The beauty of Bordeaux is not defined or depicted in books, nor can it be merely found in a bottle, but rather in the moments that are toasted, the smiles that are shared in a tasting and tour, and the comraderies felt when kissing goodnight in the vineyards.
Of course, the beauty in the bottle is something that can be accentuated by individual experiences and for this I share my own with you.
I need to preface this with a stereotype I am happy to say has been dismissed. I have always been told or read that Bordeaux wine proprietors are stuffy, slightly crunchy, or adamant about hiding the beauty of Bordeaux from outsiders. I experienced something quite different from this. At each Château, I was warmly greeted by either the winemaker, CEO, General Manager, or the family representative holding the history of the Château high and proud as they poured their wines. And the best is that everyone received my hugs by returning one warmly.
My adventures led me from St. Estephe clay to Pessac boulbenes to Lussac limestone. I’ll begin at the end of our adventures first stay at Château Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac. This modest estate, in comparison to her brother Pichon-Baron, is most beautiful and forms a triangle of energy with Latour and Leoville Las Cases.
André Lurton Love
Lees aging to stabilize fruit and aromas and extend freshness of wine
- highlight quality and improve perception of terroir
- 25% more extractions
- cold-stabiliazation of whites
Density Sorter: measures the relationship of the relative density of the must and the relative density of the water
Seguin-Moreau oak used for less tannins and “oaky” flavour (from Cognac)
Château La Louvière was not producing wines in 1953/1957 during the Classification of Graves therefore it remains a benchmark wine of the region though unclassified
Château Barbe Blanche in Lussac-St.-Emilion is a 50% partnership;
- limestone plate
- Château La Louvière
- Château Couhins-Lurton
- Château Barbe Blanche
- Château Rochmorin
- Château Bonnet
- Château Couchery
Château La Louvière 2004 (under screwcap): in addition to the excitement of having Cristine Lurton at the tasting I was floored by the tenacity and tension of this wine. Vibrant, bright, and still full of accentuated yellow apple, spiced crust, and extenuating acidity that feeds the tongue with love
Château La Louvière 2006 (under screwcap): cream, delicate lemongrass soup; although this does not encompass the description for a guest this was my first impression and it held me reminiscent to a beautiful time. The vintage indicates a longer ripening time and the wine shows a more elegant, lingering vibrancy
Château Couhins-Lurton 1967 (Daniel’s birthday year bliss): meaty, rich, smoked yellow apple and pear, lingering barley sugar and solid acidity; a comparison could be made to an aged Chassagne or Saumur-Champigny
Château Couhins-Lurton 2004 (under screwcap): energetic, grapefruit, apple peel, smoke, dried lemongrass, smoked pear
Château Couhins-Lurton 2006 (under screwcap): easily bright and fresh and a “classic” Bordeaux Blanc in this Yanks opinion. Quince, starfruit, coconut, cream soda, onion skin and love
Château Couhins-Lurton 2011 (natural cork): creamy texture and rounded tropical fruits
Château Couhins-Lurton 2015 (DIAM): fresh mint and zesty citrusand lush tropical fruits; wild acidity
Barrel tasting Château Rochmorin:
- 3 plots all vinified alike but very different stylistically
- variations between tropical fruits, citrus, and stone fruits
- lean vs creamier textures
Château Barbe Blanche 2014: chocolate, purple plum skin, black cherry, dried rhubarb ; humble and smooth
Château Barbe Blanche 2015 higher Merlot component ; lush black plum, blackberry, sweet tobacco, mocha
Blind tasting Château Barbe Blanche Single Varieties :
- Cabernet Sauvignon – tight and grainy but fresh ripe red and black fruits
- Cabernet Franc – savoury black fruits and supple tannins
- Merlot – high purple floral and fruit tones
Château Rochmorin 2012 rich and bright red fruits and supple tannins
Château Rochmorin 2014 smokey and graceful
Château Couchery 2014 approachable and juicy red-fruited second wine of Rochmorin
Château Bonnet 2015 fresh and red fruit driven
Practices you should you do if:
(a) you’ve been travelling a lot/there’s been trauma in your life, (b) you need a lot of focus and intensity, (c) your life is sedentary/there is weight gain
Depending on the season, time of day, stage of life, and constitution, we come to the mat with different energies.
