Archive for June, 2008

2006 Peugeot sighting

Last night — purely in the interest of science, you understand — Garagiste Mike opened a bottle of the 2006 Peugeot we bottled back in April. While it’s had two months to get its sea legs, it should have been far from ready for active duty; the 05, for example, took about a year after bottling to finally skate about the deck.

The 2006 seems generally on the same trajectory, but we were both surprised at how far it’s come along. After a half hour to catch its breath in a decanter, the Peug tasted rich and full, with great depth of fruit, hint of chocolate, and a generous, luxurious feel in the mouth. And the fragrance: holy olfactory! A backdraft of pure, ripe fruit that’s totally disarming.

It was still on the hard side, though — more laser-cut steel than sanded wood — and by the time we got to the finish, it was already a few miles into Mexico and out of our jurisdiction. While there’s no guarantee it will slip back into the country some day, I think all that flavor and fragrance suggest there’s a good chance it’ll do just that.

Any one else tried it since bottling?

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Just Sip It

[ In honor of the new NBA World Champions, here’s a reprint of a column I wrote back in the Jordan era about basketball and wine. Check out the stars I mention — now that’s old school, baby! ]

A dark arena surrounding a gauzy, spotlit court. Everything seems slow, supercharged and saturated, almost dreamlike. Michael Jordan, lean and crouched, is facing off against some hapless guard as the ref tosses the ball skyward. Cut to a tight shot of the ball rising to the height of its arc until Jordan is just about to touch the ball. There’s the woody sound of a cork being coaxed out of a bottle, and then freeze-frame and echoy silence — maybe the distant clink-clink of full bottles — as everything stops, hanging for a moment.

Just as we can’t stand it anymore, one last squeak explodes to the intercut sound and visual of a cork popping as Jordan smacks both the ball and the camera pace into motion. Music starts — maybe Hendrix singing Dylan’s line about businessmen drinking his wine — and Jordan flows up the court and takes to the air, all grace and knowledge, super-imposed with red wine poured super slow-mo, roiling into a glass as the camera tracks a 360 around it. As Jordan nears the rim a third image of a lowering bottle of wine is superimposed, touching the ground as the ball snaps the net. Fade all but the dramatically lit bottle, and super text:

“Domaine Dunquage. Red, white, and beyond…”

Didn’t see that one during the playoffs? Neither did we, but as we wandered into sports bars, asking after their corkage fee, we began to wonder why. What is it about sports in America that has made it so inhospitable for wine, and yet so welcoming for beer and other beverages?
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2007 Colombelle Côtes de Gascogne

>????????e getting closer. This 60% Tannat, 20% Merlot, 20% Sauvignon has a subtle grapefruit-pineapple bouquet, light mineral body with an aloe-vera finish, but is still a bit light on the acid for my taste. Around $9.

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Garagistes take to the airwaves

Garagistes first wine, shot by Tim LaBarge

In our relentless quest to compromise each of the five senses, the Garagistes have now ticked off one more: sound. Our vast, if subterranean efforts have been highlighted in a new broadcast/podcast of Destination DIY, Julie Sabatier’s “monthly radio show and podcast about revolutionary do-it-yourself projects.”

Julie actually found us through my Life in Vine site, where I store a passel of articles I’ve written, one of two of which focus on amateur winemaking. So she brought her spiffy digital recorder and photographer Tim LaBarge down the back stairs to take a listen. “This basement has the best sound of any I’ve ever been in,” she said, incredulously — how many wineries can boast that, eh?

Mercifully, the podcast isn’t just about us. In fact, it’s mostly about amateur brewers, one set of which came to a listening party at NE Portland’s Waypost Julie threw together to debut her mix. Affable brewers Nate and Matt passed around one of their batches, and it was incredibly well-made. Hmm: if we get rid of the washer/dryer, we’d have room for a mashtun downstairs…

Here’s the podcast itself, synched with Tim’s great pics, and here’s Julie’s home at KBOO. And be sure to check out Julie’s other podcasts here : she’s definitely a skilled editor and interviewer.

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