Home and sipping the Longboard Sauvignon Blanc

img_1968Jesse gave me the other day.  Don’t feel too pained from run, but a bit tired from day in sum and the dinner Alice and I just had.  Only had two tacos, shrimp, but I don’t know… I’m tired.  Tomorrow back in room, and have to force self to take more tasting notes, more crazy wild wine writings.  Speaking of writing about wine, I didn’t expect this bottle to be as animated and innovative as it is.  Sauvignon Blanc never riles me, honestly, but this one is.  Notes of lime, melon, pine, mint and rosemary, a little stone-something and… salt?  This wine has me thinking, thinking more about my place in wine’s world and what I’m doing in it.  This is a bottle that you’d have at a table, with family, or by yourself like me now, writing my musings on whatever I’m doing tonight.  Tomorrow the week starts, and who knows what will happen.  OR, I do.. I will do what I did on my run today, just keep going.  Yes, I stopped at 8.5 miles, and I wanted to get to 13.1, but I had a well-pushed jaunt.  I got out there, when all I really wanted to do was be lazy and take a nap on the couch.  Just keep moving.

Wife said that soon she’ll be in bed after her long drive up from the city and I’ll prep for Tuesday’s class, put a little more in the book.. my Kismet Cuvée.  Want to “educate” people more on wine, and what they should know, and what they “should know they already know.  What’s that?  Themselves.  Too many times people come into the tasting room and say something like, “I don’t know the right language” or “I’m not sure what the proper wine words are, but…” Wine is personal.  Wine is US.  Wine is not meant to be complicated or even “sophisticated”.  When the fuck are people going to get this?  I’m speaking too harshly and unprofessionally, I know.  Just what’s on my mind.  And again, I’m from the literary world, not this wine industry, and I have to constantly re-calibrate my tone and word deployment.  I’m working on it, I swear.

Had a Sauvignon Blanc at the restaurant, paired with those shrimp tacos.  Just asked the waitress, who was sweet and amicable and eager to get us what we asked for, to bring out whatever SB they had.  I should have asked which it was.  Probably could just go online and find out, but either way it was a gracious pairing— quixotically complimenting all flavors and textures, notes and sensory dotes.  But I too find myself getting tired.  May be headed upstairs with wife when she finally walks up.  Miss my babies.. have so much material to go through from today.  Better wake early tomorrow.  Get writing done, go through pictures on the camera, and do whatever I can do with a quiet morning base.  Will put coffee leftover in tumbler in fridge.. was he upstairs making the funny noise that unnerves me strangely.  Need another glass.. notes, lectures, books, all on mind.  Dominating my concentration.  But my concentration breaks, when I see my phone light up from a message or email… should turn that fucking thing off, or destroy it.  No, can’t do that.  But I should certainly have it out of eye-shot.  Need that glass of SB, finally.

entry you me now

A Big Daddy IPA as the night’s cap, knowing Week 9 tomorrow initiates, and I can’t hold myself much longer till the term’s close comes.  More new ideas with my entrepreneurial urges and new tendencies– tonight I’m here in my home office much pretending I’m in the Healdsburg office, eventual, looking out the window typing my new book and realizing I’m here, there, here, where I need to be to provide from my pages to my family– and I have only wine and its world, and its industry I once hated but now embrace as I’ve made it my own to thank.  This is an interesting time for the Beat writer, how he sees everything and how he knows he’s on the path to winemaker, his own small label– the Merlot and the SB, backwards and forwards, listening to Hutcherson and Monk, starting out my window.  Time for lunch so I go to ‘the Goat’ to get one of those sandwiches they do, if they have any left or just get another coffee and write for an hour there in my Comp Book then walk back to office to type.

Healdsburg is my Sonoma Paris.  I found that in my character while walking down that wide alley to Center Street (I think) to Bravas, to have a beer after another day in the Sanglier tasting Room.

