Saturday, January 17, 2009

A happy little claret

Ever on the outer limits of testing my palate, last weekend I dove into the Gironde, through the largesse of neighbor and friend Guy, and was able to whet my palate with two superb clarets.

I'd never had a Château Margaux before, and I found the 1989 ripe, mature, with a bit of a grainy texture coming on with age, with the kind of length on the palate that makes you go, "Woah, ho, ho..." as it draws on and teases out and does not finish but rather comes romping back to say "hi" again before flaring out in a splash of aftertastes.

I had been told to expect something special, so that confirmation was, while impressive, not a surprise.

What did surprise me, however, was the 1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou we drank that evening, too. Upon opening, it was a bit tannic and even green about the gills. But after a couple of hours' air on the mantelpiece, it had softened up. As we sipped it with the cheeses (nice raw-milk stuff), it made me feel happy, warm, and good.

I got to thinking that that is what I like most about wine. The sense it imparts of unexpected comfort when it is at the right age, poured at the right time.

This would happen again a week later, two nights ago, with a 2000 Allemand Cornas "Reynard." Wine for swooning, when you least expect it.


Mondo Imports said...

Hi Sharon,
I have just stumbled across your blog in the last few weeks and it is very good. You have a great knack for writing.

You should write a novel about 'wine and sex' :-)

Sharon said...

I am!


Michel Beauchamp said...

When will it be published or, more impertinently, how is the research going ???

So many blogs that should be read and so little time to do it !!!

I’ve decided to give yours a try after discovering that you have beautiful feet (blame Brad Kane for this – the man has an eye for great pictures) and that you love Thierry Allemand’s wines.

The man is a genius ! Have you tried his Cuvée Sans Soufre 2004 ?
Awfully expensive in Québec, but to die for. So much purity.

Mondo Imports said...

I must admit I love the Champagne focus. I am a sucker for Champagne. I am heading there in 8 weeks time. Two nights in Aube (visiting Champagne Serge Mathieu) and one night in Paris and then off to Italy. Should be a great trip, only tricky part is travelling on a plane with an 18 month old (who I must say has already discovered the virtues of Champagne :-))

Maybe you should change your blog to Champagne Princess :-)

Sharon said...

Michel, thanks, I guess, for finding my blog from the... uh, ground up. ;) I haven't tried the sans soufre Allemand, but am now very curious to!

Mondo Imports, I know, my blog is pretty skewed toward Champagne. Tell me more about Serge Mathieu?

Mondo Imports said...

Hi Sharon,
being skewed to Champagne is a good thing :-)

Normally we stay in Epernay or Reims but this year we thought we would try somewhere different so that is why we decided to stay in Aube.

They are rated pretty highly by Tom Stevenson from Decanter.
This is what he has to say:
The Mathieus have been growers in the Aube since at least 1760 but it was not until 1970 that the first Champagne was bottled under the family name by Serge Mathieu, who created the 'Billecart Salmon of grower Champagnes'. His daughter Isabelle and her husband Michel-Jacob now run the business but Serge still works in the cellars. There are 11ha of picture-perfect vines and a superbly equipped winery. Malolactic is carried out with great delicacy, endowing these supremely elegant Champagnes with a creamy richness. Tom Stevenson, Decanter Magazine, May 2007

click on the link for their website:


D Marra said...

I love it when that happens. A while back, a customer invited me to his house for lunch and I was surprised to be drinking '82 Leoville Poyferre for the first time along with 19th century Madeira. These moments of generosity are defiantely my favourite wine experiences!!