Monday, March 15, 2010

Sea Smoke Cellars - RELEASE ALERT - 2008 VINTAGE

Yet another mailer is on the way, and for those that are C0 or C1 list members, you have already received your allocation, and are able to order your 2008 pinot noir.

I got an e-mail from Katie at Sea Smoke saying that we have moved up to C2 status this year, which is a beautiful thing.  The different tiers are a reflection of where you stand on the list.  This number gets it's designation from the length of time you have been on their list, as well as the dollar amount you have spent.  Obviously, the longer you have been on the list, and the more you have spent, the higher you will be in member status.

This year, the C0 received an offer for 12 bottles of each of the 2008 pinot noir.  These bottles consistof their least expensive offering, "Botella," at $40, their middle of the road bottling, "Southing," at $52 a bottle, and their high end bottling, "Ten"at $80 per bottle.

This year, they are also offering magnums at the same time, of the "Southing," at $120, and their Chardonnay at $120 per magnum.  For those high on the list, there is also one more bottling called "One Barrel," that comes from one barrel that they selected as the best invidual wine.  This wine is being released at $150 per bottle (750ML), and is very low in production.  Unfortunately, we are not high enough on the list, and I doubt we will see an allocation of this, as we didn't last year either.  We are also not high enough to receive their Chardonnay, called "Gratis," which they give to their best/longest supporting customers.  This is a chardonnay that they include at no charge, and that is a heck of a nice gesture!  I am however glad that we are offered the chardonnay in magum format, as it truly is a nice wine!

From what I am told, the C2 allocations should be out at the end of March, and we should be getting 2 Botella, 10 Southing, and 4 Ten.  I have not heard what C3, C4, and C5's will be offered, but I am sure if you e-mail Katie, she can answer that for you.

There has been a lot of speculation about the 2008's, as this is Don Schroeder's first year making the wne on his own, with no help from former winemaker Kris Curran, who left Sea Smoke and is now at Foley.  Last year, Kris still consulted with Don at Sea Smoke, but she did not for the 2008 vintage.  Regardless, I am very confident in Don's abilities, and once again, we will be taking everything we are offered from Sea Smoke.

Peope always ask us what we like about Sea Smoke, and for me, the beauty of these wines is age.  If youare looking for a wine that you can start drinking as soon as they arrive, then these wines are not for you.  We are currently just working our way to our 2005's, and I still think that these need another year to 3 years to really start showing their stuff.  In my opinion, the "Ten" is easily a wine that can cellar for 10 plus years, and when that time comes, it will be one of the biggest, and best pinot you will ever drink, for my palate at least.

That said, if these sound like a wine you like, I highly recommend you sign up for their list at and tell them that we sent you! Sea Smoke has alot of promise, and these wines are only going to get better as the vines continue to age!  Sea Smoke has a great story, a great piece of land, and a heck of a great team crafting some of our favorite wines!  Give them a whirl with some age on them, and you'll see where my love for these wines comes from!  Cheers!  -F. Scott

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