Opened a bottle of a 2003 Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé, and I think I finally kinda sorta get the appeal of chardonnay. It's not a grape I've ever sought out - I suppose snobbery combined with one too many Aussie fruit bombs has kept me away - but this bottle is excellent. It was a gift from one of the ruggers; it's been sitting, waiting for a year or so now. Along the way, it's picked up some real weight: unlike the chardonnays I'm used to, this has real gravitas. The nose smells of library paste long since dessicated in a copy of a Russian novel too heavy to read in bed; there's just a faint hint of summery apple fruit hiding behind it. In the mouth, it's suprisingly lively, with racy acidity that keeps sneaking up and backing down, threatening to but never quite overwhelming a chalky mineral savoriness that ends on a long, slow, drawn-out finish that is giving me flashbacks to a tarte tatin shared with Dan and Mark last month in New York City.
As with most beautiful things, this wine reminds me both of the beauty of the young, the fresh, the new - as well as the ethereal beauty that comes from knowing that everything is destined to fall apart. Just as a fine Stilton or a Thai squid salad has hints of both the new [cream, fresh mint] and the old [mold, fish sauce], this wine combines both, alternating, reminding us all to remember that there's real beauty in ending, not just in beginning.