MOCK SOMM, quick sips.

IMG_96962013 Cartograph Wines Pinot Noir, Choate Vineyard, Green Valley:  Seraphic from the first contact to palate’s end.  Thick and melodic chords of strawberry and cherry, coupled with some unexpected plum and minted chocolate; but what separates this Pinot from others is the pervasive equilibrium of each sip.  I wouldn’t wait on this one, I’d pop it now, but if you forgot about one or two in the cellar and run into those bottles down the line, you’ll be fine.  (MM92)

IMG_96802013 Boekenoogen Winery Syrah, Bell Ranch, Carmel Valley:  Wholehearted and robust, encompassing and persuasive in its interplanetary intonations.  Not too heavy, nor at all passive, more rounded and capturing than any Syrah I’ve tasted in the last few years.  Musical and tempered, audacious but somehow savory in its coy taste equator.  Its own language of Syrah, dactylically delicious.  (MM93)

IMG_9723-02011 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel, St. Peter’s Church Vineyard, Alexander Valley:  This wine is just fun to be around, dark and with a sexy weight to its texture and motion.  Nothing like I’ve had from Zin’s all-too-excessive of a world.  Nothing astringent or sharp or tart about her.  Just in line with every fruit suggestion and smokey/charcoal/chocolate wink.  Had it with a slow-roasted chicken and well-done sourdough garlic bread and was only smitten by the synergy.  I’ll be going back for a couple more of these, and what a brilliant object to all those boo-hoo-ing the ’11 vintage.  (MM92)

MOCK SOMM: Taft Street Winery, Alexander Valley, Merlot, 2012

IMG_8603Usually I wait till the next day to write a reaction to a wine that catches me, but this one I have to write in the moment.  Never heard of this producer before but found it at a local wine shop and since my penchant for Merlot is always a-bubble, I bought it.  Opened it just before dinner letting it breathe for not that long.  I was looking for candor, true truth of Merlot and that’s what I found, a certain whirling and whimsical honesty in the wine and what it noted for my senses.  Purest texture and potent palate, from front to summation with darker fruit that you may expect, but maybe that’s the Alexander Valley talon landing.  Either way I’m smitten and swayed by its sequencing.  The type of Merlot that has me remembering travel and a more imaginative me.  And this Merlot does offer what I look for– unique varietal translation and a certain stubborn echo at sip’s close (what most would simplify and dumb to “finish”).

Everyone who knows me knows I want to get back to making wine, and Merlot is the varietal that coerced me to wine’s curve, and I’ve never backward stepped. So I dance forward and jig with this bottle’s janiform song.  Its complimentary duplicity in form and and palate is precisely what punctuates its uniqueness.  I’ll go back to that store, obviously, and walk with a few more bottles.  I measure with the structure of the nose and mid of this Merlot crafting it’ll go at least 7 years.  But there’s no possibility of any wine with this tier of strenuous orchestration lasting so long in my writing base.  So I pour myself another glass and don’t overthink it, and see what new chords the wine wants to play for me.

MM 92

MOCK SOMM: GReedy Wines, a reaction

IMG_7978Already in love with small producers, I was sure this was to be a label that would contribute to me and my story and transcending wine character in some new encompassing way.  The wines are one facet with me, certainly an important one, but not the be-all of the new presence, whatever I’m sipping and whatever new label I involve myself with.  GReedy Wines, an amalgamation of talents and visions of Greg Urmini and Ross Reedy, shows the approachable more story-told side of wine and the narrative that I’ve always found more inviting about wine.  These two oeno-elevated chaps have travelled and studied impressively, as well as formally studied, and only from a true adoration of and envelopment in wine itself.

