This is a new world wine story involving Kalin Cellars. But first, a story about a new world.
Dedicated wine writing felt intellectually trivial and morally inappropriate for an extended period of time. Investing 60 hours a month writing about something as indulgently luxurious as fine wine felt wrong in the context of the world around me. Today marks the conclusion of exactly two years without chronicling the joys of fine wine exploration at WineZag.
Now, sharing the joy of wine feels more worthy than it ever has. Check your social media streams. Unyielding political partisans and overly stimulated sports club fans (just to name a couple of examples) are dividing “friends and followers” on the very platforms we originally populated en masse to find connection over all else. With increasing frequency, we represent ourselves less capable of hearing and tolerating points of view that oppose our own. I suspect so many of us secretly yearn for some worthy distraction to rescue us from the sharp public tones that exist to divide us; a connection reboot of sorts.
WineZag launched in 2009 brandishing a thesis that “wine is a lubricant for human connection.” Over the last two years, I clung to sharing bottles with friends and family like lifeboats on a raging ocean aimed at destroying our safe harbors of intellectual, spiritual, and respectful human connection. Sharing bottles helped tame a sea bent on conjuring violent surges capable of thrashing full human fleets against its jetty’s rocks. Stop!
Thank you Kalin Cellars. Your late release $40 *****2001 Kalin Cellars Livermore Valley Sauvignon Blanc made me stand up and pay attention. My own bias for old world wine holds little water when I listen to your bottle.
150+ year old vines, Chateau d’Yquem cuttings, two years sur lie, extended bottle age pre release are things I reflexively assign to my preferred world of wine across oceans. You remind me that wine can be intensely beautiful in packages from countries, states, appellations, and vineyards (in this case, Wente Vineyard) I have long given up listening to. You remind me to stay open to to the things I purposely ignore. LVSB’s salted peach and seriously viscous wine wrapped in the the orange colors of maturing white wine, or those made like red wines, is simply riveting. The 80% Sauvignon Blanc/20% Semillon Kalin Cellars blend smashes any of my new world Sauvignon Blanc assumptions of tropically whimsical straight forward wines and replaces them with facts about classically made mineral driven wines of great length, structure, and floral aspects.
I had the fun of sharing this Kalin Cellars wine with Theresa Paopao and some other good friends and family this week. Its embrace connected all of us and blurred any tumult in the world that surrounds us today. It made me hear something that, until then, I was not open to understanding. Writing about wine feels really important all over again.