…In with the new.
2018 ended with a small flourish. And not too soon, as to be honest I have been feeling rather tired of wine, no doubt drinking too much, too often. I really should just drink at weekends, and like most things I just have to blame it on the trouble and strife. Elodie likes as a relaxing glass in the evening, but unlike me has the discipline to have just one.
So it’s perennial dry January again, and I might try to keep it up until the 25th February when frankly I will be in need of a drink, and much of it, to numb the pain of imminent, then present decline.
We saw out 2018 with some rather milky oysters, Sunday’s from the same source, the same region and the same size had been better; the finest foie gras of the season,, scallops and a man-sized plate of cheese. I demurred on cakes.
To wash these down a very decent bottle of extra brut L’Accomplie from Fréderique Savart in Eceuil.. The dénommé Fred Savart was at school with Elodie I discovered. 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, there’s some delicious fruit on the nose and beautifully fine bubbles. Worth dropping the cash for, and it’s not even that dear.
With oysters, the remaining half a bottle of 2017 Gavi from Asti’s venerable Cossetti estate. The last of a case, affirming my stale belief that almost all Italian whites are vaguely florid, vaguely charming and ultimately, if here honourably, forgettable.
Head to the hills of Friuli and beyond, methinks.
With our foie gras a demie-bouteille of 2007 Clos Windsbuhl from Zind-Humbrecht and France’s very own first Master of Wine. Medium gold in colour with some depth and tell-tale acidity (although less austere thant 2007 Cuvée Fréderique Emile), this was less expressive than the last I drank in May (previous notes had ripe apple, kerosene, quince, honey and botrytis, probably wishful thinking on the last. Tonight’s just apple and faint kerosene.). I can’t quite work out why, but an adequate foil for Amandine’s delicious home-made foie gras.
With the scallops and cheese, or not as it half-finally happened, a bottle of usually reliable and delicious Vina Gravonia 2007 from Lopez de Heredia. Yes, there was honeyed bees-wax and lanolin, that tell-tale feisty texture but it all seemed off target. So I decided to leave more than half to 2019 and Elodie.
But then looking back at these notes I must be suffering from palate fatigue; too much, too often and Peter Palate gets very jaded. Who would have thought it? So a month off will do me good.
And as I approach the 25th February that piece in the Sunday Times of 1989 may offer again some solace: if you stay off the sauce for just one month, so it promised, your liver can return to its pre-pubescent state. And frankly who(se) wouldn’t?