lummi island wine tasting july 11-12 ’14

Wine club tote bags

Earlier this year we bought a bunch of new tote bags. The idea has never been to use them for general distribution. I mean, Hello, we are NOT Haggen’s or Costco! Rather, the idea has been to provide each wine club member with a bag to carry in the car at all times, like a cell phone or flares, only a lot more useful. In case any of you have not fully grokked this, we want to be there for all your Wine Emergencies, because let’s face it, we have all had them, and it is NOT pretty! Interestingly, even after many months, we still encounter members who have not yet picked up their wine bags, or, what’s worse…have forgotten to bring them! No matter, we can give you another— but ideally we would like to train you to keep your bag in your car at All Times. And if there are two of you, we are happy to provide TWO bags. They’re stylish, they’re practical, and they mark YOU as a member of Lummi Island’s Premier Wine Club! Which reminds me…have you renewed your membership for 2014?

 

Fresh Olive Oil

For several years we have carried olive oil from one of our favorite Italian wineries, Perazzeta. It was a new experience to see olive oil labels that tell when (to the month) the olives were picked and pressed. In Tuscany, they like their olive oil a little “green,” with a “bite” that you can feel in your throat. What is important now is that we just received our annual case of this lovely oil, picked and pressed this past winter. We also have a few bottles (500 ml) left from last year. On Friday night we will offer these oils for tasting– hopefully they will go well with Janice’s weekly loaf of fresh bread!

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Broken glasses

Glasses prove quite perishable in a wine shop. Sometimes they break while you are washing them. More often they get knocked off the bar by a misplaced gesture. In any case, it has taken a while to re-imagine wine glasses as consumables, not durables, as we generally think of them in the house.

For the first bunch of years we were open, our glasses of choice were from IKEA. They had an attractive shape that tapered inward at the top, a nice feature for collecting and reflecting aromas, and they were a mere $2 apiece. Definitely a good deal! Then a few years ago that particular glass was replaced by a rounder, fuller shape that doesn’t really work for general tasting (imho…). So a year or two ago we bought several cases of Riedel’s “working glass,” aimed at bars and restaurants….and wine shops!  These glasses are attractive and relatively affordable; last week we were shipped four cases, all packed into one very large carton with about (I am not making this up) thirty feet of bubble wrap somewhat haphazardly thrown in among the cartons. A couple of the travelers didn’t make it, and the Riedel folks wanted a photo of the damage. As Kurt Vonnegut used to say, “So it goes.”

 

Savoie sparkler  

A little over a month ago we visited the somewhat obscure (to most Americans) French wine region of Jura. An hour or two south is the equally obscure region of Savoie. Like Jura, it has long traditions based on unusual local grapes. A few years ago, the most famous regional producer of sparkling wine was saved from extinction by being taken over by local wine merchant Gérard Lambert, who now makes delicious Méthode Traditionnelle sparkling wines from the local Molette and Altesse grapes. The wines are aged on lees for six months, followed by two years sur latte*, giving the wine more complex, distinguished aromas and a fine perlage (bubbles).  This week we are pouring his basic bubbly; next week we will move on to a somewhat higher rung. These wines have more flavor than many sparklers, a little leesy and a little yeasty, two qualities I happen to like a lot. Come see what you think! link

 

This week’s tasting notes

Seyssal Petit Royal Brut   France     $16
Traditionally made from Savoie white varietals Molette and Altesse, with extended time on lees and two years sur latte before rebottling, yielding a yeasty complexity and fine bubbles.

Chateau L’Ermitage Blanc ’13 France $10
An old favorite here, this vintage is even better– Light gold in color with aromas of peach, flowers, and honey; the Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Roussanne, a heavenly blend!

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.

Le Pigeoulet en Provence ’12 France    $16
(grenache, syrah, cinsault,carignan): Fresh raspberry and candied lavender with a spicy lift. Juicy and seamless in texture, with lively fruit; very easy to like.

Meroi Nestri Merlot ’10     Italy   $24
From Fruili between the Alps and the Adriatic, aged two years in once-used barrels; shows both power and poise partnering with savory dishes from steaks to aged cheeses.

Wine Tasting

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