Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Anti-Cult Cult Wine: La Clarine Farm Home Vineyard

About a month ago, we received and quickly sold through our single allocated case of La Clarine Farm Home Vineyard. But sometimes the wine gods smile on you and you get lucky. OK, it wasn’t really the wine gods, it was my distributor sales rep, keeping an eagle eye out for me and brokering a case trade with another account who wanted something I had – and they had something I wanted….one last little case of this great wine. So it’s here, until it’s gone, which probably won’t be long. We have 10 bottles left as I type.

More details:

La Clarine Farm is not your typical California cult wine. It doesn't have any big rating points (although I bet it would score at least a 101.68 on the Dirty South Wine Rating Scale.) The wines aren't models of super-concentrated, uber-velvety, extra-ripe tannins (but they are definitely full of flavor, texture and life.) And bottles sell for well below the usual Cali cult three figure prices.

Still, among drinkers seeking out wines made with as little intervention as possible, that taste of where they're from - and are simply delicious, La Clarine Farm is developing a certain slow burn buzz. It's made by husband and wife team, Hank Beckmeyer and Caroline Hoel on their small farm located in Sierra Foothills of California. The vines share the land with goats and chickens. You can read about their farming philosophy (and see their cute goats) here. It's well worth a click. One thing these wines do have in common with the traditional California cult wines? The New York market didn’t get more than a handful of cases.

As for the what’s in the bottle – it’s a blend of grapes grown on the farm: Tempranillo, Syrah, Tannat, Grenache, Negroamaro, and even a little Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll get dark, leathery fruit and notes of exotic, raw spice. And thanks to the Tannat and Negroamaro, this wine has some serious tannic structure. This is a wine you can get to know slowly, over the course of an evening – or even days.

Price: $29.99

If you want it, don't hestitate to buy it now. We're more likely to win the lottery than we are to get yet another case!

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