Noble Vines

2009 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon & Radiohead’s The King of Limbs

Epic on a grand scale. The music on the vinyl, the taste and palate of the wine as well as the story of how they both came to be. Generational depth on so many levels making this a pairing fruitful enough for the nobility of kings.

Noble Vines winery who’s slogan is “Not all Vines Are Created Equal” have brought selected vines from France and transplanted them in California. Quoting from their website “Over centuries, vintners have carefully singled out the most admired vines, naming each vine with a unique number to identify its exceptional attributes. Here in California, we’ve planted a selection of these vines exactly where they will flourish best: in select locations on the red soils and cobblestones of our family-owned vineyard in Lodi and on the gentle slopes of our cool-climate estate in Monterey.”

So the pairing for the night takes vine 337, the Cab Sav, and pairs it with one truly epic release from Radiohead. The King of Limbs is a vinyl that once I purchased it; it did not leave the turntable for weeks. Still to this day when I put it on, I end up listening to it four or five time in entirety before I’m ready to swap it out for anything else. What may appear simple on the surface has so much depth. Depth which is truly only noticeable if you take the time to listen for it. One can dig as deep as they like into the layers of this masterpiece wall of sound that is The King of Limbs. I highly recommend headphones or to play it REALLY LOUD.

In much the same fashion as the vines for the wine were transplanted from France and then the grapes grown in California, Radiohead took their previous recordings, the vinyl releases of course, placed them on a turntable DJ style and sampled their own music to create the layers of musical bliss that are on The King of Limbs. In no way is this a technique you’d expect from a band known for Progressive Art Rock but the end result is a beautiful example of how deconstructing and reinventing that which has already existed can yield some very interesting new fruit.

The 337 is an amazing wine and I would have to say a real success. I may still be learning about the exquisite complexities that are present in French wines but to my meager nose and palate, I would have to say that many of the same qualities are present in this grape grown in California as the French grown sibling. It’s elegantly smooth and robust. It’s so well-rounded and seductive that the experience of flavor lingers lightly and long enough to make you think you can truly taste the south of France in the grape. A-maz-ing.

Not only are there vines and limbs present with this pairing but there are some serious roots involved as well to make both of these selections. What was before is new again and I have to say, to my ears and taste, both are masterpieces that blend together seamlessly and sound as solid as the ground beneath our feet. I’ll certainly pick up another bottle of Noble Vines creations next time I come across them and I’m sure to keep branching ever deeper into the King of Limbs.

Until next time! Keep the limbs and vines growing my friends! 😉 Salud!

Lilac Wine

Jeff Buckley’s Grace and a 2010 TAZ Pinot Gris

I couldn’t help but follow-up my last pairing ( Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion ) with this selection. In that pairing, I began my conversation about Jeff Buckley and in this pairing. I’ll continue that conversation. As it should be.

About two weeks ago, I received an email from Amazon that had this album listed as “on sale”. It’s been on my short list of must have albums since I bought the turntable but I had never pulled the trigger; that is until this email arrived. The 180 gram vinyl edition of Grace for only $14.99!! Can you say one click purchase! Yes!  Done! I clicked and about a week later, I received, what is without a doubt, one of the best sounding vinyl records that now sits in my collection. Top 5 easy!

Jeff Buckley was one of those rare musicians that was so tapped into the creative source of our universe that he simply couldn’t hang around here any longer. Gone, at such an early age. Man but what little music he left us, truly has everything we could ever need or expect to have from an artist. Grace is a masterpiece start to finish. Every song on this album is “soul eternity” encapsulated. This album is like going to church only better because it’s Jeff, his guitar and his band resounding like angels in the throes of heaven laying it down for us mere mortals to catch a glimpse of what being there might feel like. He was already half way there when he made this album. Grace is like tapping into the potential beauty of what could be in this world.

Okay, yes my friends, I really like this album allot and I could probably enjoy it with most any wine. Yet, I’ll give the TAZ some props as well becasue it truly is a lovley, silky nice Pinot Gris that any Pinot fan should get aquainted with at some point. The chilled TAZ Pinot Gris has a lovely rounded palate that sings of buttery lemons. It’s a great wine for the patio on a summer night and yet; I’m truly right at home with it here in the living room with my turntable and “Grace” blasting as loud as my neighbors can stand it.

Happy Cinco De Mayo all!! A  “Lilac Wine” pairing that truly encapsulates how lucky we all are to be here now. In this space. In this time. So Real.

“Lilac wine is sweet and heady,
like my love
Lilac wine,
I feel unsteady,
like my love

Listen to me… I cannot see clearly
Isn’t that she
coming to me
nearly here?
Lilac wine is sweet and heady
where’s my love?
Lilac wine,
I feel unsteady,
where’s my love?

Listen to me, why is everything so hazy?
Isn’t that she,
or am I just going crazy, dear?

Lilac Wine,
I feel unready for my love…

Tarima Orb

A Tarima Monastrell from Spain
& The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres

Dark, inky hue entices into the rich, sexy body.  Notes of dark cherry, spicy cedar and chewy sweet tannins.  While this wine is huge, it is also quite elegant & so is this vinyl.

“The 2010 Tarima is 100% Monastrell made from Alicante grapes. It was fermented and aged sur lie in stainless steel. A glass-coating opaque-purple color, it displays notes of under brush, brier, violets, blueberry, and black cherry. This is followed by a spicy, forward, nicely proportioned effort that has enough structure to drink well for another 4-5 years.” 88 Points – Wine Review by JM, The Wine Advocate, Issue 195

The Orb’s Metallic Spheres featuring the guitar work of Pink Floyd axeman David Gilmour is a hypnotic ambient journey that is constantly on the move. It’s a piece of work that hints but doesn’t linger long in one place without evolving into something new.

As a musician, this is one of the things that I truly love about this album. While reviewers were less than favorable towards this release when it came out; the very things that bothered them most about the release are what I find to be so refreshingly hypnotic about it.

It’s best played as background music to wash over your evening. It’s not music that is meant to “entertain you” as much as it is music meant to fill your environment and set a trance like mood that elevates whatever activity you are undertaking while listening to it. It’s perfect mood music. It is the sound of Flow. It is music for the moment when you are so engrossed in something that you can actually leave time and consciousness of what you are doing behind and journey through the love of existing at that specific moment in time. It literally is an album that washes over you like the scent of a passing flower.

I truly have to come clean about one thing though, when I first purchased this album, I spent the first month listening to it on 33 1/3 speed on the turntable. To give myself some credit, this is actually the speed that the label designers printed on the vinyl! Only once I redeemed my complimentary digital copy of the album, did I  figure out that I had been listening to the album on the wrong speed! Imagine my surprise as I was on a plane heading somewhere the first time I brought up the digital version on my iPhone, I was like, well the digital version is a completely different album! lol :)

Surprisingly, the album actually worked at the slower speed as well! While Gilmour’s guitar parts are not nearly as obvious on the slower speed, it still has a cool vibe to it when you play it slower than it was recorded. Crazy! Needless to say though I only play the album on 45 rpm now and I still really love this vinyl!

In conjunction with the Alicante grapes of the Monastrell, the album has a smoky otherworldly quality that gives you a great sense of peace and tranquility. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for mood music to put yourself at ease. Cheers!