Dinner: Camblor, Coad, Kane, Miller, and Myself.
To begin there are the remnants of 1997 Domaine de la Pépière 'Vieilles Vignes' Clos des Briords Muscadet, which Jay assures us was better the night before, and so perhaps not all Muscadet is on a trajectory for infinite improvement with air. Manuel calls this a slutty grapefruit wine, but to me it shows a bit of the trademark funky barley kasha (which in this case does not win me over) and it doesn’t seem citrusy. But, it smells cool and Muscadet-like, which is nice.
Anyway, the 1998 Dirler Grand Cru Spiegel Riesling is delicious. Smells and tastes like Alsatian riesling, I call it juicy and steeley, I think Coad has a similar pair of words to express the same paradoxical sensations, and it does a lovely slippery yet firm dance on the tongue, plus it seems to go well with various first courses. An all around success!
The 2004 JP and JF Quénard Chignin Bergeron “Les Damoiselles” also appears to be a success. Brad finds it worthy of drinking two glasses, and I please myself with the white peach suckles that seduce my tongue in a firm, juicy, downright hedonistic manner. Primary. Obviously. Fun.
Unfortunately my 1992 Domaine du Closel Savennières “Clos du Papillon” is not terribly exciting. A light golden shot of weird tastes. In a round of aroma association Brad finds Vietnamese fish sauce, Manuel finds beef bouillon and sweaty steer, while I find slightly-corny Savennières. This exchange says lots about personal experience and cooking preferences, but unfortunately whatever way you slice it, the wine is not terribly compelling. I take some home in hopes of resurrection. But, no. At least not yet.
More weird smells were to be found in the 2004 Marcel Lapierre Morgon, which was too bretty for me, but those with different thresholds (Jay the Musar Man exclaims: nothing wrong with brett or volatility here) find it enjoyable. I can look past the brett for a moment to see the pretty floral aspects and it acknowledge that it gets marginally better with air. But, still doesn’t convince me.
The 1996 Chateau l’Arrosée Saint Emilion does convince me over time. It started out a bit crisp and watery, but with air it filled in, perked up, and eventually seemed to be a nice restrained drop of drink, while the 1996 Leoville Poyferré St. Julien had me from the beginning with its grippy mossy deep foresty charms, although by the end it seemed a bit bright and round. Could have just been my palate messing with me however. The comparison of these two wines leads to much discussion of terroir, Roland, Bordeaux, abominations, classicism, and various permutations therein. You can connect the dots yourself.
Brad snuck in a half bottle of something he knew he could drink, so the 2003 Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf du Pape “la Crau” makes the rounds. Typical sounds of horror and repulsion are heard, comparisons with pureed cinnamon chewing gum and the like. But, while it is clearly too Southern for my palate and the civilized truffled trout on my plate, it does seem to improve with air, and might be drinkable in a few years. When all that sweet juicy Grenache tannin calms down. Who knows.
Not to be outdone, Manuel has brought the Self-Dubbed Best Red Wine in the World, and even greater sounds of horror and repulsion are heard when the 2001 Sardon de Buero Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial is poured. I find it to be merely anonymous and boring. Others claim it manages to combine every fault possible in a red wine, but I don’t really have the heart/energy to taste it again to see what they’re talking about.
Plus, we have some mixology on hand for entertainment, as the 2002 Raymond Quénard Chignin-Bergeron “Vendange de Novembre” is poured, and everyone eagerly anticipates a nice sticky finish to the evening, but, whoops, it is completely dry, flabby, and not terribly interesting. Without missing a beat, Chris cracks and pours a packet of sugar, to make it palatable, although Manuel prefers his with Splenda, so we now have three cuvees to compare. Mixology indeed.
At this point all the others have work in the morning, so they depart, while I go home to pester my cousin, who also has to work in the morning. Fine fine evening.