Thursday, March 31, 2011

Like Wine in its Bottles

This blog, taking a different turn.  Aligning it with the composition of a script.  My script.  90 pages.  4 written thus far.  What wine do I pair with these script lines tonight?  Pinot sounds ideal, harmonious.  Think I have one of those Pinots from the winery in the little fridge.  Want to wake up early tomorrow, to get an impressive start on the script.  Love that word.  SCRIPT.  Don’t know why.  Love PINOT.  So yes, then.  It’s getting opened.
Would love to work with actors, directors, editors, one day.  I still want to write books, more than anything.  But this is something I need to make Self do.  The good weather today, urges lawlessness in tonight’s writing.  Don’t care about the result, enjoy the process.  Isn’t that the Nature of Aesthetics, wine writing Aesthetics? 
(3/31/11, Thursday)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Napa, Day 3: New Mission

The official entry, to be birthed on morrow.  But for now, I just needed to type about today.  Driving, window lowered.  Can’t believe the quality of Cab at Far Niente.  The wines at Peju, conveyed truth, spoke to me with taste unfamiliarity.  Today, one of pictures.  Napa handed so much footage, stills, that I feel feverish in filing through the frames.  May be back tomorrow, in Napa, for a 4th day, if you can believe that.  There’s no way it could measure to this installation.  Weather, like it was ordered by I and the blogging partner.  Wine’s world involves fantasy, yes.  But some of this chimera, quite experienceable, tangible.  That’s what’s truly beautiful.  Aesthetic, discovery.

(3/30/11, Wednesday)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Today, just exploring my favorite of valleys.  Roaming.  True, I had an appointment at a Napa Valley haven, serenading guests, me, with unrivaled beauty, stateliness.  It was nice to just drive around, explore, take pictures, write.  The other side of the mountain, I no more view a question mark, blur.  It’s universal invitation.  I return tomorrow, for another appointment at the secluded spot, the Heavenly sanctum.  Never seen property like that before.  Honestly all I can think of while I sip this Pinot.  The weather, flawless.  Hope the same accompanies me come morrow.  I’m under a Napa spell, willingly.  My camera, even more full than it was.  Snapping stills of each stop.  Me, obsessed.

Was hard for me to leave that one spot.  Me, the scenery, connected inextricably.  For us, scribes of wine, it’s a crossroad, each turn.  When to leave, how long to stay, remain.  The pictures help.  They push the pages.  Me, without cares.  The bottles in the wooden case.  Romantic, a fantastic paragraph set to its set.  What do I do with it?  See?  This is where I wonder if I’m “wine blogging,” or even wine writing, correctly.  I’m stuttering.  Blank.  Still like sick snails.  Need another sip of this Sonoma Coast Pinot.  Napa, my illustrative illness; the SoCo pours, inoculation, abbreviation.  How will I sleep tonight, in such readiness for tomorrow’s tour and tasting?  Don’t care ...

That one property, etheric straight.  How did I find such?  No cares.  I’m revisiting tomorrow, unbelievably.  And, I was invited to taste.  Again, I’ll say, this is what wine is all about: discovery.  Call me Drake, Galileo, Columbus.  After mission, to one of my preferred wine destinations here in Santa Rosa, for a glass of masterful Sauv Blanc.  And Syrah, I won’t lie.  Those structures, the fountains, natural tints, and certainly the wine, on the mountain’s other face, has me captured.  Disrupting and nurturing the writing, concurrently.  Oddly delicious dichotomy.  The sentences forwarded by today’s drive, missing something.  A supplement.  A garnishment.  That’ll be the morning’s mission. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Welcome to Paradise...Ridge

