Sent: Friday, July 26, 2002
Subject: Wine at Orangewood Consulting - 22
To our Wine Aficionados,
A few months ago I asked Laurie if she would like me to arrange a birthday party for her 50th birthday. “Hell no!” she said, which I took as her subtle way of saying that she would prefer not. “Let’s go to Maui,” she said, which is why I am writing this newsletter with a glass of wine, listening to the crash of surf, and when I look up I see the sun setting between the palm trees. We are missing the horses, however. Jazzy turned 3 (months) on July 14th. You can find her 3-month old photos on our personal web site: http://richard.corles.home.att.net
The remaining content of this newsletter is as follows:
Wine tasting (Marinda Park release at Epicurean Wine)
Wine and Cheese Party (At Territorial Bar and Grill)
New Outlet - Vine to Wine Cellar – Whiskey Row, Prescott
New wine – Domaine Coteau
Feedback from Marinda Park worldwide introduction
On Thursday night I opened the Merlot for the tasting on Friday to let it breathe in the wine cellar over night. On Friday evening I headed off to the event an hour early because I wanted to decant the Pinot Noir and let it breathe for an hour before the tasting started. It was 110 degrees F as I drove over to Epicurean, the fourth day of high humidity and threatening thunderstorms that herald the start of the monsoon season. John Scremin, the owner, and his assistants, Heidi and Linda, were ready when I got there. John told me he had a lot of phone calls from people asking about the event. He was going to call me to tell me to bring more wine, but decided that I would anyway – he was correct.
The tasting got going a little before 5:30. I presented the Chardonnay as ready; the Pinot Noir as young, but quite drinkable if given a little breathing room; and the Merlot as not yet available – a teaser. I warned people that it was not really drinkable – more like a barrel tasting - but that they could get some sense from it of what is coming in January 2003. We finished up with the Noceto Frivolo, which was a refreshing finish after the tannic Merlot.
During the evening 30 – 40 people came and went to taste the wines. Only two people that receive the newsletter or had a Honeywell connection showed up. I later got this report from a potential attendee:
“We set out the other night to go to the wine tasting but, as it happened, never got there. We got lost. It seems that Thunderbird Road turns into Cactus Road at some point but it isn't marked. No map, trying to figure out where we were we were, when we were hit by a dust storm and then a monsoon storm. Everything but locusts and hail (which they had further up the valley!). If you've never seen a monsoon storm, one minute it's 105 degrees and bone dry, the next you can't see the front of your own car through the rain and the streets are rivers, literally. In the end we figured out that Thunderbird road has a break in it and we were on the section that some genius had connected to another road. By this time it was too late so we went home. However we managed to find the place today and scored a couple of bottles of your fine vintages.”
Apparently not a Scottsdale native! The people that did show up appreciated being the first to try the wines from this new winery and to try the first bottle of Merlot opened in the Western Hemisphere. Beth McDonald, from the Beth & Bill show was there towards the end - she is still a Cabernet Sauvignon drinker, but was polite about the wines.
Another problem I had was that one of the decanted Pinot Noirs was corked, so, we opened another bottle and Mark Armstrong swirled it in the decanter between sips (thanks Mark). This slowed down his drinking but allowed us to serve the wine 20 – 30 minutes after opening. Short term hint – decant and swirl for best results.
Feedback on the wines was limited. The staff liked them, however, and they now have the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir available for sale. So, although you probably missed the event, you can still buy the wines.
Wine and Cheese Party at Territorial Bar and Grill
The event was low key. Laurie and I showed up, perhaps for the first time not covered in muck from the stables. The staff hardly recognized us. We were the only one of their wine distributors who participated to present our wine (of our wines, only the Noceto Sangiovese is available by the glass). Territorial provided a table with cheese and bread and stuff, as well as a row of wines available by the glass. Every time someone showed interest in the table I jumped up to help with cheese or wine selection. It was gratifying to find that most of the regulars had already tried the Noceto and already knew it was “awesome”. Two of our wine aficionados were there to help us drink and pass the time. Jim, Karen, thanks for joining us.
Vine to Wine Cellar – Whiskey Row, Prescott
Barbara, a friend and newsletter reader, invited us for a visit to Prescott a few weekends ago. While trying to avoid too much shopping, I disappeared into the alley at St. Michael’s hotel (110 S. Montezuma Street) and went downstairs to a wine bar. This had been a wine store, but recently upgraded to a wine bar. Vine to Wine Cellar features wines by the glass and Jazz on the weekend evenings. The wines they sell are those not available in supermarkets. Orangewood Consulting wines fall nicely into this category. A week ago I drove back up to allow them to try a few of our wines. They were all well received. Noceto Sangiovese Riserva and Frivolo, RustRidge Zinfandel and Marinda Park Chardonnay are now available there. I will be taking more samples to them after our vacation.
Sam Hawkins was at it again. One of his neighbors on Walnut Hill in Oregon produces a few hundred cases a year of Pinot Noir. Sam brought me a bottle to try, as the owner, Dean Sandifer, is trying to expand his sales area. As we happened to be having lunch with Tom Hamilton and the owner of The Heard Building in downtown Phoenix, it sounded like a good opportunity to try out the wine. We did and everyone pronounced it good. It seemed like a better investment than the SP500 has been recently. Next thing we knew, half a pallet of this wine was heading to Phoenix. Stand by for tasting opportunities!
We continue to scrutinize all email. Thanks for your input.
Richard and Laurie