September 28, 2010

Standing Corrected

Okay, when I wrote yesterday that "None had a cork," what I meant to say...

I don't actually know what I meant to say. As usual, I wasn't paying very close attention. At the Lab, "not paying close attention" is often a euphemism for "drunk." And what I missed was a fairly obvious "cork" in the bottle of the Ocean Eight Chardonnay on my desk. But it's actually not really a cork, in the traditional sense of the term. It's a polymer-mash of neutered and neutralized cork bits and urethane manufactured and marketed by DIAM. A "French company" that makes "cork".

As a side note, anyone who has ever worked in France knows exactly why I put "French company" in quotes.

So it's not really cork, and if you believe Diam's marketing materials, then the Section Eight Chardonnay still holds true within my category of Aussie Chardonnays that are sensational and not sealed with corks (no quotes).

And as long as I'm improving on yesterday's post, let me add this note on tasting notes.

Champagne-ologist extraordinaire, Peter Liem, has recently penned a piece for the World of Fine Wine's new blog. His point, if I may be crassly reductionist, is a paraphrase of what William Hurt's character in the Big Chill says about a late night TV classic: "Sometimes you just have to let art... flow... over you."

As another side note, the proliferation of wine blogs is truly astonishing. I'm thinking that perhaps it's time the Lab finally got one...

Liem's point is a concise and learned expression of a thought I've been kicking around since this post. And I guess it boils down to this for me: I really only want to drink wines that cannot be reduced to their constituent parts. I want to drink great wines (and no, dear Chinese readers, that does not mean expensive ones). And I want to let them... flow... over me.

Like Mike Aylward's Section Eight Verve Chardonnay which has such great cut and precision. And beguiling aromatics. It's like --

Sshhh. Just drink it.

1 comment:

Edward said...

J David,

Whilst I agree, mostly, I think the ideal is a synthesis of the sum and the components. Ultimately a tasting note should transmit meaning and the notion of what the wine was like and what it meant to the taster. Notes which resemble shopping lists sometimes work, but on the whole they seem unimaginative and incomplete.

I find it hard to remove my doctors brain from the equation. When I see someone I always start with the whole. How is person? How do they look? Is there something that does not fit with the story? The big questions first and then a focus on the narrow and the specifics. Though wine is clearly a different thing, I get the same flood of information. First the sum, the impact and the beauty. But to stop there seems to be like only dipping your toes into a pool of water. Why not linger and explore. Perhaps that is reductionist, but I would contend that knowledge occasionally needs things to be broken down.