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?