Lummi Island Wine Tasting August 29
A million or so years ago when I was a young naval officer, the unwritten rule was that conversation in the wardroom (officers’ mess) should avoid the three controversial subject areas of sex, religion, and politics to avoid offending anyone. Nowadays, these are often popular and lively topics of speculation and debate, especially among familiars.
The reason this is on my mind is that it was a quiet day in the wine shop on Saturday, relatively speaking, beginning with a nice couple visiting from Chicago. He was reserved and cordial; she was lively and outgoing. Shortly after they arrived, Anne and Jerry (our most loyal “regulars”–see Anne’s blog) stopped in, including Anne’s daughter Clare, currently an Anglican seminarian. So it seemed natural to move into a conversation about religion, which moved to social justice issues, which moved to general values, which moved to politics.
As far as I know, our out of town guests were not offended, but one wants everyone to feel welcome, so one gets concerned sometimes. Ah, perhaps it is always a risk with a spirited debate and an interesting discussion…it is probably the main reason our shop is in existence, an ongoing salon, fueled by good wine, where we can enjoy musing about anything and everything.
Our other new guests were Kim and Carolyn from Vashon Island. Pat lived there for a time in the Wayback years, when carrying her first and only child who is now forty. We are impressed that these charming young women are not only married (in Canada) but have gone to the further trouble to have the same last name, even if they can’t “marry” in Washington. They still have a bit of “newlywed glow” about them, makes you smile to be around them.
In some way the wines seemed secondary to the day, but all were tasty and appreciated. We cleared the last of the 2004 Juan Gil, which opens the door to the ’06, which is even better! The Montinore white blend contunued to please, and the Emilio Moro “Resalso” tinto fino (i.e., tempranillo) won some advocates with its chewy freshness. But the Marchetti Rosso Conero montepulciano was the star, with its smooth texture and dark fruit. I am increasingly impressed by each wine I taste from this Italian artisan winemaker!
This week we are pulling a few more mature reds off the shelves:
- Legoe Bay Chardonnay ’06 : Washington Crisp lemon-lime, green apple, and grapefruit with a clean finish, our locally produced Chardonnay is a terrific value. $10
- Casale Vecchio Montepulciano ’06 Italy Strong ruby red colour with violet hues, richly fruity with a strong aroma of wild berries and prunes and warming, spicy notes from ageing in oak barriques. Soft, well-balanced and perfectly harmonious. $16
- Neyers Grenache Hudson Vineyard ’02 California Intense and vibrant, with a showy fruitiness up front, this offers snappy, grapey scents that echo wild berry and blackberry, and finishes with dense, complex flavors. $23
- Canon de Sol Syrah ’02 Washington Big jammy dark-fruit flavors, complemented by toasty spicy accents. $20
Wine Tasting August 22
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It was a quieter day at the wine shop on Saturday, more amenable to conversation than some recent Saturdays, very pleasant. Nancy B came by with her grown-up twins Sierra and Christopher both visiting with their respective partners. It’s always a little startling how much time and experience have happened in the lives of younger adults in a couple of years compared to when we are older. As if the soup of our lives tends to dilute if we don’t keep adding a little fat here, a little spice there, and keep ladling deep to bring up the goodies that may have sunk to the bottom and been forgotten. You know, a piece of chicken, a mushroom, the odd chunk of rutabaga…
All the wines showed well on Saturday, with the rosada and the verdejo fillling the lighter side of the increasingly sunny afternoon, and the the OS blend and the Ojai syrah adding structure and dimensionality.
Took several pictures but they came out a bit blurry; here’s Pat, wearing her new “”grapron” (gift last week from Kir) and Nancy wearing a nice smile…!
This Saturday we have another nice lineup, hope you can make it!
- Montinore Borealis White Oregon $10
back by popular demand! Grapefruit, pineapple, peach, and quince with aromas of fresh flowers
- Emilio Moro Finca Resalso 07 Spain $13
enticing perfume of mineral, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it reveals an elegant personality, savory, spicy flavors, good depth, and a fruit-filled finish.
- Juan Gil 04 Spain $14:
This rich, full-bodied, inky/purple-tinged cuvee exhibits aromas of scorched earth, blueberries, licorice, and pepper, a savory, layered texture, and remarkable opulence for a Mourvedre
- Marchetti Rosso Conero ’03 Italy :$22
made only from “free run juice” with enticing notes of exotic spice, vanilla, dried cranberry, and bitter, dark chocolate.
