Although all-star figures in the wine business are a lot less visible than icons in such mainstream pop-culture channels like movies, music and sports, there still exists a number of individuals that I believe are rock stars of the wine world. For me, there are few things in life that are more exciting than coming face to face with a winemaker, or someone who makes the grape business tick. It’s also just as exciting to experience the wines made from the hands of the people you actually meet. The following wine is one that encompasses both experiences for me.
The 2007 Bacchant Wines “Luli” Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands is a recent wine I had that was created through a joint venture by grape grower/winemaker Jeff Pisoni and my own rock star professional acquaintance, Master Sommelier Sara Floyd. I found out that Sara was involved with this wine, by stumbling upon it on a list of top 100 wines that’s published by the San Francisco Chronicle every year. Sara’s a cool gal and I had a chance to meet her several times during her visits to the islands for business. She’s easy-going, affable, smart and knows a little something about wine.
A sommelier can be described as the person in a restaurant responsible for wine procurement and storage, wine list development, delivery of proper wine service and training of all staff in the proper procedures of wine service. A Master Sommelier, like Sara and Hawaii’s very own Chuck Furuya and Roberto Viernes, is someone who has achieved the highest and most internationally recognized distinction a person in this industry can achieve. The path to becoming one is arduous and extremely difficult, and for those who attain this level, they often garner the utmost respect by industry colleagues. The more of them I meet, the more excited I get about being in this industry.
As for the wine, the grapes come from the Pisoni vineyards, a family who’s quickly becoming a modern-day, legendary source of premium chardonnay and pinot noir fruit. The wine had a racy acidity, yet it was balanced by ripe fruit and an underlying creamy texture. It was a satisfying and invigorating palate pleaser.
I believe that Master Sommeliers are purists at heart. Wines that express their origins and terroir accurately and that are varietally correct, are the types of wines that excite them the most and thus are the most appreciated . This wine was a great example of a sommelier’s kind of wine. It was California chardonnay that wore its sunshine and dirt on its sleeve and had a French, Chablis-esque attitude and sensibility. What a great combo!
I purchased it for around $22 bucks at The Wine Stop Hawaii.
Did you ever have a rockstar wine experience. If so, tell us about it. We’d like to hear from you.