pouring Italian wines, all quite rare, friend from company I worked at expressing how happy she is for me now, now that I get to enjoy wine as I should as a writer and blogger. “Are you still writing about wine?” I told her yes even though I haven’t been, much, in days recent, but after today all I want to do is hop around Italian wines, and Italy, explore the entire fucking planet as much s I can and taste as much wine as I can, in any tasting room or villa, or terrace, wherever I can. Was in the ‘IW’ TR from about 12-8:15, listening to my friend Thomas speak on Italian varietals in the Mount Etna area. I’ll admit—well I don’t actually have to admit, but…-I don’t know Italian wines that much. Really not at all, till I started helping out at IW. Now I get to have fun, as I should with wine, as anyone loving wine should.
Now that I’m home, I can actually have a full glass. Was quite cautious sipping in the tasting room, Labor Day and all, and the CHP was out like the Panzer Divisions in Warsaw. I was sipping a bit, spitting, but more so listening, thinking of where I am in my wined story and how now I finally get a wined story. Me, now in tech, and I have not even a microscopic regret, will some day I swear have my own little label. I’ve written about this so many times that I’m now actually annoyed I wrote it again, another vow, another promise, but today told me… give everything to the office new, to tech, so I can play in wine. And not just for that, but my wine life is a gift from other work. How can I blend wine and tech, and beyond some silly rating app? That’s obviously too much the obvious approach. My thinking goes to discussion, to conversation, sharing of information yes but more informing other consumers.
Wine is calling me back, but not in any professional capacity. Like Bekah said, enjoy it as you want to. I will, starting with this Rosé. Blend of Nebb’, Dolcetto, Barbera, and I see some cove, the Mediterranean, me not having anything to do but write. The wine bug has bitten me several times today, warned me to stay away from the industry and if I go back it’s for my own tasting room which will be invitation-only. Friends, family, or friends or family, and family, of either. I see after today what wine should be. Not a competition, not a status-anything. Nothing the industry promotes, certainly not some corporate blob-glob pretending to be family-formed. I’m sipping wine, seeing myself somewhere, knowing that what I’ve seen in wine and wha tI now appreciate and feel is what I’m to do in the tech world. Much now answered, much now seen, a gem trove told and gleamed.
Another wine gem, delicious discovery from my vino family at K&L. Whimsy blend, teaching me about red wine and stylistics. I sit at home and sip slow, after dinner, the optimal after-dinner sipper. Waiting on my next sip, still feeling and sensing its sitting and teach on palate. Okay, I think, time to cite notes specific and actual. Have nothing. Only enjoying its order and commanding narrative, presence and poetry about me and this room, epistolary like and Austen novel. On the floor of my home office, listening to a Hutcherson track, and leaning back, hearing the wine even above his notes. Situated in my meditation, this bottle and its unexpected offerings, gift from my oeno-allies, I collect and assemble in Plath-like intimacy. Not a confession but candid communication, the puddle professing its architect and amiable holistic. Intersections like this saunter far beyond the industry, any wine business edifice, but center the character, and me here with this whimsy-told peripatetic poem-bottle. Swirling her in glass, ‘round, tango or flamenco-found.
Demanding presence of a wine, I don’t know how many times over. From the deeply intended notes and dotes of the fruit and smoke assembly to the atmospheric propulsion and general narration of this bottle, I’m in my seat.. speaking to the bottle and what’s in my glass. More than appreciation of the moment and the intersection of her, me… wildly mad in our respective talk, words and songs, scene–
I’m taken back and forth into Washington’s wine Wonderland… wondering if I ever want to get out. Why would I with an offering and narrative with a tasty tryst like this. She knows what I think when sipping, and how I react to interpretations comme ça. So, onward my notes go, in her shapely and syllabic sense-throws…
Two flavorous supernovae located at Bottle Barn. Found gems there before but never like this. And again, with imports… AND, both under twenty dollars. This reminds us as consumers that price relevant, but also relative, and not telling of much. The Albariño with its telling euphonious momentum and nuanced makeup, conveying letters of place and conviction, attention to me as the sipper, while the Garnacha spoke in my more direct an declarative dotes. The more oxygen assimilated into the white wine’s climate and note complexion, the louder it became, the more assertive with its attitude and varietal character. Then, the Garnacha just became more interesting. Not that the Albariño didn’t, only the Garnacha shape-shifted a bit, moved with more seductive syncopation and sensibility… berries sewn in smoky sentences, determined grip and pervasive pulse, structure atop structure. People always go on and on about the “finish” of a wine. The Garnacha didn’t have one. All sips tied together. “Price is ancillary, at best, in terms forecasting quality.” What last night taught me. And, next visit to Bottle Barn assures I’ll be in the import plain and not just reflectively skip to the Sonoma, Napa, Paso parcels. Or maybe I will, but not before seeing what the world itself has for me as a wild wine writer.