Yesterday, took a cruise up Fountaingrove to one of the most scenic wineries in Sonoma County.  One the narrow road, you see piece after piece of wildly inventive creation.  Once in the parking lot, taking pictures of course, I looked up at the hills, out and down at the vineyards below.
Into the tasting Room, where I met my new friend, Ruthanne.  The floor around me, spacious, mystically chic, perfect for events, which I later learned continue quite commonplace at Paradise.  Ruthanne poured everything from the ’09 Estate Sauv Blanc to the infamously delicious Convict Zin, 2007, just as moving and wooingly forceful in its nuances as I recall, beautiful.  The star, for me, and this probably won’t surprise a lot of you, was the 2008 Russian River Pinot.  The other star, ’06 Elevation Cab, which brought with it 7% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.  May have had another vintage of this the last time I visited, but I can’t be sure.  Went out on the patio for a bit, just to welcome gentler Santa Rosa air into my nucleus.  Loved the removed feel of this winery, the narrow road taking one to the Room.  And the wines, dauntingly multidimensional, romantic, like the surrounding sculptures.  Artistic, otherworldly, phantom-like.  Lovely.  What other praiseful modifiers can I insert?  Standing by my favorite, the Pinot.  Sipping it right now, in fact.  Its notes are like those melodic, musically knotted.  Going to revisit in April, when their “Wines and Sunsets” starts up again.  Anything to be back out on the patio, cuddling with that air above the vines. 

One last note, the winery’s name, it containing “Paradise.” This is not a boast, it’s an acute survey of the property.  All about it, paradisiacal.  This is yet another Sonoma County pond of pleasure for a writer.  Photographers, just the same.  That’s what a wine paradise, like the Ridge, will do to you, whether artist or other.  See you in Paradise.  Sip, sip ...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

ballad gallery happening

Arranging my book as chaotically, spastically as I can.  That’s Aestheticism, true Humanness, beauty.  Going to turn off the movie, in minute, so I can pair these sentences with wine lounge beats, or other genres.  Just needing lyrics right now.  Not in the mood for wine, 2nite.  Only yearning for progress, forwards.  To a true Equilibrium.
I may not notice certain tendencies in my Self, as they are what comprise the Self.  I’m not looking for them, as they are already present, in motion.  So I have no apologies for such habits, mannerisms, even, and especially, if they offend people.  And if I don’t fit into places and situations that have a problem with my center, then I truly don’t belong there.  No apologies, ever.

Riding to Art, Gliding Past Stars

        Quiet.  Reaction to suddenness.
Want to take time, be thoughtful, 
but I don’t have time for that.
Approaching projects the way my
sister would a new wine idea.
What does she arrange in her sight?
Want to ask, but I feel such inquiries
would present invasiveness.  Don’t want
to word such, especially to another artist,
especially 2 family.
Louder, but only in my head.
This page, emptying my angst.
holding self up with coffee beans, milk
hoping this page, soon, filled
(3/27/11, Sunday)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My MikeMath

Tomorrow, as I wrote yesterday will be the official birth of NewMike.  NewMike entails Self-moderated rebellion, pragmatic civility, venomous independence (if so antagonized).  Tomorrow night, I plan to write ALL NIGHT.  Literally, stopping at next day’s first step.  This means, NO WINE. Caffeine only.  Never did buy that coffee machine, or espresso maker like Ramona suggested.  Going to miss working alongside her in the Room.  Learned more from her than most others.  No time to reflect and wade in emotional swamps.  Need to see that book on Shelf.  Or, the finished screenplay.  Maybe that should be my only focus tomorrow night.  I just want to finish it to SELL it.  Why do I go in and out of caps like that?  Only 87 pages away from targeted stop sign on that project.  Let’s do a little math:  okay, if I write for 12 hours, yielding 4 pages each hour, that’s 48 pages, added to the three I have: 51.  Still not done.  Alright ... how about 5 pages an hour, for 15 hours? 75 pages, with the 3, 78.  Almost there.  How about this, for a projection ... 48 hours to finish a script?  I’ll start tomorrow night, around 5p.  Work till 5a.  Sleep for a bit, then recommence for another 12 hours.  That’ll be 24 hours in session.  If I cook 3 pages, for each of the 2-4, that’d produce 72 pages.  That’s a healthy and hefty start.  I’d only have 18 more to go, and at 3pgs/hr, that’s only 6 hours of writing.  This’ll be taxing, but interesting.  Can’t get bored, discouraged, defeatist, fatalist, anything other than sure, SELF-ASSURED, I’m going to pitch and sell this wine-themed piece.  Never thought I’d effectively use any level or amount of math when it came to my manuscripts, but I guess elemental shock is unavoidable in the vinoLit Life.  Sip, sip ...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2 Nights from the Lounge ...

