It is rare indeed when one has the opportunity to share an inaugural bottle of vino. I hadn't a clue that nobody at the table had tasted anything but a barrel sample until the wine was decanted and poured. Talk about flattered. Been rolling it around in my head for weeks, how, exactly, do you do THAT justice?
Discounting all of the distortions and distractions brought about by friendship, I liked the wine. A lot. Breaking bread, sharing wine, good times, good friends, catching up, laughter, kids playing, a comfortable camaraderie, all of that, taken together, inevitably makes a wine better than it has any right to be.
So it is both, important and immaterial, to remove the subjective from the objective. Which, of course, in the overall scheme of things, subjective is as much a part of wine as anything, otherwise nobody would touch white wine. Yes, that was a smirk.
The delight was mine, of course, but it occurs to me that we were so absorbed in laughter and conversation, that nobody......well, put it this way, there aren't any pictures. Say What? Not a single photo. This, an inaugural opening. Not a single cork had been popped. Ever. Until that night. Yet nobody was camera ready. That says something. At least to me.
Linda Stinson, Darrel Heirendt, Bret Stinson (sitting); proprietors of SRV
But, before all of that, Darrel (cowboy hat), who is also Vineyard Manager for Red Head Ranch, throws me and Mrs TWC into the car and we get a look at the oldest vines in SLO County. Truly Old Vine Zin, deadheaded, close to dead at one point, but now producing. We tasted the SRV Petit Syrah grapes just a few days before harvest and some Cab grapes from Red Head Ranch. The original farmstead with dirt floor basement, hundred year old oaks, and the ancient and tottering water tower (with windmill). No photos. Can you believe that? Did I already say that?
Later were spooning Linda's tasty red sauce over pasta and a simple salad (no the red sauce was on the pasta, not the salad). With wine. And laughs. Later, hugs.
The wine was decanted which, given its youth, turned out well, and as we sipped and swirled and sniffed and did all the usual wine things, the wine opened up nicely. I'm thinking that a year or two in the bottle may eliminate the need to decant.
I didn't take notes (or pictures) but I recollect the color as deep indigo running to purple with good legs. Ack! (think: Bill the Cat). I'm not big on wine snob jargon, but sometimes it's useful. Legs means that when you swirl the wine in the glass it leaves trails on the inside of the glass (the legs). Something like a vapor trail of wine. The more left behind the better. In this case indicating a substantial wine. Just my style.
The winemaker said pomegranate and red fruit. I tasted plenty of black fruit and a little characteristic pepper that faded away somewhat with air.
A beautiful wine. A wine for sharing. A wine for friends. A wine for lovers and sultry evenings in front of the fireplace with a chilly rain falling outside. A little pricey at $38.00 but I can get you a deal. You'll be hard pressed to find SRV at Cost Plus or Trader Joe's so order it on the website and use the TWC code to pick up a nice little TWC discount of 30% off sticker. Sometimes it is who you know, eh?
TWC discount code: twcsrv05
Inaugural wine. That's never going to happen again. Save a bottle or two guys. Well, duh. Preaching at the choir. Done that before. A couple of times.
Snapshots of life, here and there, this was one. Kodachrome. Happy I was there for it.