Mad World 2000 Brunello

il poggione

Above: The 2000 Brunello di Montalcino by Il Poggione rocked my world last night at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego.

It’s been a mad, mad week already, between travel, wedding planning, business meetings with a California client, and catching up with old friends.

Last night, to celebrate Jaynes Gastropub family-member Nicholas George’s successful level 2 sommelier certification exam, Jayne and Jon treated the extended-family crew assembled at the bar to a bottle of 2000 Brunello di Montalcino by one of my favorite (and one of Tom Hyland’s favorite) producers, Il Poggione. 2000 was such a warm vintage in Tuscany (and throughout Italy) and many of the wines have that stewed tomato thing going on. But not this bottling: it was powerfully tannic and it rocked with bright acidity and plum and cherry fruit. I’m sure that winemakers Fabrizio and his son Alessandro Bindocci would tell me that their higher elevation in Sant’Angelo in Colle and their 40-plus-year-old vines allowed them to make great wine in a not-so classic vintage.

Congratulations, Nicholas! Chapeau bas!

mad world

Above: The famous upright piano featured in my buddy Mike’s version of “Mad World.”

Earlier in the day, I took time out to catch up with my good friend Mike Andrews and to visit his studio in Glendale. He loves to tease me that I was voted “most likely to have a successful career in music” by our high school graduating class: since launching his career as a film composer in 1999, Mike has scored countless hit movies. Mike let me take the above photo of the piano he used on his 2003 British number-one-Christmas-hit single version of Tears for Fears’s “Mad World.” He swore me to secrecy: I cannot reveal the technique he used to achieve the instrument’s unique sound on the recording (and had to photograph it obliquely). But it was a thrill to feel its aura, as Walter Benjamin might have said.

Check it out… The opening lines still give me goosebumps!

Today is another mad schedule of work and travel… More later on the California adventures of Tracie B and Jeremy P. Stay tuned…