Vieux Célibataire Blues

got no boss to worry 'bout
got no trouble
on that horizon

got no kids to worry 'bout
got no trouble
on that horizon

got no woman, no reason
for heartbreak--
what Bob Marley sings to me

blue skies, open road
desert flats
far as the eye can see

open road, certain death
reach the sinking sun
on that horizon


Twisted Oak Winery: the backstory...

I have three open, unfinished drafts in my Blogspot 'list of posts' that should eventually be published somewhere back down along my blogstream column, all sporting last month's dates-- they should in all probability end up focused on each of the three wineries-- Raffaldini Vineyards, Villa Appalaccia & Château Morrisette) I visited on my week's driving tour between Floyd, Virginia & Maverick Farms in Valle Crucis, North Carolina at the end of July...
BUT-- I've done some emailing back & forth with Twisted Oak's honcho, Jefe Jeff, that I feel compelled to acknowledge, while putting my two cents' worth of tasting notes on a couple of their offerings I've recently tried. (--read, 'guzzled, although in well-measured fits & starts'!)

My first taste of Twisted Oak's offerings was at the 2005 Rhone Rangers' winemaker dinner at First Crush in San Francisco. There were two other very good wineries involved, but when El Jefe & Boy take the floor, one tends to become oblivious to everything else except, possibly, the dazzling array of female company swilling along with you at the table.
At the end of the proceedings, I came away with the prize piece of sartorial risk worn in the above picture, won for being able to blurt out 'The Volstead Act!' quicker than anybody else in our assembly. Admittedly, my memory of said proceedings is somewhat distorted-- stilted, at best-- & I'd be honored & flattered if anybody from the winery can chime in with a list of the actual bottlings they presented at that memorable, unforgettable evening.
(--which may be understandably difficult at this very minute, as wine folk up & down long & wide Fornicalia, if not the world, are in the middle of an early, difficult, fast & furious harvest crush...nothing to do with that 'Global Warming' scam, of course-- just Mother Nature running her wise, kindly variations on us to keep us on our toesies...!)

...I was so fortified by the quality & quantity of our libations that I hiked from our downtown San Francisco location through the Tenderloin district & other nondescript neighboorhoods to my hotel on the edge of the Lower Haight (--being increasingly marketed as 'Nopa': North of the Panhandle!?--not really-- East, maybe...) on a damp & drizzly night, as preparation for a further hike the following morning up to Fort Mason in time for my volunteer stint helping with setup logistics for the tasting-- actually, it probably was for the tasting itself, setup having been accomplished during the day that ended with the dinner...?

To bring matters to the present: I jumped at the chance to have some Twisted wine shipped to New York while I was in town-- care of Terry Hughes, who writes the bilingual English-Italian wineblog mondosapore-- mille grazie, caro Terenzio!-- & finally catch up with what's bubbling in the Calaveras county cauldron-- well...
'...for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth...'

...safely back in the Tropical swelter of suburban San Juan, I opened my bottle of Murgatroyd expecting a dry, intense, spicy, every-grape-but-the-kitchen-scuttlebutt press of bright pink nectar: El Jefe's purplish copy, waxing existential on the psychedelic pink, rite-of-passage cartoon mountain lion character that was (is??) Snagglepuss, had primed my associative pump & thoroughly mixed all metaphor to come! It was plummy oxblood that poured out of the bottle, not electric rosé! Of course, there had been some signs & clues my expectations were about to be dashed: the classic, dark green Bordeaux bottle, & a subsequently discovered, unread line on the back label where it clearly reads, 'Calaveras County Red Wine'! --but at pouring time I was heedless, if not oblivious...

Socially responsible winemonger that he is, El Jefe Stai has appropiately tweaked his online salesmanship so that easily suggestible imaginations such as your humble servant's may not be thus led astray.
All I will say about the potation in question at this time is that it vaults over my doubts & suspicions regarding blends involving atypical, wide-ranging assortments of grapes: still dominantly Cabernet in character, Tempranillo & Grenache help open up the fruit in nose & palate. I wouldn't mind maybe a bit more of them, just as I wouldn't mind a lighter hand with the oak...
But I quibble. I'm not a fan of the much-maligned 'International Style', & I fear the Twisted crew might feel inclined to make me walk the plank over applying the label to their juice, but I dare say this wine might make the perfect poster child for the positive factors involved-- wine magician Fermento the Magnificent might make a Super-Rioja (--or Ribera?) los Riojanos mismos might emulate...
Twisted Oak's Verdammt! -%@#$!- white Rhone blend & my even more difficult & conflicted tasting experience will need a separate posting, so...
'Exit-- stage left!'