10:02.  I know I should be readying for bed but my thinking’s in the know, knowing it has me and all my functionality.  Not going to state here how I hope I wake tomorrow in enough time to write at 5AM but I just did so I know it’s jinxed, hexed from a devilish hymn– if only if only, what is me with my travel fantasies, from here to Chicago like my winemaker friend David (Napa), traveling to Chicago, then Sanglier Scott headed to Florida tomorrow morning, quite early, headed to Florida for some wine dinners and pourings and sales missions.  Why am I not doing that?  A better question: why am I waiting?  Why don’t I just make that be the currency?  Indeed.  So I intensify everything to a stunning degree and BPM.  Music again, everything, and nothing too rehearsed or thought-out or edited. 

I should consider food more, what I eat and where I eat and turn it, every meal, into content, and I could blend this, yes a pun, with my new fitness and workout efforts; tracking what I allow into my character’s circuitry and how I allow everything to be more balanced, if that makes any sense and I’m not sure it does.  Should ready for bed, this writer, and write letters to Dav, and other friends that claim they write– but why.  None of them can keep up with me.  Even Paula, an old friend, expressed in a message today that she wished she could “move as quick” as me with vocables, images and expressions.  She’s giving me far too much laud, but even still it feels planetary being so acknowledged a writer, a Beat.  Bed nears, and my patience with the semester is queered.  But what can I do but behave, be a good adjunct and do my job.  Till I’m making my wine, that is. 

Alice goes upstairs, I say goodnight and tell here I’l soon be up but I don’t know if that’s true as I’m in a certain literary film tonight with my recall of day and my wined dreams, and last night sipping the Devil Proof with Mom and Dad, then the Lancaster ’11.  Wine is every turn and cliff in my story and all skies, rise and tries.

Books all around me, a picture of Jack on the day he was born, in the hospital being held by Alice’s mother–  And I know, think, appreciate and wonder at, “3 years ago.. no, more…” How?  Time with its evil intent, making us all age and move on.. Grandma telling me before she died, “It’s YOUR life. You have YOUR choice.” Echo, echo…  And I have to act if I’m to see the world and write about it, taste wines in Italy and France, return to my Paris.

And I find myself being distracted by life.  By messages and moments, the papers I have to grade, this empty IPA bottle left, the little horizontal slices of the street I can barely view through the blinds– the fan in Jackie’s room I can hear from my chair here, that picture again of Jack on top of my Fall ’15 Comp Book (the book I’m supposed to be writing over this semester before my daughter arrives but I’ve been very much slippin’, to use Godfather talk).  I’m a mess this evening, frankly, but one beautiful, one confident, not caring about what happens in the morrow hours as I know what will happen.  I’ll wake whenever, have of course the poet’s coffee, the write a bit, ready Jack for school take him to school then come back and ready the papers for passback.  Then.. write, on this blog and in the book, finish the poems gathering.. be more and more a writer.

The quiet of this home office, making me think I’m in a hotel room while on the Road on some book tour, having to lecture tomorrow about wine or writing or writing about wine but I don’t care I pour myself another glass and write in the Comp Book, notes, not full sentences but singular words, thoughts, expressions and impulses.  I’ll go to bed thinking of my lecture, what I’ll say and the next city I’ll visit.  I’ll talk about words and there expansive qualities with wine, and how wine is a story, it IS literature, telling us something about its creator and what we’re to do after experiencing it, like after reading a text.. the author wants us to do what?  Nearly where I want to be, actuality and paginatedly.  Still hear Jack’s room’s fan, and Alice upstairs, slight sniffle.  Life moves far too quick, and I keep thinking of my babies one day reading this in college, or something I write, wrote, about drinking wine and the life and voice, narrative I find in it. 

And then what–

And for once, for once

I talk myself out of a mood before sitting down to write– and consider this wined rant very much a brainstorming about wine and selling it and through a blog, creatively– I won’t lose site of the creative compulsions but I will be aiming my Literary wheels for sales purposes, endorsing certain stories and bottles and wines I believe in.. and watch them move, move out of the tasting room or warehouse or wherever they are.  I’ve had this idea for a while now but have only lightly dabbled in it, or something like it–  But here I am this morning, tired of the semester already like you wouldn’t believe and swearing I’ll never do it again.  And I can’t.  Not with a daughter on the way.. there needs to be more singularity to my efforts and maybe I shouldn’t be putting all this out there into the whatever-sphere, but I have to have it noted, not just for you but for myself to read and re-read.

