Randall Grahm partners with Gallo on Rhône varieties projectBy Lucy Shaw
Having sold his Bonny Doon Vineyard last year, Rhône ranger Randall Grahm has teamed up with E & J Gallo on a wine project shining a light on Rhône varieties.
As reported by Wine Spectator, the range of California Central Coast wines will be called The Language of Yes in a hat tip to lenga d’òc – a romance language spoken in southern France.
The first three wines from the project will be released this year, kicking off with a rosé made from Tibouren and Cinsault in August, followed by a Grenache and a Syrah from Santa Maria Valley’s Rancho Real Vineyard in October.
“The project that we are jointly working on is in many ways a research project – the quest to make truly original wines in the New World – and one that would be essentially impossible for me to undertake entirely by myself,” Grahm told Wine Spectator.
“Having access to some of the resources of Gallo has enabled a number of things that would not have happened nearly as quickly or perhaps ever. I’m hoping that the work can be slightly deeper and more soulful. And fun,” he added.
Gallo has given Grahm carte blanche to let his imagination run riot when it comes to the range, which is mostly made from Rhône varieties.
According to Wine Spectator, while searching for a fitting name for the range Grahm and label designer Chuck House flicked through Provençal dictionaries seeking a term that would capture the essence of what he was trying to represent with the wines.
“It suddenly became clear that a term for the language itself – lenga d’òc – was the term we were looking for. It goes without saying that in these very divisive times, the Language of Yes is one we would all do well to learn,” Grahm told WS.
Joseph C. Gallo, vice president of Gallo’s Luxury Wine Group, told the magazine that the company is fired up about working with such a renowned and respected vigneron.
“There aren’t many Randall Grahms in the world – when we have the opportunity to work with this level of talent and original thinking, we jump at it,” Gallo said.
“We can bring forward the vision of some of the most interesting and creative people in wine. Collaborating with Randall is a unique opportunity to showcase his and our best work,” he added.