Lummi Island Wine Tasting March 31 ’12

Riesling        Riesling            Riesling

Since riesling will stand center stage in Ryan’s workshop this Sunday (see below), it’s worth talking a little bit about this unique grape varietal.  Some say it is probably the finest white wine grape in the world for the potential longevity of its wines and its tendency to take on the specific characteristics of the soil and climate of individual vineyards. Over the last 600 years it has displaced lots of other varietals in the best German vineyards– those with steep, south-facing slopes protected from the worst weather.

It is also unique in its tendency to produce wines that combine high acidity with a broad range of complex flavors variously described as floral, steely, or honeyed. With a particularly high concentration of organic chemicals called terpenes, rieslings can take on aromas of many fruits, flowers, trees, and leaves. It also has high concentrations of TDN (norisoprenoid— more commonly known to all of us, of course, as 1,1,6 trimethyl -1,2-dihydronapthalene ) that, especially with aging, gives riesling characteristic notes of petrol– which, in moderation of course, are prized by riesling aficionados (who would rarely drink a riesling less than 20 years old!) .

Read more about riesling


THE NEXT ART OF WINE Workshop is SUNDAY, April 1!
The Art of Wine in Germany
In this unusual tasting workshop, you can explore the broad range of personalities riesling can take on, while pondering the philosophy of Nietzsche, the awe-inspiring power of Wagner, and the fantastic, surrealistic visions of Max Ernst and Goethe. Maybe there will even be a little Strauss…?

nearly full, call now! (758-2020)    See flyer for details


Antiyal    Antiyal    Antiyal  

Thought I would start a new blog feature, about the wine I am drinking while I write. As some of you know, the way this works is that on Thursday evenings Pat is off playing mah jong with the neighborhood ladies (I think it is more about gossip but what do I know, and they do actually play M-J). So I sit at the computer and compose this missive, this epistle, this je ne sais quoi of a blog. And while I write I lubricate my creativity with a little glass of wine or two. The logical question is, does it matter what wine I drink? Are some wines more stimulating, more creative, more muse-driving than others?

For what it’s worth, tonight’s wine is the 2001 Antiyal Maipo Valley red wine from Chile. This is the last bottle in the shop, and it has been sitting here since before we opened for the first time in May of 2005. I have to say it is absolutely delicious, and it has been sitting quietly on our shelves for all to see (and buy) for nearly seven years! Undiscovered and unappreciated (poor thing!), it represents one of Chile’s most notable terroir-driven wines– deep, rich, and complex, and which could not have come from any other place. And it is good!  Here’s the review from Wine Spectator from years ago: (92 points)…Dreamy nose of cassis bush, dark currant, lilac, tar and hot stone, with a plush, full-bodied palate dripping with dark fruit, meat and loam notes. Really suave, picking up grip and muscle on the finish, where the fruit powers through. A distinct combination of varietal character and Chilean terroir. (40% Carmenere, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Syrah)

Yes, folks, puts me in a very appreciative mood, so thank you all for not having bought it during all these years…! Makes you wonder what other treasures are lurking on our shelves, huh…?!!!


April Fools         April Fools           April Fools

The designation of April Fool’s Day has always been a bit of a head-scratcher. This explanation, relating “April Fool” to the, let’s face it, arbitrary and politically fraught decision some 600 years ago to move New Year’s from its usual and accustomed (like, for millennia!) place around the Spring Equinox (as it had been observed for time out of mind centuries) to the time around Winter Solstice (our January 1—see how important this solar calendar stuff is???) is as good as anything I have seen.

You will also be interested to know that the term “fool’s errand” also refers to the same time in late 16th Century France when the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and when, with no radio, TV, or cell phones (OMD how did they Survive??),  numerous people didn’t get the Word, and so were out of step with the new order. Our chimp ancestors being what they were (and what we now are…), of course, they divided into two opposing groups (those that knew the new rule and those that didn’t), and jumped up and down and played tricks on each other to demonstrate their superiority. Isn’t that CUTE?!!

As I look around and listen to the News these days, there doesn’t seem to have been a lot of progress since then, and April Fools are everywhere in abundance…so paradoxically, April Fool’s Day is a good time to reflect on our collective  Human Condition…

On that note, I think I will pour another sip of this delicious wine and hit the Publish button. Hope to see you all this weekend!
This week’s wines:

Bisol Prosecco Crede  ’10  Italy    89pts    $17
The NV (2010) Prosecco di Valdobiaddene Crede offers up crisp pears, green apples and spices, all of which come together in a rich, creamy style that is highly appealing. The Crede finishes with excellent length and fine overall balance

Bibbiani Treggiaia 08    Italy     $10
A smooth and satisfying blend of sangio & cab, serious but friendly, delightful with anything from pizza to lamb chops.

Mount Baker Cabernet Franc ’08   Washington     $17
Aromas of raspberry, pie cherry, strawberry candy and black pepper, backed by minerality and crushed leaf, leading to a crisp palate of juicy red cherry and cranberry, with nuances of pepper, anise and fine tannins.

Urban Ribera Ribera del Duero ’07   Spain   91pts   $14
100% Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo), four months in French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant bouquet of scorched earth, violets, and black cherry that leaps from the glass. Smooth-textured and suave on the palate, it has loads of succulent black fruit, silky tannins, excellent depth and grip, and a juicy finish.



Wine Tasting

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