Monday, August 11, 2008

The Real Wine social event of the season

An occasion of such magnitude that I was counting the days until August 9, 2008. The wine world’s very own Shawn Meade and John Mark stating their everlasting love, in a touching hilltop ceremony attended by family and friends.

Lest you think it was all roses and puppydogs, there were days of heavy drinking and lots of bleary eyes at the wedding and reception. I had a blast hanging out with Scott, Ken, Joe, Jeff, Julie, Paul, Wade, Dev, Suzanne, Kevin, and the one and only Michael Rhodes whose heroic attitude towards drinking make him the VLM Wine Personality of the Month. I can’t think of a group of people I enjoy drinking with more than these folks.

Also, I need to give a big shout out to those little pig-fuckers at Terroir. Gulluame, Luc, and Dagan have put together a cool little place, and are fighting the good fight. Even if they get carried away with some of the hipster vignerons (they’re hipsters themselves after all) they are in the trenches providing the drinking public with a space to drink REAL WINE, not a bar that just happens to serve wine, but a selection of wines, chosen with purpose, that reflect a belief in what is laudable and possible. We wrapped up every evening there and if you don’t stop by next time you’re in San Francisco, there is something wrong with you. Congratulations boys, not only are you in Wine and Spirits this month, you get a link on the VLM-TR.
The VLM feels a kindred spirit in those who have serious, deep-seeded issues with authority.

Thanks to John and Shawn for bringing us together, I wish for them all the happiness I hoped to hoard for myself. I think they’ll put it to better use.

Highlights included, from memory:

2003 Peyra “s.g.”

My favorite producer of orange wine. Killer, both before AND after decanting (yeah, that’s right Rosati).

2005 Zidarich Carso vitovska

Had not tried these before. Doesn’t have the intensity of a Gravner or Radikon, but has a feminine gentleness that I found alluring. Expensive, but worth trying, especially if you like what Radikon is doing, but the wines are a bit much for you.

2006 Királyudvar Tokaji (furmint) Demi-Sec

The Huët of Hungary is fucking great. You should follow these wines and definitely try them. What I’ve tried has been killer and this one was especially lacey. You can feel Pinguët’s tentacles all over these wines.

2002 Huët Vouvray Pétillant

Fucking A. The best Huët Pétillant since the godly 1996, IMO.

2004 Dupasquier Roussette de Savoie Marestel
Clean, fragrant, and bright as Spring. I could drink this by the bucketful. Vintage may have been 2005, can’t remember clearly.

2005 Allemand Cornas Chaillots
From magnum
. How psyched was I to find some Allemand in magnum. Decanted for four hours before dinner. Captivating and delicious. How these wines drink so well young is a mystery to me, but they do.

1985 Voge Cornas Vielles Vignes

A nice treat and catching a wine that is definitely at apogee or maybe a bit past. Lovely Cornas character from a producer who I find to make consistently commendable wines to little fanfare.

2005 Dashe Potter Valley Zinfandel McFadden Farms L’enfant Terrible
One of the most talked about wines in geek circles is Mike Dashe doing his best impersonation of Thierry Puzelat. There is no better way to describe this than to say, imagine if Thierry made zinfandel. Delicious and drinkable, bottles went fast. Not awe inspiring just yet, but certainly on the path and something everyone should seek out. I hope he keeps doing it, a welcome addition to the American scene.


Skinny said...

"Even if they get carried away with some of the hipster vignerons (they’re hipsters themselves after all)"

Any "hipster vignerons' particularly egregious?

Beau Rapier said...

I too was excited about the Dashe wine when we go it at the shop last week. This is exactly the type of thing I wish more California winemakers would attempt. Unfortunately I found the result virtually undrinkable. The fruit was still sweet like most Zin, but without the extraction and oak and manipulation to hide flaws I found the finish to be full of heat. Maybe the wines will become more integrated w/ each vintage. Maybe I had a bad bottle, but that is my humble experience.

And at 25 dollars it's more money than many of the Puzelat wines.

Joe said...


the vlm said...


I think some of the Cousin wines are awful, but they are far from the biggest offender, I like the grolleau and recently had a great bottle of gamay at Nana's. There are plenty at every Dive gathering. Wines that are indrescribably bad, but are sans soufre or otherwise natural.

the vlm said...


How long was the bottle in the shop before you had it? What temperature was it served at?

The bottles I drank from had only traveled across the Bay and came to us at cellar temperature. No sickly sweetness on these.

the vlm said...


Seated? WTF?

Beau Rapier said...

The bottle had just arrived, but in Brooklyn. I put in the fridge for awhile before popping it, must have been about 55-60 degrees. It wasn't sickly, just out of whack. Lots of fruit, little acidity, obvious heat. The color and body were exactly what I'm looking for, it just didn't come together.

Joe said...

Para 3. Not "seeded."