Fourth of July pig roast! Drinking 1999 Ronchi di Ciall Bianco (Ribolla Gialla, Verduzzo, Picolit), clean, youthful, none of the oxy wildness of Radikon or Gravner, textural - great with the apps.
Then on to Sinskey Vin Gris 2008, quintessential summer quaff! Then the carving of the pig and Monsalvat Priorat 2000, this is even better than I remembered it - time in the bottle has not been wasted! Silky, deep, roasted notes, dark earth and dark fruits, mouth filling and long finish.
Finally we raided Stu's cellar for a 1976 Dr Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Beerenauslese - gold hue, lovely lime citrus and baked apple nose and palate, creamy, lively and fresh "off-sweet" at this stage of maturity, delicious - and Quintessence from Coume del Mas, Banyuls - dark, sweet, winey - alsogreat but drinking in the shadow of that great Riesling. Had it with s'mores over an open fire! Perfect!
Down to Earth Wine is about what I love in the wine biz: small growers making honest wines that are the expression of the vineyards, grapes and people where they are made. It is about learning about why wines taste the way they do and delving beyond the numerical scores that have become a shorthand for knowledge. It's looking at wine from the ground up.
To me, the most amazing thing about wine is its ability capture and express the conditions of the time and place where they were grown. I find that in my 30 years involved with wine that the best wines are often the result of a philosophy of winemaking that believes that these natural influences should be the main story, creating wines with transparency, elegance, balance and finesse that allows the nature in the wine to shine though.
To help navigate the posts, they are categorized by type, and now include Vignettes: thoughts and musings on regions, travels, dinners and experiences; Cellar Defenders: favorite value wines; Vins de garde: Wine for the cellar; and Vins Vert, great organic, Biodynamic and naturally made wines.
Taste, travel, experiment, enjoy!