This past week I finished an autobiography from Val Kilmer called “I’ll be your Huckleberry.” Being a fan of Val Kilmer’s early work, I enjoyed an excellent trek down memory lane. Hearing Val talk about Real Genius, Top Gun, The Doors, Tombstone, and Heat were fascinating. Also, to understand why he dropped out of the limelight provided some exciting introspection. He alluded to the fact he might be making an appearance in Top Gun 2: Maverick. I am keeping my fingers crossed the movie does not get delayed again. Being in a nostalgic mood, I hooked up my external DVD Drive to my Mac and watched Val play Jim Morrison in The Doors. I remember loving how much I enjoyed this movie and was delighted to see it still holds my attention. I didn’t realize until reading the book Val sang all the songs in the film and freaking Paul Rotchild out multiple times. I enjoy the depth Val Kilmer brought to his characters.

I don’t know how many times I have read the above paragraph, wondering why in the whole wide world of sports did I feel the need to include such rambling. I struggled a few days and debated about removing a glimpse into me that isn’t related to wine. Obviously, I kept it, but why? Midweek it hit me. The depth and the commitment Val Kilmer puts into his characters remind me of the dedication winemakers put into their wine. To have a bottle of wine that lasts for 2,3,5,11,20 years takes an extreme amount of dedication, hard work, and a pursuit of excellence. We are lucky for this excellence captured into a bottle of wine we share with those who are close to us.

Going back in time a bit, I remember my first visit to Purple Hands. A couple of days before my trek, I did a little recon and noticed the tasting room was just off of Highway 99. Perfect! On the day of my visit, I typed in the address and off I went. Siri took me off of 99 for some reason, I was slightly concerned, but only a little. I was more concerned when I turned off of Red Hills Road onto a driveway that had a Purple Hands sign up in a vineyard. I got to the end of the driveway and had to turn around. It was undeniably evident I was in the wrong place. As I turned around, making sure I didn’t run into any vineyard posts, a couple of people were going into a lovely building of sorts. I stopped, explained where I wanted to go, and I was given directions to the 99W location I initially researched. Sometimes, it is so freaking easy for me to get turned around. Grrr.

Once I walked into the correct tasting room, my heart made a little whee sound. There wasn’t anyone else having a tasting, which means I get to ask so many questions and have some in-depth conversation. Irene was working in the tasting room, and she is the most natural person to strike up a conversation. A few weeks ago, I called the tasting room to coordinate a pickup, and the dialogue felt like we were old friends who needed some time to catch up. Oh, the days of going into a tasting room and having a great conversation. I cannot wait!

During the tasting, another person walked in, and it was the same person who gave me directions to the tasting room. Come to find out it was Cody, the winemaker. From what Irene tells me, Cody’s father used to source grapes from Shea Vineyards, and growing up, Cody was close to the Shea family. Once Cody started Purple Hands, he asked if he could source grapes from Shea and was told no. It wasn’t until several vintages later, where Cody had proven his desire for excellence and quality, Cody was able to source grapes from Shea Vineyards.

Recently, Purple Hands got scores back on their 2017 wines, and here are those scores:

Latchkey
Wine Spectator: 92
Robert Parker: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 92

Kropf
Wine Spectator: 92
Robert Parker: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 92

Holstein
Wine Spectator: 94
Robert Parker: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 93 Editor’s Choice
James Suckling: 92

Shea
Wine Spectator: 92
Robert Parker: 94
Wine Enthusiast: 93 Editor’s Choice
James Suckling: 94

Freedom Hill
Wine Spectator: 93
Robert Parker: 92+
Wine Enthusiast: 92
James Suckling: 93

One of my personal favorites from Purple Hands is their Le Nouveau Monde Prestige. I looked through my notes to provide more details, and I have nothing. Sigh. The Le Nouveau is Cody’s favorite 4-6 barrels Cuvee that most represent the vintage. I highly suggest you try it. One other note about Purple Hands is their wines are unfiltered. I mention this because when you go to pour the last of the bottle, you might be surprised if you aren’t paying attention.

Before SIP, I was all ready to attend a Chardonnay event at the Lenai vineyard tasting room, the place I drove to off of Red Hills Rd, but the event got canceled. I do want to dive into their Chards and explore the possibilities. What wines are your exploring? Hit the reply button and tell me. I am always open to hearing what everyone is drinking!

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