Another chill day at MikesWineLounge, rain in assistance.  Most, by the fire, sipping anything from the Piña Sauv Blanc to the Palmeri ’07 Cab.  Lounge surrounding semblance.  Wine peace, honestly.  A couple young ladies walked around, checking out the artful articles about the tasting Room, while sipping, of course.  Daisy, wife of Wondering Winemaker Kerry, is so enamored with our neighbors at Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria, and the cozy world inside the Terroirs temple, that she’s offering to buy pizza for guests in the coming days, partially to welcome her husband back from India.

Everything my friend Ziggy the Wine Gal says about my new love, Terroirs, and my newest passion project, MikesWineLounge, is true.  The way the beats bounced from wall to wall tonight, deliciously different.  May have been the rain, the way the fire distracted the guests from the cold on the glass’ exterior side.  This Room, this Lounge, a coercive entity cognitive.  Soothing, sedating.  Poetic, placid.  You’ll forget about mundane preoccupations in this tasting Room, especially when it wakes as my Lounge.  Feel like with every shift, every guest, every pour, taste, I note a new truth about wine’s realm.  It should ALWAYS be Human, relaxed, comfortable. 
Sipping some ’03 Peña Cabernet, just thinking about the Room.  Wish I could drive up there now, and just sit in one of those chairs by the fire, lean against one of those little red pillows.  Are they red?  Doesn’t matter.  They contribute, like Damskey’s wines.  Need to make it a point to buy more songs, color more my musical vino Lounge canvas.  I hope people walk in and feel a connection, with wine, music.  Right now, I’m barely typing.  Mostly enjoying how this song, Sneaker Pimp’s “6 Underground,” sounds so much more flavorful, rich, tangible as a result of this Cab on palate.  Counting till morrow, looking at the night’s pics.  Sip, sip ...

Thursday, 3/24/11.  Another special night in the Lounge, no doubt.  Attending: Kerry Damskey, his wife Daisy, and Ziggy the Wine Gal.  Great crowd, all digging the wine-music pairing.  But, as I am a bit of a perfectionist, even though I found I spelled Peña with an “i” instead of “e” in past entries I’m afraid, I need to get some new wine tracks.  Need more for ears, as it’ll influence the Lounge’s portent and wines’ collective palate presence.  A little break in the rain, changing the air, the sky’s presence in the Room.  Difficult to explain how my love for my newest passion project evolves and appreciates, but this has changed everything.  Hope the guests experience something similar.  Something poetic, magical.  Newness.  As I was closing, after all had left, I just looked around, appreciated this colorfully unfamiliar stage.  It assured this is for me, this Lounge, these breaths.  What wine should do, push one into something new.
Me, Ziggy the Wine Gal, and Kerry Damskey

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Stop writing?  I’d rather stop breathing.  Need a nightcap.  For sense.  The blend now me bores.  My rattler, in motion.  
This poet, animalistic.  I glow, no altruistic.  The
other writers, too old.  Can’t stand the new bold.
You, recite the same lines; you, a lame mime.  Mike, 
like a stray nine bullet.  Just glass grip, sip.  Load clip,
no blip on the radar.  You weightless pig, delusional.
Too fake, not big.  Thee, lose in full.  I capitalize
while you’re sad in the eyes.  No surprise. 
I apologize.  Shouldn’t waste my Literaries on the inept.  This character could never battle me.  Going back and forth, between placidity, turbulence.  Interesting, this embrace of Aesthetic dichotomy.  Peace to Mom, Dad, Katie for the sense.
Thinking of days, as a PROFESSOR.  Why would I let other ripples, laughably inconsequential, rumble this artisanal terrain?  I’m like Depp in “Secret Window,” candid, cunning.  The rain continues, urging me to dive into the Consciousness stream.  Wine, lecturing me.  Evanescent, elusive, erotic.  Love Living Literary, something the plain can’t appreciate.  That’s fine, the sips me tell, from this Napa Valley Cab.  Beneficial ...   

