Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte. Here is her sipping suggestion for September:
Before I had even started my career in wine or much less graduated from college, I met Jamey Whetstone in his early years of winemaking sitting in on a tasting with my father. Jamey’s energy for life and passion for adventure are contagious. I remember thinking, if this is what a winemaker is like … I want to be in that world. Jamey grew up in South Carolina around the Murrells Inlet area. He spent years working in the hospitality industry of Charleston. In the late 90s he moved to California to manage Mustards Grill. Not long after, he found himself making wine at the famed Turley Wine Cellars. So when I later started selling wine for one of Jamey’s best friends, it made all the sense in the world for me to take a trip out to California and shadow him. Waking up at 3 a.m. and loading in to his beat-up Chevy to drive the “death highway” out to Lodi to meet the picking crew is a memory I will never forget.
Jamey’s winemaking approach is centered on vineyard-specific bottlings. His latest project called Time Place Wine Co. focuses on single varietals from carefully sourced vineyards. The belief is that wine is a reflection of time and place: climate and season; site and study; right down to the moment of sharing the bottle with friends and family. All the wines under the Time Place Wine Co. label exude vibrancy and freshness, while being made sustainably under the Lodi Rules certification.
This month I have chosen Time Place Wine Co.’s “El Jamon” Grenache from Bokisch Vineyards (the same one that I picked half asleep in 2008). Markus Bokisch is the epitome of a true farmer who knows his family’s land and vineyards like the back of his hand. The Grenache makes for a great summer red perfect for grilled meats and pizza. It’s spicy and flavorful without a super heavy weight; as the name infers it possesses meatiness not unlike a delicious piece of cured Spanish ham. The purple, pink, and yellow sunset on the label features the Stono River.
Each label showcases the photography of Charleston artist John Duckworth. He is well known for his imagery of the Southeast coast that “transcends the line between realism and abstraction.” Just like looking at a painting, one can imagine their experience through the photo. Not only is the photo on each bottle dated and time stamped, but it also displays the GPS location. An empty bottle is the perfect single-stem vase for any Lowcountry home.