Selections for August 2016

I love unlikelihoods

2013 ADELAIDA CHARDONNAY – HMR Vineyard, Paso Robles

This wine’s suggested retail price is $40.  Because we are cleaning out Adelaida’s remaining inventory of the 2013 vintage we’re able to show you something special for far less.  Rejoice and be glad, and get back here for more!

Chardonnay represents the essence of wine ubiquity:  It is EVERYWHERE.  - Well, not quite everywhere.  You don’t find it in warmer regions such as Paso Robles unless it happens in the distinctive soil with which Adelaida is blessed.  One of California’s original wine gurus Andre Tchelistcheff declared, “Soil trumps climate.”  That is to say, if the vineyard’s dirt is spectacular and the weather is less than ideal quality can still happen.  Limestone filled with fossilized sea life is the mineral base of Adelaida’s HMR vineyard.  Even if the climate isn’t very Burgundian, the dirt sure is!

A calming fragrance of crème fraiche (pre-butter dairy smells), white peach, and vague hints of basil reassure us:  This is not from Lodi!  The palate is broad yet clean.  Generosity of viscosity is checked by citric acidity.  From a wine land historically known for flaccid flooziness, here is generosity accompanied by structural importance.

Chardonnay messes with our collective wine head.  What’s my premise when a new one is forced upon me?  My own use or non-use of the varietal?  Is this meant to indulge or deprive?  Am I to seek out “place” in the wine?  Like someone who’s heard Beethoven’s 5th too many times, can I really “hear” Chardonnay anymore? 

I don’t have the answers, only the questions . . . and a darn good Chardonnay.

A Simple Message, Refreshingly Imparted

2015 HB – Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc, France

We think this wine is so broadly appealing we bought an entire palate of the stuff.  Its message may be simple but it’s a useful one, especially on hot summer afternoons:  “Say Ahhhhhh!”

We take you to the south of France where a white wine region sits alongside a saltwater lake, the Thau Lagoon, which itself lies beside the Mediterranean.  In this temperate, breezy place you find myriad shellfish farms, and multitudes of herons and flamingos, and a grape called ‘Picpoul’. 

Implying ‘lip stinger’ in the old Occitan tongue, Picpoul’s brisk acidity is its main, refreshing attribute.  In fact, hot weathered Paso Robles has been utilizing it in its white blends; a little ‘lip stinger’ is just the thing for Marsanne – Roussanne – Grenache Blanc compilations which might otherwise seem overweight.  Picpoul de Pinet is a well-recognized white in France, and its classic bottle shape furthers its marketability.  - But it’s what’s inside that counts.   This refreshingly unsophisticated, wonderfully careless southern French classic offers vivid scents of lime peel, wet foliage, and green apple plus tongue-slappin' white nectarine.