Terra Sigillata

I received this tip earlier in the week from a former PharmD student and Pharmboy lab alum who now lives in the SF Bay area. In saving it for The Friday Fermentable, I am now just another of the literally hundreds of media outlets covering the story.

If you haven’t heard, there is a Chilean organic winery called Palin (but pronounced, ‘pay-LEEN’) that makes an organic Syrah, a lovely french wine grape.

I want to give credit (since the rest of the media hasn’t) to San Francisco wine industry veteran, Amy Monroe, a marketing and sales associate at Ridge Vineyards, one of my favorite but now overpriced makers of single-vineyard zinfandel (sorry, Amy).

Monroe, it turns out, was who first informed the Serious Eats blog about this wine. Palin Syrah has been selling quite well by the glass when first offered this past July by Chris Tavelli’s Yield Wine Bar. However, sales plummeted since McCain selected as his running mate the Alaska governor with the inverted name.

North Berkeley Imports has this description of the Palin Winery. I shall leave the reader to determine whether the winery’s philosophy is a departure from that of the Republican vice presidential candidate:

Palin’s philosophy is “compromise and care for the environment,” a unique (and historically unusual) stance for Chilean viticulture. Turning away from long-standing traditions of mass and mechanical cultivation in the country, Palin seeks to encourage what Chile is already preternaturally capable of–the production of organic wines. To “compromise” suggests viticulture that is not forced or unnaturally manipulated, allowing the vine to reach its full potential in each region. To “care” is to strike a balance between the demands of agriculture and the stewardship of the soil–in using natural composts and beneficial crops, as just a few examples. Chile’s temperate weather, suitable soils and generally healthy vineyards equal pure wines at their pinnacle of terroir expression.

Names aside, that description makes me want to have a go at a bottle. I understand that if you can find it, the 2006 Palin Syrah goes for about $12.99 USD.

Monroe reports that [t]he wine’s tasting note reads as it did when Tavelli wrote it months ago: white pepper, madrone, dry. . .One Yield regular suggested that Tavelli amend the wine’s tasting note to read: moosemeat, salmon, hint of gunpowder..”

Please insert your own witty barbs and puns in the comment thread.


  1. #1 eddie
    September 26, 2008

    Goes down like a wassila street whore.
    Has the aftertaste of four years of eating shit and losing your home while your bank manager laps up the good wine out your kid sister’s cleavage.

  2. #2 Coturnix
    September 26, 2008

    It tastes kinda funny,….sorta like it was stored right next to vodka.

  3. #3 Comrade PhysioProf
    September 28, 2008

    I love those motherfucking Ridge single-yard Zins. I had one–I think Lytton Springs–that was like fucking 15.9% EtOH. w00t!!

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