Scholium Project

2003 Babylon Tenbrink Vineyards

Babylon: this wine has a history unmarred by disaster or catastrophe. It arose brilliantly in the Fall of 2003, as a gift. In the midst of harvest, Steve Tenbrink appeared on the crush pad at Luna Vineyards with a small load of grapes, about a ton, unexpected, unwatched for.

He had already delivered the 10 tons under contract to Luna. We thought that the vineyard had been cleaned out. In fact, a ton remained, without a home. Steve brought it to me and offered it as a gift, grateful that I had bowed to his wife Linda’s insistence that I leave the Rome of Napa and visit their vineyard in the barbarian border-land of Solano. The vineyard was a viticultural beacon in the hinterlands, capable of piercing the fog of complacency that often enveloped Rome.

Babylon: this wine, true to its barbarian origins, stands on the periphery of civilized wines. Ink dark, redolent of unfamiliar fruits, of market leathers. Yet not so far away. Babylon, whose sisters are Rome and Jerusalem, is somehow the distant reflection of these two pillars of civilization. The wine’s tannins are like a city, large, complex, teeming—but well policed. If not Babylon, Barcelona— one can smell the wild blood that underlies the surface of bourgeois order and luxury.

44 cases produced.

[Written in 2005.]