We're back, with an old favorite!
With many thanks to all of you who've written to express concern about our absence, I'm delighted to return The 30 Second Wine Advisor to weekly publication today, using new Email distribution software that we hope will get the Wine Advisor to your mailbox quickly and securely.
For now we'll publish on a once-weekly basis, usually hitting the mail on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. As with any new software installation it won't be surprising if we discover a bug or two. Please be patient, and if you discover formatting problems or find that this publication has been trapped by an overly aggressive "spam" filter, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
I can't think of a happier way to return to publication than with a celebration of two just-released wines from Edmunds St. John, the California producer whose wines I consistently list among my favorites from the Golden State.
As I wrote in 2004, Edmunds St. John is named after the winery's owners, wine maker Steve Edmunds and his wife Cornelia St. John. No traditional wine country chateau, it is located in an industrial building in urban Berkeley.
But it's not the winery building but the grapes that count; and there Edmunds consistently shows his artistry, sourcing fruit from selected California vineyards with a keen eye to selecting grapes and pursuing vinification methods that emphasize terroir, as the French call the "taste of the earth" that reflects not just fruit but the soil, climate and environment where the grapes grew.
Edmunds expresses this concept beautifully on the winery's Website, where he writes, "In 1987 a wine grower from a venerable domaine in Southern France visited our cellar, and tasted a number of wines from the harvest just past. When he came to the one from my favorite vineyard his response was dramatic: he raised his nose from the glass, slowly rolling his eyes upward in reverie, he sighed, and whispered, 'la terre parle' (the earth speaks). If I have done my job well, when you taste this wine you may be similarly affected; this is a voice one longs to hear. As a winemaker, for me there is no other voice."
Today's tasting report, posted below, features Edmunds' pink and red wines made from the Gamay grape and bearing the tongue-in-cheek name "Bone-Jolly," a pun on "Beaujolais."
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Today's Tasting Report
Edmunds St. John 2008 El Dorado County Witters Vineyard "Bone Jolly" Gamay Noir Rosé ($15)
Salmon-copper color with a reddish-orange hue, dark for a rosé. Delicate red-berry scents, fresh and true. Good body and food-friendly acidity. Plenty of authority at 13.7% alcohol. Splendid pink, fine with juicy beef burgers scented with cinnamon and cumin for a Middle Eastern touch. (May 2, 2009)
Edmunds St. John 2007 "Bone-Jolly" El Dorado County Witters Vineyard Gamay Noir ($17)
Ruby, not too dark. Red berries and earth, a match for a non-spoofulated artisan Beaujolais (think JP Brun) on the nose; flavors follow along, tart red fruit and earth and zippy acidity that makes it a great food wine. Excellent match with restaurant leftovers, a Palestinian dish of eggplant, tomatoes and onions converted into a vegetarian pasta sauce. (May 5, 2009)
The Edmunds St. John Website provides considerable information about the winery and its wines:
FIND THESE WINES ONLINE:
Locate vendors and check prices for Edmunds St. John's "Bone-Jolly" Gamay wines on Wine-Searcher.com:
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