Friday, December 22, 2006

Petrus and Yquem, oh my...

Oh, it's no fun anyway. We went to the grand opening of the new Château Cash & Carry in Malakoff. No one was there! Vast, well-stocked, and pure, the space was pleasing to the eye. A small table at the end of one of the aisles held two plates of sesame bread sticks and two smooth and heavy glass decanters, one red-filled, one golden yellow, with two empty bottles next to them: 1996 Petrus and 1996 Yquem.

We tasted, over the course of, say, three or four minutes, two small samplings, with some bread sticks and water in between.

The Petrus was a letdown. Nicely constructed, with soft merlot things going on and a palpable pedigree. But 990 € for this? I'd rather have 10 bottles of some really good Burgundy...

As for the Yquem, it went down smooth, but will not be showing up on any of my wish lists (in any case, as we opined together, Arnaud and I have consumed more sweet wine in the past three months than either of us had in the past three years; it's not my favorite style, nor his).

So we're about to leave for the country for Christmas, to Arnaud's parents'. Afterward, we might go down to Chinon to pick up some more wine from the cave, because now - to my glee - we are once more out of "daily drinkers." Which means that last night, with sausage-stuffed turkey and wild rice with cèpes, we opened the last bottle of 2002 Volnay 1er cru "Champans" - Réyane & Pascal Bouley.

It was delicious, light red fruit with some rustic edge, making me realize I hadn't had a glass of Volnay in a year, and that I love Volnay, and miss it.

And I remembered when we went to the village of Volnay; I had met Arnaud the day before. There were five of us, and we tasted wines served us by the old man who had formerly made the wine but had long ago handed things over to his son. That son was off in some neighboring village watching the Tour de France. The old man had been home alone on the balcony when we walked by, and let us in to do some tasting. He was excited to have company and kept re-serving us the same wines in a circle, but we didn't mind, and he asked us, referring to the big bike Tour, "Do you think they'll let the American win again this year?"

And I bought some Volnay 1er cru "Champans," red and warm as the blood slipping easily, happily through my pumping heart.

I'm glad they sometimes let the American win.

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