For those of you who thought I would be a train wreck this morning…HA! It’s 5:15 am and I’m all over NASCAR Teddy’s butt. Inman has an interesting story on the whole mess. I think Old Repulsive bailed out because they figured out what a bad idea it was. They’re doing just fine chugging along with that Title Insurance of Minnesota shit. Why mess it up with corporate raiding? Your business plan is obviously hunker down and wait this out while retaining your core. I like that business plan and I know y’all are so tight that you squeak when you walk. Seems to be working in this market, don’t mess it up with a big acquisition like Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company. Or Lawyers. Or one nobody’s every heard of…And if you get Commonwealth…do you get NASCAR Teddy too? Afterall, lest we forget…
Mr. Theodore L. Chandler Jr., 55
Chairman, Chief Exec. Officer, Chairman of Exec. Committee, Chairman of Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., Chairman of Transnation Title Insurance Company, Chairman of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Chief Exec. Officer of Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., Chief Exec. Officer of Transnation Title Insurance Company, Chief Exec. Officer of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Pres of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, Pres of Lawyers Title Insurance Company
What happened to Transnation? And isn’t United Capital the old Northwestern/SomenameinthemiddleIforgot/New Century?
And I might as well get in a swipe at the Bloodless Empire while I’m at it. Remember the lawsuit for the misclassified Escrow and Title Officers? $26.1 million is going to leave a mark in this economy. According to my math, after you pay the attorneys the average pay out to the employees is around $18k. While it’s a large settlement (nice job Steve) I guarantee you it did not offset the benefit the Bloodless Empire received by having folks work all that extra time with no compensation. Somebody tell the Amateur Now Demoted Manager, just because it’s corporate policy doesn’t mean it’s right. How’s that corporate Kool-aid now?
Along the Wine Trail
It took longer than I thought to get out to yesterday’s site with the fog and all so we got a late start. Trentadue will have to wait for another day. So we started at Keenan, one of my favorites. It was a Thursday so nothing was going on which made the visit more old school than normal. I was picking up a shipment and my futures. I bought the futures two years ago. They were selling a Davis clone and a Bordeaux clone. I got one of each. We were lucky enough to have Michael Keenan walk through the tasting room and stop to talk to us about the wine. Score! I can’t wait to get into those futures, but they’re only 2006 Cabs and I really should let them lay down for a few years. Keenan has been on fire. They’ve got a recent 92 and a 93 from Parker. Not an easy fete. More importantly they did it without making one of those big jammy bullshit wines a lot of other folks are making. If you see them on a wine list, get it. It will be worth your while. Four bottles in the trunk. Our next stop was going to be Freemark Abbey but we got side tracked to Revana. They’re on the menu at The Sommelier’s restaurant and she wanted to stop in. They were appointment only, but were gracious enough to set a 2pm appointment for us. So we busted up to Clos Pegase for that hour and picked up my shipment there…and a little something for the clientele. Eight more bottles in the trunk. Their Cab Franc this time around was excellent. Not your normal Cab Franc. Plums and cherries, with a full feel to it. A really nice wine. Their Pinot was like drinking a cherry coke Pinot. I really like those guys. I like the wine, I like the art in the tasting room and they have the best parties. It was almost 2pm so we busted back down to Revana. I understand why a small boutique-y winery like these guys insist on appointments. In our case it was doubly worth the wait. Not only did we get to hear about the history and philosophy, we were lucky enough to meet our second winemaker of the day, Heidi Barrett, the rock star. (hint: Screaming Eagle) The Revana Cabernet Sauvignon is dark and lush, full of black cherry and cocoa. Beautiful mouthfeel. It was hard to walk away from. But our excellent luck did not stop there. Heidi had a 2pm appointment where she was pouring some of her La Sirena line. She stopped by us and told us they were open anyway, have a taste. The most amazing wine we tasted was her Moscato Azul. That’s not to say we didn’t have some amazing wines yesterday, but the Moscato Azul was amazing in that it wasn’t like anything we’d ever had before. It’s bottled in a blue bottle. It starts off sweetish like a Moscato Cannelli but then it’s not sweet. It would be perfect with Hawaiian or any other Island food. The bouquet is bursting with floral scents. Then it starts off sweet and fruity in the mouth but settles into a clean finish. I’ve never had anything like it. It’s essentially a dry Moscato. Don’t pass it up if you see it on a wine list. There’s a reason she’s such a rock star. I wouldn’t pass up any project she was involved in. Next stop Freemark Abbey. This was just a quick pick up. They’ve remodeled the tasting room. This sort of stuff is unsettling for those of us that have been around for years and years. The bar is now on the left and the piano is gone. We only had a couple of wines, since I’d been here fairly recently. We had the Bootleg Cab, the Bosche and something the Sommelier picked that I can’t remember what it was. Freemark Abbey is old school style. They never bought into the big buttery oak thing or the bursting with fruit shit. That’s why I love them. Five more bottles in the trunk. Next stop Darioush. There are more and more of these places up in the valley. Opus is kind of like this, so is Clos Pegase. Over the top architecture with huge opulent tasting rooms. Darioush is up there with the best of them. I’m more of a Keenan come by our old barn sort. The big places make me twitch. Thankfully, Darioush makes some amazing wine. The most interesting to me was their Shiraz. They did a side by side for us of the 2005 and 2002. The 2005 had chocolate notes where the 2002 had coffee. They were both rich, beautiful wines with plenty of layers that would stand up to the food of the owner’s homeland. Orange peel and pepper sneaking around the mid palette with a silky finish. Really a great wine. I might even had $64 worth of love for it. All and all, an amazing day in the wine country. Every time I go with the Sommelier something very special occurs. Yesterday was no exception. We have one more adventure, the day before Christmas Eve, Santa hats, Christmas cookies.