Monday, September 9, 2013

the last 3 bottles, finally saying goodbye

1997 Fleury Extra Brut Champagne | AC
2007 Cantina dei Produttori Nebbiolo di Carema | DOC Carema
1995 Oddero Barolo | DOCG

It's been three weeks in this city, and yeah, things are coming together. After a few rough ones, today was a good day.

The last bit of it. The last three wines I had in Toronto, the last three in the cellar that I simply had to open and share with the people most important to me. Each bottle, an interesting background, but it was never intentional to drink them together. But as these things usually end up, sometimes the most transcendent wine experiences happen by a happy accident. I suppose above all, the wines were originally bought to celebrate something. And then things happened and I felt so strongly that I had nothing, absolutely nothing to celebrate. So on the last Friday before I left Toronto for a long, long time, it finally made sense to allow myself, for one night at least, to celebrate.

These last meals - nothing epic. But I did have a few more roast ducks, some braised sea cucumber. Good, comforting home food. My mother's cooking which I won't be able to have for the next while. Onto new things, but it's good to remember what's important. We started with the Fluery Extra Brut. Bought for Christmas a few years ago, but left because it seemed so inappropriate to be drinking Champagne when I was miserable with my job, with what to do next, with my life. And I figured the 1997, tightly wound, would do fine with a few more years horizontally. Opening with a soft, satisfied sigh, the wine was stunning. So structured, very expressive - lovely creaminess and vinosity, that tension running all the way through. A grand, dignified wine.

I was really excited to see the Carema on shelves. We see a good amount of Barolo, Barbaresco, even a bit of Nebbiolo di Langhe. But these smaller areas of the Langhe, no, either the Piedmontese drink it all themselves or the number-crunchers of the LCBO got in the way. There's only two major producers in Carema anyways - and they're amazing. People need to experience these exciting, original, historical wines. This one, a young 2007 Riserva was eye-opening, mind-blowing, and other similarly over-the-top superlatives. Light in colour, focused and just singing of flowers and earth, minerals and bright red fruit. Tensile and linear, very fine, angular tannins. So true to itself, so proudly of the countryside. An incredible learning experience. And ending with the 1995 Oddero, a bottle I picked up from New York's Chambers Street Wines. My prize bottle, a first experience with mature Barolo. This is Oddero's normale cuvée, which comes from two vineyards -Bricco Chiesa and Bricco Fiasco - vines with an average age of 35 to 50 years. No French oak, all traditional large, old casks. And as much as I wanted to love it, wanted to adore it ... the bottle was flawed. Slight heat damage, that oily, rubbery aroma. But, red fruit still there, fine tannins, silky texture. Developing a good sweetness on the palate as well. A good end to the night. 

Our flat in Barcelona has been having a lot of issues. No hot water for 12 days, filthy, poor finishings. But today, that all changed. We had our hot water fixed a few days ago, but today, our cleaning lady came for the first time. Everything's sparkling now, inspiring me to take a mop and glass cleaner to my own room. I can finally walk barefoot, yet another step closer to feeling at home here. Went to IKEA - in my head, a quick trip to pick up some things, which turned into a 5 hour session. But, did buy a lot of things that I'm excited to get using. A knife, peeler, a glass - pillows, shower curtains, and yes, a flower I've decided to name Miss Pink. Things are coming together now, and I've gotten a lot more familiar with Barcelona. Trying to balance between staying at home, going out to meet people, and wandering the city. Tougher than expected, and really, the shit hasn't even hit the fan yet. Visited a wine shop today, Vila Viniteca, considered the best shop in town. And it certainly is impressive. Picked up a few interesting things, including an Equipo Navajos "Florpower" ...

It's been three weeks.


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