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Snooth User: dmcker

Scholium Project barrel tastings

Posted by dmcker, Sep 2, 2010.

Those of us who know this winery need no further intro. Those who don't will not be disappointed by following up on any curious impulses. And Napagirl, here's an event not all that far from you that is certainly worth considering. Wish I were in the Bay Area (or NYC) next week, but alas.... IMHO, they're one of the more enlightened wineries operating in CA today.

The announcement below is one you need to be on their mailing list to receive. Easy to get on it, though, from their website.

 

==========

INVITATION TO A BARREL TASTING
It is the eve of harvest. As I write, Markus Bokisch is harvesting Verdelho for us from his Vista Luna ranch. The intensity of the fruit is almost frightening. Little green grapes, for white wine.

I am writing because we are about to release wine. We have acquired the strange habit of increasing the adrenaline flux through our bodies by insisting on bottling during the beginning of harvest-- already the most intense and demanding time of the year. We have done it every year since 2007, and somehow, it works well for us. It finally struck me this summer that there is an aspect of what we do that does not work well for you. We bottle several new wines each year; you have no idea what these wines will taste like. And the wines that we bottle each year (Naucratis, Babylon, the Prince, for example)-- on the one hand we value vintage characteristics so much, and on the other hand, each year, we hone, refine, and sometimes explode the way that we make each wine- -so that even if you have enjoyed one vintage, it is a challenge to know if you will enjoy the next one. If you have drunk our wines, you know this. Even Naucratis, let's call it our most "stable wine", year in year out-- even this wine is a bit of a surprise each year.
And then each year, we write you, and ask to make selections of these wines-- and not just selections, but purchases!-- based on a description that is probably terse, arch, and elliptical , or a charming vignette, or a striking photograph. Well really! Our wines are not inexpensive-- especially the most precious, smallest production lots. And they are not reviewed. We are asking you to risk money in a difficult time on a luxury product of thrilling unpredictability. With no guidance.
We are now providing a solution; a way out of this difficult situation. We are going to offer barrel tastings of each wine, on both coasts. The tastings will be crisp, incisive, and academic in nature. I will lead each one. There will be no snacks, t-shirts, or other distractions. We will taste each wine in the release, I will speak briefly, especially to answer questions, you can order wines, and everyone will leave. Here are the details:
SEPT 7, 7 PM: BARREL TASTING IN MANHATTAN
REQUEST this tasting. We will accept the first 50 respondents. I will inform you of the location when I acknowledge your request.

SEPT 12, 6 PM: BARREL TASTING AT THE WINERY, IN SUISUN VALLEY
REQUEST this tasting. We will accept the first 50 respondents.

If you cannot attend either of these tastings, do not give up hope. We are working on a live multi-cast tasting with a small panel of tasters who will taste in front of you, and, if we can figure out how to do it, answer your questions with the wine in front of them.
SIGN UP for a mailing list to be kept abreast of the live multi-cast.

Lastly, here are the wines that we will release, and you will taste. We will release wines around September 8 and will post more information on the website at that time.
2006 SFDC RESERVE: skin fermented pinot grigio
2009 MSL RESERVE: partially skin fermented verdelho
2009 LSB
2009 THE PRINCE IN HIS CAVES
2009 RIQUEWIHR
2008 CHOEPHEROI
2007 BRICCO BABELICO
2008 ANDROKTEINOS
2008 BABYLON
2008 GARDENS OF BABYLON: a new blend, with nearly the intensity of the Androkteinos; more plush and enveloping than past vintages.

many thanks for reading such a long email, nearly a letter

abe

 

ps: there is no information about this on the website. You must be on the mailing list to be invited.

 

Replies

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Reply by outthere, Sep 2, 2010.

Yeah, I started to drool when I got that email Monday. Then I realized we are entertaining guests that day at our home. Alas, another opportunity missed.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 7, 2010.

 

Saw this offer in my mailbox, and had to share the wealth. For you, outthere, and possibly you, Napagirl, particularly.

 

 

Dear Oenophile,

Continuing our theme of "when it rains it pours" this month we have an astounding new offer today, a true score for us!

There is a tiny micro-winery that brings out some of the most passionate debate and conversation, and that is
Scholium Project.
UBER WINE-GEEKS
will know exactly what this wine is and what it's about. They will tell you that of all of proprietor Abe Schoener wines he's ever made, THIS ONE, in this vintage, is likely THE best he's EVER made. So, it's my distinct honor to not only have it, but to have it at a head-spinningly low price....50% OFF and by far the lowest price in the country! Good Lord, how do we do it? I frankly am not sure sometimes. But, here you have it...

2005 SCHOLIUM PROJECT "BABYLON" Tenbrink Vineyards Red Wine $40! (list $80!)      $240 a 6-pack!

First off, anyone who knows and loves Scholium reds would say "$40!?? BUY IT!!"  I have to agree that I think this is a fantastically complex and cerebral wine, 100% Petite Sirah, outrageously concentrated and intense stuff, yet somehow utterly drinkable. Massively endowed with ultra-ripe black and purple fruit, Asian spice, dried herbs, grasses, and grapey fruit...somehow it seems in balance yet definitely not for the faint of heart. Plenty of tannin but the texture is silky...the flavors are powerful and long, and the wine goes through several stages as it breathes. A fascinating wine.

