A San Francisco Treat

Went up to the Bay Area for a quick trip and got to drink some truly special and delicious things. Thought I’d share! The photos…not the wine. That would be kind of difficult.

There’s nothing quite like opening a bottle of fantastic Champagne while eating a simple lunch. Just because you can.

Introducing Jacques Selosse and Substance– A Blanc de Blancs Champagne made from a solera started in 1986. The disgorgement on this particular bottle was 2009, so I’m guessing it was bottled in 2004 or 2003. Guilhaume Gerard sent me the following via Twitter, “I visited Anselme only once, but drank his wines more than anyone else in the States probably. The big idea is to get rid of all fruit, all vintage, and keep the essence of the vineyard.” That vineyard being two parcels in Avize.


We decanted this wine and kept coming back to it. It was wonderful. Just wonderful. There was a lees-y, oxidative, butterscotch richness but a brilliant seaside vibrancy as well. I could taste this the next morning as if I had just taken a sip. I won’t soon forget it.

Hard to follow that one up, but Foillard can handle the challenge.

The color of Foillard’s wines have been especially mesmerizing to me lately.  This little guy was a nice afternoon pick me up, perfect with a bit of a chill on it.

Chez Panisse, Berkeley. Dinner.

We brought this Vouette et Sorbée Saignée rosé or “pinot noir infusion” as they say on their website. Love that. If you want to know more about this biodynamic/dynamic producer, read Peter Liem’s detailed piece about the domaine.


Purchased off the restaurant wine list- my beloved Roagna and my favorite Roagna Barbaresco vineyard, Pajé. 1999. Consumed with some duck. Life was good.

As I like to do every time I drink an older wine- I’ll take a moment and think back to what my life was like when those grapes were being picked. In 1999, I graduated from high school, turned 18 and lived in Manhattan for the summer by myself. It was a magical time, full of dreams that could come true.

  • guilhaume
    February 21, 2012

    That roagna is out of this world.
    Also, it took me a minute to recall, but Anselme’s thing with long élevage and solera is all about his idea of terroir. He wants, even in “initial”, to get rid of the fruit, to get to the core, to the mineral salts. I remember him saying he couldn’t identify his own terroirs when the wines were young, that he was able to only when all the fruit was gone, after a few years in barrels.
    And I don’t want to sound pompous when I say I drank more Selosse than anyone else in.the states… It might have been true a while ago, probably not anymore…

  • Christina Pickard
    February 28, 2012

    What a line up of fantastic wines! And SO glad you finally got to try the Selosse Substance-it’s incredible isn’t it?! I had it with a chunk of Parmesan–amazing.

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