Mika Toke
January 1, 2022 | Mika Toke

Spring 2022 Newsletter


Madagascar citrine,
Her exquisite perfume a balmy scent of fresh vanilla bean. Succulent marigold tinted pears, manuka honey & bustling bees A scintillating mirage in the warm summer sun of Belize.

Dark, spicy rum & sorbete de curuba
Jungle, beaches & sunsets on the stretch north from Peru to Colombia.
Yuzu, basil, lemongrass, and sundered kaffir leaf
The siren of Satun they called her during her time in Thailand, though so brief.

This worldly dame may appear before you demure and tame,
Her untold stories surmised by those enthralled with her mystical fame. Ephemeral, clinquant & profoundly in your glass does she sway
A canary gold manuscript unearthed in Montrachet,
Abundant with letters she meticulously signed Ms. Shirley May. 

notes by mika toke, resident vampire 

VINEYARDS | Kruse + Cain


Out of the black abyss dawns a new day. A blood-orange sun begins to warm the dark, damp earth. Steam rises from the moss and mushroom forest floor. Spring flowers emerge, and pollinators swirl around wild strawberry and Attika cherry trees like dried rose petal chaff liberating fraise de bois to be sensed by all. This is their final dance in life as they crumble to dust and return to the earth from which they came. The salty sea breeze adds strength to the waves as they punish dark volcanic sands. Driftwood of manzanita lays battered and bruised on a shore of sea glass. Wayfarers discover this new world in hope to find traders for their spice boxes and black tea. This is a new world that has yet to be explored. Evolution is the controller of this realm, and we are all enthralled by her tannic grip.

notes by thomas cherry, master cellar rat

VINEYARD | 100% Kruse Vineyard Pinot Noir


Cloaked within the darkness of a moonless night, little leopards in human skin freshly painted with white skeletal bones, the jubilant young figures carouse and cavort, giggling down streets, clinging to friends like ripe red tomatoes on the vine. With a robust rattling and clever clacking, they dance to the beat of their own feet as they near the square, picking out the first strain of the mariachi music that brings joy to the spirits, enticing them to join. Catrina swirls now in splashes of color; lavender purple, strawberry and paprika flames of red, lime green and cempazúchitl yellow adorn her costume, regal and joyful. Not long before, the ofrenda was reverently made; papaya for her passion, pan de muerto for her sweetness, a cup of agua de jamaica to refresh after the long journey, and a calavera opposite a candle lit with care. Ah, and to coat the tongue, champurrado awaits, cinnamon, star anise and black licorice sway like shadows on the wall of course, of course, of course

notes by clay selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy 

BLEND | 54% Grenache + 21% Syrah + 15% Mourvedre + 10% Petite Sirah

2018 SYRAH

Oh, Odin, stay yet your hand, and send not the wild hunt to our land. Accept this blót in sprays of rhubarb blood, from camphor bowls on slate stones and twigs, for a long journey on rough rime chilled seas is still at hand: a test of our strength of will. Meticulously must we prepare, to avoid the violet depths, and net of Rán, who gladly down would drag us to her airless underwater lair. Pine tar, dark as cassis, must be worked into every crack and crevice, to seal our ship for the journey ahead. Lamb and venison must be salted and packed. Herring and mackerel smoked, with pink peppercorns, and placed on a bed of arugula with the golden grains of Sif. Then, sprinkle marjoram and a dash of lavender, and wrap us tightly in an ermine cloak of our fossorial friends to protect us from Njord’s biting wind. Lend us might, oh mightiest Thor, for thunder are your footsteps and cracks of lightning your hammer, you who pounded the strongest of giants into submission, like heated iron from the forge. Then, when at last our time is come, show us the way to Asgard and your shining halls. But not yet. No, not yet.

notes by clay selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy

VINEYARD | 100% St. Peter of Alcantara Syrah


You see her across the burnished bar, swizzle stick in hand between burgundy polished nails, absently twirling her Old Fashioned. Dreamlike, a luscious fragrance of Luxardo cherry, sweet bourbon, and blood orange mingle with the aromas of pipe tobacco and cigars. As beguiling as the stars of days gone by, she is Maureen O’Hara, bright as the Queen of Technicolor. She provokes a sense of the intangible and yet is both constant and ever evolving. A delectable spread awaits: roast beef with fragrant sprigs of rosemary, clary sage, and flowering thyme; a hearty stew infused with ginger, saffron; and an enticing bouquet garni, herbs gathered meticulously in the rolling southern hills of the Golden State, with a hearty handful of spices sprinkled within. Blackberry-chocolate syllabub arrives to further delight the senses. Why is it always this dazzling woman in red that perpetually enchants the unsuspecting mortal?

notes by miranda thompson, vp of quality control 

VINEYARDS | 46% Loma Seca Vineyard 39% 4 Hearts Vineyard  + 15% Kirk-Landry Vineyard


From whence comes this mist, thickly tickling my calves, wrapping cool tendrils about my legs and coiling like a serpent around my waist? No sturdy knotted pine floor to support me, no cherry paneled walls to hold me in as I’m buoyed within an undefined realm, wading hip deep in savory shitake soup, opaque as eel sauce. Delicate floating cups, of bergamot earl grey tea and amber musk scented candles drift by, as if pulled on a gentle current, glazed with flecks of white and gold, like nishikigoi serenely swimming between purple lotus flowers and cucumber green pads. Coriander seeds explode in the air. Mini cannonballs, like ceanothus in the spring, mango, ruby grapefruit, fire roasted peppers, paprika and burning sage; all descend, becoming celery salt and parmesan snow, gently dusting my hair. I shake my head to be rid of it, to clear my clouded mind, but the black velveteen curtain recedes, revealing a solitary stage, and upon it, a table laden for a king who sits alone, voraciously gnawing at a haunch of Wagyu beef, devouring kimchee and forbidden rice with dark opal basil. He glances up, and in that singular look delves deep into my eyes. ‘Join me’ he entreats... With quivering heart on the verge of beating out of my chest, thus I wake.

notes by clay selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy 

VINEYARD | 100% Kirk-Landry Vineyard Malbec


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