Lummi Island Wine Tasting August 13 ’11

For no particular reason, nostalgia seems to be in the wind for me lately, some confluence of the order in which things are experienced that triggers thoughts and images from the past.

For those of us of a Certain Age ( you know who you are, and so does AARP), a lot of our memories are set to scores by the Beatles, which basically means tunes and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Last week we watched the first in the series The Beatles Anthology, on loan from Jennifer and Brendan.

It IS true that sounds, smells, and flavors take us immediately back to the past; the first volume barely got us up to 1962, when no one in America had even heard of them. Yet there they were, the familiar faces, antics, and music, vicariously known by an entire global generation as if we Knew them, as if they were our personal friends: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

On top of that, I have to admit that the murder of John Lennon was so bizarre, so Out of Left Field, that I still can’t get my head around it (or is it “can’t get it around my head?”…heard it both ways). I mean, WTF was that about? What dysfunctional hookup in the human genome wires us for Violence in the Absurd?

In the midst of this internal Beatles retrospective, last weekend among the guests were two charming young women (see below) who radiated all the Delight that goes with a new and promising relationship. And of course the way my mind works, continually connecting A and B into some kind of C, I thought I saw a resemblance between one of them and…wait for it… John Lennon! Maybe it’s the nose, maybe it’s the joy tempered by a certain “sure ya gotta hope for the best but u no the world is basically fo—d” sense of reality, but…there was Something, that’s all I’m saying…am I totally making this up or is there some kind of resemblance?

Since this thread could easily degenerate into a philosophical morass, that’s all I’m gonna say about that, except to take a moment to wish these gals All the Best. The perspective of years wishes them joy and the everyday compassion that is necessary to sustain it. (go ahead, raise your glasses, friends!)

The way this blog happens is that sometime late Thursday night I do the week’s tasting notes, then the pictures from last week, and then (after copious amounts of wine…right now ‘editorial we’ are enjoying the 2003 Andrew Murray Roasted Slope Syrah…) we make up a story to fit.

So the story right now is that I am nostalgiac for the Beatles, and for the Promise of Youth that I experienced when I and the Beatles were Young, when anything was possible. Maybe it still is, but you know, it doesn’t feel that way, so I want to take a moment to wish all Young couples (“Hello, young lovers, whereever you are…”) compassion, wisdom, and patience with each other.

I recently re-connected with a distributor I had lost touch with, and have restocked some old favorites. We will pour one of these this weekend, the Chateau Guiraud White Bordeaux (sauvignon blanc and semillon). This winery is best known for its long history of distinctive sauternes dessert wines. This vintage I bought sheerly on past experience, so come on by and see if experience really does count, or if all is fluid and whimsical. My guess is that if you like the way someone makes wine, the vintage really doesn’t matter that much. Rather, the experience of successive vintages, some easy, some challenging, leads you to understand the winemaker’s art, and helps decide whom you really appreciate.

This week’s wines:

Chateau Guiraud Bordeaux White le G   09     France      $18
From an estate most famous for their world-class sauternes; a fresh white blend with a creamy edge to the peach, melon and salted butter notes. The stylish finish lets a hint of macadamia nut chime in. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.

Vinosia  Aglianico  08    Italy
Aglianico 100%; Deep garnet-purple colour. Raisin, blueberry and underbrush aromas. Some dried rose petals and spice. Crisp acidity and a medium+ body. Medium+ level of velvety tannins. Long finish. Addictive.

Elena dell’ Adami Comete Rosso    08      Italy
NOT your mother’s merlot, this is a daring blend of Marzemino, Merlot and Lagrein. Wow! Made by 30 year-old Elena dell’Adami de Tarczal in a light, fresh style — “for gals going out with their friends.” Old vines, the latest technology and a new outlook combine for a distinctive red, great with quail, truffle soup, even grilled hot dogs with stone-ground mustard!

Browne Family Cabernet Sauvignon   08    Washington      $28
Inviting aromas of bing cherry, cocoa, and leather leading to a silky palate of vanilla, clove, and Damson plum, with cedar notes rounding out the finish.

Wine Tasting

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