General Wine Geekery #2
Domaine Laguille Gros Manseng demi sec 2011

Forlorn Hope Suspiro del Moro


Vintage 2010

This is something different, even for Devenish!  And it says it right on the label, up at the top: "Another Rare Creature".  Forlorn Hope is a project created and run by Mathew Rorick.  Rorick had formerly been at Elizabeth Spencer wines in Rutherford making very sought after and well know Cabernets, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs; in short exactly what you imagine when you think of Rutherford.  Click on this link and look at the winery, it beautifully looks like something out of a Napa promotional magazine!  There's nothing wrong with that I guess Rorick eventually got tired of it and made a 180 degree turn.

So named as an acknowledgment that risky ventures that are prone to failure are also the ones that sometimes succeed fantastically, Rorick decided to start making tiny amounts of wine from rare grapes to experiment and see what they could do in CA.  Forlorn Hope makes about 1,500 cases total per year of over 15 different wines.  That's less than 100 cases for some.  As much as possible Mathew Rorick tries to use natural yeasts and is reputed to crush all grapes by foot.  He must have gnarly feet.  The bottom line though is that Rorick is making these wines because he's passionate and he believes these grapes can yield amazing wines, if only people would pull their heads out of the Cabernet and Chardonnay barrels and give them a chance.

Varietal: 100% Alvarelhao, or by it's Galician Spanish name: Brancellao



Super aromatic and powerful!  There's a lot of fruit!  I get pomegranate, fresh strawberry, raspberry, and......a little bit of candle wax.  The Suspiro seems floral too, but like really big psychedelic flowers on a tropical island; so basically I can't nail it down. The Suspiro del Moro has a really cool aroma!  It's very alive and bright.  It persistently gets into my nose and won't let go.  Oh, wait, add good fresh strawberry jam to that milieu as well.


Bright fresh spring time-y berry fruit with lively acidity up front.  The fruit up front is very juicy, but then it fades into a slightly tart kind of tiny red berry currenty taste.  The Suspiro is interesting; it tastes well made and all the components work together, but it's an unusual combination of components.  The ripe berry fruit, fresh acidity, reasonable integrated tannin, that hint of pithiness, a hint of spruce, the polished texture; it's a very tasty but unique experience.  I feel like over all the wine has this tough kernel of tannic and acidic structure and then around that you have this lush suave fruit that makes it so seductive.

Devenish got 5 cases.  We sold the 5 cases.  You can grab some for under $25 at the Blue Hill Wine Shop, Browne Trading, The Rosemont on Munjoy Hill, and Oakhill Beverage or you can try a bottle of it at Caiola's or Bresca.


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