A first-kiss wine…

From the department of “somehow, some way, I just keep on getting to drink funky-assed wines like every single day”…

The incipit of last night’s flight — the overture, the prologue — was a deceivingly humble bottle of 1997 Bourgogne blanc by Leroy. Friend and collector Michael Byington (environmental consultant by day) was in Austin on business and we met up at the happy hour at Trio (half-priced by the glass, appetizer menu, and free valet parking!). While I had brought a bottle to share as well, ubi major, minor cessat: his flight was so impressive that I tucked mine in my wine bag and just stuck around and enjoyed the incredible ride.

Not only did the Leroy reward us with nuanced dried fruit and chalky minerality, vibrant acidity and a slight unctuous mouthefeel that made it pair brilliantly with the steak tartare (ingeniously served with kren by chef Todd Duplechan)…

It also brought to mind a special moment in my love affair with Tracie P: nearly three years ago, when we were still in a long-distance romance, I brought a bottle of 1997 Leroy in my checked baggage to Austin. Then, the glow of our new love was wrapped around us tightly (and still is as Tracie P carries la piccola Parzen, as at least one friend on the Facebook called her), and every wine we tasted together was a new adventure. The 97 Leroy was perhaps the first “intellectual” bottle we shared and an unforgettable moment when our palates came together like lovers floating in a painting by Chagall. As soon as the wine touched my lips, I was transported to that moment and could see Tracie P before me, her blue eyes twinkling, her golden hair shining, and her lips inviting me to taste… Aroma and flavor have such remarkably potent mnemonic power… And this wine was a window onto one of the happiest and most thrilling moments of my life.

Michael had generously reached deep into his cellar before traveling down to Austin… Next, we opened a bottle of 1998 La Bernardine by Chapoutier. Crunchy red earth, chewy flavors of game and underbrush, ripe red fruit…

The 1990 Château Pavie was in fantastic shape… I couldn’t help but think of what Houston wine writer Dale Robertson had said to me the night before: to drink a wine too old can be a felony, but to drink too young is only a misdemeanor.

Bright, red and berry fruit, ethereal sand and pebbles, a powerful lightness and delicate muscularity. (Does anyone recognize the Petrarchan themes in this post?)

We made it an early night because I wanted to get home to Tracie P. Michael insisted that I take the last glass of the Leroy home. We tasted it together once I arrived… and we floated like lovers in a painting by Chagall…

3 thoughts on “A first-kiss wine…

  1. Great writing, per usual Jeremy. I love the quote, “to drink a wine too old can be a felony, but to drink too young is only a misdemeanor.”

    I’ll have to steal that! The ’97 Leroy sounds really interesting… perhaps we don’t give great domaines, even in understated vintages, the patience that their wines sometimes deserve?

    • @Jon thanks so much for stopping by and the kind words. :) Dale is such an amazing wine writer (sports writer for the Chronicle) and he’s a very generous man… I know he’ll be happy to share his words of wisdom! The 97 Leroy was brilliant… Perhaps a not-for-everyone kinda wine… but I know you would have loved it. Btw, when are we tasting again in Santorini???!!! Hope to see you soon… abbraccio j

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