Lummi Island Wine Tasting April 9 ’11

I have restocked our April “Wine of the Month,” the Altos las Libres Colonias Bonarda from Argentina. We don’t often have a “wine of the month,” but every once in a while a wine shows up that so over-delivers for its price that it really gets your attention. I don’t know how long this will be available, and I highly recommend buying this one by the case: our price $96. It’s an incredible value.

We stocked up on our supply of Pleasant Valley Cheese today, and have very small amounts (more in the future) of two very special new cheeses: lavender (subtle and perfect for an Easter cheese plate with maybe a pinot noir or a rose) and a new variation on Fines Herbes, this one Herbes de Provence, to enthusiastic reviews. Very limited supplies of both for the moment, so be sure to ask!

We are planning a trip to France in October. One of the wine regions we want to visit is Languedoc-Roussillon, which stretches from the southern Rhone at the Northeast down to the Spanish border along the Mediterranean. Today’s rose is from Minervois, which lies northeast of Carcassonne. We’ve been reading a lot about the century-long crusade to hunt down and burn at the stake (oh, and by they way, take all the lands ) of a “heretical” group called the Cathars in the 1200’s. a gruesome bit of history, and ample reason to devoutly eschew mixing religion and politics.

More importantly, last weekend we met new Lummi Islanders Ryan and Ryan (I have NO idea what you say when you try to call one of them on the phone), who lived in France for six years, and one of them was — this is so awesome– in the wine business, and knows all about the wines of the area we are planning to visit! Our new Best Friend!

Ryan and Ryan

Usually our standard for posting photos is “look like you’re having a good time!” This photo kinda looks like “yeah, it was a good wine, I’m sorry I said bad things about it, we’re really gonna miss it”…

This week’s tasting:

Chateau Donjon Rose ’09 France $10
Blend of syrah, cinsault, grenache, one element in my fascination with Minervois. Fruity, with berry, melon and red cherry flavors that are bright. Features mineral and spice on the finish.

Bricco del Tempo Barbera ’09 Italy $10
An old standby, this barbera is a well-priced, medium-bodied barbera with bright, red fruit tones that feature hints of violets, earth and plum with just a whisper of tannin.

Almira Los Dos ’09 Spain $9
Unoaked blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah. Deep crimson-colored, it reveals a Gamay-like, fruity, black cherry and blueberry-scented bouquet. Ripe and succulent on the palate with no hard edges.

Seghesio Zinfandel Home Ranch ’04 California WA92pts $26
Kirsch liqueur, raspberries, a true field blend of 94% Zinfandel and 6% Petite Sirah and Carignan from a vineyard planted in 1895, it boasts a dark ruby color, savory notes of raspberries, cherries, minerals, and flowers. Ripe, fruity, deep, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully etched. Vineyard usually shows some “graham cracker” notes as well…do you taste them?

Wine Tasting

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