Mika Toke
January 1, 2021 | Newsletters | Mika Toke

Spring 2021 Newsletter

nv CHARDONNAY XLB '17 Bottling

Ahhh, there you are, follow me to a place where multifarious vintages of wine call home. A cellar as dark as the deepest of night; steeped in mystery, an oaken catacomb. Where the rarest of rare coalesce through the years, putting saffron by weight to shame. L’incomparable sheathed in 24k liquid gold, trapped in barriques through long lonely years. Swirls of turmeric and safflower in fine crystal glass; like much in life, it’s what’s on the inside that truly counts. Whole roasted hen basted with herbs and salted Kerrygold butter; Vat 99 by addition, Joli Jonquil its name. As it drifts back in time, Meyer lemon zest falls on the tongue without much further ado. Burnt sugar caramel flan and fresh croissants alike, I fear this wine will not be long for the world. So, grab ahold to a case in the short time you can, and do not be fooled by humble outward appearances alone; for back in the bottle this XLB wine will retreat to slumber out of reach and promised as its due.

notes by clay selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy


This wine tells the tale of a warm and fragrant summer day in June of 1357. With the first sip, a braying ass can be seen haughtily following the deep crimson-purple robes of Innocent VI on his trek back home to the Palais des Papes in Avignon. Innocent has been on a rather lengthy pilgrimage to visit a favored actress in Corsica. Her name is Bianca, and she now sends him staggering on his weary way with dark, wine bruised lips, party eyes and a blood rose prominently affixed to his zucchetto. Ah, sweet young Bianca! Balanced with luscious ripeness, her four-poster of aromatic cedar from the slopes of Monte Padro, and wrapped around her enchanted body, a glamorous infusion of smoldering bergamot and the dried white flowers of black-rooted Moly. Can you read those pouting lips? They are full and smolder with seductive coco nibs, cherry & a clean woodsy odor from the twig of pinu neru she smilingly chews as she watches the arrogant ass japing and braying down the dusty path, bright silken ribbons dangling and bouncing from his waggling ears.

notes by john munch, wineherd & plenipotentiary

BLEND | 36% Syrah + 29% Mourvedre + 21% Grenache + 14% Petite Sirah

2017 SYRAH

Painted in innumerable colors warm and rich, practically jarring in fact; from burnt orange, to the near black of Luxardo cherry, soothing Masala chai, pale green white fir, African violet, ultramarine blue and of course vampire fresh blood red, the Vardo are gathered in a neat circle surrounding the middle of camp which currently resembles a kicked anthill of activity, a motley assemblage of horses whickering for their morning feed, excited yips from Bedlingtons and delighted squeals from chasing children accentuated by the gruff yet mild mannered upbraidings of their working elders for being underfoot. Now, aromas gently waft on the chill morning air, dark roasted coffee for the adults and hot chocolate for the little ones, fat and juices from venison seasoned with Malabar pepper and salt from the Black Sea sizzle on a spit above the fire. Soon, they will be moving once again, never in one place very long. Short tobacco pipes are efficiently extinguished and tucked away in woolen coat pockets dyed as many colors as their wagons, with everything packed neatly and quickly away. Ready to roam. The world, with all its freedoms, joys and delights, adventures and dangers, is their home.

notes by clay selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy

VINEYARD | 100% St. Peter of Alcantara Syrah


Ichor of the gods, a brooding garnet-gurgle sliding down your gullet, prancing like silken garters caught in the rush and tumble of whitewater rapids in a narrow gorge, and then your lips will break free to swirl gently back and forth within turgid eddies of darkest cassis, candied raspberry and cedar smoked bacon. Now, slice a few wedges of Asian pear and dip them one by one into powdered cocoa, and then you will perceive that a veiled mizzle is falling upon the rich earth at your feet while beguiling petrichor vapors rises up your left nostril like dancing cucarachas. So now you’d better add just a pinch of sharp Chiquilin ahumado to seduce the senses like a fine whack of leather across your rump. Another classic Le Cuvier Cab: perfectly excessive, but with sturdy grip on your tongue followed by a drawn-out finish within a world of minerally plum wrapped in ripe black cherry.

notes by john munch, wineherd & plenipotentiary

VINEYARDS | 54% Kirk-Landry Vineyards + 27% Loma Seca Vineyard + 19% 4 Hearts Vineyard


A big-breasted riot, an Amazon running amok in an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant. Deep, deep prismatic tones of crimson-cardinal and magenta with the fresh scent of a briny tide pool and tea oil rubbed into her sweet-sweat drenched shoulders as she disdainfully poses following a particularly lovely throw of the javelin at an Oriental buffet of crustacean shells filled with dark fruit, ripe raspberry, flaccidly but suitably luscious Chelan cherries, a Cimmerian obelisk of stacked blackberry and crushed blue-black Olympian plums scattered about, here and there, with dried peel of camphor-aged Seville orange, green peppercorns with dill, and over all viscous coils of oyster sauce top-dusted with Saigon cinnamon: a grand cacophony of intriguing impressions to make one drool. Her eyes are green, and her lips are all about ripe dark berries and bright acid, warm buttered blueberry muffins and crushed Calamata olives; and from her left incisor hangs the remnants of an especially creamy and rich Uni roe appetizer. An elusive lady, a shapeshifter, and consequentially all the more reason to invite her home as a singularly entertaining dinner guest.

notes by john munch, wineherd & plenipotentiary

VINEYARD | 100% Kirk-Landry Vineyards Malbec


In and out wash the tides of life, bringing fortune and famine. The Fates will decide. With sharpened scissors they stretch before them life’s string. Will today be the day, oh weavers of the tapestry of destiny? Ohh, but grant me a mere driblet of time, I beseech you, to drink ever deeper of that elixir of the gods, to soak up that brine of the depthless sea, to cavort in moonlight with the hen of the woods, and lie in the land of tilîxochitl and the Aztecs. Ohh seek not the measure of my life for hedonism yet sings its siren song. I am inextricably caught plucking tea leaves one by one, like violet flower petals dashed upon the roundabout breeze, as just washed sheets of linen drying in the mountain air, dancing daintily through each swirl of that wistful wind. I vow to leave no opportunity wasted, no buxom black plum unbitten, no gaily gallic walnut nor fresh root of ginger un-gnashed, until at last must those weary eyes I rest.

notes by clay selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy

BLEND | 67% Zinfandel + 33% Petite Sirah



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