Lately life has been topsy turvy, helter skelter, and pell mell and I haven’t posted in a while. But hopefully things will be calming down soon. So many of my good friends have reached out to me, including Alice, who had me over for dinner the other night and opened a Viña Gravonia 1994 Lopez de Heredia (so good) and a famous but new-to-me Gamay, Morgon 2003 Louis-Claude Desvignes. I know next to nothing about Beaujolais and I was impressed by the meatiness and tannin in this wine, although it was a bit jammy (which Alice attributed to the hot 03 vintage in France).
The band has also been really supportive during this period of sweeping changes in my life. Jean-Luc is heading back to California after finally closing up his beloved apartment in London Terrace. He had a few bottles of wine that needed to be drunk, including a Cabernet Sauvignon 1983 by Jordan that had been part of his parents’ divorce settlement. So we got together the other night to open them.
Above: I don’t know what Bonnie (left) and Céline were making in the blender.
Jean-Luc didn’t seem to remember why the wine was stored in a pseudo-ukelele case but it added to the allure of this 24-year-old bottle.
To our disappointment, the wine — although not corked, nor cooked — had passed. Frankly, I don’t know that California Cabernet can last that long (and in all fairness, Jean-Luc admitted, he hadn’t done the best job of cellaring it). I’ve tasted Jordan wines and I have liked them. They seem less overblown to me than most. But this wine was just dead. “Just like my parents’ marriage,” Jean-Luc observed wistfully.
The other bottle he brought was a wine he had bought on a trip to Umbria with his now ex-girlfriend: a 2000 Sagrantino by Paolo Bea, one of my favorite producers and a fantastic vintage. For those of you who don’t know Gianpiero Bea, he’s one of the founders of the Vini Veri movement in Italy and is one of Europe’s leading natural winemakers. The wine drank beautifully.
A broken marriage and an ex-girlfriend… a wine too old to revive… and a wine still very much alive, a wine and “a love that should have lasted years…”
A relationship that ended so long ago that we really can’t remember when…
…and another that ended not so long ago, remembered to us by a bottle found while cleaning out a now abandoned apartment.
Above: Jean-Luc, Céline, and the Professeur on Céline’s rooftop. There had been an eclipse of the moon that night.