Sunday, September 30, 2012

simply being what you are

2007 G.D. Vajra Barolo
2007 G.D. Vajra Albe | DOCG Barolo

What do we want most out of a wine?  Is it to taste good?  Puff up our ego, because drinking wine makes us look so classy-like?  It's not.  And if you think it is, I probably don't think much of you.  No . . . above all, we want wine to be honest.  Whether it's a simple, humble wine, or a grand wine of nobility, a wine has to be honest with itself.  After all, you can present a turd on the most expensive china, seasoned and garnished, but in the end, it's still a fucking turd.

In the sort of Burgundian model, Barolo producers produce various cuvées, starting with what is essentially a blended village wine, and then bottling their best vineyards separately.  These entry-level Barolos aren't particularly exciting, in that they're simply very solid introductions to the region, and to nebbiolo.  Usually less structured, less complex, but good wines to drink over dinner.  This one, the Vajra Albe, is that kind of wine.  Googling around, I found a pretty interesting piece written by Jeremy Parzen, about the meaning behind Albe, and a bit about this producer's other wines.  It's a good Barolo that doesn't promise too much, but there's a certain charm about its simplicity.  A bit coarse at the moment, but I'd be very happy with it in 3 years or so.  Big wine though, at 14.5% abv, and you feel every bit of it.

It's Sunday!  And wow, September is over.  I've been working on the applications for Berkeley Haas, which is the next deadline coming up.  Difficult - still stuck on the first essay question.  They ask you to write about a song that expresses who you are.  I have a clear idea of which song . . . it's just writing how it expresses me that's proving to be much, much more challenging.  This whole process is kind of showing me that really, my head can be so empty sometimes.

Anyways, next steps, because we always need to be thinking about next steps.  Three more schools to go, and although I'm struggling to focus, I'm still aiming to stick to my original choices.  No backup plan, no safety net, nowhere to go if this fails woooo!!  Shellfish is coming into season, which is very, very exciting.  Clams and oysters and abalone and crab - all sorts of goodies.  And now that it's getting chillier, time for more roasted and braised meats.  The wines?  We have to follow the season, so we'll be putting the rieslings away for a bit, and turning to something a bit heavier, a bit more warming.  Vintages just released their October Classics catalogue, and as usual the Burgundy/Bordeaux selection is shockingly expensive.  I mean, when did 2008 Pétrus start costing $1995?!  Some interesting Rioja though, which I'm keeping an eye on.  This summer (at least the beginning) was a good one for drinking.  Pulled a lot of bottles from the cellar that I've been holding onto, and really, every single one has lived up to expectations thus far.  Still have a few that I'm sitting on - some Bandol, some old Niagara cabernets, some Rioja.  Champagne standing by . . . for when there's something to celebrate.


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