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Picking Up Loose Ends

Regarding the recent feature on Domaine Dujac in the PinotFile, Joe Davis of Arcadian Winery informs me that Christophe Marin worked as the vigneron for Dujac going back to 1983, but he was killed in 2000 by a Belgian tourist who ran a stop sign and hit Christophe who was riding a Vespa at the time. This was a deeply tragic event for Jacques.

Regarding Mount Carmel Vineyard, readers wrote to inform me that Mount Carmel Vineyard was planted in 1991 by Paul Albrecht and Ron Piazza. This steep, south-facing, 22-acre vineyard is planted to 15 acres of Pinot Noir (667, 2A, 5, 115, 777, and Mt Eden) and 7 acres of Chardonnay (Wente clone) on soils of Botella clay and limestone. The vines are mostly self-rooted and have been dry farmed for years. The vineyard overlooks the famous Sanford and Benedict Vineyard and is just west of Sea Smoke. The 2004 bottling of Babcock Mount Carmel Pinot Noir will be the last for Babcock, because the vineyard is now a monopole in the hands of Brewer- Clifton and managed by vineyard manager, Francisco Ramirez. Look for the 2005 Brewer-Clifton Mount Carmel Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Regarding the feature a few months ago in the PinotFile on Costco as a source for fine wine. A reader pointed out that shopping at Costco is “a dreary way to shop for wine, with a huge shopping cart, a wait in long lines at checkout, and then a search to see if you have paid for what you are carting away.” He noted that it is “a much more rewarding and interesting shopping experience dealing with knowledgeable and personable wine merchants who have passion for their work.” I couldn’t agree more. Costco is definitely not a source for artisan Pinot Noirs and remains only a mainstream source for wines much like supermarkets, albeit with better prices. With some high production items, like Champagne, Costco buys in huge quantities and can offer very low prices.

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