The next morning I go to my office, open my Composition Book and look through my notes, which as always I have an arduous and incensing time surveying.. but I started with the Sauvignon Blanc jots.  A ’14, fruit from Alexander Valley, does see a bit of an oak’d motion, but not much, not enough to interfere with varietal integrity or regional translation–  I scribbled (if I’m reading it accurately): “Poetic pulse from intro to conclusion of sip; melon and cream, light herb and pineapple; a jazzed tap of white Bordeaux–” And there are more scribbles from there, but I remember now the revolution of the palate-feel and how the wine itself took to oxygen, developed and peculiar and impressively characterized sensibility to its “palate traffic”, I wrote.  I’m again thinking of their story, Greg and Ross’, and how they merely want to share, display what they can do, yes, but offer something different to the wine lover and translate varietal and region, and vintage in their own way.  I read down in my SB sentences, and see verses, that’s what this bottle made me do, there in my home office; a wine with influence and persuasion, rhetoric, I wrote “…expository, effusive, dactylic…” And this isn’t just one of those sip-before-dinner Blancs.  It’s with the momentum that can walk and recite alongside dishes.  Lighter creamy pasta, or chicken with light pepper and lemon, or a caesar salad, or for lunch with a chicken salad.  It beckons something with flavor punctuation and charisma to match its won.  Another note, “a letter to Sauvignon Blanc as a genre, as a story and song…” Now, I’m not certain what I was inferring or asserting with that scribble, precisely anyway, but the bottle had me encased in thought, a bright awe, and stricken with impression.

Then Cabernet, also from AV.  A 2012.  And Cabernet is that one varietal that I’ll always moniker IMG_7965my own.  But this bottle taught me, contrasted with other bottles out there and ways the grape is handled and then bottled.  Greg and Ross illuminate a more melodic palate beat and presence with this ’12, singing through suggestions of plum, chocolate, light espresso, light and atmospheric oak, or cedar, theses– adored “all minutes and measures of this Cab”, as I have the Comp Book.  Between the two wines, this project catapults the GReedy boys’ story the most prominently– that wine fervor and going our there and living it, the travels and education, the self-education and writing your own story, everything that the small label should embody, PRACTICE, and share.

So is ‘love’ a strong word, when addressing me and my affinity for small production houses?  Not a strong word, but an inaccurate one, surely.  Small producers are my theology, as a wine writer, drinker, chaser and storyteller.  This story can only grow for them and the bottles they produce, are not only inviting and communicative now with their flavor arrangements and ambient textures, but would as well enjoy residency in a cellar.  And wines that visually and immediately demonstrate that degree of agility and proverbial availability, openness, “diplomacy” as I wrote at the page’s lower sector, should be written about, brought home, shared, studied, explored over months, years.

Researching them more, the GReedy assembly, I find they met while in travel, where from a literary disposition can only encourage character growth and provide that story the consumer wants to read– hence my theology in the small producer.  There’s more sincerity, more candor in the narrative, and in what’s bottled.  More pervading intimacy, for sure, and like I scribbled at some point last night, I think while tasting the Cabernet: “Traveling in ideas and interpretations, transformative properties for wine’s character and me as the sipper, scribbler.” Am I lost in the wines, yes but no, more like metaphysically prompted.  And not many wines do so to this writer.  In fact, less than very few do.

IMG_7977So, here this morning with my coffee, I return to my SB notes, on how the first olfactory impression was rich, “beaming” as I wrote, and entirely believable.  Not contrived or conveniently morphed with oak or inappropriate alcohol content.  “More music in this SB than the others, much more sway and swagger.. general sensory magnetism…” And I kept on noting and writing what I encountered.  Wrote more on the SB than its Cab cousin, but I still puzzle and de-puzzle what I sip and what I wrote, being put in the palatable maelstrom of GReedy Wines, its two-bottle and wildly coercing portfolio– in fact, no, they deserve better than such a clinical noun, ‘portfolio’, ugh… a short story, or novelette, one which will keep in its scribe bass and highhat taps; its own song and Art, travel and education, the Road and the growth and the ambrosial madness of wine and its world.  These two produce the same as I in this Comp Book, on these keys, with fervor and tireless reflective urgency.

And quickly back to the Cabernet deconstructions, and one word cages me, “hymn’.  Connection to the theological lean, yes, but beyond that I’m lost.  And I don’t mind.  Consider this morning’s thousand an appreciative epistle to the two.  To travelers, the wine-minded, the urgent artists, to the ever-written story.  Stories.

