Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Old Chardonnay continues: Chalone vs…Chalone?

Things have really been heating up in the store closeout bin. As I mentioned earlier, we recently acquired two cellars. Anything of significant perceived market value goes on to the old and rare racks, which leaves some other stuff destined for the closeout bin. Yesterday I saw a large selection of Chalone Chardonnay from the 1980’s, and picked up a few bottles, as well as a bottle of 1988 Roger Lassserat 'Clos de France' Pouilly Fuisse, with a tag stating that it was shipped by Kermit Lynch and imported by – Chalone Inc. I will always have fond memories of Chalone, since the 1986 Chalone Pinot Blanc is the first quality wine I remember sipping as a youngin’, the first wine that left a detailed mark in my tasting memory bank.

So the comparison yesterday was between a 1985 Chalone Chardonnay and the aforementioned 1988 Lasserat Pouilly Fuisse. The former had something between an 18k and 24k gold color, a baked apple and werthers original nose and flavors that, while mature, still showed life, as well as its ripe, central coastal California ubringing. The Pouilly Fuisse smelled of wet clay and chalk (one co-worker likened the nose to Kraft Mac & Cheese, which was actually a good call) and showed lots of creamy minerality, though not much else on the mid-palate. Disjointed, weird acidity on the finish. Later on with dinner, the wine showed better, while the Chalone became tiresome to drink. Both wines weren’t without their merits, but for the most part this was more of an academic exercise rather than one in pleasure. I’ll consider this head to head, France vs US, Chalone the winery vs Chalone the importer/distributor battle, a draw.

The New New Yorker

An admission - I'm not a particularly literate person. There are times when I am not reading a book. My intellectual curiosity sometimes does not extend beyond my comfort zone of topics: music, food, wine, politics, language, travel, life in the Bay Area. If a co-worker mentions an article read in The New Yorker, I may be interested but chances are that I have not read said article. It's just one of those things, I have never religiously read The New Yorker. That may change though, based on what I have read so far from the September 22nd issue. It was lying on the coffee table, with its eye catching cover cartoon, an allegory of the everyman tortoise descending down the subway, while the financial exec hare hails a cab. In the issue, there appears to be some terrific Sarah P satire, a wonderful article on an influential independent Russian radio station, and an entertaining piece on Spike Lee (if a bit long-winded, meandering and superficial). All in all, though, some quality magazine reading. I'm into it.

Next up. more time reading novels and visiting museums, perhaps. Maybe it would help if I commit to the occasional literary or art post?