For this week's Wine and Music post, we continue to explore the pairing potential of Willamette Valley, Oregon with a 2006 Pinot Noir accompanied by a silky smooth folk re-issue from early 70's groove wizard Rodriguez.
Cool (adjective) - moderately cold; neither warm nor cold
Willamette Valley is known for its cool climate and has been acknowledged as one of the best regions for Pinot Noir. The founders of Benton-Lane moved to Oregon from California in order to set up their shop in the best growing climate for this type of wine.
Cool (adjective) - characterized by great facility; highly skilled or clever
Rodriguez's lyrics and style epitomize the “cool” so frequently associated with the early 70's and though admittedly the 2006 Pinot and this music have over 30 years between them, and pairing “cool” is as cliché an approach as it gets, I find these two cool products are complimentary to one another and that they are an undeniable match.
Wine: Benton Lane Pinot Noir 2006
Wine Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Wine Label: Benton-Lane
Wine Year: 2006
Wine Type: Red: Pinot Noir
Wine Link: http://www.snooth.com/wine/benton-lane-pinot-noir-2006/
Benton-Lane Winery is a family owned estate which operates on the grounds of an old sheep ranch called Sunnymount. Their first vintage was in 1992 and they have since gone on to win two Top Wines in the World. Benton-Lane's environmentally conscious vineyard practices have earned them certification under the internationally sanctioned L.I.V.E (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) program, and regionally sanctioned Salmon Safe program. Benton-Lane was founded to release great Oregon Pinot Noir and they have certainly accomplished that goal.
This wine has a great spicy yet smooth character and a balanced black cherry and plum flavor. I found it to be extremely pleasant and will definitely be picking up some more. According to the company website, “This deep ruby colored pinot noir has impressive and varietal aromas of cherries, red plums, hibiscus and wild mushrooms.” I'll admit I wasn't aware of the mushrooms until reading about it after the tasting, but I did notice something else in the mix which offered a unique earthy feel.
Music Region: Detroit, Michigan
Music Label: Light In The Attic
Music Year: August 2008 / Original Release - March 1970
Music Type: Folk : Psychedelic/Rock
Music Link: http://www.lightintheattic.net
Music Description: The Rodriguez “Cold Fact” album is being re-released in mid August by uber-hip Seattle label, Light in the Attic. Rodriguez - born Sixto Rodriguez - but who referred to himself as Jesus Rodriguez, is an early 70's psychedelic folk musician who had a decent amount of success in South Africa and Australia, but has been a relative unknown in the US and Europe. Originally from Detroit, Michigan- Rodriguez's albums are full of a unique flavor, and have been described as “outspoken lyrics, unforgettable tunes and a trippy vibe.” For lack of better ways to put it, Rodriguez aged incredibly well over time.
Rumors of Rodriguez death in the late 70's sent the musician into further obscurity where he remained for many years. Only recently has his name starting surfacing again, much as a result of the re-issue of this album.
Light in the Attic has released some great albums recently but this one hits the ball out of the park. Each track is a gem, and is reminiscent of early Simon & Garfunkel or Donovon but with much more of an edge- an edge that sits closer to a Bob Dylan or a Fela Kuti. There is a obvious psychedelic slant to the album, evident from the colorful and catchy hit “Sugarman” as well as other tracks such as “This is Not a Song, Its an Outburst” and “Crucify Your Mind” but his approach does not water down the message or come off too “hippy-dippy” (a term coined comedic great George Carlin).
Including with this post is Rodriguez's popular hit single “Sugarman“. As far as I know, Snooth is the ONLY place you can download this song until the album comes out on August 19th. Extra Special Thanks to everyone at Light in the Attic for granting permission to share this track in advance of the album release and for bringing this amazing product back into the market.
Rodriguez - Sugarman - sugar_man.mp3