May 27, 2008

Petanque wine!

This weekend Michel-Schlumberger wines in Healdsburg, California presented their new wine called... Pétanque.

Peggy sent us these great pictures, and a full report:

Here are the photos of the Michel-Schlumberger Release Party on May 24th. It was a cloudy and drizzly day as we set new low temperature records for a Memorial Day weekend in Healdsburg, but the show must go on so David Spangenberg, myself, Steve Weiss, Mary Caldwell and Liz and Rich Pembroke showed up to about 50 wine club members and guests wanting to experience the wine and the game.

The piste is available to use by visitors of the winery. Equipment is available to borrow from the receptionist. Photos include the president of MS and wine maker, Judd Wallenbrock and Mike Brunson dressed in their interpretation of Marseille style, wine label (front and back) up close, my still life composition of the just released Viogner and the soon to be released Vin Rouge and lastly, the piste. You will note that they are using wine barrel straps as throwing rings.

Tasting notes: The Viogner was quite pleasant, crisp and very dry, however, due to very recent bottling (2 days before) the wine was "bottle shocked" so most of the lovely fruit and flowery flavors were quite muted. Although the wine was released for sale officially last Saturday, it was advised not to drink it for 6 to 8 weeks. The Rouge (we were told is a syrah) is slated to release in 2 months and was not available to taste.

As a side note, Michel-Schlumberger is owned by Jacques Schlumberger who is a descendent of one of the oldest wine making families in France. He carries on his family tradition of winemaking here in the Dry Creek Valley and produces mostly Bordeaux style wines using sustainable farming techniques unique to this area. The wine name "Petanque" was an idea developed by MS President Judd Wallenbrock as a "second label" brand to their Benchland Estates premium wines. Generally, second labels are more affordable wines sold alongside their premier brands and offered under $20 a bottle. Wine names are trademarked in the wine industry so technically no other wine maker can use the name again. Judd noticed that the name "Petanque" was available and quickly grabbed it up. I was told that because M-S has not ventured into the second label market before, the Petanque wine is sort of an experiment thus only 350 cases were produced and they expect 250+ to be bought by their club members. The remainder, being such a small lot, will probably go fast at $18 a bottle.

Update 03/07/09: Petanque Wines website

No comments: