Hello Friends of Pinot: The Calling

By MATT PALAFERRI

By the time this article has gone to print, The Masters will have concluded. Tiger may or may not have finished in the top ten after a long layoff. The smooth, never-gets-old swing of Fred Couples may or may not have made the cut. I can’t tell the future, but what I can be assured of is that Jim Nantz on The Master’s broadcast has said, “Hello friends” and “a tradition like any other.”

There are so many things that go hand-and-hand when thinking of and watching The Master’s, but being an adult grape juice guy, whenever I hear that mesmerizing voice of Nantz, I think of his wine, The Calling. Every year, I listen and wait for him to all of a sudden do a selfless promotion and say something like, “Hello my cork dork friends, while I have some time, before this guy I’ve never heard of three putts, let’s take a moment and talk about my fantastic Pinot Noir from the Fox Den vineyard.” 

I can picture him holding up the bottle, gazing at the label, taking a sip on live TV while Nick Faldo tries to think of how he’s going to turn this segment back into talking golf. Unfortunately, Nantz is way too  professional to ever do something like that on The Master’s telecast. Sigh. Bummer. Wait!! Perhaps the NFL broadcast with Tony Romo? Romo would totally get the self promotion of a fine wine, right? Yeah, probably not, so I guess I’ll promote it.

I recently tasted the 2018 Fox Den Vineyard pinot noir with winemaker James Macphail and it is tasting fantastic. James describes the wine as “luscious, complex, and robust” and I couldn’t agree more. There’s a ton of red fruit and spice on the nose as well as a long finish that screams for some seared duck or grilled pork chop. The Fox Den is aged 16 months in French oak and the grapes were hand picked, hand sorted and punched down three times a day to enhance the most flavor as it possibly can.

Little history on this Russian River vineyard. It was named for a family of foxes that lived on the vineyard for decades. The conditions are ideal for growing world class pinot with the variations of temperature throughout the growing season. Cool mornings and sunny afternoons help ripen these grapes and give a structure to this wine “unlike any others” in the region. See what I did there?

The Platinum tier of The Calling wines isn’t just limited to the Fox Den. They also have Sunny View, Patriarch, Searby, Promissio as well as a few amazing chardonnays. James was kind enough to taste them all with me and some friends and they are all different, amazing, and unique in their own way. Keep it up, James. If you keep nailing these wines maybe Jim will take you to Augusta for a round. Ok, Pebble? Maybe a municipal course? Putt putt? Buy you a sleeve of balls? Well, next time you come to town, if we can run through them again I’ll take you somewhere! Remember: when you think of The Masters, remember The Calling. Until next time.

You can find these wines at most fine wine shops and online at The Calling Wine. Ask your favorite restaurant to bring them in.

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