2005 Château d’Arche

What’s on my mind: Why we thrive on stories.Ian McDonald of Invisible Ink* points out that all stories boil down to a fairy tale concept. Which, with both ease and unmeasurable trepidation, boils down to:

Once upon a time…
And every day…
Until one day…
And because of this…
And because of this..
And because of this…
Until finally…
And ever since that day…

Many things have this rhythm. The more you care to ponder it, the more you are aware of it in ever aspect of your life; the macrocosms of your day, with your food, your commute, your ride to the market.

Joesph Cambell is wont* to delineate that all stories, essentially, come from the stars (the Monomyth). And they haven’t stopped building off their original forms, like branches from ancient trees still profligate. From The One, the infinite tumbles out. Sometimes eloquently.

And…right. This happens with wine. It was on my mind while drinking last night’s outstandingly-juicy French that everyone shouldn’t be afraid to plunge an extra few dollars on. There’s joy to be had.

There was a bread with brie,
And a wine that was sixty-degrees.
Until we pulled forth and corked fleet
Cut and smear, the Episode in,
Watched listened, gorged
gargled and clawed with a renewed sense of sous
Until it was gone, with sleep come abroad
And ever since that day…the notes of taste are lost.

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2005 Château d’Arche (Haute Medoc) – $45
Worthy.

Solid and scrumptious. An inviting nose full of mineral and other dark assets that were pleasant as all hell. But we moved on quickly to the drinking. I must say it was very grand. Bright, dark, fruit-laden, finely oak-y, easy, and most welcome down to the last glass. The alcohol was appreciable. The fruit was wholly blueberry. There was a presence about the bottle. The d’Arche won’t win a snobs blue ribbon, but that hardly matters. If wine’s truly about enjoyment, this empty bottle is it’s martyr.

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Good God! Here’s Some Wines!

Time. In my hands? It is God damned scarce, to be blunt. Yes, my writing has been affected by my fifty to sixty hours-a-week work life. This means I have little life outside of it. Sex? Wine? Literature? Editing my scripts and novels? What in God’s name are those? Instead my life is a languorous parlor trick consisting of laborious exercises of peddling sugared teas to Valley Girls and showing “guests” to their reserved seating at a local movie house.

Wine is still a focus in my life, however. I must drink it, and often. It is easier to give you a list, and their respective reviews, all at once. For, even pressing a post button several times, as opposed to once, is a chore in my current state.

The wines exhibited in this post are all the big, brash, bold, and marred (in my taste). Wines that are so ubiquitous to our “new world” styles. As often stated, these wines are typically deemed with passive aggressive derision to be “Californian.” But, as this post attests to, this is not the case. They are not only in California. They are everywhere –– and it is only getting worse among the $20 range of reds.

Consider this the Big Red edition. These wines are just as cheeky.

1999 Puelles Rioja Gran Reserva – Skip It
A clean nose, a cool disposition with reservation. Tight in the mouth with a smooth, tight delivery down the hatch. Some game, and even a lingering, manipulated essence. For being an older Gran Reserva, the wine was nearly devoid of much pleasure. Nothing quite worked. It was either falling off a cliff, or just started a trek up one. Either way, it’s a rocky path that won’t be pleasing to traverse.

2008 Alta Maria Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard – Skip It
Rock and “pretty” notes within the nose. A very maffic wine; dark and hot and showing some deep trenches. But there was little left to discover or evolve. It was a bold wine that made a clear statement as to what it was when the proverbial curtain fell, when the bottle was finished: exhausting.

2010 Amici Cabernet Sauvignon Olema – Skip It
A dusty, charcoal-rounded nose; spicy tones persisted. There was a presence of rock, grape and old barrels in the mouth. Somewhat oak-y. Not too sweet. Powdered tannins persisted, nearly cloying the experience. There was little balance, being a wine of high and low qualities without much in the mid-range. Skip it.