I’ll be in the shower just before 10, then to campus where I’ll quickly grade through the Kerouac papers.  Then let each section go early so I can return to this brainstorming, and I know what bottles I’ll start with.. not going to note that here but just know I know.  MY mocha tastes a bit off, odd but I’ll keep sipping.  Think.. think.. I tell myself and wonder how to do it– sell bottles from a blog.. I know I shouldn’t be taking up time here thinking how to do that.. but that’s what I want to do.  When someone buys a bottle, why do they buy it?  Yes, some for prestige or something thought that buying this bottle provides a certain image for them, like when people walk into a tasting and the first words out of their mouth are “I’m a wine club member.” Most people buy wine, I find, from identifying with it, in some way.  Yes, how it tastes, but as well where it comes from, the character imparted from the wine– and no this isn’t theory, and this isn’t imagination, this is an observed actuality.

Just had an image, fantasy of me calling in, both classes, just saying ‘fuck it’ and staying home.  I won’t, but it crossed my thinking just now, and with radiance and a bit of rancor.  Have to channel what I do, the effort I materialize, for the classes (all fucking 4 of them this term) and rack it over to the selling of wines through the blog, the ‘vvv project’.. now I see something else but I can’t note what it is entirely or even partially and not just from wanting to it secret keep but as well not wishing to douse it in any accidental hex.

9:47– nearly time to run upstairs and into that shower.  Thinking.. thinking.. more about wine and how to move it, crEATively.. just posted something on a small SB/Cab producer, something and someone (along with his biz partner) that I’ve written about before.. nice story and website, and winemaking style, a little more grit and varietal character than I think most American consumers are used to.  Which I like.  Which is why I would love to sell their bottles on the new blog–  Now the ideas fall like determined rain, precipitate piously…

Latest St. Francis Visit, 9/29/15

IMG_8885So I finally had the opening in my schedule to visit St. Francis, the winery I’d argue that started everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  My passion for and relationship with wine, my family’s involvement with wine, and everything wine in my life.  I walked through those enigmatic doors through and under the bell tower, and to the bar, where my old friend Ronnie was pouring for two or three sizable groups and managing everything with a fluency and assiduous momentum that anyone in hospitality would envy.  My flight took off with the Sauvignon Blanc, a 2014 which showed all the versatile and vivacious qualities I look for in an SB, a bottle with not just a peculiar persistence to its form and fold, but as well food-pairing capabilities and a stern collusion of tropical qualities and texture.  Then the Estate Cuvée Blanc, a white Rhône blend which I’ve always enjoyed an not just from taking to white Rhônes perhaps more than others in Sonoma or Napa do– it’s just a finely revolving and musical white wine, with that acidic subtext and slight oak influence that grabs the sipper and instructs on a different way to converse with white wines.  Then the Chard which I always love, then a storm of reds Ronnie insisted I taste.  I tried to stop him but he wasn’t hearing it–  the IMG_8889RRV Pinot, then the ever-famous Behler Merlot, the Lagomarsino Cab, Rockpile Red– everything telling me I need to fall deeper in love with wine and its story and stay close to St. Francis as  a winery and why wouldn’t I as it’s always teaching me something new about wine and certain blends and varietals, and something even more rewarding about me as a wine-riled writer and how to see wine in my life.


St. Francis started out as a dream of founder Joe Martin and his wife Emma.  I’ve always found their story and path compelling and telling to me, one always scribbling alongside what I sip and intersecting me with magnetic and encouraging people like Ronnie, and all through this industry– only the positive and the love and family-sewn story that brings people over that small bridge from the parking lot and through the doors under the so-known tower.


