Lummi Island Wine Tasting June 1-2 ’12
Last weekend was busy and fun on a lot of levels.
Last Friday Night’s Spanish Wine 101 Class
On Friday night our friend and wine importer Tristan brought in a nice array of Spanish wines for a last-minute tasting. Pat put together some yummy tapas-like snacks, including a Spanish tortilla, which is essentially a potato frittata. We saw them all over Spain as a very popular dish, and no two are alike. Our favorite was at a little restaurant on the main square in Haro (the heart of Rioja), where the waiter told us it was his mother’s recipe. Some versions tend to be densely layered with sliced potatoes; we prefer the more eggy, fluffier style with chunkier bits of potato and more eggs (i.e., diced not sliced!). So that’s the style Pat made Friday night, along with Catalan tomato bread (Pa Amb Tomaquet), a simple dish of fresh bread rubbed with a chunk of tomato and drizzled with olive oil. This dish is everywhere in Catalonia! It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s delicious! We also had a lovely manchego cheese, spicy chorizo, and all with beautiful fresh and chewy ciabatta from Janice’s wood-fired oven. Delicious!
And that was just the food! Tristan also poured eight delicious Spanish wines, providing detailed stories about each one. Some people say that maybe that was too much wine, but that might be like saying everyone had too much fun. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it on short notice, and particular thanks to Tristan for making it happen. He also stayed on through Saturday, pouring many of the same wines. Yes we still have a few of these great wines left!
Kathy Elston’s “fantasy dolls” were a huge hit. It seemed that anyone with any experience with sewing could look at them and see immediately the skill that went into making them. Whimsical and finely finished, the dolls were extremely popular, and many found new homes. Kathy will be bringing in additional dolls, and we hope to keep the show up until the end of June. So if you missed it, make it a point to come by and take a look over the next few weeks!
There are Studio Tours and there are Studio Tours. The weather was great; it was a long weekend; and lots of people were in the mood for an outing. That made for a fairly steady flow both Saturday and Sunday, and the overall mood was “Ready for Summer!” Yay!
Of course many of our Regulars are off on a wine tasting expedition to France with Ryan–Mary Beth has been keeping us posted– so Ryan will not be here to open as usual tonight. Never fear, though, Pat and I will throw open the door at 4pm (till six!) for your Friday low-key salon. We are trying to put something together for munching along with your wine, so stop by and see what’s cooking!
Black Oak Chardonnay ’09 California $8
Incredibly aromatic with a fruit forward profile; smooth and easy with a nicely textured palate; excellent balance and structure with a smooth, pleasant finish. A great value.
Comoloco Monastrell ’10 Spain $8 88pts
100% Monastrell from Jumilla, is sourced from dry-farmed 25- to 30-year-old vines. Fresh and fruity with notes of underbrush, brier, and blueberry, it is a savory, friendly wine for drinking over the next 3-4 years. Another outstanding value…and a dynamite label!
R Wines First Class Shiraz ’06 Australia 90+pts $22
The deep crimson-colored 2006 First Class Shiraz contains a dollop of Viognier. It was barrel-fermented and aged in new and one year French and American oak for 18 months. It has an alluring bouquet of cedar, mineral, tobacco, smoked meat, and blueberry. This leads to a full-bodied Shiraz with excellent depth, savory black fruit flavors, plenty of spice, and a lengthy finish. It will offer prime drinking from 2011 to 2020.
Doyenne Signature Syrah ’08 Washington 93pts $28
The 2008 Signature Syrah contains 2% Viognier with 70% of the fruit coming from Red Mountain and 30% from the Boushey Vineyard in Yakima Valley. Aromas of pomegranate, black raspberry, smoked meat, game, and pepper lead to a complex, succulent, velvety-textured Syrah with exceptional balance and length. Drink it through 2023. (“Doyenne” is DeLille’s sister label used for Rhone-style wines)
Lummi Island Wine Tasting & Artists’ Studio Tour May 26-27 ’12
Friday Night Friday Night Friday Night
Please review yesterday’s post about our special Friday night events to kick off this year’s Artists’ Studio Tour, including an opening reception for our guest artist this weekend, Kathy Elston, from 4-6pm, followed by a special tasting of Spanish wines (preview for the weekend) with accompanying tapas-like munchies. See yesterday’s post for details!
Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudí to Dalí
Our recent trip to Spain is still percolating through our veins, trying to integrate into a meaningful set of perpectives. One thing is for certain; our entire experience in Spain was influenced by the Modernism movement explored by Barcelona’s artists, architects, and designers in the years between the Barcelona Universal Exposition of 1888 and the imposition of the Fascist regime of Francisco Franco in 1939. The movement was essentially Catalan in its roots, and made Barcelona the center of an artistic exploration and expression that continues to resonate across Spain and around the world. Among the late-comers to this Catalan Renaixença (Renaissance) were four artists who made lasting global as well as regional impacts: Antonio Gaudi, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali.
