Wine Tasting April 30 ’10
Let’s face it: whatever it is that John Morgan is doing to make his Lost River wines taste so good, the crowd around here gives a rousing “Yea!” Every time we pour these wines, we see eyes rolling back into heads, lips smacking and mmmm-ing, and general hearty notes of approval. This is the wonderful thing about wine– well one of many wonderful things: you taste a wine and think “hmm, not bad…” with sounds of pleasure, and then you have another one and this time you go “MMmm, nice…” cuz that’s really pretty yummy, and yet you can still taste something else that evokes a quiet savoring pause followed by a “mmmMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmm,” and that really says it all. So our kudos to Lost River for generating those kinds of noises on a regular basis.
Btw, on May 20 Liam of LR will be pouring wine at a benefit wine dinner at the Willows, and trust me, you will like the wines, so you might think about signing up. We tried to get Liam to stay over Friday night and do a special event for us as well, but has to hotfoot back to Winthrop to open his own wine shop.
For all of you fashion-conscious visitors, here is Myra in another great outfit! There is a lesson to be learned here: what if every time you got dressed you made it a Celebration? What would that feel like? It is certainly not something I have often experienced (lemme see, should I wear the clean jeans today, and the Tshirt without any holes…?), but the way she does it is such a Creation of the Moment that it just spills out onto everyone, a really nice thing, not quite a Costume– it’s more sincere than that, an elemental expression of the Feeling of the Moment. Mary Jane does it, too, as you will see if you browse through the archives– but most of us don’t put a lot of energy into what we wear when stepping out of the house for Nothing Special. So all I’m saying is that really every moment is Special, and at some level deserves its own little Celebration, and it makes everyone Smile.
SECOND NOTICE! We will be gone May 9-26, but the SHOP WILL BE OPEN, manned (actually mostly womaned) by stalwart volunteers. I bet it will be fun, hate to miss it! But hopefully we will be blogging daily from Italia to stay in touch and share the trip, which is largely aimed at food, wine, and vineyards!
This week’s wines:
2008 Tabali Sauvignon Blanc Reserva Chile $10 WS 90pts
A great value, exhibiting a fragrant bouquet of mineral, passion fruit, and citrus. This leads to a mouth-watering, vibrant, lengthy Sauvignon that way over-delivers for its humble price.
Santa Digna Carmenere 07 Chile $10
Chalky notes of toasty plums, blueberry, raisin give way to finish of dark prunes and spicy white pepper…a great value!
Terre Rouge Tête-à-Tête Syrah 02 California $16
A likable and out-of-the-ordinary blend, with aromas of cedar, plum and spice and zesty yet supple flavors of licorice, coffee and blackberry.
Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon ’04 Washington $35
Intense, dark fruits; Red Mountain mineral aromas; sweet spiciness; and a faint hint of menthol; elegant, smooth grip, balance, and velvet on the palate that lasts through the long finish.
Wine Tasting April 24 ’10
The wine of the week last week had to be the Alto Moncayo Veraton ‘04. We have had a case or two of this around for some while now, and I never seem to get around to pouring it. Parker gave it 93 points: 100% Grenache ; A brilliant wine, reminiscent of a top-notch Chateauneuf du Pape. Full-bodied, with gamy, meaty notes, hints of roasted herbs, plenty of kirsch liqueur and blackberries, and loads of glycerin and alcohol…a stunning wine. I think everyone who tasted it would agree that it was seductive and satisfying, I think we have another case around somewhere…Read more
Sometime last June we had a visit from some folks who came all the way from Kansas, and no, they were not transported by a, you know, tornado, at least as far as I know. The family includes Katie (Mom), Carly (Huxley grad in Environmental Ed, now studying nursing at Seattle U), younger daughter Jessie at Whatcom (just turned 21!) and jewelry craftsman and family friend Leon. Jessie gets “quote of the day” with “You have to bring your ‘A game’ everyday.” I don’t know what it means. but I LIKE it!
Also visiting for the first time since New Year’s(when they closed on their Lummi hideaway) were Blake and Beth, now released from Bondage by the End of Tax Season, he being the special accountant you call when the IRS decides to audit you and you cry HELP! and Blake is the guy who shows up. It is a pretty good photo of his Very Cool hat, but not so good of his shirt which was absolutely Awesome!
Also looking good as usual are Ben and Ian in an affable chat, and Myra in perhaps her funnest outfit of the year (so far!)
countdown: First notice: Volcanos notwithstanding, we are taking off for two weeks in Tuscany in May. The plan is for Brian and Leigh to take over the shop while we are gone, with guest wine pourers ex-islander Lauren F on May 15 and Judy A on May 25. Mark your calendars!
this week’s wines
Klee White table wine ’06 Oregon $14
Dripping notes of ripe pear, honey, and pineapple, on a soft, dry frame, with a refreshing acidity.
