Most wine lovers have an “aha” moment early in their drinking career in which, quite unexpectedly, they discover a wine of such extraordinary beauty and power they become a slave to the grape forever. But, as one gains experience, those moments become fewer and farther between (not to mention much more expensive) as the baseline for extraordinary rises and revelation gives way to ordinary enjoyment and pleasure. Which poses the philosophical question—How many “aha” moments should humans be allowed to have?
So I was enjoying my monthly blind tasting put on by WineElite San Diego, tasting through some really lovely wines that had appeared on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list. My job is to help explain blind tasting methodology and report on how I arrive at my conclusions (which are often wrong but that’s another story.) I encountered this glass before me which was quite obviously Pinot Noir, quite obviously Burgundian Pinot Noir and the best thing I’ve tasted since, well, at least since last month at the Reynvaan release party. Now, at these blind tasting events I’m supposed to be sober, analytical, and articulate about what I’m tasting. And I guess I was outwardly calm, at least I wasn’t forcibly removed from the room. But inside I was speaking in tongues, writhing on the floor in pagan rites of orgiastic fervor, dancing with St. Vitus in paroxysms of daemonic hysteria—oh, sorry, the tasting note:
A very intense, perfumed nose of raspberry, anise and juniper berry comingle with aromas of fresh loam and strong vanilla notes that with aeration becoming smoky. On the concentrated palate a seam of iron lifts the fruit and gives this wine a kinetic, racy aspect that belies its well-toned, compact structure. The finish is gloriously long and elegant supported by sleek, but dense tannins. Subtle and seductive yet disciplined and focused, it is already well-integrated and will age for years.
This wine is so good mere mortals should not be allowed to drink it.
Consume while listening to whatever music suggests metaphysical transcendence to you. For me it was always Peter Gabriel’s San Jacinto.
Price: $162 (ave.)