Specialty Club – May 2010

2007 Justin Isosceles
Longtime club members will undoubtedly remember that Justin was Bear’s favorite California Central Coast winery, and some of you may still have in your cellar the wonderful 2001-2003 vintages of the Isosceles that he put in this club. From its founding in 1981, Justin was pretty much the pride of Paso Robles. Over the years, the power and weight of the Isosceles demonstrated that Napa Valley hardly has a stranglehold on blockbuster wines. Unfortunately, the next few vintages of this wine became almost impossible to get here in Seattle, particularly after a horrible fire in a Vallejo warehouse that destroyed most of the excellent 2005, and our annual allocation was only a few bottles. This year we made an extra effort to get enough of the 2007 for the club, since it is clearly the most elegant and cellar-worthy Isosceles since the legendary 1997 vintage. It’s a beautiful, full-bodied wine that drinks well now with an hour’s decanting, but would very much be worth holding for another five years. It’s $60, and there are a few extra bottles available.

2007 Meinhard Forstreiter Grüner Veltliner Tabor
This wine is simply lovely. Every year, we see better and better expressions of Grüner Veltliner, and we have responded by putting wines from such famous producers as Emmerich Knoll and F.X. Pichler in this club. The quality of this wine was a bit of a surprise, however, mostly because it’s from the Kremstal region, which does not have the grand reputation of the nearby Wachau. As you can read on the back label, the Forstreiter family has been making wine for almost 150 years, and the tiny Tabor vineyard still contains some vines from the original planting. Given the age of the vines, it’s no surprise that the wine is rich and concentrated, with a wonderful spicy finish that makes it a good pairing for almost any meal. It’s ready to drink, $35.75, and we can definitely get more.