Winecast 45 – Small Production Wines

by Tim Elliott on November 2, 2005

The theme for this month’s edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday is provided by food blogger Fatemeh of Gastronomie who challenged us to pick up a wine that was made in a batch of less than 250 cases. As fate would have it, the day this theme was announced I received a sample from a small winery for an upcoming show on Sangiovese. The wine was made in a garage in a batch of just 84 cases, so I took this as a sign that this wine was meant to be featured this month. The fact that it came from a winery that donates their profits to charity sealed the deal. So, for the first time since I started participating in this event, I will feature just one wine: Humanitas, L’Huile du Garagiste; a non-vintage red blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon made from Napa Valley fruit. A sort of Super Tuscan, California-style.

The bottle is quite distinctive with the first U.S. commercial application of the Australian Zork closure that appears to be almost like a wax seal on the top. After peeling back the plastic, it took a bit of work to get the closure off the bottle, but it was much better than a recent experience I had with a synthetic cork in a Chilean Carmenere. So here are my tasting notes for this unique wine:

Humanitas, L’Huile du Garagiste, Napa Valley NV ($30/received as a sample) – Deep ruby in color with complex aromas of raspberry, white pepper and earth; bright raspberry and black pepper flavors combine with noticeable, but supple, tannins and a long finish. A nice balance between the fruit and tannin makes this a delicious wine now and one I will age for another few years to see what develops. Score: 9/10

I found this to be a very individualistic wine and wanted to get a bit more background on the winery and the winemaker, so I interviewed Judd Wallenbrock the winemaker, proprietor and head bottle washer of Humanitas. If you listen to the podcast, you will hear our conversation about this wine and his cause. I have placed an order for more of this wine and encourage you to check it out yourself. It is not often that we can combine our passion for wine and charity at the same time.

Thanks again to Fatemeh of the Gastronomie blog for a great theme and for Judd to spend a part of his day with me today. I’m looking forward to the last WBW of 2005 next month.

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Copyright 2005 Tim Elliott. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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  • http://www.drinkcharitably.com Glenn Munlawin

    Be sure to check out http://www.drinkcharitably.com where Judd’s 3 Cheers pack is featured. With every purchase, 10% will be donated to the non-profit of your choosing. Non-profits like the San Francisco Choral Society, Napa Valley Opera House, and Habitats for Humanity. We are trying to sign up more non-profits, so check back often. Thanks Tim!

  • Santos

    Is anyone else having trouble downloading #44 and #45? Firfox is telling me “The link cannot be saved. The web page may have been moved or had its name changed.”

  • http://timelliott.us Tim

    I’m having no trouble downloading or streaming either mp3 from the links at the bottom of each post. Not sure what your problem might be, but please try to download again.

    Thanks!

  • Santos

    Seems to be a problem with the libsyn.com name. It’s not resolving to an address. I’m seeing the same problem with some other podcasts that use the service too. Anyhow, could clear itself up soon.

  • Santos

    Just ran across a couple of mentions of libsyn’s DNS problems on other forums. Appears it’s being worked on, soon to be solved.

  • http://timelliott.us Tim

    I have switched all links to my main hosting site, so all should be good on the download front. I am also moving off of Libsyn and to another host in a few days. Thanks for pointing out the issue, Santos.

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