Once the tasting was over I walked around a bit, out on the patio and to the lawn, and around the parking lot a couple times, just thinking and remembering all the family moments precipitated here, and where I am now with my wined life, and how it all started in that tasting room, on both sides of the bar.  When I used to pour with Ronnie and now just as an obsessed patron; one with a near-cult paradiddle to his ideations and speech whenever St. Francis lands in the conversation.


While finishing my entry here and remembering my latest elbow-on-bar scene I sip the Merlot, the ’12, one you’d find at several stores in this area and elsewhere.  Dad used to tell me whenever he was on a trip and he wanted a bottle of wine he’d go to a local wine shop, always look for a “Frannie red”, he’d say.  And it’s obvious why.  Nothing nears this phylum and forward of grape interpretations, red or white.  So I take another sip, find my Self in and on a new flight.


Centered and Not Copied

And on this Tuesday I find my Self in a more empowered mood than I’ve experienced or felt in days.  Here in the adjunct hole, hut, parlor or whatever I let nothing get to me as I only see growth with the mmc project and launching the ‘vvv idea’ in days.  The copycenter on the other side of that door to my right is all atwitter, people rushing and copying pages for instructors.. interesting.  Have to edit-down the winemaker interview from yesterday, I’ll do that at the Starbucks on 12&Mission after the 370 class.  We meet in just under 90 minutes to discuss our first taste of Sylvia Plath’s work.  Sorry, was distracted by a message incoming on phone.  I know I should let myself get pulled by a device, but I’m Human and am flaw-ridden.

And what else, this day… what else…..  Nothing much other than Alice and I have been married 8 years, which I can’t believe, another sharp and stark reminder of Time and its vicious persistence only aging us but uniquely motivating the writer in ways many.  May stop by St. Francis on the way to 12&Mission to pick up a bottle or two, and how symphonic, no?  As St. Fran’ was the wine chosen for our wedding.  Well, that and McManis wines, a couple of them.  Not sure if I’ll do any tasting but I really should, always, have St. Francis in the cellar.  Or, closet.

Already into Week 7.  And how do I feel, what do I want?  For it all to be over?  Not really, as this morning while buying one of those accordion file holders for my papers I understand and blazingly saw that there is material in the student submission.  Even in the weaker pieces– how they understand language and words and writing their own word and language to page.  And, how so many teachers become frustrated and incensed with what’s on a page.  I guess I understand the frustration of certain teachers, but more so I urge them to learn from it, and why the student struggles with the transference of words, thoughts, what’s “in there”.

The usual English adjunct, and the older Math adjunct in here with me.  She, ‘English’, is at one of the computers.  Around the corner, the edge of that tall grayish brown cubicle wall division.  But ‘Math’ is just to my right, grading some submissions and doublechecking work with a calculator.  She always looks at peace and quite communicatively connected to her work while he looks truly beat, disinterested and exhausted.  I said hello to full-timer at SRJC yesterday, in the Emeritus hall and he laughed, mentioning something about “decrepitude”, suggesting he either wasn’t happy, was frustrated, or just surrendered.  “And he’s a full-timer!” I thought to myself, walking outside to the 3PM meeting.

I again think of the “perfect world” discussion with Dad, at Monti’s a while back, where he asked about teaching vs writing.  The answer was obvious about both and he urged me to write about wine, creatively as I do.  So that’s what I’ll do and keep doing and writing crEATively for my clients and showing and sharing with people a different view and appreciation of what’s in the glass.  So, yes, I will go to SF Winery, maybe even say hello to my baby sister– in fact, let me text her.

I should target a varietal or style when there.. something to review or study.  So, then, obviously, Merlot.  And SB.  But what else?  What about a blend?  Bordeaux or Rhône or something odd or innovative?  Not sure what they have it’s been so long.  But I’ll walk in only with a Comp Book.  And I’ll not everything, slowly, and with loving labor and finite detail to all nose and palate parts.  The “End Game,” as Kevin and I discussed Saturday… for me: MY wines.  So I study and with angry passion and intention.  Oh I can’t wait.  Yes, I will taste after class and report my findings to my sister and see if she has an opinion on my thoughts and translation of what she translated through varietal and style.  Have several projects going now– need to make a list in my little black mmc book.

