Sunday, February 08, 2009
I think I'm usually pretty lucky. There are some things that haunt wine lovers. Corked wines. Premature oxidation of white Burgundies (and, some are now sinisterly saying, of Alsaces perhaps and next, who knows, Muscadet?). Brettanomyces. Other sundry flaws that leave you aghast and pouring out glass and bottle into the nearest drain. I don't usually run into those specters. My corked bottle rate is so low you'd think I had some kind of saran wrap secretly hidden in my fingers.*
But recently, alas, my luck was out. I had the most alarmingly, awfully flawed bottle of wine I have perhaps ever had the misfortune to taste.
2003 Léon Barral Faugères Tradition. Now, I had the 2005 version of this usually lovely and straightforward wine a few weeks ago. It was, well, lovely and straightforward.
Flash forward to its 2003 incarnation. Uh, oops! Who poured nail polish remover into my Faugères? The nose was acetone and ungainly. It could only be less marked on the palate, I reasoned in my benightedness. Slurp. Ugh, no! It was in fact worse. Along with the nail polish remover taste was a dirty, rotten uncleanness in the background, hovering and killing all fruit and pleasure.
For once, for me, one sip was enough.
*For, as old wino's tales tell us, dipping saran wrap into a glass of corked wine whisks away the corkiness (along with some fruit and other flavor components, but you can't have everything).