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’02 Tulocay “Nord Family Vineyard” Pinot Noir

Joel from Winelifetoday.com is the host for the upcoming Wine Blogging Wednesday and he offers another inspired theme for March.  He requests:

Comfort Wines - choose a wine, any wine, that you love to unwind to and tell us about not only the wine but what makes the experience special and relaxing for you!

I love this theme because every wine lover has a couple of producers that they lean on for reliable satisfaction and tapping into that vein of embedded expertise will truly be interesting; there should be something for everybody to learn.

Joel could have just as easily called it, “My Wine Woobie” because I think that is what he’s getting at.  What wine is your comfort blanket, your “woobie”—a term immortalized in the 80s movie Mr. Mom.

I have several of them, which is why I am talking about one today, just a bit ahead of the curve of Wine Blogging Wednesday on March 5th.

Tulocay Winery is an iconoclastic winery in Napa Valley, and it is one the wineries I always reference in the midst of the answer to the question, “What’s a good wine I should buy.”

To me, Tulocay falls into that category of satisfying not only my need for a reliable wine across varietals, but it also satisfies the requirements for which good ‘friends and family’ wine recommendations are made:

1)  The wine is classically structured, but fruit forward
2)  The wine is reasonably priced
4)  The label speaks to a classic wine sensibility
5)  The winery has a bit of personality and is “authentic”
6)  The wine is not available on the end-cap at your local “Piggly-Wiggly”

Not only is the Tulocay not available on end-cap at the Piggly-Wiggly, but it is scarce.  Tulocay does not sell online, though you can sign up for the wine club and you can phone in orders.  I have purchased mine at JV’s in Napa and on the Internet at a NYC wine retailer and you can find it elsewhere by looking at the usual places – wine-searcher.com or winezap.com.

I also happen to appreciate the Tulocay sense of humor.  On their web site they say, “Copy anything you like and use it.  Plagiarism is flattery.”

I am not plagiarizing, but I am excerpting.  The site goes on to say, in a homey way:

As Napa Valley wineries go, Tulocay is really one of the oldest. It’s also one of the smallest. And just in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t have any trams, fancy tours, or gift shops.  But the boss does offer tastings and his own “down home” style of tour. And you’re even welcome to have a lunch here on his picnic table under the giant oak in the front driveway. The only requirement is to give him a call a day or two in advance so he can make sure he’s around. Fair enough?

Every wine I have had from Tulocay has been pleasurable with a sense of place, in a distinctive California style.  It’s hard to balance approachable, but classic, yet that’s what Tulocay does, at a reachable price point, to boot.

They are one of my “Wine Woobies” and my review is below:

’02 Tulocay “Nord Family Vineyard” Pinot Noir



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Comments

On 03/17, Skippy, Chief Cellar Rat wrote:

Gee thanks, Good Grapers, for saying nice things about my home. I love the cellars here. And in case you were wondering, the cats and I get along just fine.

I know the boss was doing some bottling last weekend (March 15-16), so there should be some new wines coming out soon. Rumor has it the bottling included some Pinot Noir and Zinfandel from the 2003 vintage for those who like LBV-style wines.

Well, gotta go. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I’ll be celebrating it with some Irish Ivernia cheese. It goes great with our Cabernets… and Zinfandels… and Merlots… and… well… just about any of our wines….

Skippy


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