Last Saturday was complicated around our place, for two reasons (see last week’s post). First, it was the day of the Jazz Festival, ostensibly a fund-raising event for the remodel of the Island Library, which, as I pointed out last week, belongs to the people of Lummi Island via the Friends of the Island Library (FOIL). The library is long overdue for an upgrade, and the remodel project– years in the making– is kicking off its fundraising campaign, and therefore FOIL will be soliciting donations during the coming year to pay for it.
The Good News is that the Jazz Festival over-delivered in a big way; the weather was perfect, the music was fantastic, and the sound system was just right, all contributing to a sensational event! If you missed it, you REALLY missed something special.
The Bad News is that it was relatively poorly attended, so all day there were more empty seats than filled ones. That means that a lot of people missed out on a really Amazing event. It also means that the event underwriter generously took a very big loss, and the Library construction fund made only what it earned on the raffle (Many thanks to all of you who bought raffle tickets, and all of you who donated prizes!). So in the coming year I hope all of you will be able to dig deep and pledge some $$ to keep our library Strong!
Will there be another Jazz Festival next year? All you need to know is that if there is, you definitely want to be there!
Anyway, we manned the entrance booth for a few hours before heading back to the wine shop for the second event of our day, the special tasting of wines from Lullaby Winery, owned by our long-time acquaintance, winemaker Virginie Bourgue. This was a real treat for all of us. Virginie’s winemaking style is definitely “Old World,” with considerable restraint in the use of new oak and a tendency to pick her grapes a bit before they are fully ripe in order to preserve their food-friendly acidity.
Her rosé was dry, pale, and delightful; her sauvignon blanc was crisp, fresh, and balanced; her viognier was refined and complex; and her special red wine, called “Lalayee,” is a stunning wine that showcases deep blackberry and black cherry aromas under layers of earthy leather, sandalwood and tar. Folks. the wines were Awesome, and yes, we have all of them in the shop!
We recently discovered a couple of lovely wines from Gascony, a French wine region west of Toulouse near the Pyrenees. The whites have crisp, minerally notes of lemon, lime and orange rind, and the reds have a “wild and rambunctious character of smoke, dried herbs, roasted meat and black currant.” We poured the red, Terres d’Artagnan, named after the Three Musketeers’ dashing confrère) a few weeks ago, and it sold out immediately. The white wine from the same region, the Casterot Gascogne Blanc, was also very popular. This is to tell you we now have more of both, on our “Under $12″ rack and of course qualifying for our ongoing $99 case sale!
I know some of our regulars are old enough to remember the great Motown hit Heat Wave from Martha and the Vandellas (around 1965), but little did we expect we would, like, experience an actual Heat Wave right here on Lummi Island! OMD! It’s been nearly 80 degrees here, and ninety-something in Seattle and even Bellingham. What’s THAT about, huh? We have had to drag our AC unit out of the closet in the wine shop four times already this year, and this week I have to turn it on every afternoon. By comparison, in previous years we have maybe two or possibly three days where the temperature gets over 70 in the wine shop for a few hours before dropping back to the usual 50′s or 60′s overnight. All YOU need to know is that in honor of the hot weather we will be pouring five wines on Saturday, with two whites and a rose to start off with on both Friday and Saturday. So come by, cool off, and chill out!
This week’s tasting notes (Five Wines!):
Perazzeta Rosado di Montalcino ’11 Italy $14
It’s back! From the same grape as Brunello (sangiovese grosso), this beautiful rosado has it all: rich, bold, flinty, and summery.
Casterot Gascogne Blanc ’10 France $10
Light, bright, crisp and minerally, just the thing for our little spate of hot weather!
Martina Prieto Verdejo ’10 Spain $14
Verdejo thrives in the hot days and cold nights of the mesa and yields one of the most refreshing white wines of the world, delighting 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 the Rueda wine region.
The Warrior Red ’07 Washington $14
A blend of 88% Merlot, 10% Cab Sauv, and 2% Petit Verdot; offers classic plum and red fruit notes with hint of chalk and minerality to support the delicious bouquet of cassis, spice, and blackberry. The balance is impeccable, with real elegance and restraint that gives this wine the kind of class that’s remarkable at the price.
Baguala Malbec ’08 Argentina $8
This was a hit a couple of weeks ago, just brought some more in. Rich, elegant, and full-bodied, with notes of raisins and a dash of bitters. Delicious!
As for this last picture, all I can say is that our little camera gets fairly creative from time to time, having a little trouble focusing, a little confusion about colors. So no, this is not edited in any way, this is just the way it came out. Kinda looks like “wine shop during acceleration to Warp Drive”…??
click on photo for larger view