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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Great Wine, and the Progression of Emotions & Questions Attached to it.

Sometimes I’m in a more George Thorogood frame of mind, not to say that drinking alone is a healthy habit to form, but there’s a time & a place for everything. My good pal Buddy Weiser...

The wife is out of town, the Yankees just won the World Series…screw it, pop something ridiculous. No guilt, all glut. While scavenging the wine fridge, I searched for a bottle that could spin my inner monologue dial….something I’d otherwise be ravenous about. Perhaps a rumble w/ the wife over the last sip type of bottle…or a wine that drives me rabid, damning even my closest of friends for stealing precious glasses away from my gullet.

Well, how about a wine I’ve never tasted? Sure, as a somewhat contemplative mood was sure to swirl through my mind…at least once the sports bravado wore off. Considering I’d just sprinted through a half dozen bottles of the ’07 Kongsgaard Chardonnay, why not ante up for the top dog? No one’s looking, just rip the sucker open and cope w/ the culpability later. It’s only wine…too much mental back & forth was begninning to erode my spontaneity, so I finally shut up & popped that bad boy.

Mind frame: initially visceral, incoherent.

First tangible experience: dude, even the cork smells great.

Then…philosophy takes over, poor excuse poetry:

The bouquet was one blast off after another, with an overwhelming intensity that struck me as paradoxically obvious and profound all at once. Its thick legs dripped down the stem like melted ice, giving way to a clear base of golden color. 14..1% alcohol my ass. The explosive nature of the fruit could be initially construed as hyperbolic & caricature-like, but further investigation unveiled something singular. In the mouth, the Judge struck me as one of the most texturally dynamic American Chardonnays that I’ve ever tasted. It was gossamer and gigantic all at once; rippling a striking mineral chord through its pools of fleshy plumpness. The size & breadth could likely be replicated by other producers privy to warm Californian sites, yet its dimension, depth and indescribable authenticity put this wine in a rarified New World air. Talk about bucking the simplistic rationale that super cuvees defining traits lay w/in their size alone.

Finally, a curt mood of summation dashes in, peppering bullet points a la Reader’s Digest:
  • There’s no way I’ve ever had a more minerally injected New World wine.
  • There’s no way I’ve had a more enormously proportioned, yet mineral-driven wine.
  • There's no need for fruit descriptors w/ a wine like this.
  • How come there is such a variance in minerality from Kongsgaard’s entry level Chardonnay & the Judge? The Napa Chardonnay has comparatively zero mineral tone vs. the Judge (at least at this phase in the game).
  • It’s far too expensive a wine to conduct experiments w/, but Old World fans (who may still hate this wine) need to know that the minerality in this wine is legit, far from one of those taster created ‘I think that may be a pebble’ types of New World minerality. This is an avalanche at a quarry after a seismic event.
  • No clue how it will evolve, but based on how it reacted to prolonged air exposure, I can only imagine that the best case scenario would synthesize a Chave white Hermitage-like density w/ Montrachet texture.
  • I wish I was financially loaded enough to explore said bullet point…or, patience not withstanding, well off enough to have another quiet evening alone w/ another bottle.


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