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  • Writer's pictureThe Bluebird. A Midtown Eatery.

August Wine Club - Sapphire

I had the white wine picked out way back in May and in the history of the Bluebird wine club we have featured this varietal 3 times. 🥺 This month we will be featuring the most misunderstood grape - riesling. In the early days of @syringasushi I would put rieslings on the glass pour list and lament that no one ordered it, riesling is Perfect pairing for sushi. It took me a while to realize people like what they like, I like rieslings with a beautiful slice of sashimi. I digress, back to Bluebird's riesling.

This month I am really excited to bring you the 2022 Hoquetus Dry Riesling, Les Collines Vineyard. Hoquetus (rhymes with lettuce you'll never forget us).

What I've heard from people when it comes to riesling ranges from "its too sweet" "its to dry". What makes me sad is this prevents a person from even trying a wine. I have opinions on Washington Chardonnays, yes I keep trying them, yes I have had some that have knocked my socks off, and I will always try it, I'm not afraid to be proved wrong. With rieslings, one reason why connoisseurs and wine professionals gravitate towards it, is because this varietal can produce wines with great complexity and sophistication-plus the ability of the wine to impart the specifics of the vineyard site into the flavors, aromas and texture. By no means I am knocking other white varietals but rieslings keep things from becoming boring and predictable.

Hoquetus winery is a tiny, family owned winery is Walla Walla. The winemaker, Robert Gomez, is a musician turned winemaker, he named the winery after a medieval song, also known as a hocket. This is the link that Robert has on his website. I'm pretty sure if you listened to this while drinking the wine, it would make it taste even better.

Only 173 cases were made of this wine after it was harvested on 30 September 2022. The grapes were handpicked and crushed underfoot, they were left on skins for a few hours and gently pressed. Fermentation was is a mix of stainless steel and neutral oak barrels. 0g of residual sugar. So you can expect a drier style, I was hit with lime aromas, it was fruity on the nose. The winemakers notes have, white flowers, white peach and underripe pineapple. Robert used the word petrichor (the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm weather) to describe the pallet. Those tasting notes are way more descriptive than my "stoney minerality." The finish is "electric acidity" and "extraordinarily long." Another perk of riesling is they are a white wine that with age will become mind blowing.

I'm just realizing my genius with the wine club this month. Indigo wines are both expressions of clean, simple wine making techniques and they were both Rhone varietals. The sapphire level this month is dominated by musicians. Like Hoquetus, Elephant 7 winery was formed by a group of musicians who just wanted to create "special and meaningful" wines to share with friends and family.

The 2018 Elephant 7 'Yellow Bird Vineyard' Syrah is this months featured red Sapphire club members. Like the indigo wines this a leaner Syrah then you would expect with 8% Viognier co-fermented with the Syrah. Yellow Bird vineyard is a high elevation site that utilizes dry farming and sustainable farming-the yields are low (2.5 tons/acre) The tiny fruit and sparse clusters was also hand harvested and sorted in mid-September (2017) with about 50% still left on the cluster. The skins were left on about 24 days and then it was barrel aged in about 15% new French oak. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.

If sophistication in a glass was in the dictionary this glass of wine would the picture next to the definition. This is not your typical jammy Syrah, on the nose there were hints of menthol, I have floral in my notes, the winemakers notes have spring flowers. Once it hits your palate, it's game on. There were layers of herbs, it was meaty, I got hints of blueberries and flecks of granite which linger on the juicy finish. If I were you I would try this wine with the new Veal dish we have at the Bluebird.

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