Harmony, Expulsion

Definition.  That’s what I feel.  Relief.  Confidence.  Praise the Craft, the page, real scribes like I, in mode of defy.  Feeling thoughts of Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Machiavelli, Faulkner, Alcott.  My manuscript, almost poised for fruition, thanks to 2day.  Can’t decide what’s speaking to me more, the Cab Franc, or the Malbec.  Me, brought to song.  This day’s pagination, euphoric.
How many pages should this book be?  Better question, How much can this penman afford?  Don’t want readers to be in throws of laboriously elongated reads.  I would prefer the episodic, as wine interaction, I feel, is quite episodic, moment2moment. 
Listening to chill beats.  Paired with rain, Heavenly.  Tomorrow, up early, for a return to the desk.  When was the last time I had an early scribble?  Maybe a glass or two more will help the writer remember.  Maybe.
My eye, wondering.  For other doors.  We, the Literary beasts, can’t station Self, at least not for extended pulses.  Another pour?
(Tuesday, 3/22/11)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

MikesWineLounge, Night 3

Tonight at the Lounge, some traffic, even with the rain.  Wine-seeking energy, electricity.  What I love about a Lounge, or my vision thereof, is the conversation and body language it begs.  Many tonight in love with the 2007 Piña Petite Sirah.  Can’t blame them, it’s an incredibly composed wine.  Complicated and original.  Love the new pictures on the wall from Michael Coy.  His work is provocative, generously entrapping.  Couldn’t stop looking at the pieces, when I had a spare sliver of seconds.  Also, and probably most rewarding about tonight, I had the pleasure of working alongside Mrs. Daisy Damskey.  Love her positive energy, support and encouragement.  It can only get better, this Wine Lounge of ours.  Sip, sip ... 

Friday, March 18, 2011

MikesWineLounge, Night 2

Second night of the Lounge.  I was going up against St. Patrick’s Day, so I wan’t expecting a single character to walk through the door, to tell truth.  But, my new colleague Victoria and I had the fortune to host a nice couple from the Bay Area, I think San Francisco.  Or was it Oakland?  Either way, they were great.  Sitting in the embracing seats facing the fireplace. Relaxing with a glass of the ’07 Piña Ridge Zin from Dry Creek.
Right now, here in the office, I sip the 2007 Palmeri Cabernet from the Stagecoach Vineyard.  Kerry Damskey isn’t a winemaker, this man is a mastermind of tasty wizardry.  He’s more than an oenological engineer, he’s one in defiance of tasting reality.  He’s not commonplace; More like a character in some thick episodic fantasy saga, mustering wondrous powers through unique spells.  You need to connect with his creations, during Lounge hours or otherwise.  Now, seriously, how did he do this?  You know what, I don’t want to know.  Just going to sip, enjoy these Wine Lounge tunes, as I’m still in the mode, mood.  Listening to rain fall, thinking about the Lounge, all soon to visit.  Pairing music, wine, architectural Aesthetics.  All new elements, about this author’s cognitive cogs.
As this ’07 Napa Cab majestically multiplies with luscious luminosity, I just listen to the current track, envisioning tomorrow, my first Friday at the Lounge.  First two days, staggeringly inspiring.  Going to be patient with this new endeavor, this new experiential manuscript.  I have in my notes, here in the Composition book: “Focus on scene, the multilayered nature of Damskey’s wines.” Think I just felt another idea tremor.  See you at the Lounge tomorrow ...

(Thursday, 3/17/11)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Afternoon Thoughts, Aesthetic Reflect

Cold in this office, looking through pictures, examine aesthetic levels in these stills.  The wine stage epitomizes beauty, unusually appealing imagery.  So many symbols, characters, scenes serene.

