lummi island wine tasting july 2 ’21

Current Hours: Friday & Saturday from 4-6pm

We are currently still operating under reduced hours as an extra precaution against Covid. All are welcome, and while vaccinations are required for admission upstairs in the tasting room, unvaccinated guests are welcome to enjoy wine tasting outside on our entry deck.

The weather looks clear for the weekend, with moderate summer temperatures predicted.  It is also very dry, so we hope all  of you will be very restrained with any fireworks.

 

 

Bread This Week

Breton – Incorporates the flavors and style of Brittany; bead flour, buckwheat, and rye make for interesting flavors, and sel gris -the grey salt from the region- adds a nice mineral edge. – $5/loaf

Whole Wheat Levain – Made with a sourdough starter built up over several days before final mixing of the dough, which is then fermented overnight. This long slow process nurtures the fermentation process and gluten development, giving it a ‘toothy’ crumb, great texture and flavor, and a nice crisp crust. – $5/loaf

and pastry this week…

Brioche Tart au Sucre – aka brioche sugar tarts. A rich brioche dough full of eggs and butter is rolled into a round tart and topped with more eggs, cream, butter and sugar; a great substitute for shortcake with the fresh berries oin season right now. – 2/$5

 

Region of the Week: Pic St. Loup

This week we are featuring two wines from the same appellation in France. The “Pic” in the small French wine region of Pic St. Loup is a long, craggy ridge some 2,000 feet high that dominates the French landscape for many miles in every direction. It looms over a collection of very special, well-drained, limestone-rich vineyards. About an hour north of Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast to the south, it features hot days, but is also far enough north to have Atlantic-influenced cool nights that induce slow, full ripening.

We maintain a certain fascination with this unique little wine region a short drive north from Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast. Visible in the film, the “Pic” is a 640-meter “Tooth” of granite that dominates the view for miles in every direction– powerful, beautiful, vaguely remote, and iconic. 

The wines from Pic St. Loup must be predominantly syrah, grenache, and mourvedre (as in nearby Southern Rhone) and fairly consistently have a certain gravitas. The vines must be at least six years old (not the usual three) before considered mature enough for making red wines, but are perfect for making excellent rosé!. Vineyards are scattered among rugged terrain that slopes up from the Mediterranean. Atlantic influences make the local climate cooler and wetter than elsewhere in Languedoc. Wines from this little region typically show an earthy complexity accented by spicy, herbal aromas and flavors of the  wild aromatic herbs that flourish in the area, commonly known as “garrigue.”

Typically, Pic St. Loup reds show deep color and satisfying depth of flavor, with bold, spicy, and earthy complexity. They also tend to display more elegance and refinement than wines from the hotter Languedoc plains to the south. This week we are pouring two wines from the region, both old favorites: the Lancyre Rosé and the Chateau la Roque Rouge, both blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

 

Economics of the Heart: The Futility of False Economies

A couple of days ago Lummi Island writer Charlie Warzel had a brief piece in the Washington Post about our recent heat wave. The title nicely captured what we all experienced: existential dread. 

Climate science has been warning us about the coming Climate Crunch  for nearly fifty years. In 1980 I spent a summer as a research fellow at Battelle Labs working on a project funded by the Department of Energy on the potential economic impacts of carbon dioxide-induced climate change. A number of complex simulation models were already available, and were predicting a potential increase in average temperature of 1.5 degrees by year 2000. Such models view climate as a heat engine, which is any system that uses heat energy to do work, and view CO2 concentration as a variable that decreases the ability of the atmosphere to cool.

In the case of climate systems, the Sun is the power source and the atmosphere, land masses, oceans, and waterways are sinks. As the Earth turns on its axis, at every moment a different point on its surface sees the Sun directly overhead. That moving geographic point traces the line of maximum solar radiation that day. Each year the line crosses the Equator twice and briefly touches the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn once each.

At any given point on the planet the solar energy waxes and wanes through the day. Hot air rises, moves toward the poles, cools, and sinks, powering atmospheric circulation and winds. Similarly cold water sinks and warmer water rises. Where wind and water meet, the friction causes waves. Where cold and warm water meet, they cause vertical circulation. Where sun, water, and air meet, heat causes evaporation and cold causes condensation and rain. As the atmosphere warms it evaporates more water, dumps more rain, and releases more kinetic energy as wind. We all know these things.

A useful metaphor for our existential dread is not these natural cycles, but the recent tragedy of the condo collapse in Florida. It is becoming clear that the Owners’ Association had been informed several years earlier that the building had severe and rapidly worsening structural damage, and it was going to cost each owner a LOT of $$ to fix it. After two years of being unable to get residents to agree to fund the work, many of the volunteer Board members resigned as a group.

Those condos are a metaphor for our Climate, and this past weekend, right here where we live, we saw the cracks open up. We can feel in our bones that if we don’t all put our shoulders to this wheel and make the sacrifices and efforts required to stop and reverse global warming in the next couple of decades–  i.e. Right Now– we could miss our only chance and our Earth could become the next Venus– a lifeless furnace of a planet. And that totally qualifies as existential dread.

 

 

 

This week’s $5 tasting:

Lancyre Pic St. Loup Rosé ’20      France       $15
Raspberry and pear aromas on the nose, with distinctive spicy, minty garrigue notes. Big, bold and firm on the palate, ending with a long, clean finish; pairs perfectly with hearty salads, grilled vegetables, kebabs, stuffed tomatoes or charcuterie.

Oregon Solidarity Chardonnay ’18     Oregon     $18
Bursts with fresh apple, pear and peach aromas. Barrel fermentation has smoothed any rough edges and polished the flavors to a bright sheen.

Chateau la Roque Rouge ’17   France   $19
65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. A lithe and expressive red, with fine balance and well-structured flavors of dried cherry, plum, and boysenberry, featuring hints of tarragon and cream on the finish.

Wine Tasting

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