As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We are a call to all, pay head the squall and turn your sail toward home!

"The bell has been raised from it's watery grave...Do you hear it's sepulchral tone? We are a call to all, pay head the squall and turn your sail toward home!
Yo, ho, haul together, hoist the colors high.

A recent public session of vinous splurging and edible delights invoked some old spirits and kindred souls. A gifted bottle of a of a lesser known production from Jadot, the illustrious, affordable and easy to love.. 1996 Coucheraux showed the firmness and confidence of the vintage but alas we missed the target by a few years and while attractive and rousing only lasted about 40 minutes once she hit the air. A number of oddball Germanic and Loire whites from 92’ forward, an awe inspiring 1999 Cayuse that brought the whole circle of “understanding Walla Walla” into light. Being the first vintage in production at Cayuse and my first ever face to face with a back vintage, my blind optimism exceeded what I truly thought would be the more-than-likely scenario and profile. Pleasantly surprised, the wine was in glorious shape. Donated by a winemaker just down the road from Cayuse, the stuff felt like a ruffian in some ways but I could sense that the hibernation was basted in vivid dreams and flannel sheets. Still and 51 degrees is a good thing eh?
An old pal, the 2001 Clarendon Hills, Piggot Range, Syrah Clarendon, South Australia. Massive with sheer lift and even handedness. The Piggott Range vineyard vines are 25-30 years old, and are planted in rock and shale, with only 10-13 mm top soil. The vine roots work hard to establish themselves and force their way downwards between cracks in the rock and shale to find water. The yields are extremely low at .75 tons per acre. This is uber-exotic and over the top in every sense but it has an electric spine like a downed transformer in a neighborhood swimming pool. Mint and camphor surrounded my a meat locker with freshly cured Braesola and tobacco it shared similar extra terrestrial traits to the 2001 Sean Thackrey Orion which now holds rank as one of my three top domestic wines tasted in 2008. Stuffed like a sock monkey, this jugo was equally as thrilling as it was painful to know it was my last bottle and naught another in sight. 2 more years may have broken the curse.

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