Link to Their Website:  GReedy Wines

Direct Link to Get on the Mailing List, to Purchase GReedy Wines:  GET ON THE LIST


day congeal

Sipping a new wine, an AV Cabernet gifted to me from a cherubic guest today.  Find mySelf cosmically engaged by this ’09.  Tonight, my Friday.  But, tomorrow, work 2B done.  Still have to write the second lecture for project R.  With this wine glassed, I’m in my obsessive role, thinking I have to write everything, all happening, in all moments.  And honestly, it’s one of my qualities I find more favorable.  But then, I’m still.  My Kelly novel, beginning its official voyage tonight.  Pen2paper ONLY.  And that character, with her artistic/entrepreneurial/Human/whimsical strokes, can only move this writer.  She creates, travels, returns to create more.. to music, coffee, in her home studio.. which is a studio apartment–  Stopping there.  Saving all for novel.

Kelly’s a character that doesn’t want to be “discovered,” necessarily, but can’t help but be.  She’s too much of a presence.  She’s too much of what we wish we’d do but don’t, for sakes of being “responsible,” being an “adult.” Thinking I need another pour.  My wine–well, Katie’s and mine–in its barrel, resting.  Waiting for its home.  What I admire about my glass’ current resident: its mouthfeel, those notes of chocolate, maple, cherry and earth.  It’s a cautious Cab, but not one lacking confidence or charisma.  While with my group, on that hill today, I thought about the incoming travels, writing treks.  They’re closer than I think, I’m positive.  And when I’m in that hotel Room, like yesterday’s character, I’ll be writing, sipping, capturing everything.  What writers do.  And if there’s a reason I maintain this “blog” as obsessively as I do, with wine most of the time at side, is to show other Artists how obsessed with Craft I continue.  I don’t have a vice, but these pages.  Not saying I’m ascended above anyone else, I’m just confident in my presence, like this AV ’09.  Have to thank her, next time we meet.  Not sure what I did 2 deserve this bottle, but I’m enjoying it.  And if that adorable character this reads, I pray she accepts my thanks.  Just poured Self another, for novel ahead.

The spoken word, always in scope.  If poetry could be my day job–  Wait–  Why can’t it?  Looking out at the below valley while on that tour 2day, enough to move a pen, in metered, rimed form.  Tomorrow’s lecture, should go a similar route.. responding 2 surroundings.  Just typed the first couple sentences.  Last night with Mom & Dad, the Particular Palates themselves, exchanging a multitude of ideas on all from Literature to Life actual.  Time shortening, ever more evident as I notice Little London age, develop new senses, abilities, talents.  Makes me feel alive, while sad.  Honestly, I don’t know what to feel.  Just know that I love him like I’ve never loved anything before.  And I remember that guest in Kaz’s tasting Room, the first couple that Sunday, telling me [the husband, that is] “You’ll never have loved something so much in your life.” I remember brushing it off, dismissing his dramatism, deeming it excessively emphatic while he was only disclosing insight, sharing past.  He was entirely right.  Need another sip, while in time’s grip.. pen on my hip.

Coming to the end of this final glass.  Profile more even, not that it was uneven before, but it now displays musical voices, palatable pulses of passion, oenological truth.  Not going to say “terroir,” as I’m sick of that word being overused, overmisused..  This wine sends a spatial awareness to this writer’s senses.  Where is she, who gave the writer this bottle, who sent this ramble into an uneditable expository avalanche?  Raising glass..  Poetry on mind, I go to breath long lines; inside my epithet, my sins ride a better bet–  Conclusion’s intrusion…

If I didn’t have these pages, this obsession, what would I have?  I’m like Dad with aviation.. Katie with wine.. Nick with advertising.  Like ME with WRITING.  Maybe me be my own species.  IS that positive, to acknowledge such?  What would Sylvia say?  Built in a ray.. Delay.  May only have a couple sips left.  Curse this bottle.  IT cursed me, these reads.

