WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

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WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:38 pm

2001 Arcadian Gary's Vineyard pinot noir, California
My 3rd Arcadian, and for the kind of pleasure that comes from a wine so ready to be drunk that it practically jumps out of the glass to meet you, the best so far. This in spite of the fact that I'm not usually a Gary's vineyard fan. Red berry fruit, celery seed, earth and a little mocha on the nose; cherry fruit, earth and a little cinnamon on the palate. The aromatics are so strong that the wine didn't seem at all reticent at first, but it actually did open up and fill out as we sipped. The celery part made it a perfect match for an atypical pairing--rigatoni tossed in a complex sauce whose principal ingredients were fresh garden tomatoes, chicken sausage and fennel stalks. A wine that, while it lasted (and the better the wine, the longer it lasts for we become stingy sippers) dominated the conversation. So in the way that we casually rate wines while we're drinking them, this got our highest score: a double WOW.

And so did, the next night:

1999 Swan Mouvedre, Sonoma, California
Chosen to accompany a simple dinner of grilled lamb chops, this wine had been closed for quite awhile--I'm glad I took the of opening one last night. I believe it was winemaker Mat Garretson who, talking about mouvedre's future in California, said this wine's beauty practically made him cry. I understand that--the first sip nearly took my breath away. It's a beautiful wine, a feminized version of a wine that's usually so much more manly. Medium-bodied but intensely flavored, made from vines planted in 1910 that I believe have since been ripped out, this wine had the tasted of black cherries, rare prime rib, sea spray and tellicherry pepper, and it had a very interesting umami-saltiness to the long finish that seemed to make all the flavors echo rather than fade. I wanted to take the glass into my arms and waltz it around the room. A truly exceptional wine experience, and one of my Wines of the Year.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:56 pm

made from vines planted in 1910 that I believe have since been ripped out


Why? No longer producing? Sick?

Sounds like they were doing very well just 7 years ago, and 100+ does happen at times..
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:34 pm

Rahsaan, IIRC, Ron (of Swan) didn't own the vineyard, and those who did wanted to plant it over to something more profitable. A terrible waste.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:02 pm

Jenise wrote:Rahsaan, IIRC, Ron (of Swan) didn't own the vineyard, and those who did wanted to plant it over to something more profitable. A terrible waste.


It sounds as if it was closer to a criminal act than a waste based on your note. I suppose, "It's only business."
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jenise » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:23 pm

James, troubling predicament for both vineyard owner and winemaker. The winemaker can't afford to buy the vineyard, and the the vineyard owner can't afford to ignore the fact that he could nail three times the profit (or whatever it is) were he to replant to pinot. Oh well, at least I got to have this when I did.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby James Dietz » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:13 pm

Joe Davis at Arcadian makes some amazing wines. He ages them as long, or longer, than anyone out there making Pinot, Chardonnay or Syrah. The Garys' has been excellent recently. I think we have had maybe 3 bottles over the last 6 months or so.

The Arcadian '00 Chardonnay, if you can find it anywhere, is awesome. I used to hate.. and I mean hate..CA Chard. This wine (and also, now, the Chardonnays from Melville) changed my mind. I could drink this wine 2-3 times a week, if I could keep getting it.

And there is that Swan again!!! :lol:
Cheers, Jim
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby John Treder » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:35 pm

I have one bottle left of Swan Wolfspierre vineyard Chardonnay, 1995. The bottle I had a year ago was marvelous.
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jenise » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:53 pm

Lucky you, John. I had both 95's and 97's and stupidly didn't take vintage characteristics into consideration when I drank the 95's first. The Wolfespierre was really something incredibly special, wasn't it? Another irreplaceable old and unique vineyard.
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby John Treder » Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:25 pm

If I remember right, Rod was a little disappointed in the '95 vintage initally, but after a couple of years he found it much better. The remarkable thing is that I only paid $12.50 a bottle!
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Covert » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:12 pm

Jenise wrote: Arcadian, Swan


How descriptive. I almost never use the term, arcadian, but I used it today to refer to the stroll up an easy mountain (Cat) overlooking Lake George in the bright fall sun and indescribable foliage. Lynn asked me what the word meant, it’s spoken so infrequently. And Tennyson will tell you if you don't want something to die, don't name it Swan.

Probably a fat chance of getting lucky, but I'll look for both of these wines - with anticipation.

It’s driving me crazy trying to decide what to drink tonight. The season’s first wood stove fire is definitely tainting the room. The rib sticking osso buco, which slow cooked the whole time we were on the mountain, adds a bit of flavor to the air, too. I was looking forward to a 1995 Beauregard, but I think I will select a hardy 1999 Left Banker.
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jason Hagen » Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:34 pm

Thanks for the notes. Wish I could find some of the Swan. Looks like there might be some 01s. Have you tried that?

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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:05 pm

Jason: haven't tried the 01, no.

So how was dinner with Mark? I've been looking for your report.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jason Hagen » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:27 pm

The dinner was amazing. You know ... "wine memories". I have a bunch of chicken scratches that I will turn into notes soon.

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Re: WTN: Two hard acts to follow (Arcadian and Swan)

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:34 pm

I'll look forward to them, Jason.
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