This is a one-time super-special deal. Those who love big, bad, super sexy and intensely complex and concentrated reds, don't miss it! ---Stefan


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Reply by outthere, Sep 7, 2010.

Thanks for the heads up dmcker but "been there done that already". Nice deal. Actually found another wine while I was there that I like (and can afford) 2004 Caliban "The Noble Savage" PS. A one time wonder by Dave Phinney.

Must expand the cellar! ;-)

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Reply by outthere, Sep 13, 2010.

This one's for you dmcker. I stopped by BPWine today to pick up my Scholium Babylon. Of course I had to pop one. This is an intensely rich, fruity and well structured wine. Huge nose, big long legs, mouth coating texture, rich, rich, rich and gets better the more air it gets. Went great with my rib eye but can hold up to a nice fat dessert.

Oh, and when I was there they had a bottle of '76 Jordan Cab open for a sip. Now that was interesting as I didn't expect a whole lot out of a 34 year old Cali Cab but it still had a little left in the tank.

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 14, 2010.

Dmcker- I just bought 3 of the Babylon you suggested.  I will share one with my neighbor for signing for the shipment :-)  Looking forward to tasting it...

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 15, 2010.

Just got this mailing from Scholium since I'm on the list. Aside from the marketing-centric hyperbole, I though it would be interesting to view a snapshot of the mentality of a winemaker growing his brand.

 

The acme and culmination of our work: bottling. It is a terrifying time because of the degree of unforigiving preparation that is necessary-- but also because the moment of bottling is absoulutely final. No more maturation, blending, hoping, guessing, and no turning back. The wine must either be released, or consigned to oblivion. I am very happy to say that we have many wines to release, none to destroy, and a new (and interesting) source of confidence in the superlative quality of what we are offering you.
I invited all of you to barrel tastings to sample the new wines a few weeks ago. I have held three tastings already, two in the remote market of New York, where I lugged the samples in my overburdened baggage. The first tasting was truly electric; the second quiet and intimate. The reaction at each one was so thrilling, so gratifying to me. I have never, ever presented my wines to so many people at once. And the people seemed happy. Very happy.
The overwhelming reaction of excitement, admiration, pleasure, and wonder has made me much more confident-- and excited-- in presenting these wines to you now, and urging you not just to read about them, but to bring them home.
These are the wines that I presented, and that I am offering to you now:

2009 BOKISCH RANCHES MARCHER SUR LA LUNE RESERVE

2009 LOST SLOUGH VINEYARDS RIQUEWIHR

2009 FARINA VINEYARD LA SEVERITÀ DI BRUTO

2009 FARINA VINEYARD THE PRINCE IN HIS CAVES

2006 ROCKY HILL VINEYARD SAN FLORIANO DEL COLLIO RISERVA

2008 CHOÊPHOROI

2008 GARDENS OF BABYLON

2007 TENBRINK VINEYARDS BRICCO BABELICO

2008 TENBRINK VINEYARDS BABYLON

2008 HUDSON VINEYARDS ANDROKTEINOS

I tell you more about these wines here.

And you may order them here.

I am so excited, so proud of these wines and their recent reception. I can't wait to hear from you.

Abe

 

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 15, 2010.

Oh yeah, and the 'Very happy' link to Wine Berserkers is worth jumping to....

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 15, 2010.

Okay, dmcker, I just bought two bottles from BP Wine based on your recommendation.  I am going up to Napa in three weeks for a wedding, so I will pick it up then, saving the shipping.  If you travel to Oakland, let me know and we'll have you over to pop one.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 15, 2010.

You won't regret it Foxall. I picked up three bottles the other night and when I was done with the first one I went back and got 3 more. Impressive. Big fruit but depth, balance and structure are awesome.

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 15, 2010.

They tried to deliver today, and my neighbor happened to be out :-(  They will try again tomorrow.  Glad it isn't 100deg!!!  

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 16, 2010.

NG: I think the neighbor gets one glass only for that.  I noticed that BP will store it for 6 months for you--that seems plenty of time, saves you some space, and saves on delivery charges if you get up there much. 

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 16, 2010.

Plus is yet another good excuse to take that little side trip from the East Bay. In the interests of supporting fair trade you could also combine it with visits to ACME and Benchmark. Since it's only just a run to the store, no visits to all those wineries, of course.... ;-)

But NG, you should definitely make a couple runs to the closer North Berkeley and Kermit Lynch merchants I mentioned elsewhere even before that. Time to encounter more Europeans. I'm sure you'll find some through talking with their staff that'll put a crack in your dike of resistance....

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 16, 2010.

I want to recommend WineMine and Paul Marcus as two other places that can give NG some guidance on reading those labels.  Kermit Lynch will certainly have a lot of the old-school French style labels, esp from the southern Rhone.  David at Wine Mine is just great, and carries about 70% European.  Paul Marcus is probably 80% plus European.  The help at PM is good also, but David is pretty much at Wine Mine all the time. Both are easily accessed from Hwy 24. NG, if you get up this way, tell David I sent you.

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 16, 2010.

Will do... plan to get up sometime in Oct to see my old friend from when I was little.... haven't seen her since we were 8yrs old.  I grew up in Upper Rockridge area...


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