Wines like sea glass

LA River meets Pacific-thumb.jpgSea glass is ocean borne detritus. Pieces of broken bottles wash onto beaches after years (decades?) tumbling around on the ocean floor. Low tide is the time to look. Pieces wash up everywhere. Many LA beaches are fine targets. We have so much trash and so many boaters. Some artists and craftspeople make sea glass jewelry. crop.jpgSeaside towns usually have a sea glass jeweler. When I visit Paso I like to stay in Cambria for this reason. The idea of sea glass is probably cooler than the stuff itself. Something found that was not even lost but tossed or kicked away can be romantic. Something without any value, even a pollutant, that can be valued if convention is set aside, can at least inspire curiosity.
Here are three wines that share some of these qualities. A couple are waiting to be found. At least one has been lost to what is conventional. I would be surprised (even disappointed) if any was rated above 90 points.
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2006 Bugey Maison Angelot Gamay $9:
A Charles Neal selection. This is the Boogie wine. From the cheap plastic “foil cap” to the half-size plastic cork, this wine is everything great about the importer and the kind of wine every wine drinker should put in the rotation. Call it “plain folk wine”, people’s wine” or “farmer’s wine”. It is wine the way wine was made before wine became a lifestyle. First taste is off-putting the wine is so rustic. Where is the polish of oak and soft malolactic? Fresh cherry and tomato (but not cherry tomato) flavors. Naive, fresh but not youthful. The second glass shows what is going on here. Nothing fancy. Just delicious. I have to get that Best of Wine Importers Part 2 post up.2003PipestoneRhoneStyleRed.jpg
2002 Pipestone Rhone Style Red $U20: There is no confusing what Jeff Pipestone is trying to do here; 40% syrah, 30% grenache noir, and 30% mourverdre. This is his Rhone blend. Tastes pretty good. Rich fruit flavors. “Co-fermented”, now isn’t that interesting! Tastes more fresh than 5 years old. Dark cherry fruit. Not noticeably tannic. Nice effort. This is the American Pastoral because the Pipestone team (Jeff and Florence) live in the most idyllic setting on the Paso Westside. If you have a chance you should visit.
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2002 Boyer-Martenot Mersault “Le Pre de Manche” $25:
Barrel-selected by North Berkeley Imports. Citrus, orange-like, even peachy flavors. Just enough oak to make it interesting. Very good acid spine. Very nice wine. North Berkeley, like Kermit Lynch, has a wonderful selection of their own blends form Burgundy producers who, I guess, find the practice worthwhile. Hard to imagine Rolls Royce collaborating with a team of Russian engineers who want to produce their own RR vehicle.
2002 Etude Carneros Pinot Noir $40 (at the right online store): etude-05-pinot.jpg
How good was this wine? Had it with a friend over dinner. He likes wine well enough to know what he likes but not enough to know what he is drinking. All wine-o-files have pals fitting this profile. He loved it from the first sniff to the last drop. This is the latest event in my developing pursuit to become more familiar with Carneros pinots. Not sure how this got in my cellar so I guess I am lucky it was there. This bottle will still take age. Smoky slightly briny character. Very nicely balanced. Great pinot fruit more cherry than otherwsie but the smoke – in balance- was strongest note for me. Medium weight. Lovely. Etude has an especially elegant label that is reminiscent of Leroy.

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