The English languages has many limitations of expression. For example take the word “love.” Google defines the verb “to love” as meaning: 1) feeling a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone; 2) like very much, find pleasure in. I love my husband. I love hamburgers. Really? Moving from English to a romance language such as French we find multiple words available to describe different types of love. Adore means to “to love someone deeply and devotedly.” J’ador mon mari. Aimer, one of the most common French verbs, offers another expression of love in a non-romantic sense. J’aime les hamburgers. What does any of this have to do with wine? Simple. It is important to establish proper linguistic understanding when I make the statement: I love Acquiesce Winery and Vineyard. In other words: J’aime Acquiesce Winery and Vineyard!
Sue Tipton is a woman after my own heart. Not only is Sue the owner and winemaker of Acquiesce Winery and Vineyard, she is a Francophile and has deep understanding and appreciation for food and wine pairings. It would seem a bit hedonistic if it weren’t so elegant. Sue moved to Lodi in 2000, with a passion for Rhône white varietals, Chateau de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape being her favorite. After purchasing land that housed 12 acres of Zinfandel vines the urge to join the Lodi winemaking community became too strong to resist. Armed with passion and determination but no winemaking experience Sue began her journey into producing stainless steel, non-malo fermented Rhône style white wines in the land of Zinfandel. Stewart Spencer, Program Manager of the Lodi Wine Grape Commission and owner/winemaker at St. Amant Winery confessed the Lodi wine community thought Sue was a bit crazy. Crazy indeed, like a fox! Sue sourced her Rhone varietal clippings from Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, partially owned by Chateau du Beaucastel.
Due to Lodi’s similar climate to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Acquiesce successfully grows Grenache Blanc (and rouge for rosé), Viognier, Roussanne, and Picpoul Blanc. Her wines are so well received that the wine club is full and now has a 150 people waiting list and each year’s vintage of 1,500 cases is typically sold out by November. I really enjoy white wines, especially Rhône varietals, but wouldn’t believe I am someone who wants to be a member of a white wine only wine club. However, the Acquiesce wines are so crisp, clean, textural, and refreshing I would easily join this club!
Acquiesce – verb: to surrender, to become quiet. Acquiesce has become our mantra — to submit to nature, to yield to the vineyard, to acquiesce to the grapes so they present their own true character. Attention to detail reigns here with sustainable vines that are lightly watered, grapes that are handpicked and then whole cluster pressed to create wines that are both classic and traditional. For a memorable experience, these food loving wines are paired with small bites in our 100 year-old converted barn tasting room. Please join us for a taste! ~ Sue Tipton, owner/winemaker
I visited Acquiesce Winery on the Wine Bloggers Conference pre-excursion. In fact, it was our first stop after landing in Lodi. I had enjoyed Acquiesce’s 2014 Viognier in a virtual tasting perfect Lodi wines for Thanksgiving. You can read more about that vintage in my article, “Celebrate Thanksgiving Lodi Style.” Below is the list of wines six wines I tried at the winery.
Acquiesce 2015 Picpoul Blanc: vibrant fruit aromas of tropical fruit, citrus, and white flowers; picpoul translates to “lip stinger,” evident as acidity wraps the palate leaving a pleasant, tart finish; 100 vines planted so limited production wine that is already sold out; perfect as a summer sipper with shellfish, seafood, chicken, and cheese; really crisp and refreshing. $24
Acquiesce 2015 Grenache Blanc: voted best of class by Sunset Magazine; mineral driven with delicious aromatics of orchard fruit, stone fruit, and floral notes; a perfect balance of fruit and earthiness in a classy white wine with round acidity; really fabulous with spicy cuisine such as sushi, Thai, curries, and Mexican food. Served to us with Goat cheese, Meyer lemon, and thyme $24
Acquiesce 2015 Belle Blanc: exquisite aromas; rich and fragrant with loads of southern france herbal notes including lavender, thyme, and rosemary; along with aromatic white floral notes; wow; round acidity and a lovely lime zest; pair with chicken salad, quiche, seafood, shellfish, cheese; served with Dubliner Irish cheddar with violet flower confit; $26
Acquiesce 2015 Roussanne: amazing expression; rich fruit notes of apricot and orchard fruit with a slight nuttiness, and creamy honey flavor and texture, balanced with round acidity and a tart finish; what more could one ask for; great with chicken, seafood, shellfish, mildly spicy cuisine, vegetarian dishes; served with manchengo cheese with tomato and rosemary; $25
Acquiesce 2015 Viognier: wildly aromatic, notes of orchard and stone fruit leap from the glass, along with white floral notes and a hint of nutmeg on the back; rich, creamy texture and surprisingly acidic in a beautifully balanced wine; voted best viognier in California in CA State Fair Competition; great with Asian cuisine, citrus salads, butternut squash soup; served with mango chutney with pepper on bagel crisp; $24
Acquiesce 2015 Grenache Rosé: sadly this incredible wine is sold out; great nose of watermelon, fresh picked strawberries, and a touch of herbal notes; balanced acidity; maceration blended with fully crafted Grenache in the style used to make Champagne, allows for more control of color and flavors to create a touch more spice; outstanding rose, very Provençale in style; $24.
Overall it was a wonderful tasting experience with wines I enjoyed so much I ordered some for myself. Sadly I did not get to return to Acquiesce later in the week for dinner (I had a wonderful dinner at Lange Twins instead). I heard the food and wine pairings were amazing and there were Can-can girls! Sue Tipton rocks! I highly encourage you to visit the web site of Acquiesce Winery and Vineyards because these wines are only available direct from the winery and they are going fast!
My Song Selection: Perfectly French.
Get your own bottles of wine from Acquiesce Winery and Vineyard and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!