While waiting for the Rhone Rendezvous tasting at the recent Hospice du Rhone wine festival, we started chatting with winemaker and blogger Benjamin Spencer. You can catch one of his posts here at intowine.com. He also has a very small boutique winery Leojami – and you can check out their site here www.LeojamiWines.com.
Spencer and Anne were talking about writing about HdR, but then Spencer mentioned that he was about to do a guerilla pouring, as well.
“Well, basically, it’s just a behind the scenes pouring at public wine events,” Spencer explained. “You grab your newly-released viognier, in my case, for Leojami, and you put in on ice in your trunk. And you pull it out when everybody else is tasting and you find your friends from Facebook, who you know are soms [sommeliers] at various established resorts and restaurants and wine writers for Wine Spectator, etc.”
But why not just get a table?
“For people like us, we’re only making 400 cases per year,” Spencer said. “We’re possibly pouring out a substantial amount of our potential profit, it just doesn’t make sense. So, I’m not… I haven’t always been on this side of the law, and I’m not ashamed to say that. I’m very happy to get out there and work for whoever wants to taste our wines.”
We did get a taste of Spencer’s 2008 Viognier and liked it a lot. It had the typical viognier flowers in the nose – kind of a honeysuckle thing, but not sweet like honey. There was some nice food-friendly acidity, and Mike tasted some stone fruits and a hint of citrus, with a medium mouthfeel and no oak.