Irene Wine Co. Tasting @ Vine Street March 4th

Come On, Irene!

Brian Jessen in his Happy Place

The New Californian Wines of Brian Jessen.

Winemaker Brian Jessen in the House!

Friday, 3/4. 5:30 PM.
At Vine Street.
Reserve your spot here!

 



We'll be the first to admit that we're not always first to the party. (Like, we tried our first tawny port about, oh, 250 years after that party boat first set sail to England.)

But in the case of, Brian Jessen, among the greatest recent Californian winemakers to emerge this decade? We're proud to say we were one of the very first shops anywhere to work with his wines! We get lots of cold calls (truly: you can't imagine how many), and in most cases the meetings and tastings aren't that fruitful. (Yes, dear reader, even, or especially, when o'erfruity!) 

But the day Brian walked in is etched in memory: he entered with nothing more than an intro (from another winemaker we admire), a handful of his first bottlings, and a strikingly self-effacing demeanor.


Wanna try?

What happened next? Against all expectations (cf., Cold Calls, above), we were blown away by the entire line-up. Here was precisely the sort of fellow described and praised in Jon Bonné's "New Californian Wine" designation: not a scion of winemaking scions, but one of the new women and men who a) think outside the box, b) care passionately about chemical-free work in the vineyard, c) are driven by curiosity, d) equipped with a nigh-Stakhanovite work ethic, and e) making terroir-focused wines of balance and refinement?

That's Brian Jessen to a "t." He named his project Irene, in honor of his mother... and judging by the wines we have to imagine she was amazing. These are the sorts of wines that unite natural wine nerds (organic farming, minimalist winemaking) and classicists (the staunchest of Burghounds have been heard to say that his Chard is as good as CA gets!) alike.

And when we heard how challenging his pandemic year was (this is a guy whose wines were poured by some of the greatest restaurants in the Bay Area and beyond)? We decided it was high time to cheer him (and ourselves) up with a celebration of some of our favorite Californian delights!



Come On, Irene!

This Friday? Come lift glass (nay — lift four!) and spirits both, as we toast both Brian and his wines. We'll be opening his Chablis-like Chardonnay; his gorgeous rare bird of a Marsanne (a gorgeous rare bird!), his biodynamically farmed, high-elevation Grenache; and his incredible Syrah, sourced from one of the legendary Dick Graff's original sites in Chalone.

Winemaker Brian Jessen in the House!

This Friday, 3/4.
At Vine Street.
$10 ($5 for club members.)

Two slots: 5:30 and 6:30PM.
Reserve your spot here!

Past events