Music and Wine Pairing: Gilbert Cellars 2009 Allobroges Wahluke Slope with Rodriguez - Inner City Blues

Today I am pairing the music of Rodriguez with the wine of Gilbert Cellars.

Pairing Music with Wine is obviously a personal opinion, biased just like recommending a favorite wine. Either you get it or you don't. This week I've been telling friends and posting on twitter and facebook about a musician I just discovered. My buzz of the week. Actually, a lot of people this year have been "discovering" the music of Sixto Rodriguez, aka "Sugar Man." On Sunday, 60 Minutes feature story was on Rodriguez, and a 2012 Sundance Film Festival awarded movie about his life "Searching for Sugar Man." His music is 40 years old.

FYI: Rodriguez, aka Sugar Man, is on tour. He's playing in Seattle tonight and Portland, Oregon tomorrow. Sadly, I can't make it to either performance. I have a link to his Tour Dates, maybe you can go. He's touring the U.S. and then Europe.

Gilbert Cellars 2009 Allobroges red wine is also a recent discovery for me. I knew nothing about them before this summer. The first week of July, I visited family and friends on Bainbridge Island and Seattle. One of the treasures I returned home with, was the bottle of 2009 Allobroges my cousin José gifted me. It was surprising we did not open it, well maybe not, tequila featured rather prominently that visit. I took the bottle home and put it away in the wine fridge. When I opened the bottle a month later, I was so enamored of it, I completely neglected to take notes. It happens. Thank you José, loved the wine.

It seems an appropriate pairing then, that I bought a bottle of Gilbert Cellars 2009 Allobroges and enjoyed it while listening to the music of Rodriguez. Both, new to me discoveries: serious, meaningful music and wine.

Gilbert Cellars is on my must visit list. If you have the opportunity, I strongly encourage you to visit Gilbert Cellars. They have a tasting room in Yakima, Washington. About an hour drive for me. Established in 2004, their production is at 5,000 cases annually and they have 70 acres of Estate Vineyards. Browsing their website, I see many wines I want to taste. They even have a Washington Pinot Noir. Really.

Photo wine
Photo: Gilbert Cellars 2009 Allobroges, Wahluke Slope.
Gilbert Cellars 2009 Allobroges Wahluke Slope
Gilbert Cellars describes their 2009 Allobroges as a medium bodied wine, inspired by the Celtic tribes of the Rhone Valley.

Tasting Notes
Deep garnet color and pretty tasty at opening. It had pepper, pencil shavings, blackberry, blueberry, a nice mouth feel, slightly dry, with dark fruit and cola on the finish. Balanced and tasty. After only 30 minutes, this wine opened up, with a fuller mouth feel, more intense flavor, tannin and acidity. Dang, wonderful and enjoyable. Open and drink if you want, it will be good. Open and decant and you will enjoy a rewarding Yakima, Washington wine experience. A suitable wine to drink now or to cellar for a few more years. Recommended.

Blend: Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre, Counoise.
21 months in 21% new oak barrels (80% French & 20% American).
Closure: natural cork.
ABV: 14.7%
Paid: $19
Justin Neufeld, Winemaker

The Gilbert Family has been in the Yakima Valley since 1897, when Horace Mark Gilbert moved his family from Geneseo, Illinois and started farming apples and other produce. H.M and his wife Marion's home place is owned by the Yakima Valley Museum. The family business has passed down from father to son since then and Gilbert Orchards is owned and operated by brothers Curtiss and Cragg Gilbert today.

Tasting Room
Monday - Thursday 11am - 9pm, Friday Noon - 11pm
Saturday Noon - 10pm, Sunday Noon - 5pm
(Closed Sundays Jan 1 until Spring Barrel Weekend in April)
5 North Front Street
Yakima, WA 98901

Monday - Thursday 4pm-6pm
$2 off wines by the glass!

Albums of Sixto Rodriguez
Rodriguez only released two albums. Cold Fact in 1970 and Coming From Reality in 1971. Now available is the release of the Soundtrack to the movie Searching for Sugar Man. These are albums worth owning. I purchased Cold Fact and Coming From Reality on iTunes.

"...Going down a dusty, Georgian side road

 I wonder

 The wind splashed in my face

 can smell a trace

 Of thunder"   Artist: Sixto Rodriguez lyrics, Title: Inner City Blues



  1. We saw Rodriguez at the Triple Door in 2009. Awesome! Both his albums are great. I didn't know he was playing in Seattle last night. I'd have loved to see him again.

    I have to admit, however, I was drinking beer, not wine at that show. The Allobroges sounds like one I'm going to have to try. Thanks for a great post.

  2. I just realized the video you posted was from that 2009 Triple door show. Nice!

  3. Appreciate the comments. Gilbert Cellars is producing great wine. Yeah, would have loved to see Rodriguez perform. Maybe Bumbershoot? Who do we talk to? Serious.

  4. I love Rodriguez and saw the film at Sundance---then we all went Rodriguez crazy! Two of my friends talked their way into the live show there but we got stopped two from the door, so defied the fire marshal and crowded into the doorway in the freezing cold to hear. Am stalking his local (or flyable) shows so maybe will see you there! I will be on the lookout for the Allobroges as well!

  5. Liza, saw the film this weekend. Loved it. His music is stuck in my head. Would love to see a live show.


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