Their influences are discussed in some detail in this description of a special exhibition at the Met in New York back in 2007, Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudí to Dalí, if you want to learn more about it.
Everywhere we went in Spain we encountered a different tributary of this Catalan river of creative expression, in the architecture, the art, the music, even the food and the wine (and certainly many of the wine labels!). These included in particular visits to several of Gaudi’s structures; the Miro Museum; Picasso Museum; and the Dali Museum (more on those later), as well as some stunning wineries…!
Marques de Riscal winery restaurant, designed by Frank Gehry
view from the restaurant
the 100 year old Falset Wine Cooperativa, designed by a student of Gaudi
Inside the Guelbenzu winery, built in 2006
Bodegas Ysios at a distance
Bodegas Ysios close up
Saturday’s Spanish wine lineup (may change for Sunday!)
Giro Ribot Cava $13
Alta Vins Domus Pensi blanc $11
San Ysidro Cepas de Zorro monastrell $10
Finca el tesso tempranillo $10
Lopez Cristobal Crianza $26
Parmi L’Infant Priorato $31
This Friday at Artisan Wine Gallery May 25 ’12
SPECIAL FRIDAY NIGHT EVENTS THIS WEEK
This Friday evening we are changing our usual 4-7 tasting to two special events to kick off the annual Memorial Day Weekend Lummi Island Artists’ Studio Tour.
#1: Artist’s Opening Reception 4-6pm
From 4-6pm we will be having an opening/artist’s reception for our Studio Tour artist, Kathy Elston, who has created a new series of “fantasy dolls” especially for this show. Each doll is a unique construction inspired by art, poetry, literature, nature, myth, history and, of course, fabric. Kathy has shown her work around the world, and we are fortunate to have her right here on Lummi for this show, which we expect to be up for several more weeks. So come for a preview of her work and visit awhile. (And of course there will be a bit of wine!) See Kathy’s Bio
#2: Special Wine Tasting Class: Spanish Wines 101 6-7:30 pm $10
In keeping with our return last week from a few weeks in Spain, this Friday we will be offering a special opportunity to taste an array of Spanish wines while learning a bit about the varietals and the areas they come from. Our guest host for the tasting is our friend Tristan, who represents the importer who brings in many of the Italian and Spanish wines we carry in the shop. This will be a sit-down tasting with a few tapas to accompany. YOU WILL NEED TO RESERVE A SPACE ASAP IF YOU WANT TO ATTEND THE CLASS! Limit is about 12 people. Send an email NOW to reserve a spot!
Lummi Island Wine Tasting May 19 ’12 Back from Spain
We made it home last night on the midnight boat after a really long day of traveling, finishing with a record-breaking (for us) under-two-hour drive from Seatac to the ferry dock. And that after about 24 hours of flying, waiting, flying, waiting beginning in Rioja at 5am (when it was still 5 in the evening Tuesday here on LI.) We’re still a little groggy, so this will be short.
In honor of our recent trip, our tasting Saturday will feature four Spanish wines, each from a different region. We actually visited one of the wineries (Borsao) last Tuesday, and have a few pictures of the vineyard where the grapes for the wine (Tres Picos) were grown. After a tour of the winery and a tasting of all the wines, we were treated to a lovely dinner, of course with a nice wine accompaniment.
The winery, Borsao, is actually a cooperative, like many we encountered elsewhere in Spain. The business model here is that there is a corporate “front office” that manages all aspects of vineyard management, harvest, winemaking, and marketing. Each member-grower is required to follow specific rules and guidelines, and in exchange they are guaranteed purchase of their fruit. Borsao has hundreds of small vineyards as their member growers.
This week’s wines:
Martina Prieto Verdejo ’10 Spain $14
Verdejo thrives in the hot days and cold nights of the mesa and, when harvested with extreme precision, yields one of the very best fresh white wines of the world; this one delights the palate with flavors of nettles, ripe pineapple, dried mint, and pencil dust on a crisp, fresh frame. From vines planted in clay, shells, and limestone in Rueda.
Emilio Moro Resalso ’07 Spain $13
Nice density to the berry, floral and vanilla notes in this lively red. Medium-bodied, with light tannins and enough acidity to balance the sweet oak. From younger vines in soils of clay with gravel and chalk at about 2000 ft. elevation in Ribera del Duero.
Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha ’09 Spain $14
Heady black cherry and blackberry aromas, Asian spices, incense, and mineral notes lead to a dense, layered, rich old-vine Garnacha that over-delivers in a big way. From a mature vineyard on the rugged, rocky slope of Moncayo Mountain in Campo de Borja that consistently delivers exceptional wines.
Finca Sandoval 05 Spain $27
76% Syrah, 13% Mourvedre, and 11% Bobal co-fermented on the lees with native yeasts, a year in French and American oak. Purple-colored, with alluring nose of toasty oak, mineral, floral notes, blueberry, and blackberry, leading to a full-bodied, ripe, layered wine with superb integration of oak, tannin, and acidity. From Manchuela where soils have a dominant clay-limestone component and the climate is very harsh continental.