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Optimism in the Air and In the Bottle


There’s a sense of optimism in the air here at Gentile’s, as a light at the end of the proverbial endless tunnel of the last year appears. Everyone on staff has officially received their second vaccine, so there will be bubbly in each of our households this weekend. On a personal level, I feel great because my shaggy ass dog is finally being professionally groomed today, so goodbye to the endless shedding (at least temporarily) that I live with. To pass along the good emotions, I am giving you email blast recipients first crack at our limited allocation of two of my absolutely favorite Oregon wineries, Lingua Franca and Big Table Farm.

Larry Stone and Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca was formed in 2015 by Larry Stone, David Honig, and Dominique Lafon, inspired by an exceptional vineyard site Stone purchased in 2012. About four years ago, Larry came by 1565 King Ave. with a calm, intriguing seriousness and confidence that a father might reveal to a child when bestowing on them some deep and secret truth. I am not going to lie… I try to keep it cool and reserved when the endless droves of sales representatives pass through these doors, but as I tasted these wines with Larry I could do no such thing. The Chardonnay danced on the tongue with ginger, pear, lemon verbena, and bright acidity. The Pinot Noir revealed layer after layer of berry fruits, autumn leaves, spices, and earth. Having completely lost my cool, I gushed about how absolutely killer these wines were, and Larry just smiled faintly and knowingly. He then went on his way and I’ve not seen him since, but I am glad to continue to have these wines available and be reminded of that day. Here’s what I have available at this moment from Lingua Franca’s 2018 limited releases: “The Plow” Pinot Noir- $64.99 94 Points Wine Spectator. Graceful in its complexity and elegantly expressive, offering lithe raspberry and cherry flavors that are laced with a hint of crushed stone and black tea that build tension toward medium-grained tannins. “Tongue ’N Cheek” Pinot Noir- $64.99 91 Wine Spectator. Laser-like in focus, this red offers a tightly wound structure of minerality and tannin accented by raspberry and green tea, finishing with medium-grained tannins. “Mimi’s Mind” Pinot Noir- $95.99 Their most age-worthy offering. 92 Wine Spectator. Tense and vibrant, with a steely core of acidity and tannins framed by bright cherry and cranberry flavors that gather in tension and tight tannins. “Sisters” Chardonnay- $95.99 Absolutely gorgeous and inspired by the great whites of Burgundy. 93 Points Wine Spectator. Brisk and steely, with pinpoint focus, this version offers lemon blossom, quince and crushed rock accents that linger on the vibrant finish.

Big Table Farm

Big Table Farm is a collaborative effort between winemaker Brian Marcy and artist Clare Carver. The art adorning each label is inspired by scenes that take place at the the farm itself, that in addition to winemaking, has poultry, pigs, cows, and egg-laying chickens. Big Table Farm has been one of those rare higher end wineries here at the store that has never needed a hand sell. Once you go Big Table, you don’t really ever go back. Here’s what I’ve got right now: The Wild Bee 2019 Chardonnay- $34.99 A supple, bright rendition that is incredibly floral and citrusy with great nuance and acidity. 2019 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir- $54.99 A polished, structured wine with crushed ripe raspberry, spices, and crushed stone elements that gather in power towards an incredibly long finish.

Once again, these allocations are limited and will go out for general store sale later in the day tomorrow. You’ve got first crack at them, so let me know. Thanks, Josh

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