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