arroyo Grande Valley which is located south of San Luis Obispo in central California. Harry Duke says that it is very good and much richer than a normal champagne.

Qupé 2019 Chardonnay

Qupé Winery is located in the Central Coast of California near Santa Barbara and its winemaker, Bob Lindquist, was on CWC in this episode from August 2, 2017. The word Qupé means “poppy” in the Chumash language. Bottle Barn has it.

Be Human 2020 Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon

Next they taste a 2020 Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon from a brand called Be Human Wines. This comes from the Horse Heaven Hills, in Columbia Valley. Dan Berger says this is a great area for wine, with terrible soils, which is great for Cabernet. It is priced at $16-$18. This is their first vintage, it’s a new winery. It sold a lot at Whole Foods in the northwest.

Raeburn 2020 Russian River Pinot Noir

They also taste a 2020 Russian River Pinot Noir from Raeburn Winery. It is their 4th vintage, a freshly released 2020. The flavors are gorgeous, it’s a classic example of Russian River Pinot Noir. It’s elegant with beautiful raspberry fruit, priced at $24.99.

Dan Berger says that Bottle Barn has great Cru Beaujolais that are a great value, compared to Beaujolais Nouveau, which can be disappointing (especially far away from France, because the best product never leaves the country –Ed.).

2019 Experience Napa Valley Cabernet

Some of these wines are holiday meal suggestions, so they may go well with the traditional Thanksgiving Day menu, especially with turkey. But for those who prefer other fare, Rusty and Tim have brought in a 2019 Experience Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the third vintage of this. So in case a standing rib roast is on the menu, or anything closer to that than to turkey, this would go very well with it. Dan Berger points out, “The more sage you use in your turkey, the more the Cabernet works with it.” It would not work with a ham, but a Pinot would.

Barry Nico is the winemaker on this. The label is owned by a couple who met on a bus tour of New Zealand while they were interning during harvest time. The tour company was called Experience New Zealand, so they kept the name for their wine. This 2019 is really tight still, needs time in the bottle, says Dan Berger, or a couple of hours in the decanter. 🍷

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