Monday, April 15, 2013

Crash and Burn

I guess we're getting creative with our blog titles.  The preceding blogpost from Saturday referred to the explosion of business Friday night during our weekly tasting.  Today I'm referring to Saturday's lack of business.  I think it was the slowest Saturday ever.  Such is business in America circa 2013.

Here is just a little bit more about the wines from Friday night:

The Del Sol Chileans come from the Maule Valley which we blogged about back on September 11th of last year.  On February 27th of 2010, the Maule Valley was the site of the sixth largest earthquake in recorded history (8.8 Richter).  Five hundred twenty five people lost their lives in the quake and because industry has to be protective of business losses, I believe much remained out of print concerning winery losses.  The fine Del Sol 2011-12 wines we tasted on Friday may be representative of a comeback from those losses.  I am convinced that historic properties were cobbling together vintages following the quake in an effort to keep their labels going until the facilities were once again up to speed.

Artisan Vines is the distributor for the wines we tasted Friday night.  They bought the business from Gary Carner who gave it up during the ugly 2008-09 period.  Gary sold to me weekly while he was here and presided over a few of our in-store tastings before David Rimmer came along.  I just went to the Stangeland Winery website and Gary is prominently mentioned on the homepage.  Gary's passion is jazz.  He has written books on the subject, one of which is signed by him and in the store at this time.  When he left here he was working on a Pepper Adams work.  Apparently he is doing a presentation and book signing on Pepper Adams at Stangeland in Oregon.  Small world.

The 2010 24.5 degrees Brix Pinot Noir was the mystery "bomb" from Friday night.  There is no real information anywhere about this wine except that we now know it is very very good.  File this under FYI:  Degrees brix is the measurement of the dissolved sugar-to-water ratio of a liquid.  24.5 degrees brix = 24.5% sugar to water or 24.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams of water.  This wine was made from fruit harvested at 24.5 degrees brix.

Convento Cappuccini is a 62 acre property with a convent and surrounding vineyards established in the 17th century.  The Botto family has owned the thirty two acre vineyard around the convent for three hundred years.  In the 1960's they bought the convent, itself, which is now the on-site winery.

Montferrato is the DOC (1964) for Convento Cappuccini and it comprises the provinces of Alexandria and Asti.  The climate is continental, having hot dry summers and cold winters.  The indigenous grapes of Montferrato include: Barbera, Freisa, Grignolino, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto and while international grapes are now allowed in blends, the wines we tasted on Friday seemed to be strictly old world. 

On Friday April 19th from 5 to 7pm Tommy Basham of Continental Brands joins us to present Dance Del Mar Spanish Tempranillo/Merlot, Le Seianti Chianti, Ridge Crest Washingto State Merlot and Chardonnay, Coto de Hayas Spanish Centenaria Garnacha, and Ulmen Argentine Malbec Dulce.  Please join us.

I know your parents admonished you not to do what others around you did in school, but if you become a "follower" of this blog I know they would have approved.

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