Hot on the left, payday is Friday and s##t runs down hill.
2006 Edmund Vatan, Sancerre Clos La Néore:
On any other day, this gets the accolades it so richly deserves; youthful but pure, concentrated but lacy, singular and yet still complex – a paradox of a wine and all that Sancerre can be. I will put my few bottles away – perhaps, for my daughter – but regardless, for a day far in the future. A great wine of great promise but a pale pretender at the moment.
2000 Raveneau, Chablis Butteaux:
There is chardonnay, there is Chablis; there is very, very good Chablis . . . and then, there is Raveneau. Not every time; more than enough expensive bottles that simply try and fail. But when you cross glasses with one that is on – “on” in a way you will never be able to describe and yet, you will be so moved you have to try – then the price, damnable as it seems, is worth it.
Tonight, I was ready.
It was a day of trepidation and, finally, of hope and now; festivization!
It was a bottle I have had several times . . . and they have ranged from fine to so oxidized as to be undrinkable. So here is another . . . and the old saw is true – there are no great wines, only great bottles.
No white wine has ever shown me this; penetrating, rich aromatics that swing from the crystalline splendor of taut, racy Chablis to the very edges of the envelope in this vineyard –biscuits with butter still warm from the oven, fresh citrus compote – the spreadable kind, lilting minerality, perfect balance, an opulent texture that never steps over into flab or syrup, utterly exquisite acidity on the finish that seems to expand in the mouth once I swallow and then, a glorious, layered, beautiful length that goes on and on until, finally, I can speak again.
I have had a few very fine chardonnay wines at peak; Leflaive, DRC, Aubert, Dauvissat – none are within striking distance – on their best day. Tonight, accompanying shrimp scampi, this is the finest bottle of white wine of my life and the quintessential expression of all that great wine can be – life affirming, joyous, transporting, and the catalyst of that singular moment when one’s individual lows and highs meld with a unique experience to become the fabric of memory. Oh my!
(And for those who are counting, yes, this note is surely about rule number three. So sue me.)