Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Hi ya'll who read this. I just wanted to tell you that I had a few California wines that were quite good.

Well, I've had these wines plenty before, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm about three quarters through Joly's book on Biodynamics, and a vineyard manager frm Grgich Hills stops by work to chat with us. Mind you, I've always been amorous towards the Grgich Chardonnays--no malo super-balance and age-worthy, a few almost reminding me of Chassagne-Montrachet. Primarily I was pleased with the care and thoughtfulness of the vineyard management and minimalism in the cellar, and the stance of the winery to convert all of their wines to Demeter certification by 2007. A fantastic old (for California) winery that is not a few ex-bankers or ex-investors who have a few bucks to kill and want to make overpriced, cult Gob wine at any cost and utilize labs and chemicals to fix "problems". The Fume Blanc (although I detest that made-up varietal for S.B.) was very very balanced, subtle and delicious with a touch of fennel on the nose that brought complexity. Very nice, and very restrained. The Chard. was great as well, not as good as the previous vintage I had, but awesome for Cali. No malo, so acids are kickin' and totally in sync with the oak, which is a lovely addition, making for the breadth and Chassagne-like spread, along with touch more ripeness, think yellow apricot and yellow apple with some light baking spice on top. Nice. I'd love to see this much later. The '03 Cab, for me, is the least impressive, but sublte, very Cabernet (with a great fruit supported by a very very slight herbal savor). The '04 Zin was showing very, very well that day. The nose picked up tiny oolong tea notes, no heat on the palate, and great fresh (not sun-dried) fruit, with a surprising density--this would make a fabulous food wine. The Merlot, often my favorite red, was corkie-dorkie.

Anyway, seek out the locals who are doing their thing with some heed to nature and letting the dirt do the work. Also Grgich has some BioD bees, chickens, and veggies. BioD fennel anyone? Sign me up!


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