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It has been clear for a few months now here on tiny Lummi Island that Blaine and the Willows Inn are getting a lot of Coat-tail Effect from the Noma hype, and people are coming from all over the planet to indulge their palates (including us in early May!). So we’re hoping, you know, we will get a little…hmmm, how does one say…a “coat-tail coat tail effect”….! I mean, there are only about five things to do on Lummi Island on a weekend and we’re one of them, so…think of it like hitchhiking…when there’s a lot more traffic, there are more opportunities to catch a ride, that’s all I’m saying!
We are on such a roll…last week’s wines continued the trend of tasty, delicious, even luscious wines at amazing prices. This is a great time to be a wine lover; there is so much good juice out there that you can find a lot of great wines at affordable prices.
The Seghesio pinot gris was a knockout with its huge nose of fruit and flowers, and we ran out–don’t worry, looking for more! The Marchesi di Gresy Barbera I discovered at a great dinner at Ciao Thyme recently…lovely in all directions, a really satisfying wine. The Chook shiraz demonstrated why Australia is famous for its one-dimensional huge fruit bombs, this one deep, dark, almost black in color and lots of flavor. There is a certain mood that no other wine will satisfy, so you gotta keep some of these Aussies at the ready!
My personal favorite (by a small margin as they were all satisfying) was the Sierra Cantabria Crianza, which carried itself with a certain maturity, a certain complexity, and with nuanced flavors and the rich, soft tannins that, like Sirens, beckon you to drink more.
Looks like I forgot to take pictures in the shop last week, doh! So I found this photo of the high country of Italy from whence comes an unusual red we will be tasting this weekend. Pretty dramatic country, huh?
Alto Adige in Northern Italy
This week’s tasting:
Chalone Monterey Chardonnay ’09 California $10
Opens up nicely into a nice balance between the plush texture of oak and fresh notes of baked pear, Braeburn apple and sweet tangerine accented by floral notes and nutmeg.
Erste+Neue Edelvernatsch ’09 Italy $10 (read more)
An unusual grape from the Tyrolean alps of Italy. Light cherry red in color; aromatic, fine fruity bouquet dominated by cherry and raspberry tones, with hints of almonds; medium-bodied, very soft on the palate, an excellent accompaniment to typical Tyrolean fare such as speck and sausage (who knew?), as well as lighter meats and mild cheeses. Light acidity on the palate, fresh and straightforward.
Bodegas Graffigna Grand Reserve Malbec ’08 Argentina WA90pts $10
Opaque purple; spice box, incense, lavender, and black fruit aromas; underlying structure.
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…