The Gastronomist September selections include three wines from pro-Skateboarder-turned-winemaker Kenny Likitprakong.
In theory, the summer is turning to fall (in reality, it will be 97 degrees in Los Angeles tomorrow…FYI we still have plenty of roses in stock!) so the focus this month is on reds of the medium to fuller-bodied variety. Often in California, this means overly extracted fruit-bombs with high alcohol levels and a layer of oak sitting not so gracefully on top of the wine.
This isn’t the case with Kenny’s wines at all. I suppose you have to have great powers of physical balance to be an extreme sports professional, so it only makes sense that Kenny’s balance shows through, more metaphorically, in his wines. They offer just the right amount of fruit, the right amount of structure, and oak used only to bring all of this together rather than as an ingredient or flavor component.
The wines are as follows:
- 2011 Folk Machine Central Coast Pinot Noir ($18)
- 2010 Folk Machine Three Ceremonies Caringnan/Grenache, Mendocino ($18)
- 2010 Hobo Wine Company Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($20)
The Naturalist has a very simple theme this month: Jill’s current favorites.
- 2010 Occhipinti Frappato ($36)
- 2011 Thierry Puzelat “Le Telquel” ($18)
These two wines are ones that I’ve carried each available vintage of since opening the store. If they’re not on the shelves, it’s only because quantities are limited and there is not a continuous supply from the importer. Both of these wines are firmly medium bodied, with strong aromatic components. Neither sacrifices body for intensity –which both have in copious amounts.
The Frappato is filled with rhubarb, cranberry and dried flowers. The Telquel, comprised mainly of Gamay but sometimes with a splash of Grolleau and Pineau d’Aunis, is more of the wild berry fruit variety, with loads of spice and a little asphalt thrown in. Both winemakers farm organically, and rely on natural yeasts for fermentation.
Why are these my favorites? They’re filled with energy. They’re sharp, yet delicate. They evoke an emotional response in me. When I open a bottle of either, I find myself just sniffing them, burying my nose in the glass. And while undoubtedly the Telquel is a less serious effort than the Frappato, which has an ethereal mysteriousness about it, they are both eminently drinkable.