Heard from Katie, I’ll meet here there just before 3 and taste with her till about 3:15.  Researching their site, I feel out of touch with my first favorite producer– so many new releases and projects and varietally-centered efforts.  This is a re-immersion.  A certain reckoning of my wined Self.  Ugh– it can’t come soon enough.. so I center and meditate and wonder where I’ll be right when my daughter is born, a full-time writer, writing, Mike Madigan Author and business owner/blogger/wine consultant but not in the cheesy way, one offering honest and useful consultation, much I hate that word, on wines being poured, the order in which their poured, release dates and what be–

Just checked out the portfolio, and I am most excited to taste there with Katie.  And, I just learned she was voted “Best Woman Winemaker”.  How did I not know this? She’s a loft and stratospherically so with her career.  And I aim to catch her.  Not with some embittered competitive edge, not at all, if anything she my little baby sis inspires me like no one else does with wine and winemaking and showing me that you can have whatever you want in life, from your career.  I think quite frankly she’s a paradigm that can’t be mimicked, certainly not copied.

11:43– shit.  I need to get ready for class.  Okay, breathe… where did time go?  I know, I know, let Ms. Plath do the talking in what I orate in class, it will be here and her past and what she wants to share with us– the battles with Self and depression and the poetic urge to tell us all of it!


Friday My Friday

The war with tech on wages, and I type on my wife’s new laptop, the one issued by herIMG_8260school (they would never do that for adjunct at the JC or university… spit!).  Trying to stay focused on my mission tomorrow with Dad and not be befuddled even the slightest by this latest tech clash.  This is like Ukraine and Russia, or the Russian-supporters or what be.  Not sure what side be me, as as soon the writer thinks he’s ahead and in so many ways dominant, he’s set back, attacked, and…  Don’t want to talk about it.  Feels odd typing on someone else’s computer, and the writer tries to ignore it, re-focus on the wine I sipped tonight, the Kunde Family’s ’14 Magnolia Lane SB.  I texted Zach, their winemaker and tangential friend to the writer, that this SB translation show much more vintage congruency, much more texture and impact, impression.  Now the writer’s in his night’s cap, seeing the day come morrow, Dad’s and my first mission together; wine-honed and to only gather content content CONTENT.  For the startup and for this wined log of course.  No TV on, and me with my IPA wanting to makewine buinse wine, again today hearing Glenn talk about the Kick Ranch and the various clones present on the block sequences and how they need water and how there’s only so much water.. maybe I’ll take a couple IMG_8258classes.  Or maybe I shouldn’t.  I’ve been an academic all my life, what if I turned into one just fully living wine?  No formal schooling or any institutional stretches, just teach mySelf?  Yeah that IS what I’ll do.. so if I were to further deconstruct the SB from tonight, I’d affirm it had more almond and vanilla vertices about its strut.  The acidity was more understated than the ’13, and the overall fruit jargon of the wine was less-contrived.  And I think that’s from ’14 being a deliberately reduced crop, or at least that’s what I was told by —–.  But the consumer doesn’t care about that, they want to enjoy what their sipping and this SB has more universal elevation and speak to it than the ’13.

The weekend, or weekend-like for a writer like me.  Beginning my running again on Monday, Labor Day.  Only 5 miles, and more emphasis on weights in my routines.  And maybe even a bit of boxing, just for added cardio.  Have to be alive and quick my babies, and for the traveling I’m near to do.

IMG_8257        And then I notice the writing slow, and my attention wander and stray like one of the domestic cats on the Autumn Walk block.–  Reached down over arm of couch left for beer but it was right.  That’s exhaustion, not liquored effects.  Wish it were…  We all slept so brilliantly last night, especially Jack early in A.M. running into our room all chuckles and congealed humor, hopping over my stomach to lay next to me and tell me about the how Gra’pa and Magah (Mom) are coming back soon.  This more calculates the family winery aim.  And walking the blocks today with Glenn as I did, talking about Syrah clones and GSM’s and the Pinots he makes…  So much more to my story, my family’s story.. and it’ll be written, you’ll see.

