Did you ever ride down from Lyon to the Rhone on the motorway and there past the toll is Vienne and its cliffs, granite, that shock back the sun. This was the same feeling I had when I first made the drive up those Sierre footed hills to the Beckmeyer grape and goat residence. There's terroir in those hills. And, Hank is a the medium that puts it into bottle. I talk alot about Hank Beckmeyer and I don't want to beat this one into the ground, but anyone reading my blog knows that I think he is extremely talented and wise as a winemaker. Those vines were quite different than in August. It was green. There were flowers. There was a lush, sensual wildness to it, screaming..... BRING ON ZERO SUMMER. Filled with bumble bee fresh clover and stinging sage, crushing profoundly underfoot. And the vines looked robust and dewey and almost prepared to take on the summer drought and deprivation. The day was cold, I wore mittens. And then we went to see Hank's new toys. Outside Caro, who is sort of taking a year off from making cheese (and our palates are screaming in protest) was feeding the goats and Hank showed off his new kid. Hank with one of the runts of this year's litter. And one of the mommy's yummies was in our future. (Thank you Caro, and the pizza was delicious.) For more about Hank--google my name and La Clarine Farm --or hell---go to his website! That night, that cheese, pizza, and 1993 Tempier Cabassaou, mourvedre love, sleep. In the morning we headed north into the rain.