lummi island wine tasting summer solstice ’15

Friday Breads (sign up for preorder list! )

dscn1202 (Modified)Barley & Rye with Pumpkin seeds Sourdough with a mix of barley, fresh milled whole rye, and whole wheat flours with a bit of buttermilk and honey and toasted pumpkin seeds. – $5/loaf

Pain au Levain – think of it as French sourdough; mostly bread flour with fresh milled whole wheat and rye for a nice, chewy  bread with a great crust. – $5/loaf.

Gibassier- Delightful treats of Provence, with butter, olive oil, orange peel, and anise seed. After baking they are brushed with butter and rolled in more sugar. Absolutely delicious – 2 for $5.

Solstice Plus

Those of you with a view to the West will have been noticing over the past few weeks the two very bright objects fairly low on the horizon at sunset. The brightest is the planet Venus, appearing quite far to the North about an hour after sunset. Above it and to the left is another very bright object, the planet Jupiter. And, as the Beach Boys once sang it, “as if that weren’t enough to make you flip your lid, there’s one more thing…” — that’s right, the Moon will be joining them in the next few nights, putting the three brightest objects in our night sky all together for our Viewing Pleasure.

And given the glorious clear skies we have been enjoying the last couple of weeks, sunset skies have been, as we say in the wine world, “showing very well”  lately! All in all these conjunctions make for a particularly spectacular Summer Solstice, and of course we have just the right wines to serve for the occasion!


Special Deal!

dscn1206 (Modified)Montes is a big wine outfit in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. Starting in the mid- 1980’s as a consortium of several “wine professionals,” it has evolved into one of Chile’s largest wine consortiums, producing about 750,000 cases a year of wines under many labels. We have carried some of their wines in the past; even though they are, you know, Kapitalistas with a Kapital K, the wines are quite well-made, and good value. And, of course, compared to Australia’s Yellowtail, which makes something like eight million cases a year, these guys are, you know, pikers.

So, with that background, fast-forward to a few days ago, when our local wine professional Judy (you all know who I am talking about) called with a Great Deal on a closeout of the Montes Twins malbec-cab blend. Always the skeptical fella from Maine, I just said, “yessuh, by gawd, whatevuh you say, ” and ordered a bunch of it. Between you and me, though, being an old Maine man, I was a little bit skeptical. I am pleased to repoht, howevuh, that this stuff is pretty tasty, and we got such a great deal on it that we can affohd to sell it fo’ a meah seven dolluhs a bottle (my gawd, way below retail) It ain’t exactly a complicated wine, but it is completely drinkable, and OMD, it’s a helluva Bahgain!


Is it Really Rosé?

dscn1208 (Modified)A couple of weeks ago, on a previous visit from the above-named Wine Professional, we tasted a very interesting “pinot noir rosé” from Belle Glos in Napa Valley. All you need to know is that All Hands said “Wow!” when they tasted it. In many ways this wine reminds me of the very popular “Julia’s Dazzle” Rosé we have carried for a couple of years: bright, delicious, and well-packaged. But…are these wines really rosés? Sometimes the edges get blurry!

“Julia’s Dazzle” is 98% pinot gris ( a white grape!), with 2% sangiovese ( a very red grape!). In the dark this wine tastes like a really nice white wine with some surprising nuances of body and flavor. But in the light with eyes open, it becomes a delicious, full-bodied, full-flavored “rosé.” Fast forward to this week’s rosé, which is 100% pinot noir, and made in the traditional way of allowing only enough contact time between the juice and the skins (of red grapes) to provide the desired shade of pink, but not enough to introduce the tannins or longevity that red grapes bring to the table. While still pinot noir rosé is something of a rarity, bubbly pinot noir rosé is both common and popular, generally known as “blanc de noir,” i.e., “white of black.”

Yes, it’s all a bit confusing, and really the only way to sort it out is to come by and taste it. Then you will Know, and no further need for speculation! Whether it is really white, red, or rosé, the takeaway here is that this stuff tastes Great, and I am pretty sure that both white wine lovers and rosé fans will swirl, sniff, taste, and Toast to this Simple Truth! Or as some of us sometimes said in the sixties, “wow, this is some really good s%*t, man…!”


This week’s tasting

Rock Point River Rock White Oregon   $10
62% Early Muscat and 38% Viognier. Concentrated flavors of sun-dried apricots and pear; soft and round on the palate, yet crisp on the finish. More:

Belle Glos Pinot Noir Blanc ’14 California   $16
Pale pink with a copper hue; citrus-driven aromas carry through to bright acidity, a creamy orange note and layers of tart apricot. Great balance of texture, fruit, and minerality.

Montes Twins malbec/cab ’11    Chile    Closeout special!   $7
Richness and fruit from the Cab, and smooth, velvety texture from the Malbec add up to vibrant acidity and integrated layers of plum skin, blueberry, and blackberry flavors and soft tannins.

La Grange de Lascaux ’12  France $14
Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre from limestone soil (aka “Lascaux”)– which imparts a lovely minerality, further enhanced by the lavender, oregano and thyme (“garrigue”) found throughout the organic vineyards; finishes with briery fruit and silky tannins, hallmarks of this region.

Willamette Valley Whole Cluster pinot noir    Oregon   $21
Deep ruby in color; rich aromas of blackberry, cherry, and vanilla with a hint of earthiness. Flavors mirror aromas with a fruity and sweet entry, juicy mid-palate,  soft, well-rounded finish, and bright acidity.

Wine Tasting

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