Monday, July 22, 2013

Stiff right hook, flat on my back

Top: 2010 Jacques Puffeney Poulsard | AC Arbois
Bottom: 2009 Domaine de l'Aigle À Deux Têtes Chardonnay | AC Côtes du Jura

We know when we meet the one - the one that takes our breath away, the one that was meant to be. So what is it when we meet not just one, but two wines that do that to us, at the same time?

We never learn when things are too easy, when we get too comfortable. It's not to say we have to live in constant misery and pain, but we would all do better with some discomfort. I had a good last couple of days. Lots of events that were lined up for #TeamLCF, and got to catch up with some old friends at the Spoke Club on Friday, friends I haven't talked to in a long time. Had dinner Saturday evening with 3 of my nearest and dearest, drinking some very interesting bottles. And amidst all that, I can't help but feel rueful that while I have a professional path set down, my personal life remains a mess. Yesterday was July 21st. And I couldn't stop thinking about burgers on the beach and Niagara rieslings. I know, this is just getting pathetic and unnecessary for everyone. But this past year, this experience has been as meaningful as anything MBA-related. More than two months and I still don't know how to deal with it.

This wine experience, while a shock, thankfully brings sweeter memories. As in all things, I want wines that challenge, that excite, that make you question every presumption you think you had. From the Jura, my first poulsard (found in New York City's extraordinary Chambers Street Wines) and a chardonnay released the week after I returned from NYC (a beautiful accident?). Both young wines, but already so expressive, so full of character. The poulsard, from the esteemed Puffeney estate, all pale and amber-tinged, but showing all kinds of savoury aromas. Iron notes, beautiful dried roses, and that minerality underlining it all. So tight, so precise, so full of energy and life. Tannic like you wouldn't believe - a wine that shocks and surprises, and hammers home how little you know about wine. A truly unique varietal, grown in a truly unique place. The chardonnay, so much varietal character. Fresh and vibrant, great extraction. Linear and sinewy, perfect for the table. Showing how great controlled oxidation can be, if the winemaking is top-notch.

We learn from mistakes, we learn from bad experiences of poor judgement and circumstances. But we hold to the hope that they make us better for it. 


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