Month: September 2018
When Sue Tipton founded Acquiesce Winery, she was on a mission unique to Lodi AVA and in fact, most vinicultural areas. She sought out to offer only “white Rhone wines”!! She was chastised and admonished why she should not focus on “solely white wines”. Yes based on her passion and life experiences in France, she proceeded without wavering. She sourced and planted the best vines from the Chateau de Beaucastel of Chateauneuf du Pape on her quest. Today she has and continues making artisan and award winning boutique wines. Her awards are too numerous to list, but include International Women’s Wine Competition Gold Medal, California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition Gold Medal, American Fine Wine Competition Double Gold, SF Chronicle Wine Competition Gold Medal and many, many more.
Those wines include Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette Blanche, Bourboulenc and Belle Blanc (blend). She currently produces 2300 cases and has set a goal to reach 3400 cases with this year’s harvest. Unique to Acquiesce is that once they sell out (which they do each year), the tasting room closes down. She typically closes mid-November and re-opens in March. Strong hint!
The scope of meeting with Sue was to taste two unique varietals which I was personally not familiar. The first was the Picpoul Blanc. Visually this is varietal is faint and almost translucent with a pale yellow hue. On the nose pineapple was the predominate scent coupled with minerality. Picpoul means to “sting the lips” yet this wine was much more embracing and had a disguised light sweetness. This wine was made to pair with oysters in Europe. Sue also believes in the New World, it is excellent with spicy Thai food and dishes with cilantro. In 2017 only 220 cases were produced and all going to wine club members. In 2018 based upon expected yields, she is looking to increase that number to 350 cases. As an aside, approximately only 40 acres are planted with this grape varietal in the USA!
The second wine I purposed to taste was the 2017 Bourboulenc. This is the first bottling of this varietal in the USA! Only 60 cases were produced and again for Wine Club Members only. This comes across with light honey taste and soft citrus. While very limited it is a true gem to imbibe. From Wikipedia “Bourboulenc wine has a good acidity level, body, penetrating character, citrus aromas and a hint of smoke”.
Sue takes her passion and “white wine knowledge” to the public with pride and is soft spoken about her mission. She has proved many critics wrong and her vast number of awards, shows her tenacity and commitment to these unique wine varietals. Her awards also extend to the more common white Rhone varietals like Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier. But don’t call them “common” as they are uncommonly delicious!