On April 1, 1985, Sports Illustrated published a cover story about a walk-on at the NY Mets training camp, a pitcher who had already been deemed unhittable. Headlined “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” author George Plimpton reported that Hayden Siddhartha “Sidd” Finch had been raised in an English orphanage, had learned yoga in Tibet, and could throw a fastball 168 m.p.h.!
Finch wore just one shoe while pitching, a heavy hiker’s boot, Plimpton wrote. He threw his blazing fastball with pinpoint accuracy without warming up. The Mets scouting report gave Finch a “9” on fastball velocity and control — on a scale whose highest score was supposed to be “8.”
The photos accompanying Plimpton’s story featured Finch with a young Lenny Dykstra and chatting with Mets pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.
Sidd Finch captured the minds of talk radio and TV talk show hosts across the country and became national news. The Mets already had Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling at the top of rotation. With the addition of Finch, who could pitch on just a day or two of rest, the World Series had seemingly already been decided.
Then, as many of us remember, a few days later Sports Illustrated acknowledged that Sidd Finch was a figment of Plimpton’s imagination, an April Fool’s prank that had shocked the nation.
Why tell this story today? Simple. Had we not met Dave Yorgensen in the fall of 2013, we may well have taken this Robert Parker quote as a journalistic prank of Sidd Finch proportion: “I do not know who these people are, but they knocked it out of the park with both their reds and whites." Alas, nothing could be further from the case.
Yorgensen, who was making wine at O’Brien at the time, had crafted his first mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from the great 2012 vintage. The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve was drawn off the Henry Brothers Ranch on top of Howell Mountain, not far from Dave and Wendy Yorgensen’s home. The second was an absolutely staggering Syrah, comprised entirely of small-berry clusters grown on tiny Lampyridae Vineyard planted at 2,150 feet on Mount Veeder.
It was a glorious afternoon that ended with a thud reminiscent of a 168 m.p.h. fastball hitting square in the center of a catcher’s mitt. We were willing buyers, but with total production of just 100 cases, Dave Yorgensen wasn’t selling … until today.
OK, there’s almost no wine. After the Parker reviews hit the web, nearly all of the Yorgensens’ tiny 2012 and 2013 production was spoken for. A few cases were set aside. Some went to Kind Cellars’ ONLY restaurant account in the country, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. The rest was earmarked for WineAccess.
The 2013 Kind Cellars Mt. Veeder Syrah from Lampyridae Vineyard isn’t purple in color. It’s BLACK. Ultra-concentrated, sexy aromas of mountain blueberry and blackberry, a hint of violet, with plenty of toasty oak. Intoxicating in its richness, depth, and plushness, velour-like in texture, it’s easy to become seduced by all the primary-fruit flash, but this is also a multi-layered wine infused with magical complexity — more Côte Rôtie-like than Napa Valley. Drink now-2040!
240 bottles. $65/bottle. Shipping included on 3. This won’t be the last you’ll hear of Kind Cellars on WineAccess.
Black, rich lots of depth and body just as the guys said it would be. Much better if it gets an hour or two of air and warms up to room temp which right now in hot old FL is 75 degrees. Very smooth, classic syrah. Lots of miles to go here. I expect I'll be drinking wine for the next 20 years roughly, so long as my liver holds out. I would love to hold out on my other 2 bottles and see what they taste like at 10 and 20 years. They should just about be starting to hit their peak right about then.
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