lummi island wine tasting march 14 ’15

No Bread Friday this week

no bread todaySorry folks, your Friday bread baker (Janice) is taking ANOTHER week off (an apparent annual need to be near baseball Spring Training).

The good news is that Regular Bread Friday will return next week, on March 21! Mark your calendars!





Solar Sails

20150312-184721.jpgA long time ago (ca. 1970), on a very enjoyable road trip to Nova Scotia, I bought a stained glass schooner that I have kept all these years. It hangs in an eastern-facing window in the bedroom, where it generally goes unnoticed. A few days ago, however, the morning sun caught it in full profile and projected this amazing image onto the folded desktop next to the window. Click on the image for the larger version…quite stunning!


corbieres castleThis weekend’s white wine is from the French wine region of Corbieres. We visited there a few years ago, and were amazed by the spacious terrain. It is also the region where over a hundred years or so a splinter group of Christians called Cathars were hunted down and exterminated on orders from the Catholic Pope of the time, who rewarded the worst brutality with titles and riches. This was not all that long after the Church had declared the inhabitants of the New World to be subhuman, unleashing upon them as well centuries of brutality, slavery, and hellish misery.

These people weren’t just killed; they were slaughtered by the thousands at Perpignan under the slogan “let God sort it out (i.e., who were Cathars and who weren’t);” hundreds had their eyes gouged out and lips cut away and sent marching with a one-eyed guide; and many more hundreds were burned at the stake en masse. The brutality is breathtaking.

However, that tragic piece of history doesn’t change the fact that Corbieres has some spectacular terrain, including many of the sites where Cathars retreated to remote mountain-top castles where they could resist sieges for long periods of time.  This particular Cathar castle is actually not all that far from where this weekend’s white wine originates, near Queribus, probably somewhere down to the left. Anyway, despite the deeply disturbing history of the area, the wine is great, the region is beautiful, and maybe some day people will not be so stupid and cruel. Judging from the daily news, we still have a way to go.


All Betz are off! 

As mentioned last week, Betz wines consistently show great concentration and character, and regularly earn high ratings from critics. However, as they are typically priced a little above the comfort range of most of our members and visitors, we seem to have accumulated a LOT of these wines over the years, and we are continuing a concerted effort to find new homes for these beauties, most of which will cellar well for many years. Over the next few weeks we will be pouring at least one of these library wines at each tasting, and offering compelling incentives for you to take some home. As always, of course, the more you spend, the more you will be able to save! See notes below for this weekend’s Betz Bargain!



This week’s tasting

Chateau Trillot Blanc ’12 France $16
Blend of Roussanne and Maccabeu harvested by hand, resulting in an authentic wine packed with character and a strong sense of place. A very aromatic wine with aromas of white flowers and exotic fruit.

Finca el Tesso Tempranillo Spain $10
100% tempranillo from clay and limestone soil in western Spain at 600 meters above sea level, providing cool nights and long growing season where the wines develop a rich, alluring complexity.

Townshend Red Table Washington $12
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah blend; aromas of black cherry, blackberry, strawberry, cedar and a hint of orange zest fill your senses with lingering pepper & tobacco notes.

Tarima Hill Monastrell ’11 Spain 91pts $13
Complex, perfumed scents of dark berry liqueur, cola, incense and smoky oak spices. Plush and expansive, with sweet cherry compote and blueberry flavors with notes of floral pastille and bitter chocolate. Rich and lively, finishing with excellent power, smooth tannins and a late jolt of allspice.

Betz Besoleil ’09 Washington 91pts $42
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault. Aromas of smoky black tea, resinous green herbs, and earthy salinity, and strawberry jam. Sappy and plush, with an invigorating bitter edge and a fascinating degree of complexity in the lasting finish.







Wine Tasting

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