While the last Sunday of the month is usually the day we offer our higher-end wine tasting, we’ve consolidated our tastings this week, as we’ll just be too busy getting ready for New Year’s Eve to do our Last Sunday tasting. So on Saturday, December 30, we’ll offer you our Last Sunday tasting on Saturday. The theme this month: 80 years of wine memories. It turns out that 40 years ago, Kevin, who runs our wine shop, and Bob Leopardi, who’s been an occasional presenter at our wine tastings, worked together at the Rumrunner, a Tucson institution (where I worked as well, if you count the original incarnation of the Dish, which was attached to the RumRunner. But that was nearly 20 years later.) This Saturday at 2:00, they’ll talk about their glory days and the wines that influenced them and put them on the road to a lifetime of service in the wine industry. I’ll just lay low and make some treats that go with the wines, and stay out of their way as they regale you with stories about wine, each other, and the Tucson of the 1970’s.
If you’d like to join us, please know these important facts:
-the tasting is at 2:00 pm, like a normal Saturday tasting, but it will offer six wines rather than four, and will come with food pairings.
-it’ll probably last longer than usual.
-the price is $35 plus tax and gratuity.
-web and email reservations won’t work, so you’ll need to call us at 326-9363 to make your reservation.
80 years of memories
NV Aubry et Fils Brut 1er Cru Jouy-les-Reims $42.00
Meunier expresses here as barley, rusks, crackers, and so the wine is rusky, coppery-saline, iodé, mineral and appetizing. It’s beautifully expressive of a corner of Champagne, and tastes as though it were fined with sel gris.
2012 William Fevre Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Chablis $48.00
The 2012 Chablis Fourchaume is at first aromatic and light on its feet, until the bright, intense minerality hits the palate. There is an almost exotic quality to the white floral notes in the Fourchaume. Graceful and delicate on its feet, the 2012 is also one of the more ethereal wines in this range. Hints of lime, oyster shells and smoke are layered into the bright, precise finish. Fevre’s Fourchaume is all Vaulorent fruit.
2013 Au Bon Climat “Le Bauge Au-dessus” Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley $34.00
The 2013 Pinot Noir Le Bauge Au-dessus is a delicious entry-level estate wine from Au Bon Climat. Scents of rose petal, orange peel, mint and white pepper give the 2013 much of its characteristic upper-register. The 2013 is lifted, gracious and super polished. Most of this fruit is Bien Nacido, with some fruit from Le Bon Climat. The 25% whole clusters are nicely integrated.
2015 Ridge Lytton Springs, Dry Creek Valley $42.00
Jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, mint and sweet toasted oak. Petite Sirah’s expressive personality contributes both spicy and strong structural elements to the dominant Zinfandel portion here, and it all adds up to a young, highly promising bottling with well-concentrated, fully fruited aromas and flavors. Indeed, there is so much to like that, despite its tannic load, this boldly stated wine will drink very nicely now with savory beef or lamb roasts, yet its true brilliance lies some years in the future, and we will happily lay some away for five to ten years in the full expectation that both range and sophistication will grow and grow.
2015 Owen Roe “Ex Umbris” Syrah, Yakima $25.00
akima Valley based Owen Roe’s 2015 Ex Umbris is another delicious effort from this vintage that’s just loaded with fruit. Blackberries, plums, peppery herbs and black raspberries all emerge from the glass and this beauty has terrific purity, no hard edges and a gulpable, hard to resist personality.
2012 Château Moulin de Tricot Haut Medoc $38 .00
For a terroir-driven bottle from a small producer who manually harvests and eschews new oak, the 2012 represents great value for a classic profile. Firm tannins give structure, good acidity provides freshness, and layers of cassis, cedar, graphite, and hint of violet, deliver complexity.