Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard "Vin Gris Tuilé"


Though not quite a meeting on the astral plane, when an early morning conversation about dreams leads to the arrival of intriguing wines, it does make one wonder if, perhaps, the universe is working its mysterious ways through the magic of social media.

A sample of the 2013 Vin Gris Tuilé, a "brick pink wine of the sun & earth", arrived to me in just such a way. I didn't even know it existed before it materialized via delivery service. Though a traditional blend of southern France grapes, this is not a typical rosé in the Provencal sense; this wine was solarized in a glass demijohn purposefully changing both it's color and character.

I had dinner guests coming later in the evening and a large chunk of meat was already out spinning on the rotisserie. I was setting up some pre-dinner Mediterranean-themed snacks and decided to check out whether this Central Coast wine was "the perfect apéritif wine" as advertised on the back of the bottle. I poured a glass of the slightly cloudy, pale orange-colored wine. With it's oxidized aromas familiar to any sherry drinker, I immediately knew this wine was not going to be for everyone. 

I took a sip, sat, thought and then I poured myself some more. Nutty with grapefruit citrus and an interesting Indian spice note through the lingering finish. Cumin or curry, I couldn't decide. Nope, this wasn't for everyone. It clearly was a wine for me and I wasn't sharing. I decided to go hide it in my refrigerator. 

Dinner was served with different wines that evening and I continued to enjoy the 2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard "Vin Gris Tuilé" over the next few days. It was an excellent apéritif wine as suggested and with it's intentional oxidized character, it remained very consistent.

I did offer a taste to my husband the next day. He compared it with the white wines we had tried in Bandol (which I will tell you had not been his favorites). As I said, it is not for everyone so I took his glass and I finished it. Highly recommended for your quirkier wine loving friends.

Monday, May 9, 2016

2015 Bonny Doon Vineyard "Vin Gris de Cigare"

I had written about Randall Graham and his unique labeling a couple of years ago for a local magazine. I didn't love the editing so I never linked that article here, however, his Vin Gris De Cigare and Le Cigare Volant are wines that I know. I've purchased and served them both on more than a few occasions. When it was time to start appraising an array of Bonny Doon rosé samples, there was an obvious place to begin; the 2015 Vin Gris de Cigare, a Rhone-style blend of sustainably-grown Grenache, Carignane, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Roussanne, with a suggested retail price of $18

I poured myself a nice taste prior to dinner as I am prone to do when I am cooking at home. Hello, old friend, how did 2015 treat you, I mentally asked as I looked at my glass. It was a pale salmon pink with light citrus aromas. I took a sip. It was dry, crisp and smooth. I finished my final dinner preparations as the wine warmed up some and started to open up more displaying its familiar personality- delicate strawberry, melon and grapefruit notes along with a slight savoriness in the mostly mineral finish. Always interesting and delightfully drinkable.

Dinner was going to be simple, just grilled vegetables and shrimp; everything was prepped
and the grill was hot. I moved outside to the front porch to talk to the cat and wait for my husband who promptly pulled up. "What was that?" he asked as he walked towards me. I looked down at my now empty glass and replied, "an old friendship that you are really going to enjoy renewing."

The 2015 Vin Gris de Cigare is a highly recommended "pink wine of the earth" for spring, summer and beyond. Enjoy it with easy meals and good company.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Texas Taste-Off

An intro and link to a feature I wrote for Texas Wine and Trail Magazine

"Despite the dreary conditions outside that day, local wine professionals arrived at Camarata at Paulie’s to blind taste a selection of Texas wines beside similar European wines at the same price point. Though Texas’ reputation for improving quality continues to grow with more wins at international competitions, wineries still fight their former status of being “less than” their European or California counterparts.

The tasters took their seats and four unidentified white wines were poured for each and the sniffing and swirling began..."

Read in full at Texas Wine and Trail Magazine