[9/9/12, Sunday]

journal, Sauvignon Blanc [6/24/12, Sunday]

Two tours on mountain.  First, ten people.  Second, three, younger, more my speed.  Hard to ever desensitize to views up there, the feel of what’s around you.  If only I could just scribble a single line up there, in between pours or something.  That’d be enough.  Or at day’s end.  I could wrap everything up, up there, by mySelf.  Pen for five minutes.  Has to be one of the most inviting, tempting, seductive, magnetic writing spots with which I’ve ever interacted.  Even rivaling Paris.  In some respects.  Now, in home office, sipping a Lagunitas “Little Sumpin,” before more verse in the neglected Comp Book.  Feeling more than musical today.  Confident.. Creative..  I just want to keep fingers in type, pen on line.  Always.

Oh, and new ideas for 1Stop after meeting a guy on tour 2, also Mike, in terms of elements enveloped in DTC approach.  More later, just know that wheels turn for the other blog.  Autonomy, not far.  Closer than I before measured, actually.  2010 Lancaster Sauvignon Blanc in fridge.  2nite’s Wine.  Miss the crew at my favorite AV winery.  That cave, its presence.  Wish I did more writing in there.  Run planned for tomorrow.  Have to wake at five.  A.M.  Failure means I fail.  Can’t afford that.  Especially as a writer.

IDEA:  Chapbook, 35-39 pgs, to fund touring; verse & entry only; quick, in-moment.


10:17pm.  Night’s cap.  That 2011 Lancaster Sauv Blanc.  Haven’t tasted this in a while.  The acidity’s less fluctuating than I remember, plus the tropical element has more tenor.  Lovely wine.  But I’m getting tired, so my ability to valuably appreciate this bottle’s diminishing.  Now true tiredness hits, sinks me with Lusitania vehemence.  Listening to Wine Bar beats, skeptical of the blog, even though I know I don’t have much choice to hug it passively, in submissive scuttles.  Sauvignon Blanc, the one I’ll produce this year with my brother Kazzy…  Can see it much like this one from LE.  However, I’ll like it’s voice with a little more melody.  This bottle’s volume’s a bit elevated for my sight of an SB.  Meaning, it’s a little too loud.  I still enjoy it, but it lacks the subtly that I see for my SB.  I’m fine with the nose being as tenacious as it is, but the mouth feels confused, aimless, as if its intent wasn’t made clear.  Either way, all contrived analysis aside, I’m sipping.  Envisioning mySelf in Costa Rica, writing of course.  “Go write,” Alice said, as she watched one of her programs.  And so I do, flapping expressive wings till I’m a s horizontal as I was on the 21st.  That poisoning, still on deconstruction’s table.  Am I writing enough?  Need to start organizing, in case something happens to the writer.

As for Kelly.. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to write her.  Just want you to know that I did have a character–a young female painter, one drawing always; a true ARTIST; 4ever curious, never wonder if, just leaping; enviable.  On a night like this, a Friday of sorts, I see her not painting, but reading.  Sipping her favorite Rhône blend.  Not as worried, rushed as the writer.  Writers, most days, need to not be such writers.  I’ll keep saying this:  Sometimes the most Literary act we can throw as writers is not not write, but actually LIVE.

Another SB sip, please.

Last Call, Then Another … 1More

Again, I’m taught the indiscriminately short nature of life.  A lifelong family friend just passed.  And of course, I start thinking about mySelf.  Is that wrong?  Shouldn’t I be thinking about him, his family?  Maybe it’s from the actuality of now having a little boy in my days, for whom I’m meant to provide, protect.  Then I start thinking of the blog, and how it does virtually [and I do mean “virtually,” as it’s nothing tangible, material, real; merely on web].  Then the wine industry, and how none of the stress, drama, elevations present in its demonic palms are worth any stress.  From this entry onward, I separate from all anxiety, especially from so much of what’s found in “the industry.” And, come to find, my old friend was an executive chef at a winery, working reportedly 7 days a week sometimes.  I’ll have a hard time being convinced that wasn’t part of my friend’s, Collin’s, concluding equation.

