This may have to be a two-part blog. Once I get to waffling, there's no stopping me. Hence the tendency for run-on and fragmented sentences. I call it poetic license. My English teacher/stepmother called it a C-.
As I'd mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not sure I have a Nagual Del SENSEI for 06. The Cab we have in the cellar just isn't the same breed of Cab we've had in the '04 or '05. Thank you all for submitting comments on this subject. You were all very helpful. And I fully agree with the overall sentiment. The good news is that there may be a few standout barrels. If this is the case, I may do an extremely low quantity. Even if it's only one barrel in the cellar. As long as it matches the template, I'll do it. But I won't do a large quantity of substandard Sensei.
What I will most certainly be doing is a fourth blend called Nagual Del MARZO, named after my Great-Grandfather Marzo. We have quite a bit of beautiful Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab in the cellar. I plan on coming up with my own interpretation of an Italian super Tuscan. A Paso Robles/Templeton version of Masseto or Ornellaia. This will provide a home for the softer, more subtle Cabs that didn't make it up to the "Big Balls" water mark I established for the Sensei.
Now we get into the "Kashmir" portion of our rant. Keep in mind that I know very little about Great-Grandfather Marzo. I know only that he and his family grew grapes and made wine in northern Italy, near the French/Swiss borders. That is until WW2, when the chaos compelled them to leave their home and flee to the U.S. I've heard that their home is now a B & B. I know that there is at least one, possibly two generations between winemakers due to this exodus. What I don't know is countless. I have no idea what varietals he grew. I have only clues as to the location of this supposed B & B. But most importantly, I don't even know Marzo's full name.
Hang in there. I'm getting to the point.
So here I am a few weeks ago at Bern's Steakhouse, in Tampa, Fla. My father (born in 1939) has flown in from Michigan to visit my uncle Herb (born in 1922), whom I haven't seen in roughly 30 years. Bern's is one of the few places on Planet Earth you can open bottles of 1922 and 1940 Lafite to celebrate this sort of reunion. They didn't have a '39 to match my father's birth year, but I'm not gonna complain. Both were outstanding and well preserved. (We had a 1943 Latour the evening prior, which blew them both away, but only for a moment. It was absolutely divine and within 15 minutes fell completely apart. I never even set down my glass. What an experience.)
Uncle Herb was quite pleased to hear about my new venture in Arizona. I told him all about the vineyards and the blends. And told him how I would be doing a new blend in honor of his Grandfather and Winemaker called Nagual Del MARZO. I explained that I knew next to nothing about him, including his full name. Herb said, "His name is John Marzo, but his nickname was Spirit." I looked around the table to see if Todd or my Dad were messing with me. I just figured they told Herb to say that, since they are both prone to those sorts of pranks. Not the case.
John Spirit Marzo. I then explained to Herb that "Nagual Del Marzo" means "the Spiritual Essence of Marzo." Eyes filled with tears of joy, the heavens parted, music flooded the room, angels sauntered down, and we all retired to the dessert room for chocolate soufflé and 1822 Madeira.