Sunday, January 1, 2017

First Love

On our path of wine discovery, there are seminal wines and brands that become ingrained in our minds and hearts.  The process occurs not only in the beginning of our wine journey, but throughout it.  Of course, along the way, we come across better examples of the genre, and we come to accept that the wine that set the standard can be surpassed, but for all of us, our first love will never be forgotten.  It’s not just the wine, but the place, the people, and circumstances in which the wine was discovered to make such a profound impact on us.  When we go to a special occasion, often our first choices are those of our heart.  So it was for a dinner with the Bunny Girls, The Prince and A-Prentice.  SWMBO and I contributed a couple of wines from our vinous heart.
The white was a 2009 Drouhin Beaune 1er ‘Clos des Mouches Blanc.  Drouhin was my first Burgundy love, and I learnt about elegance and finesse.  The Clos des Mouches was the Drouhin flagship, even though they had access to higher rated Chardonnay vineyard and fruit parcels.  Its rarity was a major attraction.  This 2009 was relatively forward, rounded and broad, oozing yellow stonefruits, nuts and a secondary oxidative layer, along with toasty oak.  The wine was a solid beastie, but accessible, lovely barrel-ferment creaminess meaning softness, but its maturity was a little disconcerting.  However, its forwardness meant full and broad flavour expression.  A wine to match the flavoursome turkey in flavour depth, alcohol cut and textures.
Then came the 2011 Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Asili’ Barbaresco Riserva.  This is from arguably the co-operative that makes the world’s highest quality wine from such an establishment.  We only met winemaker and manager Aldo Vacca properly about 10 years ago.  But the wines showed the individuality of Barbaresco terroir and site.  This wine is still a baby.  But it was classic Nebbiolo too.  Beautifully bold and aromatic with a combination and array of gorgeous perfumes and compacted dark-red fruits and herbs, and a hugely tannic and extracted palate, the structure amazingly powdery and fine-grained.  Again, a full unfolding range of flavours as the nose.  This is as good as it gets in a clear and straightforward way, made cleanly and without imperfection or funkiness.  Brilliant, and too much for turkey.    

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