We just got back from a very long weekend in Northern California. My bro-in-law, Doug, was turning 60 and we decided to sneak out there and surprise him. Mission accomplished. When we rang his doorbell at 10 pm on Thursday he opened the door and just stared at us. Thank god he didn’t have a heart attack or something.
Anyway, as part of the surprise we drove him, his wife Cessna, and son Warren up to Sonoma for a great lunch at The Girl and The Fig, followed by a surprise tasting of a bunch of new wines with our friends the Coturris. Tony, five dogs and long time winery manager Billy graciously greeted us as we pulled up in our rented van. It was a gorgeous day, and we weren’t there five minutes when the glasses came out, and Tony started pouring.
We started with a barrel sample of the ’08 rose. Outstanding. This is his second vintage, and he puts every red known to man in it. It will be bottled in a month or two, and I’ll get my hands on it by the beginning of June. I warned Tony that summer is fleeting and customers are waiting, but his response was that he thinks it’s perfect wine for Thanksgiving. While I totally agree with him, I feat that I, and the people of Tavel in the Rhone Valley, are the only people who will drink rose at Thanksgiving. In fact, Tony thinks his rose is very “Tavelian”, and we all agreed. No pale pinkies for Coturri.
Then Nic (Tony’s son) joined us, and we moved on to the reds. They are really hitting their stride. The ’07 Primitivo was delicious. Slight bit of residual sugar, but screaming for gorgonzola. Then we moved on to a new Zinfandel, the ’07 Jewel Pinot Noir, and then the star of the show – the ’07 Petite Syrah. This wine is one of the finest he has made, in my opinion. Focused, and a perfect assimilation of fruit and acidity. All I could say to Tony after the first sip was “bulls-eye!” I also did not spit any of it out. Way too good to go down the drain. We then moved on to his Cote de Cailloux Rhone blend, which was stunning, followed by a revisiting of their ’07 Grenache and ’06 Carignane. What a treat.
I looked at the birthday boy, and he was very happy. All in all it was a fine day. Great wines, wonderful hosts, and being with family. Before we left, I couldn’t resist buying a few bottles for the family’s wine cooler and for dinner that night. The mood in the car as we drove away was one of total contentment and satisfaction. It was a wonderful way to end a perect weekend. We can’t until the next big birthday.