Wine Tasting January 29 ’10
Congratulations to our friends at Willows Inn and new chef Blaine Wetzel for their recent listing in a New York Times article entitled “10 Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride,” and yes, that means the Whole World! So if you are flying in for a few days from Tokyo or Capetown or Peoria, remember we have a great selection of wines from Washington and around the world!
Last week’s 2010 reopening was pretty quiet. I have a feeling that my Thursday night post didn’t go out, and that many of you didn’t get it till Saturday…and who reads email on Saturday?
“Quiet” at our place translates to low key and conversational– sometimes it does get loud and, as in restaurants, everyone raises their voices a little at their tables to be heard, which makes ambient noise louder, which makes everyone speak a little louder…a reinforcing feedback loop. But not last week.
I am noticing some resistance by the locals to the charms of our local Legoe Bay wines. I really enjoy the new viognier release, which we poured last week, and consider it our default white at home, it’s such a bargain. But being the only winery on this little island, all the locals have had lots of it over recent years, and perhaps it is true that familiarity breeds a certain insensitivity. Personally, I think it is a great wine for the price.
The La Quercia aglianico is another favorite, and it also was showing very well; this is another great wine for the price, and worth loading up on–only a case left, and unlikely to see more this year. But I think the hit of the day was our little Cotes de Rousillon from Domaine Gardies. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan, it has reached a lovely stage in its development and was showing really well, preferred by many to the Sheridan Mystique, which will probably need another year of bottle age to hit its stride. Definitely recommended for some cellaring, but it got a great rating, so don’t wait too long!
Had a few happy faces for our “back in the saddle” weekend:
This week’s wines:
Domaine du Salvard Cheverny sauv blanc 08 France $12
Shows a pronounced thyme note, with good nerve to the lime flavor on the back end.
Tarima monastrell 09 Spain $10
100% Monastrell sourced from 25-35 year old vines and raised in stainless steel with lees stirring. Medium crimson-colored, the nose reveals fragrant blueberries and underbrush. Firm on the palate with plenty of savory fruit
O’Shea Scarborough “The Rebel” Cab ‘07 Washington $14
Lots of juicy black cherry, black currant, and blackberry, with a deep note of bitter chocolate on the finish, new wines from a favorite young winemaking team, Travis and Darryn.
Belguardo Bronzone Morellino 04 Italy $20
Lots of coffee and ripe fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, thick and silky, with lots of fruit and a long, flavorful finish. It’s all there for a Morellino. Sangiovese and Alicante Nero.
Wine Tasting January 22 ’10
Not that we went anywhere. Mostly I have been consumed with what Guy Noir calls “finding the answers to Life’s persistent questions”…in this case the perennial “Who am I and what am I doing?”
This is because technically speaking, I did retire officially on Jan 1. So all you need to know about that is that retiring is Hard Work! Not “retirement is hard work;” retiring is hard work. I think of it as something like moving out of a house you have lived in for a long time. There is all this Stuff associated with getting ready, filing the appropriate papers with the appropriate places, finishing up all the things at work that need to be either completed or discarded.
And here “appropriate places” means large, faceless, impersonal institutions that have lots of Rules and Timetables. And Processes like okay, you send this form to your Local Office, then they mail it to us (no, no, not email…Snail Mail!), then we pass it around, and then we mail it back to you, so you can mail it to the other nameless, faceless institution that has to process it before you can actually be, you know, “retired.” And while it is nice that, after you put in your 20 minutes navigating through the phone menu (if you have ever eaten spaghetti, press One…) to get to a Real Person, that person is often warm and really wants to help, No One can speed the movement of the Great Wheels of Bureaucracy.
All I’m saying is, the process of retiring is so exhausting, who would ever have the energy to go back to work? Well, okay, I do, so now instead of working 5 days with 2 days off, I work 2 days with five days off (not in a row) teaching (“coordinating” would be a better term) a course at WWU, a first offering, very innovative, a bit of a trail blazing adventure, enjoyable but edgy and challenging.
Well…enough about Me! What about YOU?
There are some wine shops where December is a Big Deal, lots of Christmas sales, that sort of thing. But here it just doesn’t work that way. Sometime around Thanksgiving Islanders kind of disappear for a month or two, and bottom line is, there isn’t anything you could call “Christmas Shopping.” No, around here lots of people hit the road, off to wherever, back next month or the one after that.
So that means You, Our Dear Public. Feel free to post your winter adventures here on our humble Blog. Where did you go? What did you do? What did you learn?
As I finish this post we are just back from an absolutely wonderful dinner at Ciao Thyme, a Bellingham “restaurant” (not exactly, see their website). Although the food is always meticulously and artistically prepared by long time ago Island chef Mataio, tonight was a quantum leap beyond, absolutely delicious and balanced, Highly recommended!
Wines for this week:
Legoe Bay viognier ’07 Washington $8
Still an incredible bargain, this is the new release of Lummi Island’s only winery’s Flagship wine. This viognier adds subtle floral and fruit notes that make it a candidate for your white wine du jour; lots of fruit, great texture, and balanced acidity.
La Quercia Aglianico ‘09 Italy $11
Believed to be an ancient Greek wine grape, aglianico is a full bodied with notes of ripe plum and white pepper on fine-grained tannins.
Domaine Gardies Les Milleres ’07 France $14 89pts
This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan carries aromas of lightly cooked red raspberry, grenadine, walnut husk, juniper, and vivid concentration of tart red fruit, resin, and tar, & accents of cardamom and black pepper, and abundant, fine-grained tannin that will match perfectly with red meats.
Sheridan “Mystique” ’07 Washington WS92pts $21
A blend of 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc aged in 25% new French oak for 24 months. Purple/black in color, it delivers a nose of balsam wood, mineral, lavender, spice box, and intense black cherry, and black currant fruit. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, and structured on the palate, it has loads of fruit and spice, outstanding concentration, impeccable balance, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. It will evolve for several years and will deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2022. It is an outstanding value.
closed for inventory till 1/22
Sorry not to have posted this earlier, but want all our friends to know we will not be open again for our regular Saturday wine tasting till January 22. We apologize for any inconvenience, and look forward to seeing you in two weeks!