On Deck

September 25, 2015


The last two weeks have not been kind to me. I had hoped that the Dijeridoo I brought back from Australia would have been my sole souvenir from the Intergalactic Nemesis engagement in Melbourne. No such luck, as the chest “cold” I caught down there rapidly deteriorated into a genuine case of pneumonia complete with four prescriptions, bedrest and a forced exile from the office. Its going to be a while before I’m back to my old wine exploring habits, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have plans…

Over the course of the last few weeks, stimulated by a few experiences I’ve had on the road, I managed to assemble a few bottles that I hope to write about when this nasty bug retreats enough to let me get back to it. In the meantime, here are a few background notes to the wines that may be of interest.

1. Domaine Francois Chidaine, Montlouis, “Les Choisilles” 2013
I came back from Australia swept up in the beauty of Chidaine’s other bottling of dry Chenin Blanc from Montlouis, “Clos du Breuil”. I haven’t yet succeeded in sourcing more of it stateside, but did run across this other bottling. Looking forward to trying it in the hope that it is just as satisfying.

2. Forlorn Hope, Grenache, Rorick Vineyard, Calaveras County 2014
Forlorn Hope, “The Kerrigans” Poor Ranch, Mendocino County 2014
Who doesn’t love a good story about wine. Matthew Rorick seems like the vinous counterpart of that possibly great choreographer working anonymously in some loft in Williamsburg until that perfect moment where people start to notice. I don’t know if the wines are as good as I hope since I haven’t tasted them, but you have to respect someone so committed to their craft as to go through the whole process and come out the other end with an impossibly meager 27 cases of wine to show for it. That’s passion! Get the backstory in this remarkable interview of Matthew Rorick by the prolific observer of wine culture, Alder Yarrow here.

3. Caves Sao Joao, “Porta dos Cavaleiros”,Dao, 1985.
Stumbled across this in a wine shop on Granville Island, Vancouver when we were visiting for the Western Alliance Conference in August. What I know about Portuguese wine aside from their brilliant tradition of fortified wines (Port), is little, at best. So I tried a bottle of this while in Canada and loved it! As good as I remember? Maybe. I found three more bottles in the US when I returned and look forward to trying it again.

Signing off now until the antibiotics work their magic…