Homage to Maggie Harrison

Any other Maggie Harrison fans out there? She gets some attention here, but relatively speaking, I think she deserves more. As such, thought I’d share an e-mail exchange I had with Ingrid Cutler of Antica Terra and Lillian (taking the easy/lazy route with a quick copy-n-paste). Although not noted below, I actually saved the Botanica bottle and added it to my personal wine Hall of Fame in my office…bringing the collection up to eight bottles.
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From: Ingrid Cutler
To: Tim Dwyer
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020, 10:27:53 AM CDT
Subject: Re: Tribute to Maggie Harrison

Thank you so much for letting me know and I’m so happy to hear you had a wonderful time and the wines were as perfect as we would hope for you and your friends.
Thank you again, for placing our wines on your table, sharing with your friends, it truly means so much to all of us!

Have a wonderful weekend,
Ingrid


Our team has hosted happy hours for remote friends and tasting groups, conversations on cellar building and the wines we love, and blind blending sessions for large corporate teams. We would be honored to dreamweave with you to come up with something completely bespoke. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.


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On Oct 30, 2020, at 10:23 AM, Tim Dwyer wrote:

Since you asked, we were all singing the praises! You were spot on on the '13 Syrah. It was damn near perfect (especially paired with the smoked on the bone rack of pork), but somehow it was the #3 favorite of the evening. That’s how good the line up was! Botanica could not possibly get any better and was the WOTN, followed closely by the Roussanne, Syrah and last but definitely not least, Angelicall. The first time we had the Angelicall, I served it chilled…regretted doing so, but you live and learn. Last night, at the right temperature, it was a completely different experience and even though it was ranked #4, it was humming. The Roussanne, well, let’s just say it was EVERYTHING it should be and it was great introducing our friends to this varietal (and they obviously loved it!). What a fun evening filled with laughter and enhanced with great food and wine. Thank you!!!

#2 - 2015 Lillian Roussanne
#4 - 2017 Antica Terra Angelicall
#1 - 2015 Antica Terra Botanica
#3 - 2013 Lillian Syrah


On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 4:30:00 PM CDT, Ingrid Cutler wrote:

Hi Tim,

What a wonderful line up indeed! I will make sure to forward it to her, what a nice thing to say!

The vintages are perfect to pour now and I have to say, the 2013 syrah is INCREDIBLE right now, you will absolutely love it.
I usually open the wine about half hour prior to dinking it, to let it breathe a little but they are quite beautiful at opening as well.
I have poured the roussanne at the beginning of the meal but it can also be lovely at the end…something to think about :slight_smile:

Rich from Wine Market is fantastic and you’ll never be disappointed working with him. He’s been such a wonderful supporter of our wines (Antica Terra and Lillian) and is a pleasure to be around. I hosted an event at the shop a couple years ago and it was a hit!

Have the best time at the dinner and let me know what everyone thinks of the wines.

All my very best,
Ingrid


On Oct 27, 2020, at 4:10 PM, Tim Dwyer wrote:

Hi Ingrid,

We are having a small dinner party at our house on Thursday night (10/29) with some friends that appreciate wine and are also fans of Maggie Harrison. We will pay homage to Maggie by pouring the following:

2015 Lillian Roussanne
2017 Antica Terra Angelicall
2015 Antica Terra Botanica
2013 Lillian Syrah

There are only four of us, but I may have a 2016 Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay and a 2014 Reynvaan Stonessence on reserve just in case…but Antica Terra and Lillian are definitely THE HEADLINERS. I think it’s going to be a great line up/night and just wanted to say thanks in advance (as I may be running a little slow on Friday)!

Kind regards,

Tim

PS - I’m all ears if you have any suggestions on serving any of the above (i.e., long/short decant, slow ox, pop-n-pour, etc.???)…OR especially if you think I should wait longer before opening any of them.

PPSS - Lukas Liquor is under new ownership and while we tried to remain loyal to them, sadly, it’s just not the same. So, we recently started going to a new wine store called the St. Louis Wine Market in Chesterfield Valley. They must be doing something right because they carry your wines!!!

Big fan. Love both Antica Terra and Lillian. Maggie’s approach to winemaking is so unique. Also, Ingrid has got to be one of the most kind people I’ve come across.

Fun lineup. The AT Angelicall is a favorite wine of mine. Deserves a category all to its own…not a full on red, certainly not a “rosé” as most are. Always a fun wine for people to try. Botanica is great with just a few years of age to it (I like Ceras with a little bit more age than the Botanica). Those Lillian Syrahs are fantastic…I haven’t had the regular 2013, but I have some of the “gold label” 2013, so maybe I need to try one. And the Roussanne is one I only got to just recently try…I immediately went out and acquired some after trying it!

Thanks for sharing.

Completely agree on all fronts, Shay…especially as it relates to Ingrid. There are many fine people in the wine industry, but she is definitely in the elite few that really know their ‘stuff’, but also as you pointed out, is kind/humble/nice/generous on top of it. Truly special…just like the AT and Lillian wines!

I’ve haven’t had much Lillian, but what I did have was excellent!

I love the Antica Terra wines and the Lillian Roussanne especially (I like the Lillian syrah but not as much as the others).
We did a tasting there a few years ago. We had set it up with Maggie and while she was not there, it was exceptionally awesome. Ingrid and a fellow whom’s name I do not remember took us through a tasting of her wines and some that inspired her, it was a great experience. We left with a mixed case. Unfortunately we do not buy much due to cost, but we always enjoy it.

