It is easy for me to write notes about wines I have with dinner, just Diane and me, the meal and a bottle. More difficult are the times with guests in when the number of wines seems to increase exponentially and my powers of observation decrease in kind. Most difficult are those weekends when geeks gather and bring with them cellar treasures that, if tasted one at a time over the course of several meals, would engender notes that sound more like poems than comments – but when opened all together, one after another, well, . . . that’s just silly (not that it stops me . . .).
This past weekend Diane and I traveled the 6 plus hours to Nashville, TN, where Shania Twain’s belly button is legend, no one lives in less than 6,000 square feet (at least not the houses I saw), and, where residents, John Blackwood and Trinka Dykes, opened their home to us and to His Most Illustrious and Honorable Vulgar Little Monkey and sweetie, Kathleen.
Revelry and regrets; a weekend to (try to) remember.
As intimated, any attempt at tasting notes is foolishness, but, for the sake of those who may wish information of the current state of certain vinous treasures, I offer these meager comments:
2000 Dauvissat, Preuses: amazing today, in no danger of fall-off.
1999 Hirtzberger, GV Honivogl: needs four hours in the decanter or ten years in the cellar but is world record juice.
2001 and 1998 Knoll, Riesling Schutt: 98 showing some botrytis and ready, IMO; 01 showing young and strong – hold.
1999 Juge, Cornas ‘C’: Yum, now.
1998 Allemand, Cornas Chaillot: needs time and shows hard but wonderful on promise alone.
2001 Fourrier, Gruenchers: a lovely young thing
1999 Dugat-Py, Les Evocelles: immense wine – hold and then hold longer.
1996 Martay, Corton-Charlemagne: the faintest hint of oxidation does not ruin a wine that is ready now and delicious.
1998 Conterno, Barolo: not ready
1991 Mascarello, Barolo: not remotely a classic but so damn interesting that I kept coming back to it – idiosyncratic.
1996 Le Pergola Torte: rockin’ today – don’t wait but give it one hour in the decanter.
And so many more I lost my count and enough brain cells that memories are scant. There on the dyslexic movie reel in my brain is the pool, the deli, the grocery, the mornings of quiet, the evenings that weren’t, the fabulous food, the heartfelt belly-laughs, an exhibit of Pulitzer photos at the museum that brought me to tears, the rain that brought sweet sleep and, above all else, the ease of friends that wove it together in the fabric our lives, well lived.
And so it goes . . .