The Best of Inter-Summer Holidays

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Spring ended May 23. Summer begins June 21. The weeks between are the Inter-Summer. The Inter-Summer party is held sometime over the Memorial Day extended weekend. Sunday seems ideal. Prepare leisurely on Saturday and recover even more leisurely on Monday. There is little going in the way of sports distractions. No Stupid Bores or Solemnly traditional golf tourneys. Just a nice long weekend to think about those who have served in wars… hang with pals, serve some food and pull some corks. Keep an open mind.

2010 Vignobles de Balma-Venitia Vacqueyras Cuvée St.-Roch $20: Vacquerays is a southern Rhone region that is generally under-publicized unlike neighbors Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Wines are Grenache dominant. Simply put, expect value from Vacquerays wines. Notes borrowed on this bottle from the Internet say “Pure and focused, showing blood orange, St-Roche-VaqueraysWEBplum sauce and bitter cherry notes laced with plum pit and anise, with a mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2016. 32,400 cases made.” Plum pit? If tBow warn’t so lazy he might write… “nice, easy to drink red wine with character, ordered off the list in foreign city east of Sepulveda. A welcome compromise that satisfied the palates of a zin lover and a couple of related Old World tasters. Friendly with all food ordered by 14 people with wandering and alien palates.” A label we would never see in LA! 13%

oiseletWEB2011 Domaine Yannick Pelletier Saint-Chinian L’Oiselet $20: This bottle presents the problem with natural wines. As the somm presented, quickly grasping our naive interest in n-a-t-u-r-a-l wines he mentioned L’Oiselet uses no sulfides whatsoever at all no way no how. When he mentioned the wine is grown in schist it was game point and set for Matt the Somm. We bought. He decanted. Took 45 minutes to open. The juicy “attack” [ed. nice old school “taster” gab, you geek] finally lost energy but not in the new style taster geeky vocab way. The wine just got tired like some thoroughbreds do in the final stretch and the race looks like it is in slo’ mo’. This wine blends Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, and Syrah. That’s two grapes of which tBoW is not fond. In sum, we would not buy again altho’ we are now huge fans of Husk Somm Matt. Did we mention the wine list is organized by soil type? Smart. 14.5%

cebeneWEB 2010 Domaine de Cébène $25 (Garagiste): This is the last of the great Garagiste offers. Or at least the last we ordered. This is a wine of some celebrity. As Jancis Robinson has posted online “Brigitte Chevalier acquired in 2007 a ​​few acres of vines on amazing terroirs in the Languedoc. 20 km from the Mediterranean, its first vines rooted deep within a single large land and marine sediments villafranchien. bc-oligny1WEBThe other vineyard is perched on the balconies of shale oriented due north at the top of the Faugères. Judicious choice of this great terroir shale, associated with very low yields and its work in the service of their acidity.” Allow me to translate for foolish wine tasters who will buy anything written in a style that immediately penetrates the subconscious mind. Countrified winemaking woman grows small production on perfect soil in last place you would expect to find it, quantities are sufficiently small so that you might never see it. Bingbaddabing. BUY NOW. Languedoc winemakers are wonderfully free to blend whatever they like. There is a nice array of vinifera available from the recognizable mainstream to the less recognizable local fruit. This wine delivers kinky character, high acids and dry flavors that with some air rounds out just enough to put on toe shoes. Winnah. The blend is Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre which omits the two Languedoc grapes [ed. i.e. Carignane and Cinsault] that make us wrinkle our nose. 13%

Memorial Day down south

Memorial Day down south

Mr. and Mrs tBoW were surprised to see CSA flags in the Magnolia Cemetery a week before Memorial Day. We did see a very few Union flags next to ancient headstones. There are many Revolutionary War soldiers buried in this incredible cemetery outside the city. There was a separate plot for the dozen or more crewmen of the Hunley, a CSA submarine that sank in Charleston harbor before it could do much damage. Many Civil War soldiers were returned to their native homes for burial on Southern soil.

Johnny Horton had a hit in 1960 with “Johnny Reb.” Horton was born and lived in Los Angeles but he lived most of his life in the South. He was a career songwriter who wrote “saga” songs like “Battle of New Orleans” and “North to Alaska.” He died in 1960 while driving at the height of his success. He was in an inescapable head on collision on a Louisiana bridge. Here is Johnny Cash giving all the glory he can muster to this hit record from 1960. Funny world.

7 Comments

  1. Stumbled across your most excellent site and its oddball reviews thanks to Google alerts (I work with Brigitte Chevalier, the “countrified winemaking woman” behind Domaine de Cébène). Many thanks on her behalf for the words of praise, and greetings from Languedoc, land of winnah wines! If you’d like to see more of Brigitte, she’s featured in the film Les Terroiristes du Languedoc http://reignofterroirproductions.com/movies/

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      Bacchus says:

      Louise – I am thrilled for any comment but especially for yours. I will check out the film – thanks for link – and report back. As for the Languedoc, we visited last in summer 2001. It was impossible to spend as much as $10 on a bottle of wine. We were in Minerve, St Chinian, Fagueres, Carcassone. I thought I had found a lost wine growing region in the land of the Cathars. It took a few more years for these wonderful wines to begin showing up on premium shop shelves. I can find plenty of very nice red wines but I am still searching for a decent Muscat de Minervois.

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    mouse says:

    I can recall in 1995, a much younger Mr tBoW plopping hisself down on a gritty Lake Tahoe beach with a bottle of cinsault in one hand, one glass in the other. The wine was so delish he would only share sips. “Strawberries” he described it.

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      Bacchus says:

      19 years like a blink! I can recall a summer evening with a Sauternes split in that silly Manhattan Something on the Green. Dining on the Green. Walking on the Green Putting on the Green. All I know is somebody else paid for it and it was pritty pritty pritty good. I’m almost moved to tears tinkinaboudid.

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    mouse says:

    OK, here’s something positive… On Sunday we had one of them bottles of red burg that reminds you that nothing else really compares. I mean, I hate myself for saying that, but the 2005 Lignier-Michelot Morey St Denis Les Chenevery 1st Cru made me cry when the bottle was gone.

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      Bacchus says:

      1995? Where did that come from? I am guessing you have very good suppliers on Least Coast OR you have a stash. Also, a little mouse told me bout a bigger mouse used to live on Sullivan’s Island!

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      Bacchus says:

      Long as you brought up wines to which no other wines may compare… I have had to force to stop writing about the 2006 Ar Pe Pe Grumello. Like Mr Brownstone… I used to have a little then a little didn’t work no more. Wine of the year.

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