Maybe it’s Human to look at Self when something like this happens, to re-evaluate the element net in one’s days.  Soon as I came back from dropping off Jack & Alice at SFO, I flew to the keyboard.  Not the notebook.  Was that wrong?  Did I waste seconds of my life?  Like my sister said, I can’t second-guess Self.  And, given how temporary all this around me is, I just have to leap, act.  Move on.  Almost 1p, I realize, seeing 12:42pm on the laptop’s clock.  I do want to be outside, doing something.  Might do a little tasting in Russian River, as I earlier meditated.  Or, I could just go to Kenwood, Glen Ellen.  Or Sonoma’s square.  Either way, I just have to live.  And think of nothing but living, in my Art, what’s around me.  I still love wine, don’t confuse.  It’s the industry, even more so now, I’m targeting.  Preparing for collision…

Wanted to upload some past day’s writings, meant for the blog.  But haven’t uploaded the pics from my iphone, yet.  That’s what I’m talking about, with this blog…  I can’t just write.  There need be visuals, tags, categories, titles, URLs.  It’s not Art, I don’t think.  Not Artful like scribbling in a little notepad, while at work in a cubicle, doing so to keep sane, get through a hellish day.  There’s pain in that, the fundamentally elemental dependence of ink, paper piece.  There were no blogs in Capote’s day.  Hemingway’s, Kerouac’s, Shakespeare’s.  Going to break away from all I don’t need, like the Kosta Browne crew.  Maybe I should do a tasting there today, if I can.  Not sure they have a tasting Room.  Or even a place to taste.  I’ll call…  Found a way around my charging Flip Camera, in its USB port, to dock the iphone, retrieve pictures.  See?  How was that sentence valuable, informative, Literary?  If you’re to take anything from lines like that, it’s that I angrily scathe technology.  Social Media.

1:04pm.  Can’t “publish” this “post,” as I’m waiting for these pics to upload.  Enough.  I’m done.  And if people won’t read my material ‘cause I don’t have some florescent still in the session’s boundaries, the wonderful.  I don’t want that class of “reader” reading my work.  And those people, ones in wine’s industry, used to the glossy frames of Wine Spectator, or some other ridiculously conventional page collection meant for a magazine rack.  Done.  Now I need some wine.  Good wine.  Life is short, cursedly brief.  And I’m upset in that truth.

1:24pm.  Still uploading photos.  This is comical, honestly.  Moving on, just called KB, was given some valuable contact information.  I’ll email for an appointment, TASTING, later today.  Still reflecting on my friend’s transition, his mother’s voice over the phone.  I have to have my Art prepared at all times, just in case I go early.  Like 2Pac having several albums lined, I’ll quit with all that stalls my Craft; I’m just going to write.  Even as much as I’m seduced by photography, I’m passing.  Just penning.  That’s how I want to be remembered–  One who loved writing, his family.  Life, Wine.  But above all, his paroxysm for pen.


4:44pm.  In office.  Just posted again to bottledaux, then some Bud Break photos to 1Stop.  In a better mood, but still uneven from Collin.  How could that happen?  I feel only fear, now, realizing I need to keep writing.  Keep all Art stretches simple, unique.  Going to upgrade Pandora, finally, now that I have a couple free seconds.  Listening to Wine Bar beats, after my late lunch; the sandwich Alice packed yesterday.  Dinner tonight…  Not sure.  Something I want, crave.  Rosso Pizzeria?  Could be nice, that one new pizza I like.

Went to Russian River, stopped at a new winery.  New for me…  Woodenhead.  Did a Pinot flight, courtesy of the swift tasting Room being behind bar.  Her name, Melody.  “How appropriate,” I thought, with my revived connection with more musical writing, spoken word; reciting to Self on 101’s northness, River Road’s west-centricity.   Anyway, each Burgundy blew me away, and I was notably riveted by the Carignane, 2009 from Mendocino County.  Bought a bottle.  Don’t think I’ll be opening it tonight.  More than likely, I’ll pop one of the Hoot Owl Creek ’07 Cabs I bought yesterday, after tasting them at the AV gala Saturday night.

