A Legendary Tasting

Two wines. Parties Present: John Mandell, an incidental Halo-noter on this here site, and another John and a Don, and my brother Darrell and my other brother Darrell.

Even I, yes, I the snob eventually run into situations where I just say "Wow." This afternoon was such an event. Yes, there were great tastes, hints, flavors, etc., and I have noted them thus. I just wanted you to know how I felt about the whole thing.

Mer Soliel 1998 Chardonnay

Fantastic. Amber in color. Dark, deep yellow. The wine was tilting orange like a harvest moon. Full of delicious aromas, pine and resin. The flavor was that of golden raisins. Yes, I realise the irony: A wine that tastes like dried grapes! Ha ha. Light acidity, a little sweet, this bad boy was built to age. And it has aged, but was just beginning to uncork. Better than most 1996 white bergundies. Which were very good.

Leoville Barton 2001 Bordeaux

If the chardonnay was still beginning, this wine might well be called an infant. One of the Johns called it a "Baby Bordeaux." Like great coffee, you couldn't see through it. We were drinking this at Cellars, a local wine chain, and we held our glasses so the wine was thin. Against a white background you couldn't see through it. Beautiful. Cedar, pencil, graphite, rocks, and the St. Croix River Valley (which Joffre says should be pronounced "Craw") were among the smells and tastes. While it was sinful to drink this wine so early, it was super good.

Such tastings give rise to quivering stories amongst us snobs. Stories of other legends, the '82 Petit Chateau; the 1994 Pontet Canet drunk a decade too early; the 2000 Lafite we have in our cellar. We hope, we long for these events, amongst our fellow friends who truly appreciate the greatness of all the flavors. Like a worship service full and heady, these mighty wines are echoes of greatness past and future. We sip in undeserving silence, hoping one day to be worthy of the liquid passing between our lips.