Wine Tasting Feb 27 ’10
I gotta start writing this closer to the weekend past…here I have these great photos of new visitors and draw a blank on names. Actually that was the hallmark of the day, not that I couldn’t remember names, nothing new about that (but I never forget a face or where I saw it)– we would hear steps on the stairs and about half the time last weekend faces would emerge we had never seen before. Here are Okayse (oh-kay-see…is that a gorgeous name and smile or what?)… and Ben, from Seattle, staying at the Willows.
Then we had these three Western students, and here I am blanking on names, they will just have to read this and post their names so I can update!) but I can tell you from left to right majors in somatic psych (one of my old fields), math, and, hmm, lemme see…biochem, I think. Also, another novelty for us is whenever we have to card anyone, and we did, and yes they were all 21, he most recent only last month. So young and yet so wise to find their way to Lummi Island’s premier (and only) wine tasting.
Mark is back from Argentina, and somehow also made it to Uruguay and, somehow, for a couple of days in Chile as well. We Google-mapped a satellite view of their rental on the beach in Uruguay, where I understand that fine wine actually comes out of home faucets and costs practically nothing, so Mark is talking about buying a house there and inviting us all down. I also understand that the only thing to eat in Argentina is Meat, great giant slabs of it, so you better be a carnivore. Or maybe I got a few details wrong on that, but I think I got the gist…they had a great time and want to go back to Uruguay.
This week’s wines:
Ninet de Pena Viognier ’07 France $8
Straw in color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, slate, lilac, dandelion, honeysuckle, frisee, endive, not oaky, with lots of earthy elements. On the palate, off-dry notes of nectarine, peach, & intense floral element.
Castelnoble Tinto Roble “06 Spain $8 WA 88pts
100% Tempranillo with an enticing bouquet of raspberry, blackcurrant, and spice box. Elegant on the palate, it has tons of flavor and an easy-going finish with no hard edges.
Mt. Baker Sangiovese 05 Washington $15
Rich aromas and flavors of ripe plum, truffle, and moist earth.
Donedai Cabernet Sauvignon ’04 Washington $32
Carolyn Lakewold makes tiny amounts of this very rich and lush Cabernet blend, starting with an intense scent of black cherry, cassis, and violets. Flavors are of black raspberry, black cherry, plum, and jammy cassis fruit, with hints of toasted espresso bean, toasted cocoa bean, and hints of violets.
Wine Tasting Feb 20 ’10
Let’s start with this timely News Flash about the health benefits of wine and chocolate. NOT ONLY help your heart, but also fight FAT! (I’m not making this up!): clicky I mean, AS IF we needed any other reason to get together on Saturday afternoons…it’s not wine and chocolate, it’s Health Food!
Then let’s reminisce a bit about Valentine’s Day ought-ten. Kind of a quiet day allowing nice visits with the early arrivals, including Lisa L and Robin, our neighbor a block away, possibly first time I have seen her without her baby boy…they are noticeable cuz they obviously are, like, into each other in a big way. Actually there seems to be a bit of that going around, as Nancy and Joan dropped in also, and we got this sweet photo of Joan and Sammie.
Also we were graced by an early bird from the North Country, a rare visit from Gwen (Ms Latte Dah herself) on an outing from Juneau where she moved last year.
Interesting wines last week, with the most popular vote going to the Ricardo Santos malbec, which presented well with little fanfare, but solid in its tracks, good fruit and substance, comforting like a steady hand on the shoulder, a wine to take into the wilderness with you, or, like, out on the deck, or wherever.
The Perazzeta on the other hand had a casual sophistication, not formal by any means, but definitely classy, something special, a step or two towards elegant. This seems to be a style characteristic of this small family winery in Tuscany.
This week’s wines:
Anne Amie Cuvee ‘A’ muller thurgau Oregon $14
Crisp, fresh, light, and dry, this somewhat unusual German varietal a versatile match for mildly spicy dishes.
Alberti malbec 2009 Argentina $10
This is the new vintage of one of our most popular wines, tasty, substantive, and a terrific buy; Ripe and polished, with layers of red licorice, dark cherries, raspberries and a hint licorice that all glide together through the medium-weight finish.
Chandler Reach corella 06 Washington WS 90pts $18
Super Tuscan blend of 70% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot is definitely Italian in heritage. Bright, refined and beautifully focused, this is light on its feet, with guava, berry and a hint of pear as the silky texture carries the flavors through the long, vivid finish.
Graeagle Red Wing ’03 Washington WS 90pts $20
Dense, heady and impressive for its layers of black cherry, sweet spice and peppery sage flavors on a firm foundation of refined tannins, echoing as the finish persists. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Wine Tasting Feb 13 ’10
By my standards, which are of course very high, last week’ s tasting was superb; all the wines showed very well, and there was nothing I wouldn’t be pleased to serve or share with friends. I am particularly enamored of the Atalaya, from a region of Spain I have never heard of, this producer’s first vintage. I am thinking about featuring it as a Wine of the Month. Curiously, though we sold a few bottles, for a lot of guests it didn’t stand out so much…but of course it was in very good company.
