lummi island wine tasting spring equinox ’15

(note: some photos may click open to larger versions)

Bread Friday  (sign up for preorder list! )


Pain Meunier:  (“Miller’s Bread”), includes all parts of the wheat kernel, bread flour, whole wheat flour, cracked whole wheat and wheat germ. A great all around bread. – $5/loaf.

Dried Cherry, Walnut & Buckwheat: Bread flour, buckwheat flour, and some whole wheat, packed with dried cherries and walnuts. – $5/loaf.

Chocolate Babkas: Yummy sweet rolls rich with eggs and butter, then rolled out and spread with chocolate before baking.  Limited supply, order early! – 2 for $5. .




cucugnanThis weekend we are pouring another wine from Corbières– a red from Cucugnan, from the same winery as last week’s delicious white. So it seems appropriate to explore the region a little further,  including of course the Cathars, who some people think were the first to bring Christianity to Europe in general, and to France in particular, as long ago as 50AD, pretty Early in the Christian Game.  Supposedly their beliefs and practices were based directly on the original teachings of the historical Jesus.

Interestingly, the Cathars believed that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married, and had come to Narbonne and Corbières while Mary Magdalene was pregnant with Jesus’ baby. No other Christian sects ever espoused this belief, which stemmed from historical accounts that their ancestors had actually met Mary Magdalene and Jesus, in this very region, back in the first century. Though the Cathars themselves didn’t appear in history until about 1000AD, they lived in Languedoc from the time of Jesus himself. Read more here.

Btw, Cucugnan was also the setting for a famous short story (Le Curé de Cucugnan) by the nineteenth century novelist Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897). The Priest has a dream in which he goes to Heaven and finds that “There are no more Cucugnanese here than there are fish-bones in a turkey.” Faced with Eternal Damnation, the Cucugnanese are supposedly compelled to clean up their act. Somehow that is harder to believe than that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were, you know, an Item…an idea that has a certain appeal, n’est-ce pas?


Raisin Taxes

The idea for this paragraph emerged from a light-hearted conversation on yesterday’s dog walk, when this little pun occurred to us: “raisin taxes.” You know, the Tea Party people and the Libertarians and the Republicans and Fox News and the Billionaires are always going on about, you know, “Raisin Taxes.” So we thought we should jump in with our own concerns that sure, today maybe they tax raisins, but hey, we have to be ever vigilant or else pretty soon they will start taxing not just Raisins, but All grapes, and OMD, that could be a Disaster for the entire Wine Industry! Something like that.

So I just searched on “Raisin Taxes,” and as usual Truth is far stranger that anything we can make up. Yes, we all sort of know that historically, agricultural production has been subject to cycles of boom and bust, and that bumper crops can have the paradoxical effect of ruining farmers because the huge supply pushes prices toward zero. So since the ‘thirties, the federal government has had programs in place to support all kinds of crop prices through various techniques to keep prices above some minimum floor.

Therefore it shouldn’t have been a surprise (but it was!) to learn that under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, the government continues to confiscate part of the annual national raisin crop to keep it off the market. A group called the Raisin Administrative Committee (I’m not making this up!) decides each year what portion of the raisin crop it must confiscate in order to keep the raisin market “orderly.” At present one of those raisin farmers (they’re almost all in California) has taken his case (he got into Trouble for not turning in his “excess” raisins for over ten years) to the Supreme Court. See more in this article in The Economist.


All Betz are off! 

We are continuing our plan to pour one of our library of Betz wines at each tasting for awhile, and offering compelling incentives for you to take some home; see recent blogs for details. This week we are pouring the 2012 Besoleil. All you need to know is that 2012 was a fantastic vintage for much of Washington State, and as a result this year’s Besoleil earned a score of 94 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, its best score ever. I am a big fan of grenache, the dominant varietal in this blend, and have been a fan of this wine since it first appeared eight or nine years ago. Yes, it’s a little pricey, and yes, the pours will be smaller than usual.

But as always, of course, we will set up the pricing so the more you spend, the more you will be able to save!

See detailed tasting notes below.





 This week’s tasting

Chateau Lamothe de Haut Bordeaux Blanc  ’12   France     $14
Bright and engaging, with fresh grapefruit and Meyer lemon pulp notes backed by a flash of straw on the open-knit finish. Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.

Chateau Trillot Rouge ’12 France $16
Intense colour with deep purple highlights; Expressive nose exuding aromas of red fruit, redcurrant, blackcurrant and a hint of oak. Silky, well-structured tannins and great freshness.

Hightower Murray Syrah ’11 Washington $16
From legendary Red Mountain grapes; Ripe, rich and utterly enjoyable; lush red berry fruit followed by a complex, meaty mid-palate and a long finish.

Vignalta Colli Euganei Rosso Riserva ’09   Italy   $21
Merlot and cabernet sauvignon from volcanic hills north of Venice. Rosso Riserva is a true and delicious expression of its terroir and a nice balance of fruit and tannins, softened with two years of oak barrel aging.

Betz Besoleil ’12    Washington    94pts    $48
50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre aged all in neutral oak. Gorgeous on all accounts, with fantastic density and depth, richness, beautiful freshness and classic aromas and flavors of raspberry, black raspberry, pepper, herbs de Provence and flowers.


Wine Tasting

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments are closed.