A very good friend of my Bride and myself sent me an email, asking if he could venture into my little corner of the writing world. If I wanted to flatter myself, I would say he reminds me of a younger version of me, but I never had had the savior-faire that he exemplifies. My only saving grace is that perhaps I may have helped in his knowledge of the grape, but even that is questionable, as he has been a keen student in his own right. So with out any further ado, and he also created his own nom-de-plume I offer you….
The Raconteur’s Apprentice
As a contemporary of The Wine Raconteur, I find myself in the position of having an appreciation for wine that is unique. Setting aside the technical details, I too enjoy learning of a wine’s provenance and consider the circumstances surrounding its enjoyment as important as the selection itself.
Two days ago I opened the final bottle from a case my Bride and I bought on futures from a very well-known wine family in California. It was our first futures purchase and we were really excited because we had tasted prior vintages and all were excellent. The wine was a 2001 blend called Prindelo from Viansa Winery. The wine derives its name from the grapes comprising the blend (Primitivo, Zinfandel, and (at the time) Teroldego). The winery’s name is a combination of its founder’s first names – Vicki and Sam Sebastiani. Those of you familiar with Sonoma wine will recognize this family’s name, as they are one of the most accomplished wine families in California.
As I said, we had bought the case on futures, meaning we had no clue whether the quality would be consistent with the prior vintages we tasted, but the winemakers made a compelling case since the growing season had been very good that year. When we opened our first bottle upon receipt, we were a bit dismayed that the wine displayed some effervescence. This was unexpected since we knew this was a still wine we had purchased. The winery informed us that this was due to the yeast in the wine consuming residual sugars, and that this phenomenon would dissipate with bottle age. Time continued to pass and we drank most of the bottles over the past 12 years, experiencing less and less effervescence. I’m happy to report that after 12 years of bottle aging, the last bottle we opened had no sign of this bubbly phenomenon, and the wine itself stood up well. It was still powerful and fruity, and paired very well with the home-made pizza we had for dinner that night. The wine’s color showed some of its age, but the nose and palate were still very much those of a younger wine. Meaty and tannic, the wine showed notes of licorice and spice, with the heat characteristic of good Zinfandel.
The moral of the story – be adventurous. Although it wasn’t first-growth Bordeaux we bought on futures, it was exciting to invest in our first case, and one that took me back to California with my Bride with each bottle we opened.