The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Van der Kamp's Tandem Pinot Noir and Rush

Friday night and I’m ready for some classic rock, so I’m featuring Rush, a Canadian power rock trio composed of Alex Leifson (guitars), Getty Lee (Bass & vocals),  and Neil Peart (Drums & lyricist). The band is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns. All three members were and still are virtuosos on their respective instruments. Rush's music style has changed over the years, beginning with blues-inspired heavy metal on their first album, then encompassing hard rock, and progressive rock. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. Rush's sales statistics place them third behind the Beatles and Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.

Leifson and Lee are a powerful combination. Leifson’s ability to wail on the electric, then move to melodic classical styles is incredible. And as a bassist, trying to sing complicated lyrics AND play dynamic bass parts as Getty Lee does, is quite a daunting task. Trust me, I’m a bassist. If you’ve never heard of Rush, but like an edgier sound, I think you’re in for a treat.

Van der Kamp’s Tandem 2007 Pinot Noir. The Van der Kamp vineyard is the highest on Sonoma Mountain, and contains some of California’s oldest Pinot Noir. In case you haven’t heard, 2007 was as near-perfect a vintage as anyone is likely to see and the Van der Kamp Vineyard outdid itself. The aromatics of the Tandem yield all kinds of savory spices and floral notes that complement the bright red cherry and berry fruit, but it’s the texture and savory fruit flavor that is really compelling. Deep cherry/berry flavors, racy acidity, and soft tannins make this a wine that had me glad I bought four bottles. Definitely a classic wine for a classic rock group. Enjoy!


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