Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Obsession.....

Hello. My name is Sarah Forstner, and I'm a Herman Story Stalker.


Well, it's true, and I should just come straight out and admit it.

But in fact, I'm actually a Herman Story addict. I can't get enough. And on a Tasting Room Girl's salary it's really true: I really can't get enough bottles of Herman Story wines. (sigh) I'd drink it every night if I could, and I'd even inject it straight into my veins when necessary (although that actually defeats the purpose of tasting wine, but whatever.....)

So ever since I've found Herman Story, I've been recommending Herman Story to anyone who asks my opinion about wine. That said, I need to stop as these folks keep going there and buying the wine that I want to keep all to myself! But I did tell my dear friend Jackie all about Herman Story - so this past Sunday, she and her husband, Bob, decided to swing buy and taste the wines. HELLO! (sing song voice) That was the perfect opportunity to swing by Herman Story to keep Jackie company, introduce her around, and just happen to have the time to taste through the wines again. And again. And again.

So we went through the wines, but this time I got a few bonuses. First off, they were pouring "Casual Encounters," the GSM blend that Cameron was waxing bottles of the first day I arrived at the tasting room. I wanted to buy that bottle just because of the gorgeous label: Honeybees crawling all over a beautiful flower - a chance encounter of hot love between a honeybee and a flower :)

The vino was INCREDIBLE! 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache & 30% Mourvedre. Ok - I may prefer to see this wine in about a year or so, but my goodness, you could sure tell the amazing quality - and decanting may take care of any tightness anyway. Another "ball hit out of the park" by Russell From. It's just so neat to find such a gifted winemaker who creates fabulous wine after fabulous wine. I wish I could just buy his whole collection of vino!

Here's what Russell says about his 2009 Casual Encounters:

"2008 was my first vintage of Casual Encounters, and I was quite impressed by how dark and brooding it was. As you know, my wines are typically -how shall I say- HUGE, but this wine is a different sort of beast altogether, something looming with fangs and long arms…but from a distance. If the 2008 was a werewolf, then the 2009 is the cabin you’re holed up in waiting for the beast to strike. A nose of raspberry brambles, cedar chest, fresh forest, minced meat pie and dried violet. A lengthy, inky palate of apple from a roast pig’s mouth, leather, fig, white smoke and the sense of summer turning into fall." (DRINK NOW: 1 hour decant; CELLAR: 4-5 years)

By the way, Russell was there that day! It was so nice to finally meet the man behind Herman Story wines. Here's a photo of Russell with his gorgeous girl, Vailia:

So what's up next? BONUS! Russell & Vailia poured Larner Vineyard (single Vineyard) Grenache & Syrah for us. They are both wine club only bottles so it was a rare treat to get them.

The Grenache was probably the biggest Grenache I've ever had - leaning more towards a Spanish Garnacha. It was actually quite dry/tannic - surprising for me - and I loved it. It was a HUGE hit for my friend, Jackie, and that is the one she ended up buying for the day.

Then they poured the Larner Syrah - Amazing. How does this dude do it? On top of that, this label pictures the real Herman Story riding on logs from his logging days. Proof Wine Collective helped create the label and boy did they do a bang up job. Keep in mind, this is a real photo that is now artistically turned into a wine bottle label:

Yeah - that's him! Herman Story pictured above!

Then Russell took us into the back where he makes the wine, and showed us a few of his amazing new barrels. Barrels that have extremely thick wood as well as extremely high toast levels (think wood with a high level of being charred, burned & toasted to impart certain qualities on the vino.) These barrels cost around $1,500 - no small investment when you need to buy a lot of barrels!

Then we went back to the tasting room and again tried the "Nuts & Bolts" Syrah. Though I'm in love with "Casual Encounters," though I'm on the floor for the "On the Road Grenache," I'm simply in awe of the "Nuts & Bolts Syrah - THE best wine I've had in my entire life. Thank you Mr. Russell From for making such fantastic wine. And you really wonder why I'm a stalker?

And to wrap it us, here's a photo of myself with my dear friend Jackie & her "Herman Story Loving" Husband, Bob  - my stalker partners in crime :)  - photo taken by Boyfriend, of course.

A couple days later I ran into Russell & Vaiia in the Trader Joe's check-out line. I ran up to Vailia saying, "It's true! I really am a Herman Story Stalker! I even follow you to Trader Joe's!" Hahahah.

Can you believe it? In one month, three blogs on one subject: Herman Story Wines." This has never been done before, and probably will never be done again.

Long live Herman Story Wines!

P.S. for Russel & Vailia: No need to take a restraining order out on me - at least not yet, anyway. This is all in good fun!

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