Thursday, July 12, 2012

a mistake turns into a wonderful surprise


1998 Marqués De Valcarlos Gran Reserva | DO Navarra

Some mistakes go down easier than others.

Shouldn't have said that, shouldn't have done that, goddammit, SHOULDN'T HAVE ANSWERED THAT EMAIL. But this mistake - damn, this kind of mistake is just fine and dandy. You see, because I've always had a thing about Spain. Spanish food, wines, art, and *ahem* women; things to capture the imagination and the heart. I remember being mesmerized by the first bottle of Rioja I tasted. It had a bit of age on it, and as I recall, smelled of flowers and strawberries. Sunshine and happiness, in other words. We used to drink a lot of Rioja in university, the sort of thing we'd drink when we cooked what we thought was good food (steak and potatoes). And I started putting some away, including this bottle.

Yeah, this isn't not a Rioja, I realize now. Oops. It was a 1998, it was a Gran Reserva, and it came wrapped in a net, so I got all excited thinking it was something special. This wino has grown up a bit since those days, and as part of my cellar raid this year, I pulled it out to drink because what the hell, what kind of idiot puts away a bottle of Navarra?!

No special treatment, just pulled the cork and drank over 3 days. And it was wonderful. Beautiful colour, great saturation. All that strawberry and cream kind of love, with enough ornery rusticity to remind you of where it comes from. It's still energetic, with finely grained tannins, fabulous harmony on the palate. Keeps getting sweeter and sweeter; an absolute winner.

What a wonderful surprise, after kicking myself for my stupidity. I'm finding I'm doing a lot of that lately. But it's cool. These things, these websites are all about being passive aggressive, innit. You do something stupid, other people do something stupid, and instead of addressing it on the spot, you try and write something witty and clever after the fact. That's no good. So we should speak our mind freely and openly, and who cares if we offend or otherwise trample on other people's sensitivities.

In matters of wine, drink what I drink, do what I do; but for your own good, don't listen to anything else I say here.


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