On the Wine Trail

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  • True love. It just ain't easy

    True love. It just ain't easy

    We all enjoy basking in the warmth of generous, sweet love. And the easier that love comes to us the better, right? But is that right? Too often, we just follow along from one step to the next letting "love" entice us into a comfortable yet blind stroll down a path rather than compelling us forward on a exciting & unknowing journey. It's safe, I suppose, and easy to nurture the relationship that looks right on paper and feels acceptable to everyone watching. But where is the passion? The stirring feeling? The hook.

    Juicy, ripe and familiar are, too often, the hallmarks of both the modern winemaker and consumer. More and more regional producers are working hard to make everything riper and softer as quickly as possible. And Beaujolais is right in there, stomping along. Quality producers from Beaujoalis themselves will tell you that they are struggling to separate themelves from the connotation of theire regional name, bastardized by the Beaujoalis Nouveau fanatacism. Like all fanatics, that craze died a wicked and abrupt death. But now the producers of quality wines from the region are left holding the bag....working hard to rebuild their reputation. Among these are a group of the most dedicated purists--the Gang of Four. I had long been searching for a bottle produced by one of the four and just never seemed to find one along my trail. I came across the bottle above and snagged it. My anticipation was set.

    Beaujoalis is the easy relationship. Fruity, juicy and easily pleasing. The crus of Beaujoalis offer more than the regional expressions but can still feel textbook.  For the person looking for that passionate, stirring relationship, it's hard to get off the easy path with the blindless walk. It's safe. You know the one, where one day you wake up and you're getting married and you don't even understand why. Because it was the next step? Because its what everyone expects? Because it's easy? And with wine who wants to waste hard-earned dollars when an old trusted favorite will at least be a safe drink? True love isn't supposed to be easy. And it certainly isn't supposed to look like what everyone expects.

    And so I uncorked the bottle and poured a glass. It was completely unexpected and downright funky. The prominent aromas were quite...animal. It was a bretty nose that was off-putting. Without patience it would normally make me push my glass away. But I was determined to know if this could be true love. So I dedicated some time mixing the wine with air in the bowl of my glass and kept an open mind that patience might reward my palate. So I enjoyed the color of the wine while I waited.

    Really beautiful ruby but not as brilliant as you'd want in the wine with great street appeal--the easy love. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered and you can see that. It's where the soul comes from. It's not vacant and empty and pretty in a simple way. It doesn't spend its time watching reality TV shoes or following celebrities on instagram. There's thoughtful soul here that needs consideration. It's being quite difficult already. But with time (honestly it was still amazing three full days after first opened, despite the lack of added sulphur) the wine revealed a mesmerizing floral quailty overlaying a crystallized strawberry quality and sense of soil that was way more complex than "juicy, fruity" can ever compete with (sic). In fact, it took the complete three days for all the wines nuances to reveal themselves. And yet, if I were to describe it, it would sound like "strawberry, black cherry, herb, floral"...the usual words. But as with a great and true love, it's all about the feeling. The complex depth and subtleties that move you forward. Some of us don't need that in love or wine. We are happy with the juicy fruity wine that doesn't challenge us to think and stay on our toes. Many don't want to be romanced, they want their thirst to be satisfied without the need of thought. But some of us need more. Some of us know that every bottle is an opportunity to discover the depths of a winemakers soul and the nuances of each valley and rock in a  particular place and time. And for us, true love is worth the risk and definitely warrants the reward.

    Drink this.