Lynmar 2013 Quail Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir Magnum

A few years ago we were pleasantly surprised to receive a magnum of this wine. The Lynmar 2013 Quail Hill Vineyard pinot noir magnum was a special gift to long-time members of their Advocates club.  We have extolled the virtues of wine clubs in the past, but Lynn and Anisya Fritz regularly exceed our very high expectations.  (We recently received another magnum of the 2018.  We will try to be patient.) We cracked open this bottle for our recent anniversary.

Lynn and Anisya Fritz

Lynn and Anisya Fritz

The wine might develop over the next few years, but it is delicious today.  Aromas of dark chocolate and forest floor.  The palate is black cherries with more dark chocolate and damp bark.  The finish is amazing.  Tannins are fully integrated and linger on the tongue.


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Thank you Lynmar for your delicious wine for our anniversary!

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While there may be a few bottles of this stashed in the Lynmar library, you can’t buy this through the winery website.  The moral is clear. When you find a winery you like, join their wine club on the spot.

Political Wine

When she was still writing for Bloomberg, Megan McArdle did a winetasting of two wine clubs: National Review and The Nation.  The former is conservative, the latter is very liberal. Hence, political wine. Her article is pretty entertaining as well as being informative.  The specific piece was “Drinking to Blur Party Lines. A taste-test battle of two partisan wine clubs: National Review vs. the Nation” (November, 2015).  Forthwith, a few paragraphs.

Naturally, I had to subscribe to both. I imagined a titanic showdown between the somewhat stuffy traditionalist wines of the heirs to William F. Buckley, and the strident cosmopolitanism of the Nation’s approach. Then I placed the orders, and realized that both wine clubs are supplied by the same third-party company.

In a way, this made things even more interesting. Would the wines in both shipments be the same, denoting the collapse of American politics into a single corporatist enterprise? Or would they be different — the Nation’s box stuffed with little vintages hand-produced by impoverished Guatemalan villagers under a fair trade cooperative, the National Review box full of American wines with little flags on the labels? And which would be better?

For $70 apiece, I was sent two boxes of wine, each containing 14 bottles. Then I invited over my friend Matt Ficke, a software developer who used to be a sommelier and the manager of DC’s fanciest cocktail bar. We sat down with his wife, Becks, and my husband, Peter, to discover what we had.

It took us three bottles to get to anything that anyone would consider drinking for any reason other than scientific inquiry. This was the Willow Springs California Cabernet Sauvignon (from National Review). My companions’ reviews were more along the lines of “I would totally drink this” than “Let’s make a note of the name so we can buy it again.”

“This has many of the flavors that you associate with cabernet sauvignon,” Matt said carefully.

The next bottle, a Silver Pony Cabernet Sauvignon from the Nation, represented a substantial regression. Matt licked his lips, stuck out his tongue and looked pained. His wife dumped the glass into our spit cup, declaring that it was too sweet. Indeed, when I tasted it, it was unpleasantly reminiscent of communion wine.

Jack Creek Cellars Shows Why Wine Clubs Are Good

[pullquote]We need to join their wine club right now. In a few years that will be the only way to get their wine.[/pullquote]

If memory serves, we first visited Jack Creek Cellars in 2006. After tasting their wine, Norma whispered this→

Norma was off by a few years. A few days ago, an e-mail arrived. Buried in a footnote at the end was the announcement that starting in 2016 the club would be closed. An inquiry to Brette Womack, Jack Creek’s general manager (for lack of a better title) brought forth the full press release. They are also closing their tasting room and will do tastings by appointment only on the first Saturday of each month.

Jack Creek Cellars shows why wine clubs are good. As a member you support your favorite wineries. And in many cases you get exclusive access to a few wines, events, and, of course, priority in the tasting room. And, if the winery is successful, you also get continued access to their wine!

Tony with Doug Kruse at Jack Creek Cellars wine clubs

Tony with Doug Kruse at Jack Creek Cellars

Doug and Sabrina Kruse continue to make excellent wine and serve as wonderful hosts to wine club events. Here’s part of the press release:

We are very grateful that our wine club has successfully grown via word of mouth, to the point that we now must put a cap on it in order to continue to provide wine to you, our members. At the end of 2015 the Wine Family will be closed to new members and a wait list will be started. New members will be added as space opens up, or we have enough wine to welcome new friends.

Along with this, we will be closing our tasting room in order to preserve enough wine for our Wine Family in the coming years. In lieu of this year’s very lean harvest and our current inventory, we are planning ahead and feel this is the best way we can serve our current members.

Starting January 2nd, 2016 we will be open for appointments the first Saturday of each month only, and look forward to making this tasting experience fun and memorable.

So there it is. Better sign up for that wine club right now!