Forlorn Hope Queen of the Sierra Amber

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Is Matthew Rorick's Amber Wine why they call California the "Golden State?" It certainly seems possible.

Because the ex-San Diegan skate rat turned minimalist winemaker extraordinaire has a way of transforming California into a magical vinous wonderland: whether he's naming Piedmontese-rivaling Barberas after his adopted rescue donkey, making St. Laurent 9-10 timezones away from where most people do (Austria), and planting Picpoul on some of the only limestone soils in the state, this is a man who's dared to take Californian wine through the looking glass.

No surprise, then, to find out that one of the single greatest amber (or 'orange,' or 'extended skin-contact') wines made in CA is *also* made by the mad Mr. Rorick! Made entirely of organically farmed fruit (Verdelho! Muscat! Albariño! Chardonnay!) from his limestone-driven estate high up in the Sierra Foothills, this is somehow as adventurous as it is serious. With its notes of dried stone fruit, spiced pears, pink grapefruit, white tea and more, this is a food pairing dream wine (Indian food all day and all night, but also, i.e., these turmeric-pineapple laced pork chops!)

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