It was 1999 and after years of studying wine, selling wine and drinking wine, my course was set and I was determined to become a Master Sommelier. But a fateful trip to France, and a mud slogged walk through one of the world’s most heralded vineyards and the dreaming started. How could I do anything other than walk the vines, muddy my boots and understand on a much deeper level the wines and the earth from which they were grown, the way only a vigneron can. A few months later after finishing up an assignment in Washington, DC, I took a rare day off to see a couple museums, within the first ten feet of my tour I stumbled upon the Pangea exhibit. Before I knew it, I had a couple of (yet) unproven vineyards that had what I believed it would take to make some great Syrah, a business plan, a unique label concept based on Pangea and that underlying theme resonating through our focus. It wasn’t long before I found a ‘money guy’ and the rest is as they say ancient history. Eventually on this “journey” I was able to create a wine worthy of the name Pangea. I bottled a 2002 and a 2003, but kept the 2004 resting in barrel so that once It was bottled it would stand above anything and everything we had bottled. Fast forward to 2010…not unlike Pangea…the land separated. The separation was complete and I had all of the barrels that I needed to continue this incredibly fascinating project. I also happily gave up the rights to use the name Pangea in exchange for the unlimited use of a much more important name. Forging forward and searching for a fresh way to identify this very special wine, I was digging into my music collection and it occurred to me what I would call it. Agharta was a recording by Miles Davis captured the same day he recorded Pangea, two of my favorite pieces of live modern jazz. While Pangea got the attention of the masses, it was known by the intelligentsia that Agharta was the superior piece. Years of being an underground sensation only heard by the lucky few, Miles named the underground recording Agharta, after the supposed underground society on Earth that only the enlightened few were invited into. Agharta is also commonly known as a mystical place on earth where the hills are made of gold and the rivers run with wine…sounds like a great place to me.
Intense candied blackcurrants, dark fruit compote, tar, roses and violets on the very dense and dark aromas of this wine. Supple as Merlot can be with a ferrous quality to it that brings ripe tannins with exotic chocolate and succulent spices…not at all sweet, but layered with the essence of fruit with immense density and concentration. The finish is long and supple and expansive…the tannins dissolve slowly but surely leaving your mouth literally watering for another sip.