Sunday, August 25, 2013

BRAMBLES: A New Harvest

Summer in the RRV American Viticultural Area

Caressed by the bright, warming sun of a mid-August afternoon, we sat across from each other enjoying plates of linguine with Romanesco sauce and hot sausage, steamed broccoli dressed in Parmesan and lemon oil, and  hearty stew of braised lamb necks with carrots & onions.  The Wilson Vineyards & Winery Ellie's Vineyard Zinfandel from the rich Sonoma County 2005 harvest was robust and perfect. An opaque black plum hue with a mahogany rim, its aromas announced stewed stone fruits and spice, with robust, juicy black cherries, earthy dried herbs, with a hint of pepper that lingered on the palate.  "This is summer", I thought.

These long days and mild nights have drawn us outside, consistently dining al fresco. Surrounded by the seasonal growth and flowering so abundant in our garden this time of year, we celebrate almost daily a nearly complete remodeled kitchen, getting our student off to law school,  the important first steps taken by our grandson, and our reconnected time together. We have reason to celebrate.  Our health is with us, our debt is small, and our appetites for good food and travel are abundant.  How fortunate we are too that we can travel this bountiful world vicariously one delicious glass at a time.  In past bright days, other selections  having recently crossed our table include:

Chateau Tertre de Launay 2012 Entre-Deux-Mers Blanc (12% alc.) bright light hay in appearance with a floral, wet grass and citrus aroma that announce notes of grapefruit, quince and yellow grass flowing with a bit of limestone minerality,  and lingering refreshingly long on the palate.  This is consistently one terrific value, and makes you thirsty for more.  What more can we ask of a wine?
A Taste of Summer

Saint Roch les Veigns 2012 Cotes de Provence (13% alc.) offered a translucent pink rose hue with an intriguing nose of dried strawberries, Rainer cherries, and rose-petals; dry and crisp on the palate, it sings with blushingly bright red berry fruits with a hint of minerality across a refreshing long departure.

We've had this wine from prior vintages, and it never fails to impress with its refreshing focus, its balance and tart fruit profile. Versatile, it finds its way to pair with many of our summer dishes and events, offering a consistent reminder of why rose' wines are so delightfully shared under the sun. 

Moshin Vineyards 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (14% alc.) still holding a bright red garnet hue and offering a nose of dried red fruits with a floral component; on the palate its bright acidity carries tart red cherries, tea leaf and wood spice over a moderately long finish.  It made me think that Thanksgiving was quickly approaching, and it reflects wonderfully on the unique wine growing region we are fortunate enough to inhabit.  It is our beautiful, regional backyard.

A new kitchen's first Summer

The escapist in me wants to get away, just the two of us.  But even in Summer, there is work to do.  I owe the Society of Wine Educators a much-delayed paper, and I've got to prepare a presentation for our local wine tasting forum. We've got to prepare the house and its surroundings for our annual garden party, and as always, I've got to continue to search out the great value wines of the world.  If I don't make the time, don't make the commitment to these and so many others, there is a good chance they will simply wilt on the vine.  Wilting away my ambition, my dreams, and relationships simply cannot be part this or any cycle.  Like the nearby vineyards brimming with ripe fruit, this is the time we have nurtured and waited for.  If un-plucked, these unique opportunities will naturally be taken away.  It is, after-all, a season for a new harvest!

Ripening RRV Chardonnay
In these dog days my energies need to be devoted more earnestly towards working to completing my goal of Certification.  Excuses that I so conveniently produce should be exposed to the sun, so that the real work I need to accomplish can continue.  As a result, there may be a brief interruption in our regular posting schedule for this journal, but with a possible new harvest just over an upcoming calendar page.  That would be a New Harvest!