Hurry Up and Wait Some More

There is something to be said in favor of delayed gratification, especially with some wines that need a bit of time to reach perfection, but it’s a hard rule to follow when so many holiday temptations are near at hand.

Take the special holiday sale being thrown by Diageo, the big beverage company with a slew of California wine brands in its international portfolio.

I got an e-mail from a Diageo marketer with an offer I couldn’t resist sharing. The “Friends and Family” holiday sale offers wines by the case and some single-bottle offerings at a 60 percent discount, with free shipping.

Wines from  11 different brands, including BV (Beaulieu Vineyard), Sterling, Rosenblum Cellars, Acacia and Chalone Vineyard, are all included.

Here’s a link to shop online. The sale ends Saturday, Dec. 3. Tell me if you found something you liked.

Delayed  Gratification

I just received a shipment of wine that I purchased eight months ago.

Unless I’m buying futures, I don’t usually plan that far in advance, nor wait that long to receive a shipment, but I didn’t have a choice.

I bought the wine from Garagiste, an online retailer run by Jon Rimmerman.

Jon’s sole purpose in life is to scout out interesting wines at great prices from around the globe and sell them to his e-mail list of followers. Nearly every day there’s something new to share, including vivid commentary about each offering, its background and its producer.

I’ve enjoyed his reports and now I’m ready to see if his recommendations (in a limited sample) are worth following.

Less is More

Rimmerman’s taste lean toward restraint (less intervention from the winemaker) and terroir (wines that taste of the place they are from).

I took his advice and bought six bottles each of Bookwalter Subplot 25 (a Cabernet-based blend from Washington) and 2010 Saint Antonin from Lou Cazalet in southern France.

The Subplot (all of Bookwalter’s wines have a literary name) is a blend of several vintages (2010, 2009, 2008 , 2007 and 2005). Grapes in the blend include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and others from some of Washington’s top vineyards.

I got it for $12.96 per bottle. That compares to $45-$60 for the winery’s other wines.

Harmonic Convergence?

Below is vintage Rimmerman, riffing on the Saint Antonin, a $13.80 wine from the not-yet-famous Faugeres, a wine appellation in the Languedoc-Roussillon region:

“If you were to pick a poster-child for the stature, tannin and overall harmonic convergence that is 2010, it could be this wine  – a traditional Faugeres from the schist/mineral soil of the region without any wood or oak influence of any kind,” he wrote.

“Without belaboring the point (or going on one of my diatribes), I urge all of you to try this relatively unknown entrant that (like La Gramière a few weeks ago) is set to influence an entire region with their “less is more” attitude and attraction for capturing the essence of each vintage in a bottle.”

I’ll report back when I taste these wines in a few weeks.

I have to wait, according to Rimmerman, for the wines to settle. They need to regain their composure after shipping from his temperature controlled warehouse in Seattle. That’s where my wine has been sitting since last Spring.

It’s Garagiste policy to wait until the threat of warm weather is totally gone before sending any precious liquid cargo to the buying public. That’s why it took so long for my case of wine to arrive.

I’ll give Garagiste the benefit of the doubt, but I really hope it’s worth the wait!

Bottle Your Own in Half Moon Bay

La Nebbia Winery in Half Moon Bay is holding a bottle and cork day on Saturday, Dec. 10. They’ll be filling bottles with 2009 Syrah  for $4.95 a bottle. The wine is from Yuba County, which ain’t Napa but it produces some decent table wines.

If you don’t bring your own bottles, they’ll provide clean fifths for an extra $1.50 apiece. The event runs from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. If you can’t make it, call the winery at  650-726-9463 to reserve some wine for the holidays.


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