2013— St. Francis’ opus, if you would— one of its grandest of grand efforts, Bordeaux spectrum. A certain galaxy speaking from its delicious faultline, reminding me why I’m with wine. This offering actuates the poetic and demanding demeanor you expect from Bordeaux blends. I know, I’m biased. But this bottle’s its own space, its own place and perforation through time continuums. Mostly Cabernet, I think, then mettled with some of the other Bordeauxs. Could call my sister to get the exact blend but I’d rather not and just sip, let it speak to me— this wine reminds me of why I started writing about wine in the first place, why I started to blend my literary terrestrial with cet oenological peripatetic where I live. This contained savory code appeals not just to Meritage chasers, but to any wine lover or roamer or gawker seeking something that perforates their expectations, that teaches them, that electrifies them in ways that delightfully disturbs the way they encounter any new wine going forward. It’s obvious, my tie to this mammoth producer in Kenwood, but believe it or not I’m object in this step-set. And what I get, a contained and convincing red blend. An anthem, singing to all my receptors and analytical receptions. Just finished last glass. One more before bed. The smoke and cherry, chocolate dark atop espresso powder and power, just too inexorable to dismiss. St. Francis winery never speaks. Rather, demonstration and tangibility is its culture. And I’m here, before nightcap, convinced. I’m instructed on Bordeaux amalgamation and attitude— seeing myself in some vineyard, Kenwood or the Left Bank. What do I do? Glass, another. Meditate, alongside my Patron Saint. More I let it sit, after glass final poured, I see more tenacity and character, palate rhetoric and vocality. The wine now not only reminds but instructs me to play with time, to not just enjoy, but purposefully enjoy and understand what I’m sipping.
A Pinot purity of wine music you won’t often palate– Universal while not being that pushover Pinot that so many expect. Formidable and confident, ardent while concurrently maintaining a poetic femininity, soft and symphonious. What others would call “light-bodied”, I dub ‘charming and instructional’. Just the first sip had the writer jovial, thinking of sipping it on a New York hotel balcony somewhere in Manhattan, looking down at the traffic thinking about my life in wine and with wine, why I live in Sonoma County and why I can’t wait to get back– Why I love Russian River as I do, Pinot as I do. St. Francis, known to more than a few as the “house of big reds” demonstrates through the alchemical astute and angelically innovative winemaker with her unwavering intent on varietal translation and expansiveness, decides another direction for the Burgundian voice that all sippers can hear and speak, have connection with. Taking another sip, when I know I should be finishing another article I have due… I assume its subtle intonation and edge. It has me space-bound and terrestrially sound at the same time. One of my favorite sketched wines, so far, easily. Writing this in the year I turn 38 and St. Francis’ RRV Pinot has me with a pugilistic tilt, like I can take on the wine indistry with subtlety and not image or luxury-obsessed pretension. This bottle speaks to everyone loving wine, and everyone loving a truly Human wined frame like Sonoma County, like Russian River, like St. Francis. Like a movie I had always hoped to see, on that changed my consciousness, and I finally viewed it, kind of by chance and some from gift result (parents getting me a bottle, sister the winemaker), but I’m being objective, I swear. I’m already on my “next trip”. Don’t worry. Don’t worry about my relationship with wine and my county. MY county. Sonoma. Not “the other county”, as they say. They’re only a they, and they need us for comparison, for self-state stature. But there is no mirroring. Especially when you sip Sonoma County wines like this. Nowhere near amiss.
Is this the best Grenache I’ve ever had? I don’t know. I want to say yes but I’m hesitant– why the balk? Why? Okay, it is. Met Steve, the winemaker and owner of Les Caves Roties de Pente, the other day at an event at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and he was convivial enough to trade a bottle with me. This purposive of Grenache has more palate push and texture, communicate fruit and completion than other Grenache scenes I’ve seen.. Metamorphic and metered, more verse in the glass, prompting me to be more free and riled in my literary lean. This wine is perfect for a poet/essayist/songwriter like I. So, I fly into this wine further, more conversation code, rattled, from its fruit yodel as oxygen swings and digs into its tasty luminary. Les Caves Roties de Pente, catching me with its storytelling stride and tasty candor. So many I’ve heard call Grenache “the poor man’s Pinot”. Well, they haven’t had this. This bottle is defiant, delicious, something the over-heralded winemakers should study. Interested in a way I am NEVER with other varietals. I nearly feel indebted to Steve, for providing the most enriching wine education I’ve embraced in years. Need another glass–
A Merlot that is more than the stereotype, it negates the stereotype which is an unruly pin. From the dark smokey olfactory lean to the encompassing palate. Fruit and structure, conviction and demanding dialogue. Forget that it’s a Merlot, if you have an edge against Merlot. This was a voice from wine I needed to hear– sincere conviction, sauntering across and beyond my senses with melodic ardor. Near and distant, dark and light, a delicious dichotomy with syllabic syncopation in profile and its mise-en-scène sense. Rich and deep with presence and its beat continues into the next sip. Self-personifying in a way that most Merlots can’t be.
While finishing the first glass, before even thinking of pouring a second, I stared at the bottle, the artful adornment on all sides, varying colors and balances and suggestions. Was nothing but a savory spell, this 2012 from Meeker, a producer I haven’t sipped from or visited in a while. This wine defined the night’s writing session and how I closed the day. Just the story I needed, just the galaxy I wanted to meet, and the ghostly wave I knew Merlot could always bestow.
Amphora Winery – 2012 – Mourvèdre – Clarksburg
Fun and funky little Rhône razzmatazz. Earthy and rustic, raw berry and spice waves surround your senses. This is not meant to be for the one who wants the regular, mainstream wine song. The beauty of this wine resides in its innovative precision and defined defiance. I found myself sipping this throughout the evening, last night, and it aligned like a swift jazz tune with the pasta with red sauce and blackened chicken. I’ll be back by the twee little tasting room off of Dry Creek Road any day, to pick up some more. Nice sipping wine— just what I would sip on a quite early evening to some Thievery Corporation, Miles Davis, The Doors— something to put me on edge a bit, make me think as this bottle does.