“Rocketman” & Cliff Lede Rock Blocks Cabernet on This Week’s “Cogill Wine & Film” Podcast

This week’s “Cogill Wine & Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast, on reVolver Podcasts we salute Elton John and the new release, “Rocketman” detailing the highs and lows of his life from childhood to celebrated artist, and we are all in.

To pair, the latest Rock Blocks wine “Soul Fire” from Napa’s Cliff Lede Winery, along with the current art exhibition the winery is hosting from long time lyricist to Elton John, Bernie Taupin. More on both below.

To listen to the show, click here, or listen through your favorite podcast site, including Spotify, iTunes, IHeartRadio or Google Play. Cheers and Aloha!

The Film: “Rocketman”

Or, should we call this, “The Perils Of Bad Parenting”

In many ways, “Rocketman,” is a better film than “Bohemian Rhapsody” but who needs to compare since both films play well with audiences, and feature some of the finest rock and roll music ever made.

Taron Egerton (Eddie The Eagle) plays music legend, Elton John, as a young genius living a miserable British life with a horrible father, and a mean-spirited mother played-well by Bryce Dallas Howard (Pete’s Dragon, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom).

But Elton John’s life takes a turn for the better when he meets his eventual lyricist, Bernie Taupin, and they begin to write some of the most iconic pop songs in history. Taupin is played Oscar-caliber by Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong).

There is a beautiful scene where Elton and Bernie travel to Los Angeles for the piano man’s first American gig at the legendary Troubador Club in West Hollywood. It’s a magical night for his career, his music, and the audience.

Director Dexter Fletcher never shies away from the sex, drugs, and excessive behavior that permeated Elton John’s early career and almost killed him in the process. He has now been sober for more than two decades. It’s an honest look and reminds us that we often pay a steep emotional price for the things said to us by family members who do not have our best intentions in mind.

“Rocketman” excels in its musical numbers, which are elaborate, thoughtful, insightful, and fun to watch. It’s quite different from the typical “making of a band” movie and more like “La La Land,” with great piano playing, performing, and lyrics. Egerton is just as good as Oscar-winner Rami Malek and sings his own songs.

And finally, “Rocketman” director Dexter Fletcher should know a lot about rock and roll biopics. He rescued “Bohemian Rhapsody” after original director Bryan Singer was fired two thirds into principal photography. HIs latest is both art and misery, joy and agony, deliciously played out on stage and in the personal life of Elton John.

“Madman Across The Water” still stirs my soul.

The wine – Cliff Lede Rock Blocks “Soul Fire”

From the first note of “Rocketman” I was intrigued and, as each musical masterpiece revealed itself I became more and more elated. To pair with this musical wonder, a nod to lyricist and dear friend, Bernie Taupin, whose current art exhibition looking back on his fifty-year career with Elton John is on display this month at the Napa Valley winery, Cliff Lede.

Music fan Cliff Lede loves a good beat almost as much as a good glass, naming each vineyard block of his expansive Stags Leap District AVA winery in Napa after his favorite artist or song when he purchased the storied property in 2002 and began replanting. When those vineyards came online he began to handpick the best blocks, that when blended, would create the unique interpretation of that year’s vintage, showcasing the story of place found in each vineyard block, and how, through blending a complete, harmonious wine is revealed.

Fast-forward to Backstage, his exclusive private tasting area at the winery filled with music memorabilia, a consistently great music mix and rotating exhibits from some of the most iconic personalities in the world of music. This month the winery’s Backstage experience will host the Northern California premiere of “Reflections: The Art of Bernie Taupin” featuring a collection of original works and hand-signed limited editions created as a tribute to his 50-year partnership with Elton John. Visitors may view the exhibit throughout the month of June. Details on how to view the exhibit on the Cliff Lede website, here.

Can’t make it to Napa this month, consider a bottle of the current Rock Blocks release from the winery, “Soul Fire” Cabernet Sauvingon produced from The Yardbirds “Heart Full of Soul” block in the hillside Poetry vineyard and from The Doors’ “Light My Fire” in their Twin Peaks vineyard. The two unique blocks meld together to create a structured, sophisticated wine with layers of black cherry, black fig, toasted spice, milk chocolate and earthy truffle.

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