Vata reducing practices are great if we are traveling, under stress, have had trauma, or if we’ve had loss. We would be experiencing more change, more space, and more movement within that space. It could also be that we are in the Vata space because it is the Vata season, so we might want to come to our mat to decrease that Vata energy.
Remember that Vata resides in the colon. A standing forward fold reduces Vata by compressing the colon to let out excess air. Simply by folding ourselves in half, the warmth of the third chakra starts to compress against the upper legs, and in that insulation, there is a warmth, there is a groundedness and we tend to feel a little more safe, a bit more protected.
With Vata intensive practices we want our gaze to look down, we want to move our energy down, we want to pulsate, and we want to allow ourselves to feel the earth beneath our feet. Forward bends, standing poses, seated forward bends, and hip openers are all good choices.
Poses like pigeon where we are bowed forward over our front leg start to allow the hips to open and the pelvis to spread. The energy is then able to go from crown to root which is really grounding and balancing to Vata.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have Kapha reducing practices. Kapha is naturally grounded, so we will want to move energy up to reduce Kapha.
A Kapha reducing practice might look like a lot of sun salutations, where we are moving quickly.
We might even kick up into a handstand at the wall. A more advanced practitioner might go from handstand into a forearm balance. Add in some backbends to relieve congestion in the lungs and to build heat.
Repeating these sequences a few times helps to build that energy, to bring the energy upward. We might also do standing poses that are a little more Rajasic.
By going upside down and bending backwards, it opens the lung tissues up, it starts to open the pathways up so that the person can breathe and not feel so weighted down.
This practice has tipped the energy upside down, worked this person out, and bent their energy another way.
Kapha accumulates in the lungs and it is heavy. After a Kapha practice a person will feel energized, alert and vibrant.
Pitta is heat and it gets focused. It goes up, inwards, and deep. The kind of practice that we want for Pitta is one that will diffuse the energy away from the center.
Pitta accumulates in the small intestine and it is a part of the liver, the gall bladder, and the bile ducts. There is a lot of heat, a lot of bile, and a lot of intensity in Pitta. Its energy takes the shape of an upward pointing arrow. Using that as a mental picture in a Pitta reducing practice, we want our energy to go downward and outward.
How we do that is to tune into the breath in a grounding way that diffuses the mind. The mind then doesn’t have to think. It can latch on to the breath, it is no longer leading. That’s a very important attitude shift for Pitta, it’s the attitude of surrender.
Slow movements that stretch the torso will start to open the area around the small intestine. For example sun salutations or some standing poses done slowly and with less intensity.
Pittas usually hate this, because they like to go fast and get fired up. Lying on your belly in poses such as cobra, superman, or any kind of forearm stability poses will stimulate the section around the gall bladder.
Do it in a grounding and spacious way where you are simply opening this area of the body, so that energy can start to move out. Pigeon pose, hip openers and forward bends are all similarly diffusing to Pitta.
by Cate Stillman, author of Modern Ayurveda
It has been a long while since my last entry from head to hand and yet still feeling our connection. That’s our Life together…succinct with romantic fragility and burdened by none other by my resistance to the force because of who else but me. I digress. I lead, blame, and resume.
I was asked to write an article regarding “romantic” wines based on color, style, etc and had a fun time doing such. Parts of me love to hear my internal thoughts as I write because I think I’m actually making a full sentence. And so I was rejected with the first few drafts because my head hears things much differently than I’d like most to interpret. Herein lies the dilemma of tearing and hollowing out the truth of the mind with self built walls. (Trump would’ve saved so much time and energy with me; master builder)
…and without further ado my simplified and devoted expose on why the color of Love is so important in the wine world of Rosé
The Color of Love
Science has proven there is no wavelength to measure the color pink and yet the visible hue of romance and love is represented by and felt through some range of this color. What better day of the year than Valentine’s to test this phenomenon and fall in love with still and sparkling rosé.
