Goddammit

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Goddammit

Postby Hoke » Mon May 22, 2006 11:38 pm

Two Goddammit Burgundies In One Day!

What’s a Goddammit Burgundy? Simple. If you’ve already got the Burgundy Habit, you spend an inordinate amount of time, money and focus on trying to find that perfect bottle of Burgundy, like the one that got you hooked in the first place. Your palate swims through oceans of mediocrity, and occasionally drops to scoop up some bottom sludge of swill disguised with fancy names. And just about the time you tire of spending all that money and wasting all that time….. along comes a Burgundy that stirs up all those passions and hopes and dreams all over again, and you plunge headlong back into that deep, dark, all encompassing obsession, swept away You shrug, realizing you are lost, look at the Burgundy, say “Goddammit”, and take another perfect sip. . The wallet opens and the hunt begins anew. That, folks, is a Goddammit Burgundy.

Well, thanks to Lou Kessler, I had two Goddammit Burgundies in one day. Our mutual friend Gail was visiting from Seattle and we were coincidentally celebrating selling our house for scandalous profit (well, it’s in escrow, anyway), so we went to Bouchon in Yountville for lunch.

Lou insisted on bringing a couple of wines, as is his wont. First out of the bag is a 2000 William Fevre Les Clos Chablis. Goddammit. Crystal transmuted into a shimmery green gold wine. Lemon sea shells. Liquid limestone. This…this is what Chablis is. Salty cone of Pomme Frites on the table, a plate of Brandade de Morue with preserved tomatoes in front of me, a fresh, crusty”wheat stalk” baguette on the butter plate, good friends all around, and feeling as close to a Parisian bistro as you can get while still in California: life is very good.

And I’m thinking, Goddammit, I absolutely have to remember to go out to the local wine store and see what Chablis is in stock, and start selectively tasting and acquiring…..

But Lou is not finished. “Bordeaux or Burgundy?” he says. And I swear there’s a wicked gleam in his eyes. All four of us chorus “Burgundy”, without hesitation. It’s easy to see where this crowd is coming from. So Lou pulls out a Domaine Daniel Rion Nuits St. George PC Haut Pruliers 1990.

Before I even taste it, before I even lift the glass to my nose, I can see it and smell it. Already, I know: Goddammit!

There are few things more beautiful in life, more sensuous and compelling, than a perfectly realized Burgundy Pinot Noir. This is one. Honestly, descriptions fail (at least, mine do). I can’t do it justice. There’s reverential silence, everyone with nose in glass, then (I swear it) cooing noises. Must be the other four, Can’t be me doing that, can it? Every element of the wine is in absolutely perfect balance. Fragrant fruit, earthy, mushroomy, leathery, sweet, sweet, sweet and pure cherry, more earth/umami filling the mouth, filling the mind. Right here, right now, it could not possibly be any better. It defines the moment, defines the region, defines the grape, defines the style. This is what any wine lover strives to find.

Goddammit.

Of course, I further drive home the point by ordering a plate of Gnocchi in the “Parisian Style”, little cylinders of gnocchi, sautéed with mushrooms and dredged in herbs and olive oil. Goddammit.

Dessert? No, thank you. I still have some Haut Pruliers in my glass. I’ll make it last as long as I can, but eventually, I know, that I’ll have to give up this seat and table to someone else, and no matter how cautiously I sip, the wine keeps getting lower and lower in the glass…

Goddammit.
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Re: Goddammit

Postby Isaac » Tue May 23, 2006 12:47 am

I've had one.

It was a Gevrey-Chambertin. I don't remember anything else, other than how it tasted, how it felt in my mouth. I've never had anything else like it, before or since.
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Re: Goddammit

Postby MtBakerDave » Tue May 23, 2006 12:59 am

Great tasting note! Thanks!
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Re: Goddammit

Postby Paulo in Philly » Tue May 23, 2006 1:08 am

I have had very few Nuits St. Georges, but enough to know it is my holy grail. You have been blessed by the gods! It sounds like you took full advantage of every drop - wise and blessed man!

Fantastic!
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Re: Goddammit

Postby AlexR » Tue May 23, 2006 5:32 am

Well, normally speaking, I wouldn't open up a post with a header like this, but curiousity got the better of me.