Portteus Bistro Red 07 Washington $10
From Zillah comes this satisfying blend of 44% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon; lots of dark fruit at a bargain price.
Domaine Faury Vin de pays Collines Rhodaniennes syrah (France) $20:
Gorgeous, sense-filling, rich, and sensuous, a current favorite!
Lost River Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $23: Smooth and silky with notes of ripe raspberries, black currants and spice.
Wine Tasting April 17 ’10
By far the most memorable aspect of last weekend’s tasting was a little wine called Palama Arcangelo Salice Salentino, selling for $11. The wine region is way down on the boot of Italy. The grapes are Negro amaro and Primitivo, a predecessor of the fruit-intensive zinfandel. It’s not complicated, but it is quite enchanting. The wine is expansive, rich, and robust, with aromas of steeped plums, cracked pepper, blackberry confit and cinnamon. What was memorable was our first group of guests, three couples and a couple of small children on the Island (Willows) celebrating a birthday. (somehow in the excitement I didn’t get a picture of them…doh! )They ALL liked this wine, to the extent that early on they had decided as a group to buy all I had (13 bottles). What ensued was a long conversation about who would get how much. Trust me, it was VERY Confusing, but somehow they worked it all out, and all of our little supply Went Away. Working on getting more….stay tuned!
All YOU need to know is that they cleaned out every bottle. and YOU might have missed the Wine of your LIfe! Ha!
The other interesting theme was that one of the women in the same group made an absolutley Wonderful Face when I said the word “chardonnay” (Extreme Distaste). In particular we were tasting the Byron chard, which I happen to like Very Much– it IS from California, and it IS on the oaky side, but it also has rich, ripe fruit, a very seductive mouthfeel, and, well, is deeply satisfying. So this guest (I am SO bad with names!) was in Disbelief that she actually enjoyed a chard…I LOVE it when that happens! They may even have bought a couple…!
Then AFTER that a whole bunch of other stuff happened, something of a blur, with some lovely and zany people who really seemed ( I am not making this up!) to be having a really good time, and as everyone knows, that is the ONLY criterion for getting your picture in this strange little blog!
This week’s wines:
Martorana Insolia White 2008 (Italy) $16
Lush, aromatic, crisp, and lovely with fish, fowl, or pasta…I know we just poured this a few weeks ago, but I just found the next wine buried in the cellar….
Martorana Colonna nero d’avola/syrah Italy $13
Lush, ripe, fleshy aromas and flavors of ripe plum, Moroccan spice, mincemeat, and sweet ginger.
Apaltagua Envero carmenere 04 Chile $14
Deep ruby. Explosively fruity, with strong raspberry, cherry jam and redcurrant scents, with a complicating note of cinnamon. Lush and silky on the palate, with a pure raspberry quality that’s extremely easy to like. Pliant, suave and elegant, with a long, sweet red berry tone to the finish and very soft tannins.
Alto Moncayo Veraton ’04 Spain $28
100% Grenache ; A brilliant wine, reminiscent of a top-notch Chateauneuf du Pape. Full-bodied, with gamy, meaty notes, hints of roasted herbs, plenty of kirsch liqueur and blackberries, and loads of glycerin and alcohol…a stunning wine.
Wine Tasting April 11 ’10
It’s been a crazy week in the “day job,” the one that has been keeping this place afloat. Plus something going on every evening, no time for blogging. So here it is near midnight, and at the very least you should have some idea of what we will be pouring this weekend, while last weekend fades into the kaleidoscopic past.
Two things stand out, though. One is that there were only four truffles left over after pre-orders, i.e., one box. If I hadn’t stolen one (just the inside, at that) on Thursday night, I would have missed out altogether. I think you all need to lobby Pat and Janice to make a LOT MORE of these scrumptious treasures.
Second, we had a rare visit from longtime friend and former colleague Rene and longtime Island friend Randy. Here we have one photo of them with Bobbie, who stopped by to pick up her truffles and stayed for the tasting.
By the way, Pat and I are booked for two weeks in Italy in May…we are trying to set up substitute hosts for you on the two Saturdays we will miss, and hope to find some way to blog to you from Italy so you can share the trip with us. More on that later!
This week’s wines:
Byron chardonnay ‘06 (California) $19
Supple, rich and creamy up front, with fig, marshmallow and floral-honeysuckle flavors that are pure, clean and mouthwatering; nice balance of fruit and oak.
Condesa Crianza ’04 Spain $10
This supple red shows balance and density, on a modest scale, with black cherry, tobacco and leaf flavors and a spicy, toasty finish.
Salice Salentino Arcangelo 08 (Italy) $11
80% negroamaro, 20% Primitivo; expansive, rich, and robust aromas of steeped plums, cracked pepper, blackberry confit and cinnamon.
Marquis Philips Shiraz 07 (Australia) $14
These guys wrote the book on Big Shiraz–Fruit forward, with mouth-filling notes of crushed strawberry, blackberry, and dark chocolate.