Hard to make sense of it, express appreciation linearly.  Why?  ‘Cause you feel so much when your eyes connect with this, at least mine do.  This wine world, universally Literary.
Can’t get warm, unless I stare at the frames in this camera.  Additional life, wine, in bottle, especially barrel.  Winemakers will interpret it differently, but I’m only interested in some of their estimations.
Pinot, probably tonight’s character.  Not a shock, if you know  me.  That varietal, always comfortable, consistent, complex.
(Thursday, 3/17/11)

MikesWineLounge, Night 1

Still can’t believe I have this opportunity, operation of a well established tasting Room in Geyserville, Terroirs Artisan Wines, and hold my own event, themes as I please, three days a week.  Thankful, and surprisingly, not the least smidgen timid.  I’m confident I can make this work, for a wine Room in which I almost dogmatically believe.  Tonight, a bit quiet, but we, one of my best tasting Room buds Mona and I, saw some traffic, sold a couple bottles.  The two and a half hours flew by, frighteningly fast.  Wasn’t focused on writing till now, which is impressively rare; it hasn’t happened, ever.  In tasting Rooms, I’m always scribbling, taking pictures of the crowds like during barrel tasting, snapping the bottles, gathering footage.  Tonight, I was focused on a Room that was partially, and truly, my own.  Still can’t believe it.
Geyserville is a unique, and slightly challenging spot for a tasting Room.  But this spice of challenge fosters the potential for magic.  Wine is magic, tasting Rooms reserve insatiable sensory alchemy for its visitors, this one especially.  Couldn’t stop looking at the art, the high ceilings.  My beats paired well with the building’s spaciously seductive quality.  One thing I thought while behind they bar, jittering for guests, was that these wines, of different labels, were being represented by me, a writer, with an approach I coined: pairing wine, music, atmosphere.  The wine world, or “industry,” holds gifts, pleasant unexpecteds.  Eager for tomorrow’s passage.  More than likely, will lose sleep over it, but not before I take a sip, scribble a little more, about this new Wine Lounge.  
And, I can’t help but record on this page, what a chapter for me, the book.  How many pages am I up to?  Doesn’t matter, as MikesWineLounge at Terroirs in Geyserville’s sure to inject more tidal waves of reflections, appreciative capturings.  Listening to music I today played, and have for months have played in this office, envisioning my own counter, wine-wheeled walls. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

noche nota

Need a little more time with the documentary that Jon and I shot during barrel tasting.  Right now, for the cap of night, a 2009 Pinot from Lost Canyon, my friend Alexis’ label.  It’s cemented: I’m Pinot persuaded.  It just takes too many captivating shapes.  And working the barrel at Alderbrook over the last couple days further enveloped my stance, pouring, and tasting, NUMEROUS times, the 2010 Pinot by Bryan Parker.  This Pinot, Lost Canyon’s ’09: lighter, deliciously dirty, raw, uncensored; How appropriate for a writer!  A mistress, tryst bliss for this manuscript.  Tomorrow, not sure.  Barrel tasting’s over.  The frenzy, fizzled.  Now sure how to feel.  Another sip.  The book, closer to shelf than I thought.  That’s what happens when the writing’s obsessive.  Should be getting ready for the stasis horizontal, but the elements encourage.  Just again realizing, after observing the footage, the background vineyard, mountain shades, how fortunate I am, as a writer, to reside in the presence of these valleys.  Things, all, changing.  Beneficially.  For me.  This vinoLit Life.  Sip, sip ...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tasting Barrels, Differently

Great mission, with a new cohort.  2011, Barrel Tasting, provided by the masterful orchestration of Wine Road.  Lots to explore, inspect.  We hit 3 valleys: Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander.  Incredible wines, all around us, enjoying.  I couldn’t stop taking pictures of...everything.  We had a bit of a mission plan, flexibly so.  Our first stop, one for which I hold a fervent fondness, Inman Family Wines.  All tasted, spectacular.  I didn’t sip at this spot, only Jon. He expressed fondness for the Whites, Pinots.  Good to see Mary and Kathleen again.  Need to pop the Pinot I bought a tad in past, speaking of which.

Next, Suncé.  Festive, organized, epitome of variety.  Still wasn’t tasting at this point, left that to the blogging buddy.  Sangiovese, Barbera, a Meritage, Cab, among much else.  I think the mystery of Russian River may finally be exposed, unlocked, with a discovery like this.  Olivet Road, still gifting wineries luminous.  Almost had to kick the Self.  Why?  Wish I would have tasted, especially after talking to the winemaker/owner, visitors, employees.  The barrel Room, and you all know how obsessed I am with barrels’ symbolic significance, all but put me in a catatonic cloud of amorousness.

