TNs--Mike on Tour, Cali 18, July 9--Dinner with friends--Prum, KB, Prager, Alban, Others

So great to have special time in the evening with Jim Salvito and Perry Norton in Santa Barbara. I was super-thrilled to see Phil Carpenter again after many years (and owe him much thanks for helping to set up so much of my SB tasting array) and Larry Schaffer joined us with his son, Jackson spinning some tunes for us on his iPad----and very well done indeed!

The Wines:

2010 Prager Achleiten Ries

I brought this especially for Perry and was delighted at how much she loved it. So did I. Nothing else is this–steel…iron, even…and lime and very crisp apple scents. Dazzling again–it sucks you right in with super-controlled acidity, lime and white pepper bite. There is so much grand authority to the wine. WOTN.

2014 Tercero The Outlier Gewurtz

Larry brought a couple wines with him, including this one. Very perfumed nose, lots to like. Ditto on the palate, nice sweet and easy-but-yummy drink

2005 J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Ries Spatlese

Fuel up. The diesel is not a small component here! But it works. And this is a Spat for sure–slams into you with apple-filled donut with some gas. It is a classic German Ries.

2009 Alban Roussanne

It’s sleeping now, but you can smell the power. Ton of marzipan, buttered greens. Powerhouse is right–thick with a bitter pear and melon. I can’t love it, at least not right now.

2005 Kosta-Browne Amber Ridge PN

Well, this was a lovely surprise for Larry to bring along. I haven’t had this in a coon’s age. Settles down to cinnabon and citrus-tinged red cherry. I am impressed—after 13 years, it still holds its grainy-coating richness. Where it has changed is the fruit, which seems overripe and macerated now. And yet—with a couple days’ air, the fruit actually freshens up.

2017 Lucien Crochet Rose

Sancerre Rose. Very tangy and herb-centric with raspberry and cranberry. Though much-liked by the group, I don’t think this was the best of these–I’ll take the Cotat Chavignol version any day.

2001 Chateau Guiraud

Jim has had this full in the fridge for a long time. Decided to open it. The “typical” for me custard and baked caramel nose. To taste, salted caramel, but expressing very little. Is this one of the tilted Guirauds from this year? I told Jim to leave it open for a day and try it the next. I’ll check in with him to see what happened.

Much more importantly than the wine or food was the camaraderie and conversation which brought me ever closer to these great friends. It was terrific to meet Jackson as well, he was a trooper to stay with us.


The Tercero Outlier is my favorite Larry wine. I tasted this at the tasting room just days after it opened in August 2011.
I’ve enjoyed the 08 09 10 12 14 vintages.

My first Prager purchase was on a recommendation at a wine bar in the Wachau. Cost at the time was about $30USD. When I checked locally back home, it was ~$50!!

A really fun night of food - Mike makes a killer chicken Mole!!! - wine, and, most importantly, great conversations indeed!

Loved both the Prager (thanks for bringing) and the Prum, and I agree that that Roussanne was probably a bit ‘shut down’ . . . but with a bit of time in the glass, it really started to strut its stuff. I just can’t get enough well made Roussanne . . .

I enjoyed the Lucien Crochet Rose but not as much as others did - I was picking up a bit of reduction, and possibly some SO2 (?) on the nose. I’d love to get a bottle to retry in a few months time.

The Guirard was ‘interesting’ but just that. It was decanted and did open up a bit, but was not a ‘wow’ wine in any way whatsoever.

Looking forward to the next time, my friend - and to seeing you again at Falltacular for sure!


Lucien Crochet Rose - I think that’s more or less normal. I like it but it’s reductive, at least what I’ve had.

Happy to see our SB visit continued on righteously Mike. It had to be with such good people involved.

Hopefully, others on this board will visit and we can perpetuate the experience for our guests.