California Wine Tasting - Rock Wall - Tannat 2015

California Wine Tasting - Rock Wall - Tannat 2015

Wed, 09/15/2021 - 10:00 -- johnk

Let's enjoy a little California Wine Tasting with a bottle of Rock Wall Wine Company's 2015 Tannat. First a little bit about the winemaker Shauna Rosenblum who for Rock Wall Wine Company. She learned to make wine from her epic father Kent Rosenblum. Shauna literally grew up in the cellar and spent her childhood in wineries and vineyards where she worked and learned all the facets of the winemaking business. Shauna has a Master’s degree in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute. As an undergraduate, at California College of Arts and Crafts she became very interested in chemistry through the ceramics glaze making process.  She realized there were similarities in the ceramics and winemaking processes as far as chemistry and blending. This realization lead to an epiphany that winemaking was art! I have driven by Rock Wall a couple of times in the past while in the area, unfortunately, each time my timing was off so I still haven't met Shauna in person though  I have learned a little bit about her throuh one of her wines Rock Wall 2015 Tannatand afew exchanges on Social Media. I hope to meet Shauna in the months to come.


Interestingly while visiting winemaker Nick Marshall of Old 44 Cellars outside of Palo Cedro, tasting his wines and exchanging stores when Shauna’s name popped up. I mentioned that I occasionally do a quick search at a nearby Grocery Outlet. He kind of laughed when I told him I had come across a bottle of Tannat from Rock Wall but still had not opened it. Shauna and Rock Wall are known to put out some dynamite wines. With a big smile Nick Indicated he had too but had bought either one or two cases of the wine knowing full well the great wines Shauna puts out. Unfortunately I was a little bit slow and I just have the one bottle.

With the Pandemic and its impact on winemakers and wineries it is not surprising that some wineries that you would never, or nearly never find at a discount are out there. Without their tasting rooms open for such a long period of time some smaller wineries have skipped a year of production. Others have made various adjustments where they could, compensating for lack of visitors. I would have never expected to find a wine from Rock Wall Wine Company at Grocery Outlet, but Eureka!



The Tannat grape finds its main home in the Southwest France. There, it is used to make full-bodied, rustic and brambly reds, according to our Tannat Wine Reviews. Over the last several decades, Tannat has broadened its horizons and is now grown and vinified in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States. In fact, it has become the most prominent and widely grown varietal in Uruguay and is used in every style from fortified reds to sweet rosés. However, in examining our own Tannat Wine Ratings, it is the dry red wine style of Tannat that is held in the highest regard. Depending on where the wine is made and the amount of oak used and time in the barrel can have a good deal of influence on the finished wine. 

Rock Wall 2015 Tannat

This is a beautiful full-bodied red with delightful blackberry and dark plumb on the nose and the palate. The Tannat has gripping tannins, beautiful blackberry, dried fruit, black plum, and dark chocolate. This is wonderfully structured wine and it would pair well with dishes with high protein and rich in fat. Now let’s focus a little more about the wine itself! The grapes for this Tannat come from Yolo County, where the weather is optimal for creating softer tannins in the finished wine. As the wine passes from the glass to your palate you mouth starts to get very excited from the front to the back as you detect fresh cappuccino, dark chocolate, rich blackberry is very apparent to the nose. As you continue to indulge yourself in this delightful wine flavors of ripe blueberry, pipe tobacco a hint of rose hips.

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