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Jenise

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WTN: Symphonic 19 year old California white

by Jenise » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:43 pm

The winery Cheateau de Baun no longer exists having been bought by Jesse Jackson in the mid-90's. But before that happened, they were doing some interesting stuff with a vineyard of the grape Symphony, a grape created by crossing Muscat with White Grenache. I stumbled over their 100% sparkling wine back around '96 and called the winery to ask what in the world I'd been drinking--friends had come over to sup on a huge pile of crab claws I'd had flown in from Florida, and though there were some heavy hitter champagnes on the table, the de Baun Symphony was all we talked about. The winery sale had just been inked so the winemaker wasn't sure what would become of the vineyard, but he didn't hold out much hope that the Symphony wouldn't get pulled up. Other than Ironstone in Amador, I'm unaware of this grape being grown anywhere else in California, but I do know that Rex Hill, I believe, in Oregon also has an acre or two.

Anyway, so at Bill Spohn's tasting lunch yesterday, we get this oddball white that seems older, maybe as much as ten years, but doesn't really show any oxidation, and we quickly figure out that it's a California chardonnay blend but the identity of the second grape is impossible to figure out until the name of the winery is revealed, and then I guess symphony. The wine's age was an even bigger surprise: it's a 1990!!! Bill and others noted an herbal component to it that must have been there, but it was less evident to me than the spicey Muscat component that I incorrectly identified as "gewurz-ish".

Anyway, VERY unusual wine and a source of much delight.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Hoke

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Re: WTN: Symphonic 19 year old California white

by Hoke » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:56 pm

Symphony is still around, Jenise.

Not much, but there's still a little being grown around California.

The company I recently worked for sometimes included Symphony in blends. Very small portions---a little goes an awfully long way---to boost the aromatics a bit, primarily. As I recall, one of the wines where Symphony was used was a Pinot Grigio;and if you were paying attention you could possibly pick it out.

But as far as I know, you're right about Ironstone being the only one making any varietally.
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Howie Hart

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Re: WTN: Symphonic 19 year old California white

by Howie Hart » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:37 pm

...friends had come over to sup on a huge pile of crab claws I'd had flown in from Florida...
Ok. Run this by me again. You live on the Puget Sound and...
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Symphonic 19 year old California white

by Jenise » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:14 am

Howie Hart wrote:
...friends had come over to sup on a huge pile of crab claws I'd had flown in from Florida...
Ok. Run this by me again. You live on the Puget Sound and...


Ah, you are right to be confused, but that was when we lived in Los Angeles!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Doug Surplus

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Re: WTN: Symphonic 19 year old California white

by Doug Surplus » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:15 pm

I remember a Symphony other than Ironstone's at a tasting a couple years ago, but not who made it. It was rather cloying and vapid, and several levels below Ironstone in quality.
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Steve Guattery

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Re: WTN: Symphonic 19 year old California white

by Steve Guattery » Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:22 am

Luna Rossa in New Mexico makes a varietal Symphony. Tasted it at the wine festival in Albuquerque when I was there on sabbatical five years ago. I don't recall anything about it, though, other than the grape name, so I most likely was unimpresssed.

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