Once Upon a Bottle… Wine Gospels for the Masses

no-more-wineWEB“Vitis, Venis, Silvestris” said the wine taster. Many would see him as messiah come to eradicate plonk and elevate wholly palates. He just plays bass. Men and women who find themselves moderately obsessed with wine want to know all there is to know about it or at least much as they can catch that gets thrown their way. In many of life’s ways you gots your pitchers and you gots your catchers. It ain’t never one way. Everybody is a bit of both and some are more of one than the other.

tBoW and Dotoré pitch and catch in equal amounts depending on the company. IGTY is mostly a catcher but is capable of throwing a nice curveball. Handleman is a knuckleballer who works from a deep Italian cellar. The Field Mouse and Kris B are strong pitchers, and Goldun is Jack Morris; the greatest pitcher not in the Hall. We all get to watch the action.

Obsession to know is the subject. Knowing is empirical; enhanced by investigation. Insistence on value is the common bond among these prophets. Martin G aka Field Mouse works the Northeast constantly hunting value wines that are distinctive. His specialty is digging into regions that are known of, but not very well known. His field record speaks for itself – white Rhones, Sagrantino, Nero d’Avola, Central Coast Rhone style white wines, lesser known wine shops in the tri-boroughs and LA when he is in town. Here is his latest message delivered via the Internet.

The Doctrine of Mouse: “OK, this is the third night I’ve enjoyed this bottle, so I mutht communicate. feltonroadrieslingWEBNo idea where I bought, what I paid. WOW. A classic Riesling petroleum, chalky, slate, limestone fruit grenade (not bomb). Lilts on the tongue like Linda Eastman once did on Paul’s [ed. who? don’t stop him, he’s on a roll]. The best New World example I’ve had, which, admittedly, isn’t saying much, but this could pass for a classic Rheingau Spatlese. I’m looking at the sugar crystals on the bottom of my final glass. Really good. 2.5 mice”

The Wine: 2007 Felton Road Riesling, Central Otago, NZ, 10% alcohol. Yeth you MUTHT communicate. Very definitely mutht.

Kris-B specializes in the obscure. Like the folks in the wonderful cable TV show Oddities Kris searches for and finds unusual wines. Then he brings them to a tasting in a bag. The most recognizable wine favored by Kris-B is Mosel Riesling. From there on it’s anything goes. Among the wines he has contributed to tastings with the intention of challenging and expanding everyone’s palate are the following: 2012 Cowan Cellars Ribollo Gialla, 1990 Günther Steinmetz Kerstner Paulinberg Riesling Spatlese and the unforgettable slightly pink wine labelled NV Susucaru 3 grown up the slopes of Mt Etna.

vin templar

vin templar

The Acts of Kris-B: Like most everyone who reads this blog Kris-B is also a Pinot Noir fan, especially Old World [ed. he prefers Mosel]. Naturally, when he learned about what is likely the oldest planting of Pinot Noir – wild Pinot Noir – in France he had to know more. The ancient grape is Melon de Bourgogne which makes a vin blanc. It grows wild and if left to its natural state will climb trees just like an ivy. Pause for the reader to stop laughing. Kris found a reluctant grower [ed. of course the vintner is reluctant… and probably daft] who cultivates this grape in northern Burgundy. The history of the vineyards can be traced to the 16th century when the local monks lobbied to terminate its cultivation so their own vinifera vineyards would not suffer from trade competition. There is more. The grape may have been “discovered” by marauding Romans seeking to conquer Gaul. When tBoW was invited to share in the purchase what else could he say. Bit ev kerse.

Let’s review. The vine is ancient and wild. The vineyards were near extinction when a retired engineer who never cultivated or made wine returned to his hometown and learned about the historical wines. The local besotted priests prayed for tariff protection and were blessed with an ordinance that effectively killed off the Pinot Noir root stock and the local wine industry… excepting their own concession. Dan Brown wrote this right? Can’t wait to taste it. Read the link provided by Kris-B for the expanded story.

Golden Wan aka Goldun is a cult figure, akin to Rimmerman [ed. Mr. Garagiste]Eno Antiquities: laclarine12012WEBThe wine label is 2012 La Clarine Farm Josephine + Mariposa. Production is teeny and grapes are not the long standing sure fire revenue generators, Cab Sauv and Chard. This is not a rebellious action. It is a choice based on… personal preference… and soil type. The Maripose + Josephine is the name of the soil type where the grapes are grown. There is no manifest destiny or disruptive technology here. Just personal taste and… incredibly good luck to have found a market of cultic wine bozos who will give highly personal wines a roll. It does not always work out. But when it does… $23 to imbibe somebody’s dirty wine vision. How can one resist?

Are there any women among these apostles! Yes there are. Like the Oracle at Delphi Lynn speaks enigmatic truth between sips or Burgundy and Barolo. Recently, she shared her current thoughts on tasting and drinking wine while washing dishes [ed. they were sharing thoughts and work] between the main course and the Moulin Touchais which is a somewhat obscure Cotaux du Layon dessert wine that we are glad we got to know.

“I don’t collect anymore. I only want wines that I can drink now. I won’t buy these wines tonight because they will take too long to be ready.”

Right on sister.

A well written book on natural wine for the less intrepid is the 2011 publication Naked Wine by Alice Feiring. About 150 pages. Suggest a chilled Verdejo.

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