I get to know so many of you and the lives and events that good wine has enhanced. Oftentimes, I get to tell you a little about my experiences with each wine in the offering email, but here's an overview of me and the journeys behind Timeless Wines.
Like many, my first foray into wine was through food. I was fortunate enough to have good friends, one of which was a French-trained Chef who had a restaurant that quickly became where I enjoyed my evening meal. The restaurant had a private room right off the kitchen with only two tables. This was reserved only for the Chef's closest friends. I never had to order. The Chef would prepare each course and pair it with a wine for me.
Galileo once said, "Wine is light, held together by water." There, sitting at a tiny white-linen table, with only the golden glow of a table luminary filling the wine glass at my place setting, is where I truly understood the meaning of his words. The Chef would sit down with me at the end of the night and ask me about my meal and then explain how the wine brought out the flavors he prepared. Food took on an entirely different level in my hierarchy. Alone, it was purely physiological: it was nutrition to feed the body. But, allow the extraordinary combination of wine with food to saturate your being and the match transforms into something that feeds the soul.
At this same restaurant, in the same private room with only one other table, one would think to enjoy the company of Chef's family;perhaps his mother or his wife and children. Maybe I would even be lucky enough to have dinner with Chef's younger sister. Instead, the other table was only ever occupied by a gentleman and his dog.
This man just happened to be world renowned wine importer and taster, Fran Kysela. Robert Parker regards him as one of the finest palates and selectors of top wine. I was sitting across the room from one of the most prominent men in the business. A man who had not only been importing the finest wines in the world for 30 years, but he himself was discovering. And of course, his dog;Jake.
Fate stepped in to cultivate an ideal that every person keeps tucked away in only the smallest corner of their heart. I didn't know it then;but I was about to turn my taste bud delights into a career. It was a slow growing friendship. A few conversations throughout dinner, then we would see each other about town and have casual chats. The Chef and Mr. Kysela had known each other for years. Chef was often invited to join the wine trips that Kysela would sponsor for buyers and distributors to prospect new wines overseas. Chef would tell me it was "the experience of a lifetime" and that I should definitely join in on a trip. It wasn't something I actually believed would ever come to pass. At that time, in 20 years of the wine business, not one person was ever invited to join a trip that wasn't a wine affiliate. I was an IT Director, and my extent of knowledge was only the tidbits of info I would get at the end of the night about my meal and its pairing.
The next thing I knew, I was getting a call from Mr. Kysela himself to discuss the upcoming trip to France. It would be in January. I remember his words, "Now listen, it's not like it won't be fun, but it's not a vacation either. We have a set schedule. It's non-stop. There is no point of rest;and you will have no free time. We are there simply to discover new wines and taste new vintages." This was serious and intimidating. I didn't want to do it, and I certainly had no idea what I was in for.
The Chef picked me up that early January morning. He handed me a Traveler's Journal, something I had never even seen before, let alone open up to write in. "Take notes", he instructed;and off we went. The time zone changed and there was no rest. We drove 2 hours from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Epernay. Champagne Valley;the soil was chalk and a piece still sits on my desk at my office. The underground cellars were really caves that had been chiseled out of the ground. I can remember the smell as we weaved through the maze of small dimly lit tunnels draped in cobwebs and huge glass bottles. All at once, the tunnel opened to a grand room with a huge white clothed table and place settings for all 18 on the trip. A feast was served well after 11 pm. The combination of alcohol along with exhaustion and adjusting to the overall environment change made for a baptism of fire at this first wine dinner. People were passing out at the table. I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I look back at the notes I scribbled next to each sample, it was obvious I had started out with full gusto. The first few samples had detailed descriptions and information…as the dinner went on I scrawled out raw one-word specks of ink. I don't even remember what time it actually was when we finally arrived at our hotel that first night.
The trip is known as "The Death March";2weeks and 560 wines. We were up at 5 am and most nights didn't get to bed until 2 am. We visited 56 wineries as well as sampled at local restaurants. By day 4 of the trip, Kysela and I were seated on the bus next to each other and I was able to ask questions that had been adding up since the start of the trip. He was more than generous with information and even seemed excited to share his knowledge about the wines and the regions. Not only did my notes improve at each tasting, but my palate sharpened and I was able to breakdown the wines by the end of the trip.
I returned home a changed man. Hundreds of books and thousands of tastings later, I began to put into action what is now Timelesswines.com. I attended many more wine trips overseas, absorbing knowledge and tannins. I've been fortunate enough to sample in Spain, Germany, Austria, Argentina, New Zealand, Chile and Italy and even led an Australia wine trip. It truly was the experience of a lifetime and I wanted to be able to confer the benefits to other people. I started Timeless Wines so that everyone could have the opportunity to please their senses and lift their spirits with fantastic value wines.
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Previously known as Grand Reve, Force Majeure has skyrocketed to the top of the pyramid in Washington State, in no small part due to their talented winemaker, Todd Alexander, who moved from Bryant Family in Napa to Washington State to focus on this estate. While the focus is on their Red Mountain Vineyard, they make a bevy of world-class wines from throughout the Columbia Valley. Anyone doubting the quality coming from Washington State these days owes it to themselves to try these wines.
Lots of blue fruits, cassis, violets, lead pencil, and tobacco notes emerge from the glass of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Estate, a magical, incredible Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, as well as a perfect wine. It's deep purple/ruby-colored, full-bodied, deep, and opulent on the palate, with terrific elegance as well as a rich, complex earthiness that develops with time in the glass. However, it's not a classic Rocks wine, and the exotic funkiness is largely concealed behind classic Cabernet typicity. It reminds me of the 2009 Château Haut-Bailly with its rare mix of richness and power, and while it was brought up in almost all new French oak, you wouldn't know it by tasting it. Everything is perfectly balanced, it has silky tannins, a great mid-palate, and one heck of an impressive finish. It's a candidate for the wine of the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Don't miss it.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Ferme Blanche Cassis Blanc Excellence is made from 50% Marsanne and 50% Clairette.
On the nose, white fruits, citrus zest, hint of vanilla. Velvety well balanced mouth of ripe fruits and minerality.
Pair with trout, Scallop, or better yet lobster would complement this wine perfectly.