The Savanha is an unusual and interesting wine that kind of grows on you with its somewhat tarry and earthy notes and a touch of bitters like the old New England soft drink “Moxie,” a sort of root beer with a curiously appealing bitterness on the finish, attributed to gentian root, its secret ingredient supposed to be especially effective against “paralysis, softening of the brain, nervousness, and insomnia”. Its history goes back to 1876, and one rarely finds it outside New England; it is in fact the oldest continuously produced soft drink in the United States. I remember the first time I tasted it, at an aunt’s house in Maine when I was eight or nine years old. Looked like root beer…smelled like root beer…take a big swig….Whoa, Dude, Surprise and Horror as sugary expectations take a bitter turn. Definitely aimed more at adult taste sensibilities. So somehow the Savanha pinotage/ shiraz is a vaguely similar surprise, curiously appealing, that’s all I’m saying.
First-time visitors Jean and Chantal (see post) are French Canadians living in Blaine; like nostalgia for Moxie, I also have nostalgia for French Canadian accents, which one often hears in Maine, so it was a little slice of childhood to have them visit. I think they enjoyed themselves, so hopefully we will see (and hear) more of
REMINDER !!!! The truffles are made and boxed for all of you who ordered them, so don’t forget to drop by and pick them up! As usual they are AWESOME and you probably will want to keep them for yourself, not give them away as Valentine’s, but that’s a political question, you are just gonna have to work it out. There are a few extras that are not spoken for that will available on Saturday until they run out.
This week’s tasting
Secreto sauvignon blanc ’08 Chile $9
Nice weight, with fresh lemon verbena and grapefruit notes backed by a juicy finish.
Campos Reales tempranillo ’08 Spain $7
Full-flavored and very easy to drink, with notes of black pepper and bright cherry.. Great with chevre, grilled meat and tomato-based pastas.
Ricardo Santos Malbec ’07 Argentina $16
A ripe, juicy style, with a mix of raspberry and boysenberry fruit that stays fresh, while spice and licorice hints chime in on the medium-weight finish.
From the southern fringe of Montalcino comes this stunningly powerful, lush Sangiovese; aged in French oak barrels,and pushing the boundaries of the varietal; named after winemaker’s wife AND mother, he said of his wine: “I had no choice but to name it Rita!”
Wine Tasting February 6, ’10
Last week’s pinot grigio and pinot noir were really showing well, the hits of the day. I had ordered the pg because the label I had gotten before was out, and now I definitely like this one better. Also, the Panther Creek pinot noir sold out. so we are out there looking for more. It’s an interesting wine in that it is a blend (“cuvee”) of different vintages, probably because ’06 was a difficult year in Oregon. In any case, it was showing very well indeed, definitely the wine of the day.
TRUFFLE NOTE! Last chance to order for Valentines Day!
FOUR new truffles for your Valentine Day celebration. Order up boxes of 4 lovely truffles, boxed and beribboned by calling 758-2559 (Janice) or 758-2959 (Pat) to place your order. Deadline for ordering is February 8, Monday. Boxes are $5. each and will be available for pickup on February 13, Saturday, at the wine shop between 1:00 – 5:00 or by special arrangement. As usual, the truffles will be made of only the finest chocolate, organic cream, and real flavors…Island-made and delectable!
For no particular reason that I can think of, last weekend was in some way about Couples, as evidenced by the following little gallery…are they Cute or What?
and then there’s this, some kind of Odd Couple sharing a privat Joke and their Cheerleader…??? No wonder Mark (middle) is smiling, he is off to Argentina for three weeks on Sunday…And we all know Jerry doesn’t smile for No Reason at all but we also know he isn’t going to elaborate, you gotta figure it out for yourself…
This week’s tasting: dis one gonna be verrrry tasty!
Viento Riesling ’07 Washington WS89pts $14
Bright and refreshing, with a lively mouthful of pear, grapefruit and delicately floral aromas and flavors that shoot right through the balanced, barely off-dry finish.
Savanha Pinotage-Shiraz ’08 South Africa $9
Forward, with cherry jam and pomegranate notes
Atalaya ’07 Spain WA91pts $14
First release, blend of Monastrell & Garnacha; expressive bouquet of violets, spice box, leather, game, blueberry, and black cherry; lots of easy-going flavor, superb depth, complexity, and a 45-second finish.
OS Red ’06 Washington $16
Blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc; nose exhibits cedar, cassis, spice box, and violets leading to a medium-bodied, smooth-textured wine with plenty of spicy fruit.