I'm glad you had 2 such enjoyable wines.

Ah, if only Burgundy were [u]reliably [/u]good....

Best regards,
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Re: Goddammit

Postby wrcstl » Tue May 23, 2006 10:27 am

"Two Goddammit Burgundies In One Day! "

Hoke,
My problem is that this story could have easily gone the other direction. We opened two great Burguandies and they both tasted like crap; Goddammit!
Walt
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Re: Goddammit

Postby Jenise » Tue May 23, 2006 10:40 am

1990 Leroy Auxey Duress.

Sigh.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Goddammit

Postby Hoke » Tue May 23, 2006 1:15 pm

wrcstl wrote:"Two Goddammit Burgundies In One Day! "

Hoke,
My problem is that this story could have easily gone the other direction. We opened two great Burguandies and they both tasted like crap; Goddammit!
Walt


And that's why I call them goddammit wines, Walt. As I'm basking in the loveliness of the Burgundian moment, I fully realize that I'm no committing myself to go out and suffer all those disappointments...and costly disappointments too...before I finally, miraculously, stumble across another ineffable wine like the Rion NSG.

My friend, John Ash, relates it more elegantly---and positively---than I. He calls it looking for epiphanies (he calls himself a 'recovering Catholic') and insists all that trial and failure is worth the occasional epiphanies. And Burgundy, goddammit, has just enough epiphanies to keep us all on the search for those Holy Grails out there.

To fall back on another term we tend to invoke a lot around here, this was the inverse part of Sturgeon's Law (that 90% of everything is crap). This was definitely in the top ten percent...for me, in the top one percent. And that top one percent is what truly defines why I am so enamored of wine. Makes trudging through the other worth it all.
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Re: Goddammit

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue May 23, 2006 3:20 pm

Hoke wrote:And that's why I call them goddammit wines, Walt. As I'm basking in the loveliness of the Burgundian moment, I fully realize that I'm no committing myself to go out and suffer all those disappointments...and costly disappointments too...before I finally, miraculously, stumble across another ineffable wine like the Rion NSG.


Hoke, I'm a relative newbie to Burgundy, but in my limited experience I've found that producer and year provide fairly reliable guarantees against outright disappointment. If, OTOH, you mean being able to routinely have one of those trascnedental experiences that Burgundy seems to specialize in, then I agree 100%.

My friend, John Ash, relates it more elegantly---and positively---than I.


Namedropper! :lol:

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Re: Goddammit

Postby Hoke » Tue May 23, 2006 4:11 pm

Mark:

Yeah, I was referring to mainly the transcendental. Tell the truth, I think a lot of the Burgundy out there these days is pretty decent stuff. I think the Burgundians have cleaned up their act considerably over the last several years, and there's not as much outright shoddy crap as there used to be. And yes, I agree, you can pretty much steer clear of that.

But even as good as good Burgundy is, the transcendental stuff, the goddammits that drive you to bankruptcy and pulling your hair out in frustration (look at my head and you'll know what I mean!), the sigh-inducing stuff of dreams, that stuff is still a rare commodity. Which is what keeps Burgundy expensive.
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Re: Goddammit

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue May 23, 2006 6:40 pm

Hoke wrote:Mark:

Yeah, I was referring to mainly the transcendental. Tell the truth, I think a lot of the Burgundy out there these days is pretty decent stuff. I think the Burgundians have cleaned up their act considerably over the last several years, and there's not as much outright shoddy crap as there used to be. And yes, I agree, you can pretty much steer clear of that.

But even as good as good Burgundy is, the transcendental stuff, the goddammits that drive you to bankruptcy and pulling your hair out in frustration (look at my head and you'll know what I mean!), the sigh-inducing stuff of dreams, that stuff is still a rare commodity. Which is what keeps Burgundy expensive.


It's entirely possible that I've not yet even had a wine that, in your eyes, would warrant a "godammit." My closest experience was last year when we opened a number of '88 Cote de Nuits we'd purchased at auction. The '88 Dujac Clos de la Roche was an eye-opening experience, and let me know just how perfumed an aged Burgundy could be. More often, though, it's just good, tasty Pinot Noir fruit. For that matter, it's almost as rare an experience these days to get that experience out of Cote-Rotie, too. *sigh*

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