Spent a little time today speaking with Tony Rynders of Tony Rynders Consulting, Tendril Wine Cellars /Child’s Play Wines, Tour de Force Wine Co. Some may also recognize Tony as the former winemaker for Domaine Serene, back in the early 2000s when they were basically the most highly decorated Oregon winery. Pretty serious, upper end wine maker, working in an area of production that I generally prefer to personally and professionally drink. He also spent time at Argyle, Hogue, and various wineries around the world.
The focus of our conversation was about some wines that Tony had produced and had an opportunity to sell as a private label; something we will work with from time to time, but not too often. He had some samples sent out to me and we tasted over the phone.
I have never met Tony face to face, but he was very approachable over the phone and we discussed the market situation on the East Coast and the ins-and-outs of the wholesale network as well as the retail landscape, a bit. The wines are great, unfortunately he had already sold the one that seemed to be most viable for me from a pricing point of view, but we are working to see what opportunities are available down the road for me and my group.
Along with the "opportunity" wines, Tony had forwarded out a bottle of the 2012 Tendril and 2014 Child's Play Pinot Noirs - these notes are below. The main label he produces right now is Tendril, and Child's Play is a slightly lower price-point item geared to the on- and off-premise markets. Tony's wines are great, but generally not cheap. The Child's Play Pinot Noir would be a retail item in the $30+ range, and Tendril Pinot Noir is more in the mid-$50s. Again, Tony is generally a premium wine-maker, and his wines range up the $100 retail level.
Unfortunately, at least for the time being the wines are not available in any of my markets (CT, MA, FL), but Tony is looking to possibly expand. Issue being though is all the wines are relatively small in production, so not a lot of juice to go around. Tendril does have a limited wine club, which for East Coast buyers would probably be the easiest route in obtaining these wines, and if the 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (which I am enjoying right now) is any indication of the other wines, then I think any serious Pinot Noir enthusiast should take a hard look at getting on this list.
Here are the tasting notes for the Tendril and Child's Play Pinot Noirs...
A 25 year drinks industry expert, Brian has worked on just about every side of the beverage business, specializing in wine & spirits education, staff training, creative consulting, and of course service. He lives and works in Connecticut, where the number of working Somm's is limited, but he hopes through the effort of this site and its related events, that will change.
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