Have you tried the 2016 Lillian Grenache? I had a glass about a month ago and it was spectacular. Was able to snag a few from Ingrid.

my wifes eyes still tear up a little bit every time someone mentions Antica terra. in the best way

The next time we get together, I will bring one.

I have two bottles in the cellar, but no, I have not tasted. Kind of surprised they are showing so well so early. Was thinking peak drinking was still a few years out and did not plan to pop until at least 2024. Since you have actually tasted the '16, what do you think? No need to rush?

I think you’ll do best to hold a bit. I think I caught it in a youthful exuberance phase. I know the varietal is different, but it came across very similar to Andremily (which I love). Very promising! Hope it stays in the rotation.

Had Botanica a few times and found it nice and easy drinking.

Big fan! I’ve mostly had Lillian, but love Antica Terra as well. Haven’t bought in a while, but I still have a few left from those I bought years ago. Mostly her EBA (blue label?) stuff, singles of 2004, 2005, and 2007. Also on mag of the blue label 2007 and a mag of the regular 2008. Had the Blue Label 2005 a couple of years ago and it was brilliant, and still young. Guess I have to open the 2004 Blue Label soon, but she made so few of them that I’m sort of hesitant.
Also har a 2007 Blue Label this summer that was outstanding, and also young. They seem to live forever.

I really need to buy more.

Maggie’s note re their lost 2020 pinot vintage is worth sharing:

It turned drier than ever in September and we lost what was left in the garden. The days were windy, and the fields and meadows turned to crisp hay. September was always this way. It’s not that we didn’t know what could happen – it’s just that it never had – and so we didn’t think about it. The brain has a vested interest in reassurance – nothing’s wrong, same September, same wind.

Until the sky turns red and gold, the trees blue, and we awaken, all at once, to the sudden strangeness of it. We open the front door of the winery and expect early September’s clear blue sky just as confidently as we expect every other unacknowledged constant of our tiny, northern lives.

Our intellect cannot grasp any of this, not the loose wind, not the light trapped somehow too close to the ground, not the dark. Somewhere between eyes and heart you know that everything’s wrong, despite the brain’s sweet, lulling deception. The landscape, suddenly all Yves Klein, is incessantly alien.

It is also strangely beautiful. And so we, as is our collective, cultural worst habit, raise our cameras. I watch the fifteen seconds of footage now and while the image is all wrong, the feeling is exactly correct. The tree in front of the winery changes from electric blue to dull green against a sky of orange, then a jaundiced yellow, as the lens’s tiny motor rotates this way and that, trying to find contrast, still the motion, right the light. The camera, like our little, tilted hearts tries and fails, over and over again, to pull focus.

What was so obvious in the sky, was absent in the field. So different from the rest of the routine risks: no leaves tattered by hail, growth blackened by frost, not the girdling of voles, the reddening of virus, the rust of mites. The smoke that hung thickly, sunk in the still of our narrow valley, lifted, leaving no discernable trace. The vineyards never looked as lovely, as balanced; the fruit, quite literally, never tasted as sweet. Consumptive patient propped up on pillows – so beautiful but not doing so well. Or hard to tell, anyway.

And so we set about trying to fill ourselves with facts, seeking a certain informational density that would steady us, like a ship taking on heavy ballast in difficult seas. We talked to the professors and the researchers, all of the techs in all of the white coats. We sent our fruit to one lab and our ferments to another, sent our questions out into the world and got long, generous letters back from friends in California, in Australia, in Canada. We learned about every possible fix, about carbon and resin and ozone. And as it became clear that remediation was likely not redemption, we stopped talking and stopped testing and turned back to what we know: that holding beauty high sometimes means letting go.

We lost a vintage of pinot noir but kept something more precious intact. Our work and our word are all that we have, and we’ll take an empty cellar over an empty promise any day. We may have trouble pulling focus, but we’ll never forget that while grapevines are perennial, the trust that you’ve put in us must be earned annually. Today, the first of the 2019s, held as hopeful evidence of our devotion. We won’t have pinot noir for you next year, but we will never give you less than the best that we have. Hand on our hearts. Hand on our little, tilted hearts.

Maggie

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Maggie has a way with words. [cheers.gif]

New release save the date today!

Thank you Maggie for the wonderful tasting in 2014! Fantastic wines, introduction to Zalto glasses, Iberico ham, a sampling of European wines she admired, interesting and entertaining wine talk. Loquacious, yes, with a real passion for her craft. She makes good wine!

I’ll heap the praise on. The Lillian Syrah’s are among my all time favorites. I’ve been a buyer since 2005 and have been waiting about 10 years. I had the 2010 back in November and that was singing. I might have to shift my strategy and pop a 2013 based on the notes above.

We visited Antica Terra in Newberg in 2016. It was a very classy tasting with great cheeses and Jamon Iberico which went very well with all of the wines. I had an 09 Lillian a couple of
weeks ago. It was huge, but wonderful. Not unlike an Alban Seymours I had a few days later. I’ve also enjoyed Cerus.

Saddened to learn of the lost 2020 Pinot Noir vintage, but thanks for posting the news/update. Maggie’s eloquent musings definitely capture and evoke sincere emotions. Sometimes she’s too cerebral for me to completely understand, but not this time. My heart was sinking for her/the AT team as I read it.