So in reading Vinography, one of the best overall blogs on the web, I spot Alder's story about a wine writer turned winemaker. Stephen Yafa, a man of letters, took the plunge, engaging Greg La Follette of Flowers fame, now at his own place Tandem. I was one of the early birds at Flowers and enjoyed Greg's pioneering efforts in Sonoma, the Russian River and Sonoma Coast in the 1990s, way before anyone knew about global warming's effect on the ability to grow grapes right next to the Pacific Ocean and such. Anyway, I contacted Steve, got a six pack on order and waited. Waited some more. Then the light bulb went off and it was clear that I shouldn't sit by the pot hoping for it to boil, iykwim. So I pinged Steve, he tracked down the shipper who apparently had flaked. One way or another he dug that six pack out for me and sent it himself. Nice.
So the name has nothing to do with that stupid people mover for lazy asses who don't want to walk from here to there if it's farther away than the vending machine with Yo Ho's and Tortilla Chips, Ranch style. Rather, Steve refers to the real, unglamorous process of taking tons of grapes off of poky vines, laden with yellow jackets on steep slopes, sorting them meticulously, then turning the whole batch into something magical. Indeed, Steve has hit the jackpot and his debut vintage is a fantastic one. While his writing may be excellent, his winemaking is off to a classic start.
The Segue 2005 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County checks in at 14.2% alcohol. Only 50 cases were made of this beauty. The wine show a hearty red with traces of violet in the glass. Blackberry coffee on the nose. A mouthful of fruit, berries and cherries, greet the mid-palate. Juicy and vibrant, this wine sneaks up on you with its multitude of flavors and structure exploding in the mouth. Smooth with finesse yet a powerful finish. This is a little rattlesnake, which opens rather quietly then strikes with its array of flavors. Bravo for the inaugural offering. This wine will knock the socks off of the big boys from Sonoma when tasted blind.
PS I purloined the picture from Alder's website as my d photo sucked.