A little over 90 minutes since I left Punchdown Cellars. 

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Britt, checking in on some single-vineyard Syrah.

Here in class, writing notes for a short lecture, not even a lecture but more a meeting.  Seeing the wines I tasted and the barrels all around me, the fruit coming in and the men on the forklifts…. My first effort chasing anything ‘somm’ is to review basics…. Starting with regions, key varietals…. Should that be where I start?  May meet with friend Robert, a Master Sommelier on retainer at Foley, after work Saturday.  “But how do I prepare?” See everything as wine-told… a varietal… see everything in terms of character and whatever wine I open tonight get as far into its character and voice as you can.  500 words.  Or between 500 and 510.  On one wine.

Listening to my ami Britt, who I thought might be there but had no assurance I would run into him and taste through as many ‘bbls’ as I did, talk about the the two lots of Syrah and his CF, and the Pinots from the same vineyard but two separate clones…. I have to not only accelerate my wine learning but see it more as an exploration and not so much “learning”.  Yes, the goal is to learn so I can pass exams, get certified and what be, but more to have that initial shoves to get out there and explore.. see and taste and listen to everything.

This iced coffee has me remembering one of the Pinots, exhibiting a bit of that malolactic conversion “funk” as Britt and I called it, and as I’ve always seen it.  Not a disagreeable quality or suggestion, but entirely unavoidable, noticeable, integral in the wine’s current composition.

My head’s here, in this classroom, but not.  I can only see, hear, touch, talk, feel wine.  No the drinking or even tasting and spitting act, but everything at that facility— all the movements and sounds, people walking around with instruments, ready to sample…. I’m still there.  I’ll never leave.  The story won’t let me, and I won’t let it let me.

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