Should get to bed soon.  Have a long day of wine IMG_8249study tomorrow with Dad– Want to show him ME on my A game, at my most precise and acute.  Again distracted by how Jackie’s cars litter the floor here in the family room of the Autumn Walk base.  His confidence of ownership is more than luminescent and proverbial, he’s of the founded and formed mind that he can do anything, that anything’s possible.  What an entrepreneur my little Artist would make…  WILL make, when a part of this mmc camp.


After a full day of wine, I’m here

iIMG_8209n the home office writing about wine, wine stories and wine visions, tasting today at a Healdsburg tasting room that was started by a guy who blogged his whole cellar experience.  Bought one bottle of Pinot then left.  Since home, or since finishing dinner, I’ve been writing and editing pieces for clients, finishing my final glass of Sanglier SB, and into my writings.  Alarm will be set for 5AM and there’s no way I can ignore the sound, no matter how annoying it may come off.  My coffee arsenal replenished by Ms. Alice, and I think more of making wine and living in wine and writing about it, everything I discover from fermentation strategies to oak regiments to bottling, to ‘do I use foil or not’, to what do I pair this with (which I think is totally overblown.. I mean why do you have to stress or excessively deliberate over pairing?  Why pair at all?).  So my wined thoughts get away from me then come back, and I would love to go to sleep right now, having been up just after six, with little Kerouac charging me as I lay on the couch only from him calling me out of bed to go get him and walk him back to our bed which he then would annex.

Again waiting for technology to cooperate.  I’ll tell you honestly reader I’m getting tired of this dependency and this waiting.  Quite through with it if you must know, which you probably already know.

Have to email a winemaker friend of mine, see when he’s back in town, want to interview him about his new projects and see if he’ll taste me on the new releases of his, all of which I love the concept, of the rebellion and being “proof” of something, or rather, immune to something, not phased by it and what be.  The airconditioner comes on and I wonder why, not that hot in here, or down here in the study but maybe it is upstairs in Jackie’s room, so then I don’t fret with its whooshing and light hum.  My desk a mess but I’m making it through my checklist, the one I started at the winery on on the back of one of the tasting menu cardstocks, if that’s what you call them.

Ready to post last piece for client 2, then I can entertain going to bed early.  Told Ms. Alice in a text earlier today from work that I had so much writing to get done and that I’d be up at 12AM, no later.  Could be earlier, I’m hopeful…  But who knows, who knows with me and wandering attention but tonight I’m quite well fairing.  But then I tire and think about sleep, and waking up early as I want to (reminds me I need to cue the coffee, get everything in position for my early session).  10:40 the time now, and I definitely feel the hours catching me, funny, thought I would be able to stretch till midnight no problem, but there’s a problem: I’m Human.


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

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MY Winery Story…..


