The Week in Wine, 10-16 July, 2017

Nothing out of the ordinary this week, I’m pleased to report. The classes I’m teaching continue to go well and to inspire me. Sonja and I are getting along well, and the summer is helping me to recharge. I cook a lot, read a lot, and seem to have time to think, which is nice.

Yesterday, grandma and grandpa took Titus for the day, so I mowed the lawn and then Sonja and I set about hanging the family tree on our wall, a project we’ve been meaning to get to since we moved in two years ago. I finished writing an article and got a lot of sleep last night. In all, it was a pretty solid week.

Some things can’t be quantified: the satisfaction of getting things done, the love we feel in a hug from our son. Others can: by the numbers, I lifted four times, ran 27 miles, taught two classes, and tasted 42 wines, many of which were pretty darn good. In all, not a bad week. And now, more about the wine.

July 10-16, 2017

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I just love Marietta. I was at a tasting featuring Rhone blends, and once again they absolutely sole the show. Impeccable balance, unquestionable quality, and as easy to appreciate as they come. Excellent wine, and my first encounter with this one. Definitely worth seeking out.

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I’d had this one in the cellar for a while; what a wine! I loved it for its balance and smoothness, the velvety mouthfeel and persistent purple fruits. I knew it was good when I published a review of it on Vivino, and my friend Jay, who I regard as the authority on Pac NW wines, weighed in to say it was a favorite of his as well. I also tried one of their white blends this week, and was taken with it as well. This is a producer worth seeking out.

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This was a new one to me too. From Glacial Till in Palmyra Nebraska, a red blend. I feel like Nebraska is making strides in the dry red wine department, though there’s admittedly still a ways to go. This one was quite impressive; arguably well balanced, fully dry, nice structure, I think you could pit this against most red blends and I’d like it just fine. Rumored to have a little Cab Sauv in it, it’s mostly French hybrids I think. The winemaker at Glacial Till continues to get creative, and it continues to pay off. If you’re in or near the Cornhusker State, make it a point to stop in Ashland or Palmyra and sample this wine. They also have a dry white blend that I thought was good.

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Love Toro. The story of the soil fending off phylloxera, even if its slightly apocryphal (the way I tell it) makes for fun lore, and fun lore leads to fun wine. Fully dry, this was leathery plums throughout, a beautiful old world wine that paired perfectly with cheese and a rerun of Nashville.

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I intended to get a beer yesterday, while waiting for photos to develop, I really did, but when I stopped in Corkscrew this was open and, well, how could I say no? More importantly, why would I? What a nice Cab this is, especially in the $20 range! Full in body and nicely restrained, its overstated nowhere, yet strong from start to finish. Nice dark purple and black fruits, this reminds me that great Cab doesn’t have to break the bank.

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You had me a petrol on the nose.  I’ve always loved this producers Pinot Gris, but the Riesling might be even better. Love Alsace? Try it. Love Barefoot? Don’t.

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One of Sonja and my fondest memories of wine country is of an afternoon we spent with Christian Palmaz at his family’s winery. Last night, eating dinner when we felt like it instead of at 5:30PM on the nose since our toddler was gone, we shared this wine and reflected on that memory. I paired it with T-bones, and it was of course perfect in that way, but between the incredible, undeniable quality of the wine and the memories it conjures, its more than that. I rarely give wines 5 stars on Vivino, but this one deserves 5.5. Read more about our visit to Palmaz here:

https://itheewine.com/2017/06/15/palmaz-vineyards-review/

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Sonja and I visited Silverado Vineyards earlier this year and fell in love with the reserved and uniquely talented Jon Emmerich and his phenomenal wines. This Sauv Blanc is among my favorites (and I drink a ton of SB from this region). You can read my complete tasting notes on it in a prior blog post or on Vivino, but for our purposes here just know that sitting on the front porch last night in the muggy July of Nebraska, nothing could have cut through it better, or made the evening more complete.

Another week, another glass (or several glasses) of wine. Enjoy Game of Thrones tonight, write back if you feel like it (I always love hearing from you!) and as ever, thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Mark

 

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