Tuesday, October 21 2008
Historians blame Hubris (excessive pride) for the fall of the Roman Empire. Hubris is not an attractive trait, whether in powerful governments or Wine Merchants. And in this particular merchant, my allocatoin of the affliction almost made me dismiss the first wine in today's list.
I nearly left this rare gem untasted simply because I’d never heard of the varietal, or the vineyard, or the Winemaker. But in the end I said “What the hell?” and agreed to taste the Winemaker's samples. Boy am I glad I did. Today's first wine is a rare and unique varietal with sketchy but historic roots in California's wine history. And it provides a great lead-in for the rest of this month's stellar line-up of boutique wines, many of which you're unlikely to find just about anywhere.
Case discounts begin at 10% for non-members.
Our October Wine Selections
- Fanucchi Vineyards, 2005 Trousseau Gris, $24 - A nearly extinct gem from the last Trousseau Gris vineyard in California. Try this wine both for the pleasure it gives and its historic significance. Read the full story here.
- Osseus, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, $18.50 - One of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs from a talented Micro-Boutique producer. Only 250 cases produced!
- Andrew Murray, 2006 Syrah "Tous les Jours", $16.50 - In the movie 'Sideways', Maya suggests various wines for she and Miles to share, and when she shows him this bottle, Miles responds with "Ahhhh, Andrew Murray", as if he's just been reminded of an old friend he hasn't thought of for a while. I hope this wine attains that same status for you, as it is perfect for your every day house red.
- White Hawk Vineyard, 2002 Red Table Wine, $23 - You'll never see this wine in most stores, as it is the showcase wine used by the owners of this prestigious vineyard, whose fruit appears on the labels of such cult wines as those from Sine Qua Non, as well as Herman Story, Calera, Clos Mimi and Piedrasassi, to name a few. The average price of these wines is around $50/bottle.
- Beckmen Vineayrds, 2006 Estate Grenache, $24.50 - A classic Rhone wine from this bio-dynamic estate, though a bit broader in the beam than many wines from this varietal. Bottled with a bit of CO2, as is often found in the original version of this wine.
- RiverBench, 2006 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, $36 - Crafted by the experienced hand of Chuck Otrman, this is one of his latest projects after selling his Meridian label almost ten years ago. Chuck bought fruit from RiverBench Vineyards while at Meridian, and is now producing wine from their best rows of grapes. Already our leading re-order wine.
- Labyrinth, 2006 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard, $35 - I continue to be pleased by Rick Hill's wines. Though only in his eighth year as a winemaker, Rick crams in two vintages per year, flying to the Southern Hemisphere to harvest pinot in New Zealand. So he has the equivalent of 16 years of winemaking experience. It is the slow, year-long wait between vintages that led to the saying "One lifetime is not enough to master pinot noir". Judging from his wines, Rick is well on his way to cramming two lifetimes worth of experience into a single ride on our globe.
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