The Austin Chronicle

Wine of the Week

Rockin' Wines from the proprietors of a 154-year-old winery

Reviewed by Wes Marshall, March 23, 2012, Food

One of the highlights of a visit to the Sonoma, Calif., wine country is a trip to the Gundlach Bundschu winery. At a mere 154 years old, it exudes Old World charm and cozy bonhomie. It is also the home of some very profound wine-making under the supervision of winemaker Keith Emerson and CEO Jeff Bundschu. It's all very classy and Euro-centric, especially its opulent Cabernet Sauvignons and syrupy Zinfandels. You can imagine a gowned sylph playing a Mozart miniature in the background – or maybe even Joanna Newsom.

Imagine our surprise when we discovered that their new winery, Rockus Bockus, seems more appropriate for The In Sound From Way Out!-era Beastie Boys, offering a wine that maybe Snoop, Wiz, and Bruno could down while doing "Young, Wild and Free." But here's the ironic thing: I've poured this wine twice in blind tastings for sophisticated wine lovers. Several master sommeliers and even Rex Pickett, the author of Sideways and Vertical, all praised Rockus Bockus ($15). It's made from Sonoma fruit, always a good thing, and the team made the bold decision to avoid a single varietal wine, instead creating a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The result is a big, juicy wine with lovely blackberry and black-pepper aromas that's ideal for grilled meats. You can find Rockus Bockus at some of our more rockin' wine shops like East End Wines and Whip In, as well as the ever-hip Whole Foods.

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