30 October 2012

30oct- alex's ducks gettin' their confit on

26 October 2012

26oct- that magnificent bitch is back

19 October 2012

19oct - a sonnet for friday

i had a bit of time to spare today
as all the booze deliveries were quick.
so here's a sonnet that will help display
the beer and wines from which you all might pick.

two chards, such worlds apart, that show terroir
two pinots, too, that speak of soily place.
cab francs: a. pure chinon. b. blend bizarre.
and a willamette valley, just in case.

an abbey ale that's in the tripel style
will ease onto the menu just for you.
and us, of course. this beer is so worthwhile
i'd recommend this beer you not eschew.

and also there's much more in terms of wine
the single sheet of menu can't confine.

this is kind of how i feel about that domaine grobois chinon

16 October 2012

16oct- from the san francisco chronicle

The 'Great Other' of white wines
Jon Bonné
Published 2:18 p.m., Friday, October 5, 2012
Because domestic wine remains dominated by a few Goliath varieties, we sometimes struggle with what you might call the more
esoteric roster of homegrown whites. But I'd argue that the Great White Other is more important - and impressive - than ever.
Could one of these grapes become a runaway hit? Long shot. But they are far more than just a counterpoint to the same old
Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. And some, like Chenin Blanc, are having a welcome resurgence that's more than a blip. (Go to:
In an era when wine is more diverse than ever, these bottles provide a frontier - helping grape growers to rediscover the
unappreciated plantings of the past and to retrace the promising leads that yield-minded 20th century vineyard poobahs shrugged at.
In other words, they hold the possibility less for the next big thing than for the rise of diversity in the fields. They're a wonderful sign of
a maturing wine culture.
2011 Jolie Laide Fanucchi Vineyards Russian River Valley Trousseau Gris ($22, 13.5% alcohol): While Scott Schultz
recently returned to his day job at Wind Gap Wines, this latest from his own young label shows great depth. This barely qualifies as
white: Juice sat on the ruddy skins of this rare grape, creating a slight copper tint. Almost biting in its freshness, with wintergreen, tart
nectarine and quince flavors, plus unusual spiciness at the end. This is still young, so a bottle bought now will reward you even better
toward Thanksgiving.
2011 Adelsheim Ribbon Springs Vineyard Ribbon Ridge Auxerrois ($22, 13%): One of Oregon's defining wineries has a place
in its heart for this grape, which has the same parentage (Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc) as Chardonnay but little of the same respect or
love. David Adelsheim has produced a pedigreed effort, with an intensity of ripe fruit - pear and mandarin - hitched to mineral
freshness and a white-pepper bite.
2011 Birichino Monterey Malvasia Bianca ($17, 13%): Bonny Doon alumni Alex Krause and John Locke remain on a roll with
their Central Coast label. This gem is sourced from the massive 5,000-acre San Bernabe vineyard, another sign of how a grape long
planted in California can find a new, vibrant life. Lean and almost chewy, it's full of exuberant orange-blossom, apricot and clove.
2010 Clarksburg Wine Co. VS Clarksburg Chenin Blanc ($24, 11.5%): This area in the Sacramento delta remains a littleknown wine-growing treasure, and somehow the fates have kept undervalued Chenin Blanc in the Clarksburg ground. Usually its fruit
goes elsewhere, but this local facility brought in consultant Stacy Clark, who tapped the area for her popular Pine Ridge white. VS
stands for Vouvray style, though that could imply sweetness while this is dry, serious stuff. Wonderfully tangy, with corn silk, finger
lime, nectarine and a woodsy edge. An off-dry version ($16, 12.5%) is just as finessed.
2011 Roark Wine Co. Santa Ynez Valley Chenin Blanc ($15, 12.3%): Ryan Roark's 2010 bottling of this grape, using old vines
grown near the Curtis winery, made a strong impression earlier this year. His new release is equally good, with slightly softer edges -
blossom honey and ripe Bosc pear, and a wheatgrass twang. This bottle might have a bit of Vouvray on the brain, with a wonderful
density to the flavors.
2011 Zocker Paragon Vineyard Edna Valley Gruner Veltliner ($20, 13.5%): The mix of marine and volcanic influence in the
soils of the 872-acre Paragon site have quietly made proof positive of Gruner's abilities on these shores. This latest has that celery-like
astringency that makes the variety so versatile, with citrus aromas and perhaps a bit edgier flavors than the 2010.
2011 Kenneth Volk Silvaspoons Vineyard Alta Mesa Torrontes ($24, 13.1%): Wild Horse founder Volk seems to have been
hunting for new white wine sources, and his take might be the best yet for this small Lodi planting of Argentina's beloved grape. As
exuberantly floral as Torrontes can be, with a firmer structure to citrus and grape flavors. A classy rendition, with the same snap that's
present in great dry Muscat.
2011 Y. Rousseau Old Vines Russian River Valley Colombard ($18, 12.8%): Yannick Rousseau's effort to elevate a littleappreciated California workhorse is impressive in its new vintage. A fine mineral overtone to papaya skin, citrus zest and honeydew,
with a wonderfully full texture - thank seven hours of soaking on its skins - reminiscent of ripe apple. Better than 2010, and proving itspoint wonderfully.
2011 Harney Lane Lodi Albarino ($19, 13%): While the Mettler family has been farming in Lodi since 1907, their embrace of the
area's new focus on Spanish varieties has paid off. The peach and lime-rickey flavors are sweet and enduring, with a thyme accent and
freshness that could easily rival versions from the grape's native Rias Baixas.

