Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gerard Julien, Cotes de Nuits-Villages 1999- MOLD!


One of the most important aspects of wine is waiting. Waiting for the grapes to grow to have the exact ripeness and quantity of sugars and acids. Waiting for fermentation to take place. Waiting for the wine to mature in barrel and bottle. After all that waiting, to open a bottle of an excellent wine is a pleaseure. Until of course something goes wrong. Mold. Damn you mold! You always have to ruin such good wine! We've had a bottle of Burgandy aging in our cantine to open at just the right moment. Who knows why the mold started growing but it did. When I first took of the metal top of the bottle of Cotes de Nuits-Villages by Gerard Julien, I thought that there wasnt too much mold to really make a difference. Then I started unscrewing the cork. It was moist and soft, in fact it broke halfway through. Not a good sign I thought. I still decantered the wine (since the bottom half of the cork had to be pushed into the bottle) and thought, well, its looks and smells ok. A very transparent, light red color; an intense truffle smell mixed with that of balsamic vinegar, baked strawberries and apples, a rose bouquet, white chocolate and hints of white pepper. I tried to overlook the strong alcohol smell, which was closer to the smell of nail polish remover than anything else, since it was an older wine- 1999 in fact. But nothing helped. The taste just wasnt right. Hardly tannic and overwhelmingly alcoholic, while still round and velvety, the overcooked feeling I got from the wine just stood out too much. The wine was over. What a shame. Oh well, onto the next!

Una delle cose più importanti per il vino è l 'attesa. L'attesa per il momento perfetto di cogliere il giusto equilibrio nell'acino tra zuccheri e acidi. Aspettare che gli zuccheri si trasformino in alcool durante la fermentazione, aspettare poi che il vino si affini nella botte per poi passare in bottiglia. E finalmente l'attesa di aprire una bottiglia così tanto voluta con i tuoi cari. Poi succede il 'dramma'. La muffa, questa dannata che rovina i sogni e sfiorisce i sorrisi dei commensali. Avevamo una bottiglia dalla Borgogna che si affinava nella nostra cantina aspettando l'occasione buona per essere aperta. Quando ho guardato la capsula che conteneva il tappo della bottiglia non sembrava colpita dal fungo. Poi però man mano che con il cavatappi sfilavo il tappo dal collo della bottiglia notavo con dispiacere che si sbriciolava e infatti si spezzo in due. Ovviamente questo non è un bel segno. Ho decantato il vino e filtrato gli eventuali residui del tappo. Dal colore rosso trasparente dal profumo di tartufo con sfumature di aceto balsamico, fragole mature e mele cotte, con bouquet di rose, cioccolato bianco e pepe bianco. Ho provato a non pensare e vedere oltre all'intenso profumo di smalto che notoriamente i vini di annata hanno in questo esempio 1999. Ma non è bastato, qualcosa non andava. Poco tannico e molto alcolico, molto vellutato e pastoso con una sensazione di sovvramaturazione. Il vino era andato. Che peccato. Passiamo al prossimo (next case)!

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