A Postscript on Michael Bonaccorsi
Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley who produce Hitching Post wines chartered a bus for Michael's memorial service that was held at Spago in Beverly Hills. I went down for the memorial. The Friday before the service, they had bottled the Bonaccorsi 2002 Santa Rita Hills chardonnay. Frank told me, "we nudged the wine into the bottle, doing it the way Michael would do it. Michael had done all the work already."
Bottling the wine for the family honors Michael and helps Jenne, his widow, Frank said.
Frank also told me Michael had blessed our region by coming here to make his wine. Mike became very smitten with Santa Rita Hills, favoring it over the Russian River in northern California, which he had apparently mentioned in his early business plan.
I called Frank Ostini last Friday to clarify several points from Mike's memorial. One of the speakers had said Mike would shake his Boodle's martini either 26 or 28 times. Frank and I think it was 28. This fact amplifies Mike's passion for perfection.
Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini and Mike Bonaccorsi were "neighbors" in winemaking at Central Coast Wine services in Santa Maria. And Friday Frank told me that, consummate pinot noir-phile that Michael was, would smell the fermentation of their Bordeaux varietals, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, and say "why do you make that stuff?"
One speaker at the memorial recalled the time he had brought some great 1961 Bordeaux wines for Mike to taste. Mike would taste and spit, and the speaker said, "why are you spitting out the wine?" and Mike replied, "It's just cabernet." By the way, 1961 was considered to be one of the great Bordeaux vintages of the last century.
And, too, anybody who likes sidecars and Boodle's martinis, shaken not stirred, is okay in my book.
A New Release and Hot Wine Tip!
2002 Buttonwood Farm Santa Ynez Valley sauvignon blanc. $14 .
I had the wine with Sherrill Duggan, sales and marketing manager for the winery, and a friend who works for Citronelle in Santa Barbara. Both women had it with potato-crusted halibut in a red pepper sauce at Chef Rick's, and I had it with the pork entree on the menu with Rick's famous chicken lime tortilla soup. I found the wine particularly refreshing and delicious and a perfect food wine and a good quaff for somebody who finds themselves never drinking white wine any more. The wine was released February 1.
Buttonwood Farm's tasting room is located at 1500 Alamo Pintado Road north of Solvang. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (805) 688-3032.
Wine lover and Santa Maria Times Wine columnist, Bob Senn, lives in the bucolic Los Alamos Valley and owns the Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium.
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