To Dry Creek.  Our only target, the famed Armida.  I honestly don’t have words for this experience.  Heaven, Hell.  Sensational, even better.  Sauv Blanc, some Zins, a blend, more.  Didn’t know how to react.  Watching the footage we shot, wish I could go back.  To me, not having done barrel tasting too many times, this is what this wine country event, LIFE, should entail: fun, something different, oenological randomness, surprise.  Loved the sounds, colors, scents, wines.  In both Heaven and its more entertaining sibling, HELL.  Exteriorly, have always loved the grounds.  That pond, the vine views, that one tree.  Poizin, always good to see you.  Had to take pictures of each strategically stationed statue.

Hawkes, first and only stop in Alexander Valley.  Cabs, Cabs, how about another Cab?  This was one of the wineries that had wine in barrels that tasted ready.  For consumption, for sharing at a dinner, and, more importantly, for me.  I believe it was the first barreled Cab, from the Red Winery Vineyard, that winemaker Jake Hawkes thieved for me, that had a pervading and punctuating orchestra of chocolate, cherry, cigar box, dark herb, pepper.  Was more than tempted to purchase some futures.  This was a difficult location at which not to wallet whip.  Can always go back.  And I will.  Trust.  
In the finale, Healdsburg’s adorable square, downtown.  Vintage Wine Estates, with all their incredible wines and merchandise, not to mention the welcoming staff and atmospheric urgency.  Always have been fond of this spot.  The final Room, Longboard, where I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite winemakers, Susie Selby, and see my old buddy Andrew.  The wines here, frighteningly flavorful and charismatic.  Pinot, Syrah, beyond.  Perfect way to end an elementary ideal blogging mission.  Barrel tasting, to me, about spontaneity, education, experience.  You just to go see what’s out there, in the various valleys, see what everybody’s doing, the different approaches.  And that’s what Jon and I did.  Incredible.  Next year, too far away.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yesterday2Today: Two-Sided Varietal

Couldn’t stop taking pictures when I entered the tasting Room, yesterday.  Found mySelf obsessively observant of bottle shapes, barrels, glasses, other primary elements of a winery.  Saw it beneficial, for the entries.  A revering reference, I guess.  These pictures weren’t for a photo journal, they were for THE journal.  This.  These entries.  Not the busiest of days, but we did have two incredible guests from Flower Mound, Texas, Eric and Joyce.  Later, after close, I met Eric for a tasting at the ever-hospitable, Humanly elegant Cellars of Sonoma.  Ron hosted an incredible tasting, even throwing in some of Ms. Heidi Barrett’s bottled majesties.  Walked off with the ’07 Gann Malbec (AV/SoCo), now a library wine, the ’07 James Family Pinot (Stony Point Vineyard/Sonoma Coast), and Ms. Barrett’s 2008 La Sirena Syrah, from Santa Ynez Valley.  Also managed to dive into Barrett’s TreasuRed, during the tasting; magic, in all its stages, this brave blend.  March 8th, one of wine.

Today, March’s 9th, an unexpected discovery, in Healdsburg’s heart: a coffee shop, dubbed “Flying Goat.” Incredible coffee and treats; I had a snickerdoodle that only tariffed me $1.  I was mostly stricken by the layout of the shop.  I thought it perfect for me, for offsite writing, but also for community poetry readings, writing workshops, or other art-anchored activities.  Was there for a meeting, but I did manage to scribble a few lines before in-session: “New coffee shop.  Here for meeting.  Need to come here one day for some offsite write.  W/coffee, now, & snickerdoodle.  Spacious, vintage-y, cozy.  Would be great locale for open mic, poetry duels, or writers workshops.  This is a Literary Lair.” Looking at my pictures of this new adored spot, I think of nothing but poetry, odd lines.  Freedom.  Flying.  With...a...goat.