Typing with peculiar fury, speed.  Maybe I’m resurrected, in some way, by this new winery, its Pinots.  Could be.  Or, it could be this time I have2Self.  Just treated Self to more music.  And I’ll need it, as I plan on a page binge over the next few days.  Which reminds me, this is my last blog post for day.  Need to give more time, attention and Life to writing I can peddle.  Need the money, if you need know.  I want to click on the “Print” button.  Want to get another one of those ipod docks for my car.  Tired of listening to the same songs over, over.  Doesn’t help writing, believe me.  May be in a Pinot mood, after all.  Either way, going to carry Comp Book [of which I’m on the final page], and the new one, downstairs, playing video games while spitting poetic bursts, blurbs, bends & blends onto hopefully-hungry lines.

Yes, off in car, again…

(5/21/12, Monday)


log — Saturday, 5/19/12

Last night, finally had a chance to taste MKCS, once home from the AV gala–where I tasted some amazing Sonoma County/Alexander Valley Cabernets.  Katie had dinner with Alice, and brought with her a sample of our inaugural production.  I was pleasurably shocked with what I tasted.  Nice fruit up front, with herbal song from nose to finish.  Already a formidable tannic tango.  Found a new winery last night, with which I now find Self strangely obsessed.  Last night, they poured an ’07 Cabernet.  Ordered two bottles today by phone, which are to be delivered to AV Winery early morrow.  I’ll log the name in later entries.

Couldn’t wait to get to keys, and now can’t find any words.  Not sure about transition ahead…  Don’t want to line any specifics, but I’m just at loss.  Think I just need to be on paper.  I do have notes from today, in the little notepad, but am much too lazy to arch and bend vessel to grab it from back pocket, as I just sit on this couch, typing, nursing a Racer 5.  Jack tonight, more than vocal with me.  This little character, aging so fast that I have no reason to believe he’s not taunting me.  Why my writing style’s changed.  Why it’s faster, sloppier.  More Human.  Tomorrow morning, need to wake early, for my 128 sitting.  Didn’t have one today, as I had to be in at 9am.  May have been why I was in such a toxic temperament when I walked through the Room’s doors.

Remember walking through the caves today, thinking how frustrating it is not to write every thought that passes in my perceptive boundary. “What if I forget this thought?” I can remember thinking.  Obviously, I didn’t.  But, I now understand, “So what if I did?” IT contributes to my role as Artist, Writer; Diarist.  Thoughts don’t always have to be written.  Sometimes, that’s the most Literary form of writing, that which isn’t put to paper.  OR screen.  Haven’t sipped the Racer in a clod of minutes, excuse me…

10:39pm.  Monday night, another tasting here at home.  Thinking I need to focus on Sauv Blancs, 1 Cab (one of the bottles being delivered tomorrow).  AND, more importantly than wine, MUSIC.  Treated Self to a $50 iTunes gift card today, when picking up the Su Casa takeout for Alice & I.  But even still, with this gift, I keep stressing in this Writer’s life.  Am I “caught up?” Did I leave anything out?  What if I’ve lost thoughts?  Well, I tell Self, “If anything was worth remembering, you would have remembered it, and it’d be in the journal.  One of them.” Just put it all into verse, song, I’m thinking.  This prose, tiring for me, the reader.

10:49pm.  Thinking about our Cab, Katie’s and mine, MKCS.  Yes, I was tired when I sipped it, but that little bottle woke me up, redirected my attention and irrevocably focusing me on Autonomy.  Wine Autonomy, with Writing logging each step.  Speaking of Winemaking, my research…  Didn’t do any today.  I honestly didn’t have time.  But it was on mind, from 9 to 6:15p, when I left.  And you know what else I entertained, while walking through the cave, about the estate…  Flying.  Airplanes.  Just like Dad.  He said that if that was ever something I wanted to do, I should start with gliders.  Should I?  I’d rather do that than skydive, or rock climb.  And, probably something I’ve never before logged: it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do.  And not just for the writing.  Just to fly.  To experience the magic of flying.  As Dad has, many times over.  I don’t want any “bucket list.” I just want to act, write about it.  Think I may need another Racer.  Then write in its ripples.