(Also posted to WLDG with the title: "Come on baby light my fire".)
Saturday evening was a perfect night for deck time at the beach--warm night, light breeze, calm water. We dined al fresco with a nice white, but the evening was too deliciously summery to go back inside and so we decided we needed a light and fruity summer red to sip afterward by a warm little campfire.
I chose a 2005 Loring (screw cap! deck time loves screw caps!) Garys' Vineyard. We found it lighter than the usual Garys', and not showing much of the classic earthy red fruit from that vineyard. After sipping at it a bit, we finally realized that the wine was probably just tight and in need of a bit more coaxing, so we poured our glasses back in the bottle and I went back to the cellar for another pinot that another bottle of a week ago seemed past due for attention, the 1997 Swan Wolfespierre from Sonoma. It drank much better than the Loring, and in fact much much better than the bottle from the previous week. The hint of mint was still there but not prominent, and the wine didn't have the sweet, porty character and medicinal iodine finish of the other either. It seemed lighter, and had more acid. Very very good.
While we enjoyed that, a cold breeze came down from the northwest and chilled us to the bone. Good timing, or we'd have probably sat out there and killed the bottle. Instead, we more-responsibly came in and set the remainders of both bottles aside. During the night, I woke up and thought back on the wines, in particular how different the Swan was, and realized that I had trusted the Swan to be what the neck tag said and that it must have been an Estate or something else, yeah that would explain the difference!
So last night when we sat down to enjoy some of the salmon we'd spent the day smoking while working in the yard, out came the two pinots, and I quickly grabbed the Swan to verify my nocturnal conclusion: Wolfespierre. Wrong again, Neecie! It really had been a Woflie after all. Odd how different these older bottles can be, but kind of wonderful too. We'd have nothing to talk about if it weren't something of a gamble. It showed even better than the night before. A lovely wine and without the overt overripe flavors of last week's bottle. I preferred it to the Loring by a hair, probably out of sentimentality, but Bob loved the Loring which was now showing very well indeed. It had gained a bit of weight and now had the classic Gary's red fruit with iron-rich minerality. I'm very happy to have three more bottles.