lummi island wine tasting august 2 ’14

Tavel Rosé

20140724-123448.jpgWe have mentioned frequently our fondness for La Rocaliere, a little winery in the Lirac region of France, a bit west of Avignon. Like many wineries in Lirac (there aren’t that many), La Rocaliere also makes wine from the neighboring region of Tavel, where rosé is the only wine permitted. “Tavel is reputed to have been a favourite wine of kings Philippe le Bel and Louis XIV, the Popes of Avignon, and aficionados like Ernest Hemingway.” Tavel rosé spends more time on the skins than in Provence, and thus is not only darker in color, but also has more structure, tannins, and aging potential. Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it, it is absolutely Declicious!


Drone Spotted Over Legoe Bay!

dscn0893 (Modified)Most days around noon we leash up the dogs for a walk down to Village Point. Occasionally I take the camera along. Which brings up the curious contradiction: if you have your camera with you, you don’t see that many good shots. But if you left it home, oh yes, that’s when the kingfishers, the orcas, the ducks, the shadows and the light are all out in full glory. You know, Irony. So today going out the door I grabbed the camera as an afterthought,” just in case.” What caught my eye were some little thickets of Queen Anne’s Lace (believe it or not, the ancestor of the Carrot!) amid the driftwood between the road and the beach, with the reefnetters in the background. So I took a couple of photos, hoping there would be some way to crop them for an interesting composition.

So, honestly, I didn’t even notice it, the odd flying shape in the frame, until I downloaded the photo and was looking for an interesting way to crop it. Then, as I was zooming in, there it was, this strange shape with wings like a huge dragonfly, legs and long neck like a Great Blue, but neither of those. Something Else. Something Strange. Go ahead, click on the photo for the large format, and take a look. I’m thinking either Drone or…maybe even worse…OMD…Space Alien!?


Prehistoric Eight-ball

dscn0895 (Modified)Speaking of strange sights on the beach this week: there we were, the dogs and I walking along the beach, as we all do, with an occasional scan for agates, maybe a little hopeful, but also knowing the beach has been scrubbed clean by at least a century of like-minded Islanders. Even so, we have all had the experience, as we walk along the beach, of an image that sticks, and even though your feet have kept moving, you think “Huh? Did I just see a tiny Eight-Ball??”  So, yeah, it is a little startling, but you stop in your tracks, and back up a few yards for another look. What did I just see?

In this case, the image in my mind was an “8”, which neither I nor my Unconscious was expecting. So I backed up and rebooted, and there it was, a perfect Number Eight. At first I thought, okay, so Ancient Undersea Dwellers actually invented pool (you know, pool, get it…??) millions of years ago. Underwater it didn’t matter so much if the balls were all that Round, and it was probably in 3-D, too, and Who Knows what the cue ball or sticks looked like? If you click on the photo, you can see in the larger version that the number 8 is the residue of crustaceans, probably relatives of the barnacle that still clings.

The obvious conclusion is that although crustaceans (duh!) did not invent numbers, our earliest ancestors DID see this pattern, and invented a game from it involving other rocks with other symbols. Much, much later, when numbers were actually invented, it was only logical to use the symbols everyone was already familiar with to mean stuff people were just starting to think about. All I’m saying is the shapes were already there, and we just put Names on them! Wow! Is that Awesome or What???


Cloudlift returns

For the past several years, like migratory birds, Tom and Joannie Stangeland come to Lummi Island (and of course to the Wine Shop) in early August for their Anniversary. It turns out that Tom has been a highly skilled furniture maker for a long time. But his more recent passion has been making wine. So a few years ago he started Cloudlift Cellars in downtown Seattle…in the same building where he makes furniture, of course, given the obvious fact that: if (Time = Space), and (Time = Money), then of course, (Space = Money)!

We have tasted through the Cloudlift wines several times, and last fall I had a chance to help out with crush.  This weekend we will be pouring the Cloudlift Panorama, which Tom describes like this.

This week’s tasting notes

Altarocca Arcosesto Orvieto ’13 Italy     $14
A crisp, clean, fragrant white wine (grechetto, procanico, malvasia), bright and sunny with minerally notes of flowers, citrus, and dried fruits that pair well with savory dishes.

la Rocaliere Tavel Rose ’13 France $13
Scents of dark berries, cherry and licorice, with a floral accent. Firm and structured, displaying bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of bitter herbs, finishing with good power and length.

Montfaucon Cotes du Rhone ’11 France $13
50% Grenache co-fermented on skins with syrah, cinsault, carignan from 40 yr old vines; matured in concrete tanks. Good ripeness and lots of minerality along with fleshy plum, blackberry and licorice notes. A floral hint adds charm on the finish. (read more)

La Quercia montepulciano riserva ’10 Italy $18
100% organic montepulciano from low-yield vines; rich, port-like nose of candied cherries that carry through on the expressive, rich, earthy palate; nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Cloudlift Panorama ’ Washington $23
Enticing aromas of raspberry, cherry, plum and cassis, with scents of roses, mulberry and sultry oriental incense, and balanced flavors of red currant and Rainier cherry.


Wine Tasting

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