Wine Tasting Feb 13 ’10

By my standards, which are of course very high, last week’ s tasting was superb; all the wines showed very well, and there was nothing I wouldn’t be pleased to serve or share with friends. I am particularly enamored of the Atalaya, from a region of Spain I have never heard of, this producer’s first vintage. I am thinking about featuring it as a Wine of the Month. Curiously, though we sold a few bottles, for a lot of guests it didn’t stand out so much…but of course it was in very good company.

The  Savanha is an unusual and interesting wine that kind of grows on you with its somewhat tarry and earthy notes and a touch of bitters like the old New England soft drink “Moxie,” a sort of root beer with a curiously appealing bitterness on the finish, attributed to gentian root, its secret ingredient supposed to be especially effective against “paralysis, softening of the brain, nervousness, and insomnia”. Its history goes back to 1876, and one rarely finds it outside New England; it is in fact the oldest continuously produced soft drink in the United States. I remember the first time I tasted it, at an aunt’s house in Maine when I was eight or nine years old. Looked like root beer…smelled like root beer…take a big swig….Whoa, Dude, Surprise and Horror as sugary expectations take a bitter turn. Definitely aimed more at adult taste sensibilities. So somehow the Savanha pinotage/ shiraz is a vaguely similar surprise, curiously appealing, that’s all I’m saying.

First-time visitors Jean and Chantal (see post) are French Canadians living in Blaine; like nostalgia for Moxie, I also have nostalgia for French Canadian accents, which one often hears in Maine, so it was a little slice of childhood to have them visit. I think they enjoyed themselves, so hopefully we will see (and hear) more of

them...bienvenue a Lummi Island! Jean et Chantal

REMINDER !!!! The truffles are made and boxed for all of you who ordered them, so don’t forget to drop by and pick them up! As usual they are AWESOME and you probably will want to keep them for yourself, not give them away as Valentine’s, but that’s a political question, you are just gonna have to work it out. There are a few extras that are not spoken for that will available on Saturday until they run out.

This week’s tasting

Secreto sauvignon blanc ’08  Chile    $9

Nice weight, with fresh lemon verbena and grapefruit notes backed by a juicy finish.

Campos Reales tempranillo ’08 Spain $7

Full-flavored and very easy to drink, with notes of black pepper and bright cherry.. Great with chevre, grilled meat and tomato-based pastas.

Ricardo Santos Malbec ’07 Argentina $16

A ripe, juicy style, with a mix of raspberry and boysenberry fruit that stays fresh, while spice and licorice hints chime in on the medium-weight finish.

Perazzeta Rita ‘06 Sangiovese    Italy $26 (read more)

From the southern fringe of Montalcino comes this stunningly powerful, lush Sangiovese; aged in French oak barrels,and pushing the boundaries of the varietal; named after winemaker’s wife AND mother, he said of his wine: “I had no choice but to name it Rita!”

Wine Tasting

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