By Rick RIozza

Oh Yeah!—All Right!Are you gonna be in my dreams tonite! It may well be, that I’m beginning to lose it when those wine dreams start sprouting. But before I fall off the edge, allow me to cause you to be the coolest wine person on your block.

I always get a great response when alerting our wine community to a “new” and delicious wine in town. There are some people who tend to get in a rut, buying similar wines all the time—hey! I’m always buying Chianti because it’s what I like, but the point is: we should always be up for trying out new wines and new labels.

Serving “new”, interesting, exciting wines to friends and guests at your gatherings, pool parties, luncheons, and dinners clearly sends the message of your humble but fantastic wine sensibility—it’s a win-win for everyone, and that is cool!


The wine of my dreams right now is the 2013Syrah Rosé produced by Casey Flat Ranch Vineyards & Winery. It’s a very sexy rosé that can’t contain itself—indeed, it’s constantly blushing.

It’s like summertime in a bottle—as far as good memories and all that fun-in-the-sun stuff; and it owns the colors of a romantic sunset. One can describe this as a serious rosé by the fact that it is not a fruit bomb nor is it cloying, but, it’s as much fun as a bottle of wine can be. The wine is not sweet but carries fruity nuances of wild strawberries, a touch of cherries here and raspberries there, and notes of cranberries, spices, tea, and traces of herbs, like that of Provence.

The wine is both elegant and fresh. It is a gregarious wine looking for friends; and, it can be contemplative as well—it’s definitely a taste of the good life.

Ahh—now you understand why this rosé is the hit of the party. To be enjoyed lightly chilled by itself or as the perfect foil to whatever you’re eating because rosé is the perfect food wine for all seasons. Have fun—try it with radishes & butter, crudités, tapenade toast, roast chicken or grilled salmon.

And the news here just gets better! You and I can enjoy this wine next week, April 24th at 5pm at Palm Desert’s 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro, 73101 Hwy 111 (760) 837-9600. Come join and listen to Brenda Bullington, V.P. of Marketing, who will be pouring both the rosé and five additional delicious wines from Casey Flat Ranch.

Almost every wine enthusiast I talk to loves 3rd Corner Wine. They carry a wonderful international selection of wine; they continually put on a Saturday 1-3pm Wine Tasting featuring 10 wines for 10 dollars; and think of their wonderful wine pairing dinners, showcasing premium wines from the best wineries in California and worldwide, and, especially the innovative cuisine of famed Executive Chef, Matt Smith. Geez—it sounds like this place has everything going for it!

Casey Flat Ranch Vineyards & Winery is located in the Capay Valley of Yolo County, which is just east of Napa Valley. We were in that area last summer and it is beautiful wine country. The high elevations of the vineyards provide those cool temperatures like those in the sub-regions in Napa. Capay Valley even has a cooler daytime average than St. Helena, which is only 22 miles west. This makes for exquisite fruit and wine with great complexities and balance.

And adding to the Old West charm and the Western heritage of the area, Casey Flat Ranch possesses and is a breeder of its own herd of Longhorn Cattle. They’re beautiful animals with impressive horns and that bossa nova lumbering gait. The area is a delightful place to visit.

The vineyards maintain a combination of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals that are designed for great yields and great blends! You guys are in for a tasting treat. See—this is why you read this column: we put you way ahead in what’s trending in delicious California wine.

And Hot of the Press! The 2010 Casey Flat Ranch Estate Red Wine, and, their 2010 Open Range Red Wine, both have just received Double Gold Awards from the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Forbes Magazine wrote of the CFR Estate Red: “Sexy, complex and velvety with bright red fruits from a combination of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot and cabernet franc.” And the winery notes for the Open Range Red comment, “aromas of dried rose, roasted plum and olive tapenade. There are hints of clove and pepper. This is a deeply colored, full bodied wine.” (The Open Range sells for around $18!—and all the wines that will be presented are also reasonably priced.)

Did I mention that Brenda will be pouring all these wines at 3rd Corner? Get over there!

Besides these premium red wines, and the dreamy rosé, the hits keep on coming. There will be two Sauvignon Blanc: the 2012 Open Range, and the 2012 CFR Estate, along with the new kid in town, the 2013 Estate Viognier. I’ve got some great descriptions of these wines, but, I want to hear yours! Cheers! See ya there.

Rick is your sommelier-about-town hosting & entertaining at wine tastings & events. Contact