Estimating these two days as advances, further into the oeno-elements about which I have to write.  Tempted to open one of the Cellars bottles right now, but saving all three for occasions warranted.  Just as today and its predecessor were luminary in their own containment, so tumbles this reflective session.  Was going to shoot a podcast tonight, covering what above you find scribed, but words blend better.  Wouldn’t trade this location, Sonoma/Napa, for a thousand ships’ spoils.  These moments, in this Wine World, invaluable.  24 hours before now, and Now, cement my assertion.

But days like these, inject a certain separatist strand, making me want to fly with the goat.  This Wine stage, begs the unchained, the wanderer, new friends, new tastes, in new Rooms.  The map on Barrett’s bottle reminds me that all can find bullion in these planted valleys.  No loss, only ascension.  These experiences, entirely musical.  Next time at that flying coffee casa table, I’ll be scribbling more on these fermented fascinations.  Coupling these days, I find a new type, one I could sip&scribble to till I’m eternally paused.  Thanks to these two days of colorful constituents.  And now, Wine lounge beats, scribbling in the studio, slowly sipping Gann Malbec.  Unmatchable conclusion to a tremendous two-act play.  Sip, sip ...

Monday, March 7, 2011

vinoLit, 3/6/11

First weekend of barrel tasting, concluded.  Had to shoot a podcast.  Again, an additional testament to how wine gives way to an occasion.  But this was more.  A true event.  Astonished with how the 2010 Pinot was connecting with palate, and not just mine.  Secure flavor arrangement, melodic finish, notes of coffee, toffee, chocolate, subdued smoke.  Why I like this Pinot, especially: it’s unorthodox presence.  Not at all template.  Invitingly forward, gorgeous.  The rain also coerced my broadcast, in concert with the pictures I took yesterday, today.  Now, off to the pages, paired with this Malbec.  Haven’t seen this varietal in a while.  Definitely reflective, after two days behind the counter. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Russian River Exploration: Graton Ridge Cellars

Back to the mysterious valley, to visit a winery of which I was turned a fan at last week’s Pinot Summit in San Francisco, and where I met my new friend, General Manager Sue Bonzell.  Nice, humble, incredibly sightly soothing grounds.  Sue started me off with a crisp ’08 Chardonnay that displayed the exact balance I seek in the varietal and often don’t find.  Then to two Pinots, the ones she poured at the summit last week, ’08 and ’09.  Both spellbindingly sound, enveloping both in palate presence and flavor note succession.  The following, Sue poured a remarkably gentle, but still bold and queen-like in stance, 2008 Cabernet dubbed the “Econo-Cab,” with a really neat label, boasting a taxi cab, its driver, a mini scene.  The finale, a pleasurable puzzle of an ’09 Petite Sirah.  Never had one like this, a fog of dark notes and animalistic movement.  Unpredictable, previously unseen, unafraid of my deconstruction, particular palate.  One of the day’s leading pours, easily.

Loved the feel of the tasting Room, the contained gift shop, the bocce ball court, the vineyard between the Room and the owners’ house.  Sue treated me, as I’m positive she does with each character gracing the grounds, with valuable insight, history, that truly sweet Humanness that should always be seen from a host.  Glad I had a chance to explore the Russian River AVA today, especially in Sebastopol, of all places.  I say it like that because I’ve never tasted in the artistically serene setting that is Sebastopol’s stage.  Glad I met Sue at the Summit, no doubt!  Didn’t buy any bottles, only because I forgot my debit card.  Could have kicked my Self after tasting, especially that Petite Sirah.  Oh, Sue also poured, and I’m not kidding, a 2008 Apple Port, tagged the “A+,” inspired by the genius of her son.  This dessert wine comes in a 375, packing 8% residual sugar.  But, the funny thing is, you don’t encounter obnoxious sweetness.  How did they do that?  Never tasted wine made from Apples.  Glad I did, as it was unbelievably tasty.  Think this may have been the winner, actually.  Sorry, PS!  Put this one in your notes, your list of places to taste.  Sebastopol on the map!  On my map!  Ask Sue for the tour, you won’t be sorry!  See you there; I’ll be having a glass of...everything, sitting by the bocce court.  Sip, sip ...