The Thomas Coyne Affair
Do you remember that insane Havens merlot deal we did a while back? What about the pinot noirs of Duane Cronin? If you remember buying cases of those wines like I do it means you've been shopping at K&L since at least 2008—back when we celebrated the incredible stocks of classic California wines from producers who had either passed away or were liquidating their supplies. My wife and I probably drank 50+ bottles of the Cronin pinot noirs ourselves. They were all $9.99, had incredible maturity, and showed vintage, old school Golden State grit. What a throwback Mr. Cronin was! The current back vintages of York Creek we have from Fritz Maytag right now are reminiscent of those deals (and are incredible values on their own), but those are $30 bottles. You don't necessarily want to pop those on a Wednesday night after a long day to pair with your vegetable soup.
What I am drinking on a Wednesday night after a long day to pair with my vegetable soup? I'm drinking a 2012 Thomas Coyne mourvèdre from Livermore; a bottle that will cost you $9.99 at K&L Wine Merchants. After the unfortunate passing of Mr. Coyne last year his family found themselves with a surplus of back vintages that needed a good home, so we reached out to his daughter Anne Marie and put together a nice little tribute to her dad. Thomas Coyne, as you'll soon find out in an upcoming On the Trail post, was a guy who loved California, loved its wines, and more importantly loved making wine in California. He had a little estate over in Livermore called Château Bellevue where he crafted honest wines made from interesting varietals grown in obscure little plots from all over the region. I sat down with Anne Marie a little over a week ago to talk about her father and get a sense of his passion. Tonight, I'm getting my first taste of what we were able to procure. Let me tell you right now: these are real, no frills, delicious California wines with character and sense of place. The low prices we'll be selling these for are merely a fraction of what they originally sold for. It's only because of Anne Marie's respect for K&L that she offered these wines to us. It's completely out of our respect for her and her father's legacy that we promised to do these last few vintages justice—telling the story, spreading the word, and relating the spirit of Thomas Coyne's passion to the lucky customers who will bring these bottles home.
I'll tell you much, much more in the upcoming days. Right now I've got a bowl of soup and a glass of mouvèdre to get back to.