RBJ Theologicum Mataro: on the wild side

Day 6: a Mataro finish

DAY 6 AFTER DINNER: Reds Meadow, Inyo National Forest

I am about to take my first sip of mataro, a grape I had never heard of before I bought this wine in April 2008, at the Grateful Palate Imports sale. Since I love the RBJ–that would be Chris Ringland, Bruce, and Johnstone– theologicum grenache/mourverde blend so much, and find it such a deeply satisfying wine, Alex Sabad encouraged me to pick up a bottle of their 2002 Mataro theologicum. And since I understand now that Mataro is another name for mourverde, I guess I do know it…a little!

Since we’re camping and cooking instead of doing hotels and restaurants, and we’re not traveling to Washington state and back like we planned do to $5 a gallon gas prices, we’re living it up by drinking GREAT wine every night; I brought a half case of Aussie wines with us! And if you’ve been following this blog journey in the eastern Sierra, you’ve heard a bit about those wines along the way!

So now let me set the scene: Reds Meadow campground, 7600’ Sierra Nevada. Freshly showered in hot springs water in the an old concrete bathhouse maintained by donations and volunteers. Post dinner of what do we still have cuz we’re still here when we were going to leave today but not too bad combo of italian pesto tortellinis and Indian food (and some classy, yummy Lengs and Cooter 2005 shiraz!!) Continue reading

RBJ Theologicum 2000: almost as good as the 2001!

Day 3: Hot Springs Connoisseur

Day 3: Keough’s Hot Springs, 7 miles south of Bishop just off Highway 395, Eastern Sierra, California

Someone recently tried to convince me that I am a wine connoisseur. No—not yet anyway! A connoisseur to me means someone experienced, knowledgeable, an expert of sorts. I would admit to being a connoisseur of life, of exceptional places, and a few others things..but not yet wine.

Hot springs of the American west? Of that I am a connoisseur. I have tasted, experienced, evaluated, judged, tested the waters, and the soul of hot springs all over the western US and beyond Continue reading

Bollinger & RBJ Theologicum 2001: Pine Mtn campout

Pine Mountain to Rincon Beach

They predicted a heat wave for this May weekend and since the road and campgrounds at Pine Mountain summit in the Los Padres National Forest CA just opened for the season, Friday night we climbed up from the coast up and up and up highway 33 past the Ojai Valley and up and up and up past Rose Valley and up and up along Sespe creek and up and up and up to Pine Mtn Summit at 6,000 and then up the rough but periodically paved Pine Mountain road and up past snow patches and up to 6 site Pine Mtn campground and 6 site Reyes Peak Campground to nestle for the night in the big ponderosa pines, big enough to encircle your arms and hold tight, bury your nose in for a whiff of rich vanilla, yellow, blue and purple lupine, periwinkle phacelia, orange wallflower, green grasses…

As the sun faded from the sky, Kathy popped a bottle of Bollinger champagne–crisp and balanced with fine spray of delicate bubbles–which we enjoyed with cold artichokes and mayo while we heated up already baked potatoes to enjoy with perfectly beautifully little filet mignons…and an RBJ theologicum 2001, a blend of grenache and mourverde, not too heavy, but just right for the night…

Lots of waxing moon (full Monday night) to light our way to explore the boulders on the ridge, enough light to see to the sea…pancake breakfast and lazy morning in the pines exploring and bouldering, view gazing, reading and writing a poem too.

Then down down down to the other end of the watershed to spend the night at the boy’s preschool with his friends and then the day at the beach…

Of course, living here by the beach, it’s rarely hot–even now, when everyone else in socal is roasting, we have all the windows and doors wide open and cool breezes swim through the house and it’s heaven here with corn on the barbecue, a cold Fat Tire in hand, and the house finches celebrating the hatching of their second clutch in the nest on the heart shaped wreath on our front door…