Monday, 13 January 2014

Wine Urchin #2 - Trimbach Pinot Noir Reserve


Oh when the Saints, go marching in
In an effort to keep up with this idea of  regular wine blogging, alongside all food related matters, I have decided that I not only have to drink and review wine on a weekly basis (a crying shame) but I may have to delve into the past and try and recall smash hits of yesteryear. Which of course is a very difficult thing to do. Wine provides love, laughter and song but in my personal experience, it is not very good at keeping the memory glued together. One thing that amazes me about wine buffs is their capacity to recall notes, aromas and flavours, a bottle that was particularly fine, a good year, probably the best they've tasted so far. Could I ever do that? I don't think so. Ask me about a Château Margaux, if I were ever lucky enough to try one and a year, a month, a day or so after slurping I am sure my slightly slurred response would be: "Oh yes it was very nice...........very nice indeed.........."  *tumbleweed*

But I must do better and try to remember so here is one from the vaults, a Pinot Noir I tried when I was in Paris just before Christmas (on a company Chrimbo party jaunt, brag).

Being the culture vultures we are, the one night stay over consisted largely of drinking in various bars with all but a cursory nod to the beauty of the city itself. We stood under the Eiffel Tower for about twenty minutes marvelling at the magnitude and the engineering before our leader decided that perhaps we should get a drink. Because we hadn't had one for about, ooh twenty minutes. Then there was a rush back to the hotel to get changed. Which wasn't really a rush, more of a surreal diversion really as we sat still in a taxi, slap bang in the middle of Paris traffic for about an hour or so. It was horrendous and at one point I thought I was going to wet myself. Still, I managed to get into my room unscathed and was back out the door, washed and dressed in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

The name of the restaurant that we were booked into for the evening translated as Slate in English, or something like that, and it took ages for us to find it because curiously, all restaurants in Paris have French names. But we found it and sat down in the basement and got on with the enforced business of making merry. As we perused the menu bottles were plonked down in the warm and efficient manner that you come to expect in Paris, a white and a red, namely the Trimbach Pinot Noir. Which is where we get to the nitty gritty. 

I am familiar with wines from the Alsace, having tried a few Rieslings in the past, and Pinot Gris, and Gwurzletiminator.....Guzzleweinershizner....... Gewurztraminer (God, I hate ever having to ask for that) and have always been pleasantly overawed by their complexity. They can be sweet, dry, floral, alien, otherworldly, bizarre and sometimes defy category altogether. In other words, I usually find them unusual but nice. I have never tried a Pinot Noir from the region before and with this one I sort of fell in love from the first sip. Now of course I have to try and describe the damn wine and the one thing that stands out from memory was the alluring fruit, this gorgeous cherry that flowed all the way down. It was fresh too but also had a lovely depth of character, a long lingering on the tongue. It was luscious and went very well with the ox cheek special that I ordered. 

It probably went down too well because I practically danced all the way out of the restaurant that night and straight into an Irish bar, as some of us oafish Brits do when we are abroad. Why do we always travel all this way and then gravitate towards to the plastic bejasus and begorr? No matter, I danced some more and sang with the jazz band that was playing. "Oh when the Saints! Go marching in! La la la la la la la laahhhh!"

It turned out to be a great night in the end, which in no small part was down to being released from certain shackles and helped along by some fantastic Pinot Noir. I do need to try and find it again though, to sample in some more conservative manner maybe. Make some proper notes, build a spreadsheet. Does it really matter though, if wine is taken seriously or not?
 

As long as you associate some sort of happy memory with wine, that's the most important thing isn't it?

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