The masked man. Who is he, who lurks in the shadows, hides behind curtains, disappears ‘round corners dark without a trace? An enigma greater than alluring, he is and thus will remain. One cannot help but attempt to peel away his layers, chase his wafting scent windingly down cobblestone alleys, ‘cross rivers so wet in pitching wooden scuppers, up marble stairs in leaps and bounds near unto the sky. Then, down, down into the fox’s den, to Borough Market. Fresh raw meat is on the menu, beef tartare, raspberry jam, spiced compote, cassava, honey, black pepper, and sugared violets abound. Is he yet young or does he grow old? Nothing is known for sure in this mysterious world, though Sherlock Holmes and the Scotland Yard race hot upon his tail. Ahh, if it weren’t for black tea and cakes, the tobacco shops, old books and dusty wine cellars. At least in the end we may be mollified a smidgeon in his mystery. A linen kerchief dropped unbeknownst, wrested from his pocket by chance rosebush a stone’s throw from the entrance to his lair. Can you taste it? The thrill of the chase risen from the ashes again. Like a perfectly evolved forest floor littered with mushrooms and oak leaf mulch, all life harmonizes in his symbiotic balance. Pure as the pleasure purloined from a fine old-fashioned cocktail gripped gently in hand, his sweaty masculine musk mixes with menthol, chocolate and cherry cola on a quiet and moonless night.
notes by Clay Selkirk, winemaker & all-around cowboy