July 29, 2009

I do know Jack!

I might be having a mid-life crisis.

Lately, science hasn't had the same appeal. I don't get giddy with excitement about a new experiment the way I once did.

Yesterday, I was thinking about selling the Lab and sailing the Pacific when I opened a bottle of Sam Tannahill's strange "white" elixir Jack (2005).

Jack is a mix of Pinot Blanc and Gris and Chardonnay. It is, allegedly, a Josko Gravner inspired wine. Six months of extended maceration (where the juice remains in contact with the skins). And then a long spell in oak barrels (not clay amphora).

It is striking to see in the glass, a sort of dusty orange wine, but with a radiant pink core that seems to shimmer magically when it catches the light. On the nose it is apricot marmalade, clover honey and something grapey (as a side note: anyone but me find it strange how rarely "grape" is used as a wine descriptor?). I first tasted this a year and a half ago and it has fleshed out considerably since then; the then subtle orchard fruits have swelled into bright white peaches and apricots. There's still a strong mineral backbone and a tannic tingle on the long lingering finish.

But this wine is more than its parts. It defies precise analysis. It resists the experimental impulse. Jack just is. And it is a wonderful is-ness.

What did William Hurt's character say in The Big Chill? Sometimes you just have to let art flow over you...

Maybe that's the way out of my crisis? I need a break from analysis. I need to let a little more art just flow over me.

Or I could buy a Ferrari?


Brooklynguy said...

looking forward to whatever happens.

(killy) - no joke

Director, Lab Outreach said...

Since I drank the whole bottle -- by myself -- I may have overstated my own fragility in the moment.

But thanks.

David McDuff said...

I was just checking in, wondering why you'd been so quiet of late. Now I know....

You're right about "grapey" not getting too much play. Of course if someone were to devote a blog to fruity style Gamay and Moscato, they'd get plenty of mileage out of it.

On that note, skip the Ferrari. Just drink more wine.

(jokingli) no joke.

Brooklynguy said...

just came back to see what the comments looked like and here is my word verification (are you setting these things up to be utterly insane?!?):


Director, Lab Outreach said...

It's been an enormously hectic period in our experimental history and I'm well behind in my reporting. But work at the Lab continues and soon we hope to be back firing our rapid burst commuiqués.

Besides, couldn't really sell the Lab and sail the High Seas. Don't know how to sail. And I'd miss you guys...

I also plan to start a new trend in Hollywood: Naming your child for a cool sounding word verification. You think that's what Tom Cruise did?