The range of pink wines we are fortunate to ‘see’ include pastel shades of peach, raspberry, cherry blossom, and currant. The intensity of the hue varies with varied factors such as thickness and color of grape skin, winemaking process, and desired look of the finished wine. To best understand and ‘see’ the color of love in wine is on a date with knowledge…through rose colored glasses of course!
Rosé wines are still or sparkling and can be made by three winemaking methods although sparkling wine houses tend to utilize blending and saignée :
- Direct Press (Presse Directe/Vin Gris)
- Blending (Rosé d’Assemblage)
- Bleeding (Saignée)
There are several black-skinned grapes used in rosé winemaking and they vary by the region from which the wine is made. Some popular variety for still pink wines include Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Syrah. In the world of sparkling rose Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay go on double dates or vinify stag depending on the style preferred.
If the direct press method is chosen red wine grapes are treated similarly to those used for producing white wines and they’re pressed to separate the juice from the skins with little if no skin contact.
If the house decides on the blending technique, or “Rosé d’Assemblage”, the still wines will be blended, withalmost always a larger percentage of white wine in the blend. This allows the winemaker to obtain color and density that is consistent from year to year.
If saignée, or “bleeding” method is preferred, the grape musts remain in contact with their skins for usually a few hours. This allows the natural pigments in the skins of the black grapes to color the juice and enrich the must with their aromatic components. It is after this maceration period that the juices are “bled” off. “Rosé de Saignée” in general are richer in taste but less consistent in color.
Now for the romance! The choices are many, the colors succinct. Hopeful you find that great pleasure is to be found in gazing at something that is both complex and beautiful. A good human wrote, “A wine’s color has been described as its face, in which age and character can be read”, so no matter which kind of Valentine’s Day you choose the toasts should be had, the color of love to be shared, and the lingering thought of long-live rosé shall resound!
‘Often there’s a voice in my sleeping mind The words inside my skull at night
But once I wake, I cannot read them
My bloody hands remain a question mark
The thing that I’ve learned from unusual blood
Is never touch a person’s comfort
The voice of change is often heard
But fear itself has come to visit’
i don’t like to sleep. It’s not something new. I’ve been this way since I was in the womb. Had to rush out to see and get something done before the world was even ready for me so rather than relax and rest up I chose to wake up before the alarm rang for me. It continues every day I love and hate on this Planet.
i remember as a small girl being scolded for pleading against taking naps and going to bed when I wasn’t tired. This happened repeatedly until one day they thought they’d broken me. I had figured out all I had to do was close my eyes, slow down my breathing, and not move for a few minutes rather than fight. This is could do without hesitation but could never close the mind with such ease. I’d trace my Self back through time and space to the very point of non existence; the space in the mind hat it bursts with such precision you can’t stand it any longer for fear of falling out of reality forever. I was 6 years old. When does this rapacious attitude stop?
i wonder if the road to nowhere has somehow been transmitting directions in my mind since birth. Wires not connected, synapses not fired up, and levels of amigos imbalanced by fear and horrific abuses both pre and post birth. I started this post with an intention to discuss how I’ve been dreaming again. Something I halted in the last two years because I wanted to see what sleep felt like. I wanted to know the rush of a black-out mind. My dreams are terrific, overstating the terror in the word is an understatement. They are vivid, juicy, passionate, driven, and tire me out. I tried several medications to block them from memory. Even ambien I pushed right through and woke up within 2 hours to the surprise of many. I have a strong mind and pattern. I finally found something called Trazadone, a pill used in the 70s for patients struggling with depression. It worked so well they’d be at peace but sometimes for days Aya time in deep sleep. This worked for a solid 4-6 hour sleep cycle, and my mind was dark.
recently I decided to lift the curtain and peek in again. I’ve started a therapeutic cycle of tryptophan and gammo-aminobutyric acid before sleep which has proven to be quite resourceful. I fall asleep and I see colours again in my mind. It’s like I hit pause from the last scene. I will work through this and heal but the road to nowhere lurks in the dirty house I roam through from childhood and in the countless gratuitous encounters I am involved with in my dreams.
And so I’ll continue to dream, for in my dreams I will find my answer no matter how uncomfortable it may be. The fear that has come to speak to me and I will listen and respond.