Reserve your space for Monday October 23. We will have Anthony Barton, Jean Guillaume Prats, Jean Michel Cazes as well as Jean Charles Cazes with us. We will feature 2004 Bordeaux from these properties as well as 2000 Langoa-Barton, 2000 Ormes de Pez, 2001 Marbuzet, 1995 Lynch Bages, Léoville-Barton and Cos d’Estournel. We will start with Gosset Champagne and finish with 1997 Suduiraut. The event will take place in the Grand Ballroom of The Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco. Reception at 6:30 and dinner at 7:30. Limited to 120 people. Coat and tie attire. $200 per person.
This should be a great event with the famous Bordeaux First Growth and its highly regarded Chilean property. Almaviva vintages 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 will be poured, along with 1996 Mouton, the 100-point 1986 Mouton and 1990 Coutet, Sauternes. Meet the directors of both properties. Dinner on Sunday October 1 at Spago in Palo Alto. Reception at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. Limited to 100 people. Price is $215 per person.
As I write this on July 30, I am in the middle of escrow with the Anderson Valley property, house and the Barr Family Vineyard. When the decision was made to put this bucolic, pastoral place up for sale, I told Mike Shapiro, owner and agent for North Country Real Estate in Boonville, that I wanted him to find a buyer who could finish the vision I had for this site. Co-owners of Husch Vineyards, Zac and Krista Robinson, are buying the property from me, and I am overjoyed and profoundly touched that they bring to it the same enthusiasm and goals that I envisioned when I sat foot on that hillside in 1991. I think one of their emails to me best reflects this. They wrote: “You have obviously put a lot of work into making it a jewel and we plan to continue your work. Our first goal is to finish the development of the vineyard and bring the vines into production.” Our Kalinda private label program continues to evolve. We recently landed our first German wine, the 2004 Kalinda Hattenheimer Riesling Dry ($9.99). This is a wonderfully made, dry style riesling that shows both the essence of what this grape is about (floral, spicy notes, with hints of jasmine, white peach and honeysuckle) and the amazing influence of the soil (explicit notes of minerality). Complex, viscous and highly aromatic, this is a serious wine that can be enjoyed now or cellared another five to ten years. Eby says this is her house white for the month. Château Calon-Segur in St-Estèphe produces, each vintage, a small amount of a dry rosé from their cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes, which is typically sold locally to friends and restaurants. They never exported this very fine wine until last year, when we were allowed to bring in 25 cases The newly arrived 2005 Rosé de Calon ($12.99) is one of the top rosés currently available, and is a preview to the greatness that awaits us with the arrival of this vintage. Bright pink in color, the nose provides distinctive aromas of strawberries and red cherries, while in the mouth it is quite rich and intense with a clean, crisp, mouthwatering finish. This will disappear quickly, so patience is not a virtue here. Try this with duck or other game; it is a perfect match. Pale yellow in color with just a tint of green, the 2005 Hughes Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet ($6.99)offers a gondola full of quality for a cheap price. Showing perfumed aromas of sweet grapefruit and papaya, this is a dry, crisp wine on the palate that provides a lime zest and almost exotic fruit characteristic. This refreshing little gem will be the perfect match for shellfish and will be our other house white for the month according to Vanilla. As I view, in utter disbelief, the astronomical prices of many of the 2005 Bordeaux, I realize that there are some great values to be had from an equally great vintage, 2003. And they are available to buy now and consume. Such is the case with the 2003 Château La Tour de Mons ($19.99). Deep ruby in color, its expansive, evolving nose provides currant to blackberry fruit with undertones of roasted coffee bean and chocolate. In the mouth, this gem is full, complex and layered with well-integrated, silky tannins, offering superb structure and depth and a finish that refuses to surrender. This is a Bordeaux that you could enjoy tonight with a bit of airing. It will also age gracefully for another seven to ten years. Anderson says that this will be our house red for September. If you have any questions about these selections, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy this month’s wines! —Jim, Anderson, Eby and Vanilla
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