lummi island wine tasting sept 20 ’14

Faces of Sangiovese

Sangiovese is the red grape we most often associate with Tuscany and Central Italy. In particular, it is the dominant grape in the Chianti Classico region which stretches south from Firenze (Florence) toward Siena, while a variant of the grape, sangiovese grosso, is the dominant grape in the southern Tuscan wine region of Montalcino. The name itself is from Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jove.” Depending on where the grapes are grown, sangiovese can present a wide range of profiles from very earthy and rusticas is the case with many Chianti Classicos– to big, round and fruit-forward. Regardless of where it’s grown, it generally exhibits a tart strawberry edge around dark bing-cherry flavors, earthy tea leaf notes, and often a touch of brett.

This weekend we are pouring two sangioveses. One is from near the center of the more steeply hilly Chianti Classico region (above left), and the other is from further south, just past Montalcino (below left). We leave it to you to see if there’s a difference.











Pirate Jenny…?

dscn0891 (Modified)dscn0891 (Modified)



There’s the green ketch and there’s the old song that have somehow gotten hooked up in my fantasies. The green ketch may or may not be the same one that has moored at the Island for the last several summers. In previous years on any given day it would move as if with the tides from anchorage near the ferry dock on the east side to Legoe Bay on the west side. And back and forth and back and forth. Curious, make a fella scratch his whiskers and say, “hmm…” This year the green ketch looks more shipshape, more “reputable,” somehow, than the one we have seen the last several years, but she is certainly similar and looks like a comfortable sailor.

In any case, for a while she was flying this flag, which we could barely make out…looks like a tree shape in the center of blue-white-green stripes. Looked online, but was unable to identify it, so still curious. Therefore, we offer a free tasting this weekend to the first visitor who can enlighten us about the boat and the flag…!

As for “Pirate Jenny,” it is a song from Three Penny Opera, sung variously by Lotte Lenya, Nina Simone, and Judy Collins, among many others over the years. Arrrr, it’s a Dark ‘n’ compellin’ Tale (“…and the ship, the Black Freighter…turns around in the harbor,…shooting guns from her bow…) of fantasy and vengeance. So I be askin’ ye mates, is it Pirates we got off our shores? Is she flyin’ some kinda new Jolly Roger? Should we be checkin’ our powder?  Eh…?


Diesel-electric Hybrid Ferry!!

In a weak moment recently I allowed myself to to volunteer for the Long Range Planning Subcommittee of LIFAC. The key question being addressed is to make recommendations for what sort of ferry service should replace the aging Whatcom Chief. Last week sometime it occurred to me that , hey, OUR portion of ferry expense does not include capital costs, only operating and maintenance costs. Therefore, our aim should be to find a ferry that economizes on O&M. We shouldn’t really CARE about capital costs (except, you know, politically). It then occurred to me that, hey, a good way to save on operating and maintenance might be to have some kind of diesel-electric hybrid, sort of a sea-going Prius. If such a thing existed, it would likely have lower fuel costs, lower emissions, and lower maintenance costs– exactly what we should be looking for. Well, sure, nice fantasy, right?

Until yesterday, when I did a search for “diesel-electric hybrid ferry”…! It turns out a lot of people around the world have been thinking about this for some years now. Several have been built, from the passenger ferry that takes tourists to Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay, to the small seagoing vessel shown here in Scotland. Oh, man, I WANT one, don’t YOU??


This weekend’s tasting

Bargemon Provence Rosé ’13   France   $14
Pale pink. Bright, mineral-dusted aromas of pink grapefruit and dried red berries. Light and racy on the palate, offering tangy citrus and redcurrant flavors.

Dom. Tremblay Quincy ’11 Loire Valley  $18
Nose of yellow grapefruit, tangerine and sea air. Suave, fine-grained and concentrated, with zesty green apple & citrus flavors with a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel and finish.

Eguren Codice ’09 Spain 90pts $11
Aromas of cassis, cherry, licorice and mocha. Dense, alluringly sweet and juicy, with excellent concentration, silky fine-grained tannins and lingering spiciness.

Molino di Grace Chianti Classico ’08 Italy $13
Spicy redcurrant, strawberry and herbs on the nose, with tobacco and smoke nuances emerging with air. Pliant red berry and succulent herb flavors show an appealing sweetness buffered by fresh minerality.

Perazzeta Sara Rosso ’11     Italy   $11
90% Sangiovese, 10% Ciliegiolo from the Tuscan south; bright and full-bodied with cherry, crisp acidity, and tantalizing earth tones make this pretty wine a winner with savory dishes.

Wine Tasting

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Leave Comment