Lummi Island Wine Tasting June 14 ’13

Lost Buoy

dscn0179 (Modified)-1You will all recall that the “Lost Boys” were Peter Pan’s fellow inhabitants of Never-Never Land. Well, for the past couple of weeks we have had our own “lost buoy” sitting in Haro Strait a few hundred yards offshore in Legoe Bay. It moves a bit with the tide but apparently its chain has fouled on the bottom, keeping it more or less moored off Lovers’ Bluff. This is a pretty good-sized buoy, with a sturdy bell that can be heard at a great distance, as I am sure many nearby residents will confirm.

Numerous Islanders have called the Coast Guard to report the presence of the buoy, and this morning a CG vessel spent about an hour tied up to it. At one point it looked as though they would take it in tow, but no, it is still there. Apparently there aren’t many buoy tenders around here, so here it sits. One has to wonder where it came from and how local mariners are getting by without its guidance–and how often buoys get, you know–“lost!” Looking for something different to do…? Go on down to Legoe Bay and listen to the buoy for a while. It is curiously soothing.

(click on photos for larger versions)

’37 Cellars

dscn0167 (Modified)A couple of weeks ago we spent a few days near Winthrop, as mentioned in the blog for June 1, when we poured Lost River wines we had brought back from the trip. It turns out those weren’t the only wines we tasted on the trip. For whatever karmic reason, Island friends Tom and JoAnn had grabbed a campsite next to ’37 Cellars winemaker Frank Dechaine (at left), who was taking the week off from his winery in Leavenworth to do some fishing. Though the weather was cool and spitting raindrops, Frank treated us to a tasting of his wines under this very functional little tarp, which fit perfectly over the campground picnic table and kept us all reasonably dry..good idea, huh?!

Btw, the name ” ’37 Cellars” has nothing to do with numbers of cellars. Rather, Frank and his partner in the winery are also long-time musicians who both own classic 1937 Martin D18 guitars. So they play music together and make wine together. We didn’t hear them play, but we did get to try the wines. I picked up a few bottles of their very interesting merlot for you to taste this weekend. As you know, Washington merlot often makes bigger red wines than Washington cabernet, and this one is no exception. Come on by and try it!


The Return of Rosé

In the last month or so there have been a lot of beautiful sunny days here on the Island. At the end of the summer last year I built a deck in front of the house, just barely getting some oil on it before the Rain started. And while I do think it looks good out there, I didn’t figure there would be very many days warm enough actually to sit out there and enjoy it, because the SW wind is so constant off the water here. So it is with some pleasant surprise that this late spring has unfolded with so much glorious sunshine that we have actually had several lunches and an occasional late-afternoon glass of wine on the deck, without, you know, dressing for Winter!

So it is in the spirit of what might turn out to be one of our warmest summers that we salute the return of Summer with the restocking of last year’s “Rosé Shrine” at the top of the stairs. Last weekend we poured several wines from one of our favorite French producers, La Rocaliere from the region of Lirac. This weekend we will pour a rosé from another favorite wine region, Pic St. Loup. Though it is only about an hour and a half drive between Lirac and Pic St. Loup, the regions are very different geographically and geologically. Average temperatures in Pic St. Loup are cooler and rainfall a little higher. Wind protects the vines from the twin problems of rot and frost, and the soil is stony and poor, based on clay and limestone, leading to wines with noticeable backbone. The Lirac style is more pedigreed, with several different soil types, yielding strong, structured, and aromatic wines that are fresh and elegant.



This Week’s Wines

Bodegas Naia Las Brisas ’11 Spain 89pts $11
(verdejo, viura & sauv blanc): Pale gold. Bright citrus and mineral aromas, plus a hint of quince. Smooth and silky on the palate, offering lively hints of apple, tangerine, and a hint of ginger.

Chateau Lancyre Pic St. Loup Rosé ’12 France 90 pts $15
(50% syrah, 40% grenache and 10% cinsault): Light, bright pink. Red raspberry and fresh aromas of thyme, lavender, and rosemary. Bright and focused on the palate.

Familongue “Le Carignan” ’08 France $12
From 75 year old vines in gravelly soil, this carignan has brambly dark fruit, a soft palate, and great depth of flavor.

Bodegas Avante Tineta Ribera del Duero ’11 Spain 90pts $14
(100% tempranillo) Intense aromas of blueberry, cherry liqueur, licorice and Indian spices. Lively, with zesty minerality, energetic black and blue fruit flavors and bitter chocolate notes over a long, spicy and sharply focused finish.

’37 Cellars Merlot ’10 Washington $26
Offers aromas and flavors of bramble fruits, berry, cherry and hints of leather and cedar, riding on smooth, mouth-coating tannins. Enjoy it with your char-grilled steak or herb-crusted rack of lamb.





Wine Tasting

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