Top: 2006 Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay | VQA Niagara Peninsula
Bottom: 2006 Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Pinot Noir | VQA Niagara Peninsula
If there's anything you need to know about true winos, it's that we find pleasure in delaying pleasure, in delaying satisfaction. We insist on putting wines away until they're ready, until they're mature - whatever that means. And while that whole practice reeks of snobbery and idiocy to the less invested drinker, there's deep meaning in it, if only you give it a chance and open your mind to something out of the ordinary.
We know the statistics. The VAST majority of North American wine drinkers open a bottle within hours of buying it. They keep, what, no more than 5-6 bottles of wine in the cupboard at a time? Being typical is perfectly fine, but at least try to understand where us winos are coming from when we say that that bottle of Bordeaux will be more interesting, be more expressive in 5 years.
Time and place.
Everything has its time and place. Including wine. So when we put wines away, we are actually suggesting that the wine will dictate when its ready to drink. Sure, it's wonderfully democratic to insist that wine is at its best when you feel like drinking it, but that's the ego speaking. And when you put your ego in your pocket, when you listen - and I mean really listen - maybe you'll hear something inspired. So when we taste a young red wine that's tannic and coarse, we (winos) try not to rush to judgement. With experience, we come to understand that wines that are rough and crass in their youth mature to something entirely elegant and fine - if we are patient. In other words, we let the child grow to an appropriate age, before we decide its character.
I love Le Clos Jordanne. Drink enough of something, and you start learning to recognize the style. It's a transparency they search for, in aroma and texture. A wonderful, bright expression of fruit and earth, of minerality and acidity. The 2006's, while certainly not blockbusters, show the purity and innocence of young vines. Nothing transcendent, but the promise and potential of the fruit they are producing is obvious. Drunk with our surf and turf dinner, after being in the cellar for 5 years.
The chardonnay, all bright citrus and minerality. Becoming richer on the palate - perfectly integrated oak. Lean, but showing the precision and focus that the Niagara Escarpment can produce. The pinot noir, actually drinking fairly young. Both wines, in fact, showing a lot of energy. Dried fruit, underbrush, that stemmy Niagara fruit - its pleasure is derived from its purity.
Delaying satisfaction, until the appropriate time and place. Unless we're talking about cigars. Because it's always perfectly fine to light one up. H. Upmann's, hand-rolled Cuban cigars that are simply perfume and elegance. Fabulous draw, great flavour and length.
Dinner last night with some old friends, my last with them before I leave. At a great, stately Chinese restaurant - lobster, bass, and free range chicken, among other things. A 2006 Louis Roederer and a premier cru Chablis to drink. This is all becoming very real now, these goodbyes. And its becoming obvious to me that I have to make things right with someone before I leave. I can't have that as the last image she has of me.