. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: A Special Bottle

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Special Bottle

Every once in a while, an ordinary day can turn, just for a moment, into an extraordinary one. Picture this: a sunny and fresh Thursday afternoon during the Jewish holiday (a notoriously slow period for business), and the biggest economic crash in years - not many bottles were leaving the store, and I wasn't running around suggesting a white for sushi or a red for a gift. Although I can't be insensitive to what is happening in world right now, I actually like the fact that things are slowing down a bit, that I have time to think, and a reason (a very good one I will add) to read the signs and plan strategies for the future. Conclusively, I think New York, after the storm has passed, will be a better city. Sorry for the digression. - So this day, this slow and contemplative day, was dragging itself along aimlessly, when all of a sudden, a call from a blocked number on my cell started to flip things around. That call created an excuse to give a different meaning to an uneventful day. As it often happens, you don't create a special situation to open a special bottle, but it is the chance occurrence of that situation that will suggest what to open, and last night suggested that it was time to open a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon Rose` 1998.
A word or two about Billecart-Salmon: the maison was founded in 1818 by Francois and Elisabeth Billecart, and today the seventh generation of their family is working the estate that covers about 30 hectares of land and source grapes from 110 hectares of 35 single crus. The Cuvee Elisabeth was first bottled in 1988, is an even blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, vinified white. Some Pinot Noir from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, vinified as red wine, is added to create the rose. I had never tried the '98, and my guest was the perfect fit for the task. We both put our noses in the glass and glanced at each other right after with a mixture of surprise and satisfied expressions on our faces then it was time for the palate to give an assessment. For a second the world disappeared around me and all I could see was the salmon color of the glass while I was about to ingest some of that nectar. A million bubbles started to gently tingle my mouth while several layers of fresh red berries, light violet and candied lemon skin were dancing between the top of throe and the back of the nose. Amazing!
The champagne was served at 9 Celsius degrees and I left the bottle in a bucket on top of the ice with just enough glass in contact with the ice to keep the temperature constant, drinking a Champagne like this one too cold is a sin. After I came back to earth, I felt like the first time you kiss somebody you care, I started to notice the firm acidity and other signs of youth, with time the flavors became more focused, it was incredible how powerful and yet elegant the wine was, like a beautiful, sexy and sophisticated lady...yes because a wine is not just about the flavors you fell but is mostly about the emotions you get from it, the little chill down the neck when the fine bubbles massages your palate, the time and space traveling while having it in your mouth, and the reminiscence of what it was in the finish tempting you for more until sadly you pick the bottle up and is empty. One thing tough if close my eyes now I can still taste it on my lips!!!
Buona Bevuta a Tutti

1 comment:

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