A run earlier produced a few ideas as to what I call my wines, the projects themselves; both Literary and running references. And as the writer walked back to the Autumn Walk base–only walking as the heat stopped me right at mile 4–I thought of the balance of wine and Wellness, and how yes people should sip wine, mine or any others, but as well know what they’re sipping; not overthink it of course but just listen to their senses and what those receptors are telling them, and what the wine itself is telling them; what i instructs and confesses and casts….
Didn’t have much chance at work to research as I did on day 1, but I did notice as Kevin and I did inventory that inventory itself as an act can be made so lovingly and comfortably simple, simplified– no surprise drop-offs or organizations or re-organizations. And tonight for the winemaker, or writing winemaker, no wine; only water and a little leftover birthday cake as I need my thoughts atmospherically clear this eve; and to wake early in morrow’s wee-est of times to finish a short story I started. Yes about a winemaker. Yes based on both Blair and my sister. And yes, a vision of what I hope to be– no, what I HAVE to be– with my wines. Tasted a little at work today, just a little and this I tally as a winemaking study act: the ’13 RRV Pinot, the texture and how that transitions into the “finish”. And then I thought how much I bloody loathe that word, “finish”. Why would you ever want a sip and its echo to end? I mean, okay.. I know it HAS to end in tangibility. But what about thought? What about the reflection? The idea that was presented to you, like a short story, or novel, or memoir? Why can’t someone sip a wine and keep thinking about it, or discuss and if they wish deconstruct what they just tasted? Not bludgeon it with excess analysis, but simply communicate. Where is the “finish” there if the words continue, if the thought gallops on? And that’s what I want my SB & Cab, and in later vintages a couple projects in each type, to execute and birth; dialogue, a story, thought.
I’ll open something tomorrow night, but I’m not sure what, doesn’t have to be SB or Cab. Just a wine to study; its functionality and Literary qualities; the “palate narrative” as I thought today with that ’13 RRV PN. And with the narrative, I have to see intent of the wine, what it aims to state and the thesis it demands to deliver. And does it? Yes, I’m speaking of wine as a cognitive and interactive entity. The wine should have some form of rhetoric, and a certain shape and sequence to that rhetoric, revealing its truest of collusions.
A bit after 10, and I think of my tasting room, and the inventory and where it’s kept. Do I do ‘appointment only’ or open Room for the world to come sip? Or do I not do a TR at all? Over-thought… sure I’m not the only winemaker to do this…..


MY Winery Story…..


Till what? Till I’m making my wine and selling it. today, rough for the writer and not just with the pacing with all elements, nothing optimistic about me today– but then I realized what I want, when I received my gift from Blair, two bottles, one of each from his label; the Chard and Petite Sirah. So yes.. the winemaker’s path.. me.. but I need funding, and all has to happen within a year, 365 days exactly, and I’ll write the whole thing, so that emboldens more consistency in a writing project, a novel, Mike Massamen, and Madigan, doing something that establishes that Zen, that Equilibrium.
I’ve made proclamations and promises before, but this one’s different, far contrasting what before took place. So.. enough of this declaring, now doing. And my budget, ZERO. I’ll start on ZERO and fund the winery, ‘whoso cellars’, with the writing.. so the ‘yrownjoy’ project is heightened in terms of urgency. Tonight, I study the Arista ’12 Banfield Zin. Interesting but it lacks that stage presence that I look for in a wine, that lasting quality, yes it has a story and the visual is captivating and charming, but the sensory dimension once on tongue, on “palate” is coy and rushed, like it doesn’t want to be analyzed. Of course I wouldn’t say that in the TR, but that’s what I’m writing here. And what 2 wines will I master? Sauv Blanc… Cabernet. And from there I build. I’m looking for a way to get the Cab from Cloverdale to SFW, where my sister said she’d watch it. What I’m doing with this day and after this day where I inventoried everything in my professional life is decide, render my path; wine, making it, traveling with it and pouring it for people and writing along the way. Like Dad said, “You can always write.” True. So why not with a profession and stationing which only magnetizes material and more pages– wine, WINE, and making it, writing my tasting notes and my story and what I want people to see, and that voice is the sipper’s, what they want to see; this is about them and them enjoying the wine as they want, not as I want, not as I hope they do, even though I have that idealized construction. My thoughts entangle now and overlap and confuse me and I’m sure you, as I’m nearly done with the Zin I took home– just know I end the day with the yay, no more nay. And with wine, and my label, the winemaker, having an understanding of everything from the vineyard; rootstock and soil type and drainage to the varietals; clone, skin to pulp ratio, brix, maturation… Ah like I told my students, SELF-EDUCATION. And watch, readers.. WATCH! My label close, as is my fruit for this vintage, my last training vintage. And the wine, the wine that tells me to bring it to LIFE. And write it.

Didn’t think I’d write tonight, but I just realized it and what I have to do after the day’s deliberation and trying to shake myself out of a mood. So now.. no more distractions.. only this, only this project.. and I will only write of this, this chase and the wine and my obsession with the stories associated with wine..