Today… bit by wine bug, working an event at Idlewild

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.

wine sketchez

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.

wine sketchez

Truett Hurst Winery – 2015 – “Queen Bee” – Gewurtztraminer – Russian River Valley/Sonoma County

img_7924

I remember thinking, “A Gewurtztraminer?  I’m going to write about a Gewurtztraminer?” Well here I am doing just that.  This bottle has no sugar to speak of, or none that you can detect, and boasts with tropical and florally capturing chimes from contact one to any finish.  But that’s one dimension to this wine I found inspiring, is that there was no “finish”.  I tasted it yesterday before 11AM, I’m pretty sure, and can still recall every suggestion, from the apricot, to the line, to the wet stone, forest air, tangerine…  This wine just stays there and communicates with you.  Has not intention of fleeing.  Doesn’t necessarily demand a food pairing, but would welcome something spicy or with a little pepper, some kind of heat.  I know, you’ve never heard of such a pairing for Gewurtz’, right?  Well, just had to put it in my notes, maybe to remind myself.  But, honestly, the structure and pervasive placement of this wine is so playful and flirtatious that I would just leave it alone, or only “pair” it with something before dinner, like veggies and hummus, or some aged cheddar., or a chair on a porch, or by a pool.  But, back to what I said, I was smitten leaving the tasting room.  And it was a rainy day, and I kept thinking “This would be nice for just sitting inside with and sipping, feet up on a coffee table in front of a fire or to some Sonny Rollins.” But, had to work.  So, to more of the wine’s testaments, it had me fantasizing, wishing, envisioning myself with just a day off— me, a bottle, a view.  Simplicity, sequencing more seduction.  And from a Gewurtztraminer.  Huh…..

wine sketchez

Via Guisti Winery – 2015 – Vermentino – Carneros/Sonoma County

Not really one who chases Vermentino, but I found this one on a local wine list, at a localimg_7145 restaurant while out to dinner.  I didn’t know what to expect but I was irrevocably riveted by all sensory approaches, the paradiddles that sang to the palate… vanilla and orange, lemon and banana, pineapple.  This was not a wine that was trying to be safe, or mainstream.  It wanted to be honest with its narrative, tell a new turn in Vermentino’s volume and place, character and voice.  I kept sipping till dinner, nearly ordered another glass but had to refrain.  Been haunted ever since.  Wish I would have had just one more glass.  What I remember most was the texture of the wine and how it so luminously complimented the flavor complexion.  Maybe now I will hunt this varietal, but I’m fearful.  How could any other interpretation have this magnetic degree?  I don’t want to obsess over that, just want to remember what I tasted, how it taught me something about Vermentino and myself as a wine pursuer.  Easily one of the most pedagogical and enveloping white wines I’ve ever encountered.  And I have to laugh, as it just found its way to my life, my story, my writing.  You can never know what to expect in this wine stage, and Via Giusti’s enigmatically ethereal bottle reminded me of just that.  I left the restaurant more than enamored.  I was in longing, curious, writing in my head what I’d do if I had a bottle when back home.

David Coffaro Estate Vineyard

Reaction:  Loved the quiet persuasiveness of the property.  No large crowds, just cozy buildings enveloped by Dry Creek’s floor.  The tasting room is quaint and concise in its stretch.  Jesse poured for me, starting with some Sauvignon blanc, then moving to Rosé and a sparkling.  All the reds had voice and character, wanted me to like what they said, each of them, and I did, everything from the Pinot Noir to the side-by-side of the Block 4, ’13 vs. ’14.  Just what I expected after all the vaunt I heard from people I know in the industry.  I walked around the tasting room a couple times to further take in the atmosphere of that room— barrels and bar, bottles, the music, the pictures, everything.  Just what I needed for a new experience in the valley.

Don’t want to simplify this label and its story down to “value wine”, but the price juxtaposed with the quality you experience in whatever bottle you open cannot be dismissed.  The reds don’t see excessive oak residency, which is a relief.  I didn’t want to leave, go back to work.  I’m being honest, it was hard to return to my car.  But, what I took away was not just a new story but a tempered approach to and presence of wine. The flavors were commanding but not bossy or offensive.  Wrote in my little pages, about the ’13 Black 4, “Tasty amalgamated percussion”, but I could say that for the winery as a whole, each project in their lineup.  Definitely musical, everything Jesse poured.  This winery has an sizable audience, not too universal yet not too esoteric.  Symphonically animated, everything about that room and its wines.  Be back soon…

MOCK SOMM

Tasty Pedagogy

Stuhlmuller Vineyards – 2014 Estate Chardonnay – Alexander Valley

A jazzy Chardonnay algorithm from a producer a bit hidden but once found you have that oeno-phantasmic revelation.  You sip and see something different in the Chardonnay character and story.  From the first sensory stroke, the fruit is clean, coherent and img_0904convincing; apple and pear, light paradiddles of apricot, nectarine.  And with the acidic current, every flavor phrase and conversation is augmented.  So narrative and wild, a Chardonnay that speak, truly speak, and isn’t concerned with what you experience has been.  And in such urgency you find universality, a branch to the butter crowd as well as the stainless.

Just as artful as the label, equally the naturalist splendor and visual ardor of the ground.  Comforting and arcadian with everything greeting you.  I’ve found that Chardonnay, as you may or may not know from my past columns, has a troubled relationship with me, for which I take full responsibility.  But there wasn’t that invitation, there was only and esoteric appeal of the wine’s immediate and inferred body.  As the bottle acclimated to ambient temp in the kitchen of my Autumn Walk Studio, the fruit exercised volition to morph its mold to something more pair-centered.  Everything else was still there, just a new steering voice delivered the bottled thesis.  I was ever more taken with what I was sipping.  I sat and thought and knew I had to visit, and maybe I will next week, my next day off—  This wine is a separation from reality, from the mundane and the patterned template of any varietal, but especially Chardonnay.  There speaks its instruction, its truest boon; the truth itself, Chardonnay’s truth and identity, and you’ll be coerced that there is amicable Chardonnay.  Not many this well-crafted, you should note.  And I review my notes form last night, right before putting the bottle back its frigid domicile: ‘beatific, centered, peripatetic (with how it travels about your receptors), devoted…” A bottle with life.  That reminds me to live, find my road, my own translations, and be vocal, narrative, tell my story.  My stories with wine this vastly prodigious.

 

1/26/16

bottled thought:  hold

Not sure what I’m opening tomorrow night.  And I love that.  Anticipation is very much, I’ve always thought, part of true wine adoration.  There are a couple bottles I have in mind, but I’m not sold on anything, yet.  And why would I want to be “sold’?  Sell myself?  That’s not wine, and that’s not what wine intends.

But what I do know, a white and a red.

I’ll let you know…..

1/11/16

MOCK SOMM:  Another Chardonnay Reconsideration, 12/18/15

I’ve written before that Chardonnay and I have the more quirky and turbulent of communicative associations.  But with another unanticipated and sudden intersection, I find intrigue—  soft floral almond and pair ripples segueing to rich custard and banana, rich lemon meringue img_0157-1perambulation, with a luminary quake of a finish.  Surprising and educating, which I hope for from any wine, frankly.  This was a gift from an industry associate, and I study it more and more as I glass-tilt— Literary qualities and voices giving way to sagacious steps, the wine proving its cognitive quality to me—

Tell me to execute more mind of open shape— stop and sip, think sans blink—

In this seat, at this sitting, the Chardonnay from the Coast, and wherever in the county writes for me, has me in a humble kerfuffle, atop amorous accolade, I try delaying sip next, but the glass at me stares, commands, commends and convinces.

(MM91)