Wine Tasting August 15
Let’s begin with kudos to all involved in making the first ever Lummi Island Energy Fair a success last weekend. Liz Marshall spearheaded the operation; Ria Harboe made the “Recycled Art Show” happen, and lots of FOIL (Friends of the Island Library) volunteers (especially Pat!) put in hours setting up, making signs, and organizing for the event. Well done!
One display that drew lots of attention was the Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) brought up from Seattle by Keith Hughes and family. About a dozen people were interested enough in the units to sign up for site assessments on Sunday. Also, the whole family likes wine, and came by the shop after the Energy Fair to continue the discussion over last weekend’s wines, which were all showing very well, with the Arrowood Syrah a particular favorite—the kind of wine that makes us all love wine!
This week features two light summer favorites along with a couple of hefty reds…something to fit both the warm days that still happen and that first little tingle of fall beginning to appear in the deepening blue of the August sky.
- Las Brisas Verdejo 06 Spain $9
Tingling acidity that amplifies its lime, green apple and almond flavors. A light spritz adds to the nervy character. Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Viura.
- Borsao Rosado 08 Spain $8
Aromas of strawberry and rhubarb; a light, dry, nicely concentrated rose, refreshing and crisp on the palate…built for summer afternoons!
- OS Winery “BSH” 04 Washington $28
Deep cabernet aromas of cassis and leather; great balance of fruit and acidity; sumptuous flavors of black fruit, currants and coffee, with rich soft tannins
- Ojai Syrah 05 California $24
Juicy, up-front style; delicious cassis and cherry fruit interwoven with licorice, camphor, and pepper
Wine tasting preview August 8
Last Saturday was nuts, as has been the summer trend. But this time the crowd was spread out over the entire afternoon, instead of concentrating around late afternoon. We started with a couple of big parties, the first arriving mostly by bicycle, but accompanied by their Mother Ship, a gigantic pickup truck well equipped to meet the many challenges of bicycling on Lummi Island. We were their last stop, a good choice, because it is mostly a downhill coast to the ferry from our place.
Before they left, another large group appeared, so that we were opening second bottles by 2:30, a definite first, and were well into third bottles by closing time. It is not surprising that we are becoming a Saturday afternoon destination, cuz where else can you get 8 ounces of pretty good wine for five bucks? In restaurants these days you pay $6.50 a 4-oz glass for schlop (is that a word?) you wouldn’t feed your armadillo. Come to think of it, we should probably charge a lot more for our tastings…but I digress…
“So long” to Kir and David as they head back to Salem…like, why not just move here..??
NOTE: DON’T FORGET THE FOIL Library Energy Fair FROM 11-4 AT THE LIBRARY SATURDAY AFTERNOON–top-notch speakers on wind and solar power, recycle your old TV’s and computers for free (sorry, no old MICE!)… AND Livvy will be selling her wonderful (drool…smack…) pastries and savories at the event (make a note, she sells out in mere MINUTES! ) And we will be open till six so you don’t have to miss either event!
This Saturday we have some lovely wines for you to try:
Three winds Chardonnay 2008 (France) $9
Soft, round and creamy with flavors of melon, pear, apricot and a mineral and smoky character…a great buy!
Maryhill Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley 2005 (Washington) $18
Showing intense tobacco, tar, and leather character, it’s a real powerhouse that cries for a rich and savory food pairing, and with a little fat to evoke the cherry, blackberry, and licorice notes on the finish.
Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cab Sauv 2003 (Chile) $18
A full-bodied and expressive red, with plenty of berry, red plum and chocolate-spice flavors. There are nice mineral and cedar notes mixed in, with fine tannins on the finish.
Special Treat: Arrowood Sara lee’s Vineyard Syrah 2002 (California) $36 (Parker 93-96 pts)
“A fabulous effort; inky/purple-colored, with a glorious perfume of lilacs intermixed with blackberries, melted asphalt, and notions of bacon, smoke, and toast, this rich, opulent, voluptuously-textured Syrah exhibits great ripeness, purity, and richness as well as a layered, multidimensional finish. It should last and evolve for a decade.”
Poderi Elia Moscato d’Asti 2008 (Italy) $20 (dessert)
A minor revelation in the mouth; floral sweetness, as if sifted through flint and honey, with delicate, lovely bubbles and a color that loves candlelight; a bit addicting, so must be enjoyed with caution! Perfect with powdered chocolate cake, bleu cheese and crisp apples, or all by itself.