August 27, 2012

An old friend returns

Our friend Tim (Teeem!) from Seattle is in town for a bike mechanic certification program. He's a great guy whom we've known for years, a wedding guest even, one of a rarefied number. He also enjoys a little red wine and eating lots of meat. It's been nice to have him stay.

A few nights ago, I thought it was time to break out the 2004 Trignon Gigondas, which I bought with Tim several years ago on a family visit to Seattle. We had gone to a local wine shop to look around and I saw the Trignon. Notice the price tag, clearly a mistake at $13. Since when has Gigondas, at least decent Gigondas, cost that little? In my naivete, I mentioned to a clerk that the price seemed too low, and what was the response?


"Um, no, that's the correct price."

I persisted, surprised, as if milk were $.99 a gallon. "Really? I haven't seen Gigondas that cheap in years."

"Well, it's not mismarked. That's the correct price."

Um, ok. It wasn't, it still isn't, but I tried. So I bought it and saved a bottle until now, five or six years later.

So how was it? Pretty fantastic. Still fresh but maturing, in what us wine geeks like to say is a "really good place." Also not bretty, as I remember the' 95 being several years back in our SF days. I'm no clean wine freak, but brett influence on wine gets pretty boring after a while, like new oak. I find I open southern Rhones these days with trepidation. No worries here.

The flavors were full and juicy, with a mix of warm fruit, stones, lavender and other garrigue notes that defines excellent southern Rhone valley reds for me. I could sniff and taste a wine like this for hours, slowly, caught in a perfect moment and not willing to let go too soon. Or ever, if one could.

Randall Graham of Bonny Doon said something at the wine bloggers conference recently that's stuck in my mind. He asked what does wine show us about humanity, about beauty? And he suggested that wines that move us move us to poetic language. Not sure if that's true in my case, poetry anyway. But I know that feeling and this wine provoked it.

And at a price you can't beat.

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