Archive for September, 2010

Merlot in the lead…

… with syrah breathing down its neck. Merlot’s right around 24 brix, syrah about half a click behind. Perhaps the Garagiste harvest will lurch out of the gate this weekend, my friends!

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Finally, for reasons

The inscrutable East, the mysterious Orient—it’s a pervasive prejudice, and you don’t have to read Edward Said to know that it’s orientalist, occidentonormative nonsense. It turns out that the ineffable Other drinks wine for exactly the same reasons we do:

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The Neighbors Are Watching

It doesn’t have much to do with wine, I’ll admit (though some was consumed over the course of production, natch), but this is my latest project. It’s a trailer for Debra Ginsberg’s new novel, “The Neighbors Are Watching,” from Crown Publishing. Shot on location in Del Mar, California, on a street eerily like the fictionalized one in the book. Debra’s “stunt cake” was fallen upon and consumed by the crew almost immediately after the window shot wrapped.

A quick synopsis:

Set against the backdrop of the deadly 2007 wildfires that forced the evacuation of half a million San Diego residents, Debra Ginsberg’s new novel, The Neighbors Are Watching, examines the dark side of suburbia—a place where everyone has something to hide.

I had a chance to read it before developing the script, and I think it’s some of the best work she’s ever done. It’s the work of a talented writer totally at ease with her craft, bringing complex characters to life with riveting effortlessness. Totally worth a read.

Pre-orders are happening now, so don’t wait too long to get your order in — at Powell’s, Amazon, or your favorite independent bookseller. To learn more about Debra and her great catalog of work, visit her site.

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The grapes are hanging

Just got off the phone with our Eastern Washington grower, who reported that the vines there and pretty much everywhere else are behind schedule, perhaps as much as a week to ten days. That would start our Washington harvest in October for the first time I can remember.

He says things are looking good, though, and to be sure, Washington has a wider picking window that the Willamette Valley, which is also behind. There’s a danger things may get so late we’ll slide into frost territory, but he’s confident the upper Yakima valley will get a few more degree days between now and then to ripen things up.

What the vintage won’t be is heavy, jammy, and Parker-friendly, I’ll bet. And that suits us just fine. In fact, I mentioned to the grower — who made wine in Southern France’s Côtes du Rhône for nearly a decade — that the cooler season would probably produce a truly French and correspondingly stellar Cabernet Franc, aromatic, floral, and effortless. He agreed.

The Willamette Valley may not get off so lightly, however. If Nazi scientists were to design a perfect set of circumstances to fester powdery mildew around here, this year would be it. Luckily, our Red Hills fruit is tended by pros, so while for many this may indeed be a vintage made on the sorting table, we’re feeling good we may not need one — and net some delicate, authentically Pinot fruit in the bargain.

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