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07 Aug 2023 | Jeremy Dugan


Join us on August 11th when we will be tasting wines from Riding Monkey Wines and Press Gang Cellars with some very special guests. Dieter Cronje, Winemaker/Owner of Riding Monkey Wines will be in store to talk about his wines and our friends Claire and Sebastian of Baire Wine Imports will be joining us to talk about Press Gang Cellar’s wines. August is the month most Winemakers are getting themselves mentally prepared for harvest and all that is to come with it, so we are very fortunate to have Dieter joining us. And for those of you who were here for our Baire Wine Import German and Austrian tasting back in January, you learned that Claire and Sebastian have their own wine label, so having them with us on the 11th is special as well.

Both Riding Monkey Wines and Press Gang Cellars are young innovative Natural Wine passion projects. I use the term passion projects with endearment because both Dieter and Kyle (Owner/Winemaker of Press Gang) work as Winemakers for other Wineries so they can afford to make wine under their own labels. So not only are these individuals coordinating with tens of people to make their own wines, but they are also doing it for Wineries like Stolpman Vineyards and Presqu’ile Winery. It is always a treat to have people behind the curtain in for tastings. While I can do all the research possible to get information, but they are the ones who know the specific about the vintages, what tribulations they went through or something funny that happened during harvest. I am very excited to share with you all the wines from Riding Monkey and Press Gang and to give you an idea of what the Wineries do, here are a few of the wines we will be pouring on the 11th.

2022 Riding Monkey Mezcla Blanca, Alisos Canyon.- $29.99 per bottle

Meaning White Blend, this is a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 45% Clairette Blanche and 5% Bourboulenc. All 3 varieties were directly pressed, co-fermented and aged for 5 months in neutral French oak. Rich tropical fruit meets the palate up front, soft mandarin citrus adds a pop. Subtle minerality leads to apple characteristics on the finish. Lots of depth in this white wine.

2022 Riding Monkey Cinsault, Alisos Canyon.- $30.99 per bottle.

All the Cinsault for this wine came from Nolan Ranch. 50% of the wine was fermented whole cluster and carbonic for 10-days. The other 50% was done in open top fermenters with daily punch downs. All the juice was aged for 5 months in neutral French oak. Black cherries and subtle fig flavors pair with savory white pepper. Light acidity allows more dark fruit to come out on the finish.

2022 Riding Monkey Alicante Bouschet, Alisos Canyon.- $30.99 per bottle

All the Alicante Bouschet comes from Nolan Ranch. The grapes were destemmed, fermented in an open top tank and was aged for 5 months in neutral French oak. On the palate you are getting a bramble fruit medley. Black cherries, plums, figs, blueberries and hints of strawberries all bounce around your tastebuds. There is a hint of vegetal characteristics to help bring some balance to the wine. Overall very juicy and easy drinking. 

2021 Press Gang Mencia, Alisos Canyon.- $34.99 per bottle

The grapes for this wine come from the Nolan Ranch. The wine was 100% destemmed, fermented semi carbonic in a sealed stainless-steel tank and aged for 10 months in neutral French oak. On the palate the first thing that comes to mind is black cherry cola which pairs with soft leathery characteristics. The leather profile creates subtle tannins which allows more dark fruit to come out on the finish.

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