Friday, April 9, 2010
NOT Your Cougar's Chardonnay
An unplanned upon stop had me rushing through the doors at work almost exactly an hour late. I was sweating up a storm, (freaking hot here is SoCal yesterday and as always….I wore the absolute wrong thing) and looking at a tasting room full of suppliers. I dumped off my bags, punched in, grabbed my binder full of wide rule paper and hurriedly made my way into the tasting room gesturing wildly and announcing to anyone that may have been waiting for my late ass that I was very sorry I was late. Said hello to my Kermit rep who only had two wines for me to taste, asked her if she wouldn’t mind just pouring me a little of each and plunked my ass down next to a rep that was wearing a slightly clinched face and had about ten open bottles of French wine…clearly the guy I had kept waiting.
That blasted hour had set me so far behind, I had to meet with reps and then prepare for our 4:30 commuter tasting in which I was featuring the Champagnes from Paul Bara. I quickly began tasting through the grumpy faced guys wine; a bunch of 2009 Roses and some red and white from the south of France. Swirl, sniff, scribble notes, taste…more notes, dump and move on. Not the way I like to taste but watching two more reps walk in, (both to see me) seeing my cheese order which needs to be counted and merchandised, be dropped off and with Paul Bara breathing down my neck it simply had to go that way. “Thank you for waiting and yes I can see you again tomorrow” and grumpy guy was on his way, bounced to the next rep in line and powered through his Alsatian, Burgundian and Rhone offerings with the same sniff-scribble-taste-scribble-dump efficiency. Time I simply did not have enough time to gush over each wine and honestly, nothing really warranted any extra attention. That was until….
“You’re in for a treat” Randy beamed as he got up from the seat where he had been tasting with and keeping company my final appointment of the day, Adam. I simply love Adam, he’s very sweet, a young hipster/rocker guy with a serious passion and palate for wine, if my “Crush Card” were not already full I would have one on him for sure. All that being said other than the brilliant Champagnes he reps, (Terry Theise portfolio; Jean Milan, Billiot, Pierre Peters….) I buy very little from Adam. He sells cool wines, funky wines and wines that are interesting but they tend to be a little too, “Interesting” and a bit too pricy for me to invest much of my French wine buying budget in. When I saw the oddly shaped bottles that were awaiting me I knew it was going to be another one of those tastings, wines I dig, geek out on but just don’t know how to or who to sell them to. The squatty bottles with the raised letters that spell out where they came from, J-U-R-A across their chest….or what I think of us the chest on a bottle of wines body, just a bit bellow the neck….are just those kind of wines.
“Stinky” I said after quickly spinning and sticking my nose in the first of the Tissot wines I would be tasting. Adam took a sniff and concurred; the 2007 Tissot Traminer (in screw cap which I love) was indeed off so we moved on to the 2008 Tissot Chardonnay Classique. Still trying to keep the quick pace with which I had handled my earlier appointments I gave the glass a quick little spin and brought it to my nose. Deep sniff and my time sensitive shoulders softened a bit, “Meursault dude, it smells like Mersault” I took in the deep aromas of roasted nuts and minerals, felt the expansive pear and spice across my palate and scribbled something in my notes about this wine being a serious value, (would be around $30.00) and could even appeal to new world drinkers. Time still ticking away and causing my pulse to speed up I asked that we move on to the next wine.
Twenty minutes, it was twenty minutes later and I had still not tasted the 2007 Tissot Chardonnay Les Bruyeres that was spinning around in my glass. You know those moments when you just say “Fuck it, I’m going to do it anyway”…..yeah I was not about to end the full on, heart pounding, mind bending, groan inducing spell this wine had me under. I was being seduced, my mind and body reacting, flashes of sweaty skin, raw bread dough and salt spinning around me. Paul Ba-who Champagne? This sexy, raw…earthy, intriguing wine had me pinned up against a wall in some seedy restaurant bathroom while everyone else was waiting for me to return to the table. Something familiar in that Blanc de Blancs or Chablis kind of way but…even drier, earthier and way goddamn sexier. Pretty, elegant, polished? Hell no, this wine is naughty in that “Damn that’s sexy in that unconventional or almost ugly” way. Not an ugly wine but a wine that I know only has a limited audience….an audience like myself, those people that get turned on by sweaty….earthy, weighty and wild. Oh yeah, I’m pulling the trigger on this $37.99 bottle of Cougar repellant even if I have to buy each bottle for my own self indulgent pleasure…..