Mourvèdre envy (and more on Giacosa)

June 18, 2009

Mourvèdre envy in Freudian psychoanalysis refers to the theorized reaction of a wine lover during her or his oenological development to the realization that she or he does not have access to old Bandol. Freud considered this realization a defining moment in the development of palate and oenological identity. According to Freud, the parallel reaction in those who have access to old Mourvèdre is the realization that others have access to old Nebbiolo, a condition known as Nebbiolo anxiety.

Above: Tracie B and I drank the current vintage of Tempier Bandol Rosé — made from Mourvèdre — by the glass with our excellent housemade sausage tacos at the Linkery in San Diego. Jay Porter’s farm-to-table menu and his homemade cruvinet are hugely popular. The food is always fun and tasty. Jay was one of the first San Diego restaurateurs to use a blog to market his restaurant.

Tracie B and I have had our share of great Mourvèdre lately: we were blown away by the flight of old Terrebrune Bandol — rosé and red — we got to taste last month in San Francisco at the Kermit Lynch portfolio tasting. As the Italians might say, we’re “Mourvèdre addicted.”

Above: Jayne and Jon serve Terrebrune Bandol Rosé in half-bottles at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego — a great summer aperitif wine and a fantastic pairing with Chef Daniel’s scallop ceviche. I was first hipped to Terrebrune by BrooklynGuy: it shows impressive character and structure and costs a lot less than Tempier.

So you can imagine how I began to salivate like Pavlov’s dog when I read BrooklynGuy’s recent post on a bottle of 1994 Tempier Rouge that he had been saving. Like Produttori del Barbaresco, Tempier represents a great value and the current release of the red is generally available at about $50 retail — the upper end of my price point ceiling. In other words, it’s a wine that even the modest wine collector can invest in with fantastic results. Despite the acute case of Mourvèdre envy that he gave me, I really liked BrooklynGuy’s profile of this “natural wine” producer and his tasting notes.

Nota bene: BrooklynGuy and I are both slated to appear in Saignée’s 31 Days of Natural Wine series. My post is schedule for June 20 and you might be surprised at what I had to say. Thanks again, Cory! I’m thrilled to get to participate with so many fantastic bloggers and writers.

In other news…

Above: That’s my lunch yesterday at Bryce’s Cafeteria in Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas border. Chicken fried chicken steak and tomato aspic stuffed with mayonnaise. Tracie B is gonna kill me if that gravy doesn’t… They sure are proud of their tomatoes in Arkansas and tomato season has nearly arrived.

So many blogs and so little time… I’m on my way back to Austin from Arkansas (where I’ve been hawking wine) and I wish I had time to translate Franco’s post on Bruno Giacosa’s decision not to bottle his 2006 Barolo and Barbaresco, the infelicitous manner in which the news was announced by the winery, and how the news was subsequently disseminated. Upon reading Decanter’s sloppy cut-and-paste job, one prominent wine blogger tweeted “note to self, don’t buy 2006 Barbaresco.” My plea to all: please know that 2006 is a good if not great vintage in Langa and please, please, please, read betweet the lines…


Twister scare: you’re not in La Jolla anymore, Dorothy…

June 12, 2009

We interrupt this wine blog to inform you that a tornado warning is in effect for Travis County

Above: I grabbed these images from the Austin CBS affiliate site, KeyeTv.com. They were all taken not far from where Tracie B and I live.

It was as if the extreme weather was following me: yesterday, I awoke in Dallas at Italian Wine Guy’s to one of the worst storms I’ve ever experienced. On my way to a morning tasting at the Royal Oaks Country Club, I literally saw trees fall along the road, lightening strike not far from me and Dinamite, and a flash flood that had me in a foot of water. When the emergency alerts come on over the radio, one of the things they stress is to avoid deep water because that’s how a lot of folks drown, thinking that they can make across a flooded road. You can lose control of a “standard SUV,” they say, in just 2 feet of water.

Above: It’s not hard to understand why Texas is such a God-fearing country.

At least one of my accounts had to cancel our appointment yesterday because the store had flooded and one of my accounts — a leading Italian restaurant in Dallas, Nonna — had to close for the evening because they had lost power: when restaurants lose refrigeration, tens of thousands of dollars of food can go wasted.

Above: Talk about hail of “Biblical proportions”! My goodness!

As I drove back down to Austin in the afternoon, it seemed I was driving just ahead of the storm. I picked up some pizzas and Tracie B and I hunkered down at her apartment. At a certain point, the storm hovered about a mile away from us as we watched the storm reports on the local news. At that point, tornados had been reported and the storm was heading directly toward us from the north west. We stepped outside to watch it over Ramsey Park (across the street from Tracie B’s apartment complex). It was an amazing, truly awe-inspiring, and beautiful thing to see.

Above: I took this shot in Dallas yesterday from my car using my phone. The two cars had been washed away in a flash flood.

We’re headed to La Jolla today, which is a good thing since triple-digit temperatures are expected today and this weekend. Tracie B and I love our life here and we are so fortunate to enjoy a life so rich with good work, good wine and food, and wonderful loving people around us — literally and virtually, out there in the blogosphere. But, man, I sure understand now why Texas is such God-fearing country!

In other news…

I’m in the Marines Too got married! Congratulations to Philip and ImAMarinesGirl! Tracie B and I wish you all the best and hope you can get over to Japan soon!

In other other news…

Tracie B and I will be dining Chez Jayne tonight. Can’t wait to taste the Terrebrune Bandol Rosé that Jon put on his list… If you’re in San Diego tonight, please stop by…


Popcorn recipe and Bandol rosé pairing by Kermit Lynch

April 16, 2009

Above: Rock star importer Kermit Lynch is one of nearly every natural wine lover’s heros. Me? Guilty as charged. (Photo courtesy the SF Gate)

I cannot conceal my thrill that Kermit Lynch commented on my blog yesterday. In case you missed it, he wrote:

    One of my favorite pairings is the Bandol rosé (Domaine de Terrebrune also makes a winner) with popcorn. No, not buttered popcorn. To really make the wine and popcorn work wonders, I use olive oil, salt, and dried thyme stirred into the popped corn. A hit of Provence.

Mr. Lynch, thank you for stopping by and thanks for reading.

I also heard from Clark Terry who works with Kermit. He contacted the “Beaune” office: roughly 5,000 cases of Bandol Rosé are released by Tempier each year. I’m glad that a few of them make to Austin so that me and Tracie B can enjoy our Bandol with our Idol! Next week, we’ll have to try Kermit’s popcorn…


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