Jon Bonné is The Chronicle's wine editor. Find more of his coverage at sfgate.com/wine. E-mail: jbonne@sfchronicle.com Twitter:

05 October 2012

05oct- everyday i hear:
why no 1/2 bottles of '06 or '07 chateauneuf du pape?

every.damn.day. so i got these to see if they'd work on the menu.
...we'll see...
05oct- self-indulgent ramblings mostly about wine

i was thinking about vintage changes this morning.
the subject occurred to me since i had to switch deodorants because piggly wiggly doesn't carry my brand. as i got ready for work the familiar but different aura that followed me reminded me of the sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic differences in a wine from vintage to vintage. now, there's usually a core of the same in the wine, whether it be terroir, winemaker personality, or just distinctive varietal character but i'm always a little pleased when it's a little different. in these modern times i imagine it's not terrible difficult to recreate the same wine every year so when it's a little different i feel like winemaker is allowing something natural to be expressed. maybe. i hope.
i remember the first time i recognized a vintage change and had an opinion about it. i wasn't terribly far into my wine education and had been concentrating on bordeaux, in particular. we'd been drinking the '98 of an affordable little haut-medoc for a little while and on my next order the 2000 was delivered without our knowledge. we tasted without looking at it and scrunched our faces in confusion as it was distinctly different. it still had that core of what we knew but it was so different. i admit i felt silly articulating "i much prefer the '98' since i was still fairly new to wine at the time and it seemed like such an affectation.
but it really helped to illustrate what a little time in bottle can do or how much the climate can change a wine. maybe rain bloated grapes one year or drought raisinated them the next. maybe threat of bad weather made some vineyards pick early while others just up the road risked it and picked later.
and that's just the beginnings of the vagaries that can impact how you taste your wine. glass ware could let your wine's bouquet blossom or it could suppress it. what you're eating could pair beautifully with it or completely destroy its structure. the person next to you could be wearing a lot of fragrance which could distract and confuse your nose. starting a glass of wine indoors and then walking outside could give you subtly different aromatics. with whom you drink your wine. the time of day.maybe you're drinking wine next to a dishwasher that poofs out different smelling air as it changes from function to function. how happy or angry you are. maybe you're about to get sick and don't know it yet but the body is starting to respond and your palate is dulled. maybe the pressurization of an airplane cabin dulling your senses. not to mention the bank of descriptors you have could be entirely different from that of the person next to you
it's such a convoluted affair.
i don't really have much of a point, i suppose. these unpredictables apply to almost everything, really. food, beer, movies, clothes, locales. definitely people. music. how an instrument plays.
... words with friends.
i'll stop now.