Thu 2 Feb 2012
This series doesn’t always focus on rare and expensive wines. At least the wine featured in today’s post is inexpensive, though not widely available. Still, here we go….
LL brought home a piece of wild sockeye salmon from Whole Foods, and we smoked it over loose lapsang souchong tea, which turned the salmon deeply smoky and richly succulent. She made a three “bean” salad with edamame, blackeyed peas and black beans, chopped red onion, celery and cilantro, and with the salmon, that was our simple and delicious dinner last night.
I opened the terrific Lee Family Farm Silvaspoons Vineyard Verdelho 2010, from the Alta Mesa sub-appellation of Lodi. The Lee Family Farm label is a personal project of Dan Lee, owner of Morgan Winery in Monterey County. The verdelho grape is found in Portugal’s Douro Valley, where because of its high sugar and acid levels it’s generally made into white port, and on the island of Madeira, where it is both the name of the grape and the term for a style of Madeira. Experiments at making verdelho into a table wine in Madeira have not been successful; perhaps the producers there should follow Dan Lee’s lead and lend the grape a little softness and subtle spice by aging four months in neutral French oak barrels, “neutral” meaning that the barrels have been used enough times that their influence is mild and nuanced.
The Lee Family Farm Silvaspoons Vineyard Verdelho 2010 is a pale straw-gold color, while the bouquet feels fresh, clean and wind-blown, spanking brisk with apple skin, fennel and thyme, roasted lemon and lemon grass, ginger, lilac and camellia and an off-shore whiff of sea-salt and flint; I call it irresistible. In the mouth, the wine displays gratifying tone and presence, balancing crisp acidity and modest austerity with the languor of softly ripe lemon, melon and peach flavors, lightly spiced, and a hint of dried rosemary, with that slightly resinous quality for which the herb is known; the bracing finish teems with limestone minerality. 13.2 percent alcohol. Drink through 2012 or into 2013. Production was 387 cases, so mark this Worth a Search. Excellent. About $15, representing Great Value.
A sample for review.
I love the simplicity and elegance of this label and the understated by-play among the typefaces.