Morsi Out! Wine Re-education Time!

china_politart-3WEBThe military-aided popular ouster of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is a defeat for hard-line movements everywhere. We have lived through many such popular movements that eventually converted to turgid repressive regimes in our brief lives: Castro’s popular uprising that liberated a nation only to create a dictatorship, Mao’s war machine that forever changed a thousands of years old culture only to install a new regimented national regime, and our own views of Santa Barbara County wines. The popular focus in that county has been on the Santa Rita Hills which is a relatively new region founded by winemaking ingenue/savant Richard Sanford who favors low alcohol Pinot Noir wines made in an Old World style was quickly upended by more successful winemakers who favor high alcohol Pinot Noirs that taste like New World Syrahs. There is much more there which we tend to forget. It is time to re-assess.

Mrs. tBoW points out that in the revision of a popular movement the enlightened thinkers, artists, writers and academics are the among the first targets after political enemies are eliminated. In Red China the artists were sent to “re-education” camps where they learned how to fit in the new culture. A great artist whose landscape paintings of storks and limestone pillars might have been symbols of elitism and privilege might have been redirected to make political art heralding the virtues and power of a new “people’s art.” Or s/he might have been redirected to live with humbler rural folks and observe their daily laborious toils. We recently toiled in our cellar and re-discovered the work of plain-speaking winemaker David Corey. He made a wine from the Cuyama Valley in 2007 that reaffirmed several old lessons about culture and wine.

kuyam07WEB2007 Kuyam Thirteen Moons $25: David is an entomologist turned vineyard manager whose first work in wine country was eliminating vinifera pests without pesticides. From that humble and specialized laborious beginning he moved into general vineyard management and inevitably winemaking. He also learned how to identify unique promising vineyards that would produce great wines even if the grapes were not those which generally drive revenue in the Santa Rita Hills and Santa Barbara County [ed. he means Pinot Noir]. This bottle is the perfect example of not following the masses and resisting the re-education gulags. The blend is Bordeaux: 75% is half Cab Sauvignon and half Merlot. The other quarter is Cab Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. The region is hot and dry and cools down in the evening. The elevation is 3,000 feet which is good for these varietals giving them mountain wine character [ed. he also sources Grenache and Mourvedre from Santa Barbara Highlands]. Six years in the bottle has tempered the high alcohol and produced a very nice right bank type wine. The ripeness of New World fruit yields a Chianti-like nose and flavors with spiciness and rich earthy flavors. The best qualities are the balance, the light to medium weight and the fact that David does not feel obligated to produce “name-rating-Parker-driven” wines. CORE wines continue to reveal themselves to be made by a revolutionary with an artist’s soul. He talked my bourgeois tush into buying this and he was correct! Now he is talking me into the Cuveé Nolan version which he thinks could finally put him in the limelight where he belongs! 14.9%

GranCassage11WEB2011 Chateau Grand Cassagne Les Rameaux Costieres des Nimes Rosé $11: Southern Rhone GSM blend that is Languedoc adjacent. Dry, stony and perfect for late summer afternoons. The Southern France pink wines are the populist drink, Pink wines are getting tons of press this summer like all the popular critics realized this is an easy write. Not a single lifestyle magazine near the checkout counter fail to feature roses as the summer ticket. Good for us! Here is a simple re-education rule that will save you months of laborious revisionist work. New World = fruity. Old World = dry and stony. As wait staff are trained to say at the Cheesecake Factory…please unjoy! Available widely at a U20 stoopid price. 13%

TCEspirt04WEB2004 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel $40 (Internet): We make the case this is first of the mature TC Esprits; ten year old vines and nearly ten years of age. Our impression from 16 months ago is a bit different and remains highly positive. The wine continues to develop like a great nation [ed. Daft Punk nation?] finding its groove. The truffles are displaced by black coffee and cocoa. The balance is superb and the tasting experience is exceptional. Accumulate older bottles of TC Esprit red. You will be rewarded. 14.5%

zisola10WEB2010 Marchesi Mazzei Zisola Nero D’avola $14: Purchased through Garagiste at blowout pricing. This is why you buy from Rimmerman – his price/quality ratio is unbeatable. Deep dark color, strong coffee and anise aromas. Not a heavy wine despite many indications it would be, could be. Sicilian Nero d’Avola winner from the premium Tuscan house of Fonterutoli. An excellent addition to any cellar or Italian meal. Check out the moderate alcohol. 13.5%

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