lummi island wine tasting feb 8 ’19

note: some photos may link to larger formats when clicked…

Friday Breads This Week

Fig Anise – Always popular, made with an overnight sponge fermentation, then mixed with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat. Honey, dried figs and anise bring in all the flavors of the Mediterranean. A great flavorful bread – $5/loaf

Breton – Incorporates the flavors of the French Breton region. Bread flour, fresh milled buckwheat, and rye make for interesting flavor and sel gris – grey salt from the region brings more mineral flavors to this bread. Goes great with meats and cheeses – $5/loaf

Rum Raisin Brioche:  A delicious brioche dough full of eggs, butter and sugar. Filled with golden raisins and chunks of almond paste and topped with a chocolate glaze before baking...mmm! – 2/$5.




Real Rioja

Construction on the Lopez de Heredia winery in Rioja began in 1877 when Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta fell in love with the region around Haro. Sensing a magical combination of soil and climate that would offer the perfect environment for producing wine, he built one of the first three bodegas in the Rioja region, one which continues to adhere to many traditional methods that other wineries have abandoned.

Cubillo, which we are pouring this weekend, is the youngest and least complex of the Lopez de Heredia Rioja wines.  In the Cubillo vineyard tempranillo vines are harvested along with garnacha, mazuelo and graciano.  It is aged in neutral oak barrels for two years and another two in bottle, nearly long enough to be classified as a Gran Reserva. Nevertheless it displays a brighter and more youthful personality than Lopez Heredia’s longer-aged red Reservas and Gran Reservas, and consistently shows brighter fruit and more pronounced acidity than many other Crianzas.

While most long-established wineries in Rioja work to maintain traditional standards for the qualities define the wines of the region, Lopez Heredia arguably clings to the Old Ways more than others, as if to wag a finger in the air and saying, This is Rioja!


More Lirac

Last week we offered a well-regarded wine from Lirac that proved quite popular despite its somewhat tannic structure. We mentioned then that Lirac lies just across the Rhone River from, and is ever-eclipsed by Chateuneuf-du-Pape. Lirac borders on the adjoining wine region of Tavel, which the same “Papes” (Popes) declared could only be used to make rosé.

This week we are bringing back two old favorites from another winery in the region which we have visited a couple of times and particularly enjoyed. Since our last visit some five years ago, sisters and co-owners Severine and Melanie have apparently been making another rosé  besides their Tavel, under the simple label “Initial R.” We do have a vague memory, brought to mind by the photo to the left, that they were making a second rosé even then that was aged longer but still wasn’t quite as dark as the Tavel.

This weekend we will also be pouring their “Lirac Classique,” a traditional Lirac blend of syrah, mourvedre, and syrah that we often keep on our shelves and find a treat to enjoy at home.



Mar a Lago Update: The War We Are Losing

For as long as we can remember, Republicans have been trying to Out-Hawk Democratic opponents for offices at every level by inventing Straw-Man Enemies who want to take our jobs, seduce our wives and daughters, take our Hard-earned Stuff, and leave us in a Ditch in rural North Dakota. On reflection, these days when finding a Republican politician with an actual military record of any sort is a Curiosity, you have to wonder how these Bozos have managed to keep getting Traction with this nonsense, exciting all the other chimps and getting them to jump up and down and Want to Hurt Someone. Given this 70-year Republican mantra, one would expect Republicans to take a Strong Defensive Stance against any Real Threat to our National Well-Being.

Such a threat could come in many forms: overt or covert, flagrant or subtle, short-term or long-term. In whichever case, we want our Leadership to be on the Alert, ready to warn and mobilize us toward an effective defensive response.

Over the last several decades the United States has seen the rise of a Powerful Enemy which threatens pretty much Everyone and Everything. On many occasions since 2000 this Enemy has carried out numerous attacks against our country and its people, killing hundreds or even thousands, and causing tens of billions of dollars of damage. That Enemy is Global Warming, and let’s get it straight right now: Global Warming is the Enemy, and Climate Change is the Weapons System it is using to Destroy us. We can spend countless Billions invading Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria (and so many more) with military power, but do not even admit that This Enemy is even Real. WTF is Wrong with these people??

If we add up the costs since 2000 of increasingly damaging hurricanes, flooding, drought, habitat destruction, resource shortages and conflicts, mass migrations, and forest fires, all directly due to human-caused climate change, we are already in the trillions of dollars in damages. What other enemy could do us this kind of damage without some kind of retaliation? Climate Change is a Clear and Present Threat to our very existence as a species. We are waging a War against our own Planet’s ability to house Life in general, and Human Life in particular.

This is why the Broad Issue of Climate Change is THE Dominant Issue of the 2020 political campaign that has already started. The War is here, we are not fighting back, Time is Short, and we are in Grave Peril.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 7,546 as of 1/1/19


This week’s wine tasting

Ottella Lugana Bianco ’16    Italy    $15
Trebbiano di Lugano (Turbiana). Intense straw yellow color with green tinges. Exotic notes of candied fruit and citrus, warm and very deep on the nose. Widespread expressive finesse, with rich and persistent texture.

La Rocaliere  Initial R rose  ’14   France    $12
80% grenache, 20% syrah; pressed after 12 hours cold maceration, 10 days fermentation, and aged in both stainless steel and concrete tanks before bottling to display bright, red fruit flavors both fresh and versatile on the palate.

Avignonesi Rosso de Montepulciano ’15     Italy $18
Perfumed aromas of red berries, violets, cinnamon, and almond flower. Juicy and bright, with precise strawberry and redcurrant flavors and lively acidity. Finishes long and fresh, with lingering floral perfume.

La Rocaliere Lirac Classique Rouge ’15   France   $16
Grenache, mourvedre, syrah from sandy and pebbled soils; floral and spicy bouquet reminiscent of garrigue scrubland. Powerful and full-bodied, it finishes crisp and rich, matching perfectly with the spirit of contemporary cuisine.

Lopez Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza ’09   Spain/Rioja    $22
Juicy and soft; fermented with natural yeasts in large oak vats and matured in neutral barriques for three year; shows good balance between fruit and more developed aromas, with hints of leather, cherries, spices and smoke. On the palate it is deep, full-bodied, focused and beautifully balanced, with fine complexity and grip and a long, classy, vibrant finish.

Wine Tasting

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