14 November 2009

2008 LES BRUGUERES///PRIORAT BLANCO


This is a cool wine, an anomaly in Priorat---100% grenache blanc made from 100 year vines that were planted by religious missionaries.
Very friendly and precious wine. Uncomplicated if you want, but layered and seriously interesting if you take the time to broach the subject.
Fermented in stainless steel-fresh minerality. The brawn of a Rhone white, but an underlying elegance and fruit character. Fleshy tone in the glass.
brash enough to stand up to meat.
Delightfully random for those who like orphans and weirdos.
$70/bottle

12 November 2009

1998 LOPEZ DE HEREDIA///TONDONIA RESERVA


I have been meaning to write about Lopez de Heredia for quite sometime now, and thought it an appropriate time as we approach the opening of Olympic Provisions. The reason, in part; being that the Heredia label was inspiration for the anticipated house brand chorizo label. The connection between Lopez de Heredia and Clyde Common is a tiny thread that has run through my experience at the restaurant from day one. During my interview, we took a tour of the basement and wine cellar where I commented on the Tondonia. Amalie Roberts (manager and wine director at the time) immediately launched into a story of her experience visiting the winery. Nate was not far behind her touting his love of the wines as well. Matt; the other owner of the Clyde initially put the wine on our opening list, and drinks it frequently when he visits.


I've been thinking about the term "benchmark" in regard to wine recently, and how it is a strong word for such a subjective notion. Being that everyone's benchmark, or point of reference is fluid and personal; I think it is safe to call this a benchmark wine, not only where Rioja is concerned but at Clyde Common.



The universal warmth that each person mentioned holds in regard to this producer is the feeling that wine, in my opinion, is made to evoke.



Amalie's story if my memory serves was about a conversation in the dark cob-webbed cellar in which she asked why they did not import their wine for so many years past; to which the sisters responded 'this wine is not made for donkeys'.



Anyway, on to the winery...completely family owned and hand-harvested bodega in Alta Rioja. Literally making wine from 3 single vineyards from a family blueprint with little disruption or change in the last 125 years. They keep their red wines for about 10 years before release, and little variance in blending occurs from vintage to vintage or vineyard to vineyard; keeping each vintage a reflection of the place and a pure study in terroir. The Tondonia vineyard bottling is comprised of 75% Tempranillo 15%garnacha and 10% Manzuela and Graciano.



Elegant fruit, cherry and tobacco, spice, minerality from the vineyard's limestone soils and totally grounded acid and tannin.



Check out this Rioja article featuring Lopez de Heredia for more information.



$84/bottle





19 October 2009

///JACKY BLOT///TRIPLE ZERO///DOMAINE DE LA TAILLE AUX LOUPS///


Chenincheninchenin blanc, how i love you chenin blanc!

with your ripe and softy fruits, elegant, shifty, silky smooth.

Sometimes you have bubbles and sometimes you're sec.

I love you most from Loire of course, you're limey tart and sassy.

chenincheninchenin blanc; let us drink you petillant.


Jacky Blot is either completely obsessive or totally chilled out and mellow depending upon which angle he takes in this wine. It is a pure and unadorned expression of Chenin Blanc---he adds no sugar in the process of making this sparkling wine, so it really is a completely natural wine. He is a able to skip chaptalization, tirage, and dosage (all the points in sparkling wine making where sugar is added, hence the name Triple Zero) because he works exclusively with perfectly ripe fruit from 50 year old vines.
So, my point being; either he spends all his energy sorting and focusing narrowly on making this unique wine, or he relaxes and lets the wine take shape based on the quality of the fruit he is working with, and my real speculation is obviously that it is just the right amount of both. Then, he slaps a black velvet label on it, and gives it a name like "Triple Zero"-- (only a frenchman can swing this), and this is why Jacky Blot is my Don Juan of Mont Louis.
$40/bottle---$20/bottle on BUBBLY SUNDAY.

29 September 2009

WINE LIBRARY TV

I'm kind of obsessed with Gary Vaynerchuk...and you should be too.