Pretty good. Good enough for me to take a photo. I think it was plummy and savoury. — a year ago
In a newsletter I wrote: ‘Margalagua’ roughly translates to ‘Mother of Water’ and I think it is obvious that the Mother of Water is wine. This is a wine for all weather, the weather forever thirsty, you always in need. The grapes are a busy blend of Listan Negro, Listan Prieto, Baboso, Negramoll and Malvasia Negra. The vines are at least 100 years old and untrained like an old dog that can’t learn new tricks but aren’t his old tricks still so good? He can’t differentiate a formal paw shake and a casual high five but he knows raising a paw to yours results in a mouthful of flavour and you too can expect a mouthful of flavour from the Margalagua. Fermented in old 500 liter barrels with the whole grape clusters included, and then raised in neutral 500 liter French oak barrels for 11 months. A tantalizing mixture of pepper and stones, pungent aromatics, with wonderful deep umami notes, high-toned citrus, spice and flowers. Float in this current, dream in the stream. — 3 years ago
I found one source that says the 1989 was the last year they labeled this meritage. The 1990 is the reserve red blend, with the varietals listed on the front label. Used the ah so on the cork and glad we did, it was in tough shape but seems to have held it together. Decanted for an hour or so. There’s some bad shit on the nose like wet dog & epoxy but it’s not a disaster, it’s also tanned leather, old stuffed animal, graham cracker. Front palette is richly fruity, like cherry ludens. Bramble fruits like raspberry. Continues to a mentholy, stewed plums. Delicious. Long complex finish. Good cellar find. — 2 years ago
Moving day, why not drink a 15 year old Pinot? — 3 years ago
#Nebbiolo is a surprisingly rare grape. Even in its native Piedmont, it accounts for only 8% of vineyard land. There are fewer than 100 hectares planted in the United States. 🕵️♂️🍇
Over 80% of prewar Italian immigrants came from Sicily and Southern Italy. Piedmont was the wealthiest and most politically dominant region. But if fortunes were reversed, could Nebbiolo have taken Primitivo/Zinfandel’s place as a grape relatively uncommon on the boot but dominant in California? 🤔🇮🇹🇺🇸
Probably not. The Nebbiolo vine is *not* for beginners. It flowers early and ripens late, making it susceptible to both spring and autumn frosts. It loves the occasional fog bath (some say the name is derived from ‘nebbia’, Italian for fog ☁️☁️☁️) but is prone to the mildew that may result from such humid conditions. Its fussiness would make Pinot Noir blush: it demands southwesterly exposure, a proper gradient, constant sun above, and fog licking at its toes. #diva
Sound anything like California’s Central Coast? 🌅
In the Santa Maria Valley, where the East-West Transverse Range bends back into the North-South Coastal Range, it’s possible. Vineyard selection still requires extreme discretion - an eye like @JimClendenen’s, perhaps.
Jim began the Nebbiolo program at the legendary #BienNacido vineyard in 1994. Production is small, but if you track down his “The Pip” Nebbiolo, it will only run you about $30. You’ll believe anything is possible when you have real California Nebbiolo of this quality come wafting out of the glass at you! 🙌🙌
🏞.“The Pip” is named after Jim’s old cellar dog Pip, a border collie. So it only seemed right to include one of our own pips! 🐈 — 3 years ago
What a joy to drink this 9 year old Marlborough Chardonnay in a near perfect spot with little sign of age. This is so bright, fresh, vibrant but carries a depth that I didn’t expect from this region.
Complex palate with white peony, pepper, lemon, grapefruit and mouth watering acidity. The finish is so, so long and couldn’t be more buttery. Like, minutes later buttery. Could this be barrel age, could it be malo fermentation - not sure. But I love it. — 3 years ago
Quick! The wise men are coming! This big dog is barreling down the slope of my noodle toward the sterudel. Feels sour in a lot of ways, with a bitters and sarsparilla ‘zing’ but a solidly malty, Belgian core that resonates with its own dark, grainy brown sugar and cola synergy, and a roobios, cinnamon, baked apple, tea leaf, and cedar finish. This is old school depth and breadth, and damnit to hell, height! You never got me down Ben! You never got me down! #beer #bier #biere #birra #cerveza #christmasale #xmasale #stbernarduschristmasale #belgianale — 3 years ago