Snow. Last week was the Solstice, it passed through my life without a mention, without a ritual, without walking in the night until the dawn, without hiding from the skunks threatening perfume, without a wet gust of wind or a winter fly.
I've been cleaning. Besides coming across a crazy letter to me from Dr. Nina Simone (1986
which I am contemplating trying to sell on ebay, I unearthed a postcard from a gallery I visited in Paris, 2004. It was pretty cold and I was on my way to my annual Loire-a-thon when I found myself mesmerized by the work of Fernando X. Gonzalez.
I fell in love with that particular show. The way sometimes you fall in love with a boy, a man, a wine, yes, I admit I've had all of those. I fell in love with his images, his paintings, his drawings, brutal and romantic, delicate and coarse. They were not terribly expensive, but beyond my reach. His work seems like the back story of the snow, mountains barely visible, a waking dream. An Argentine working in Paris. Maybe one day, I'll have my own little piece instead of stealing images, like cyber sex, I imagine, no replacement for the real thing.
(snatched from 'lil Gidding. T.S. Eliot)
....In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
If you came this way,
Taking the route you would be likely to take
From the place you would be likely to come from,
If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges
White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.
It would be the same at the end of the journey,
If you came at night like a broken king,
If you came by day not knowing what you came for,
It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade
And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for
Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled
If at all.
(Is it time for some La Bota 18 yet?)
Which brings me to the pickle of the ASF wine of the year.
The big pickle.
You see, almost every year has brought me to gamay, once a burgundy snuck in because it was delicious and $15. The ASF wine of the year is the one I find myself constantly drinking, in truth, the wine of my life is probably Clos Roche Blanche gamay. This year it could have been the '08 Foillard. But....the wine that has taken me by the hands and spun me around the most, made me try to catch my breath was..
The Aux Fourneaux vineyard is largish and often overlooked, probably because half of it is lowly village wine while the other is 1er cru. The block lies east of the village towards to main road, south of Pernand and just east of Les Lavières.
Oh, I know, you think I'm being boring, because how often can I talk about this wine, I did recently blog it after all. But you see to me, the wine of the year is the one that sticks and inspires. Usually I pick a new vintage (and I'll buy this wine in every vintage) but this year demanded the extra-ordinary, I needed help. This 2006 is a vintage that has pleased me so much, this domaine is one that almost never fails to disappoint. I think I paid $32 for it, but can't be sure. It is out of my usual budget, but there are sometimes you'll pay for pleasure.
Maybe it was the company, Jeremy and Anthony, but I don't think so. However, I was sure happy they were there to share it, as if I didn't believe my own reaction. As if, as if, as if I needed them to weigh in, as if you're not sure, did you really see that shooting star?
I put my nose in the glass and after so many wine disappointments, I sank into its pillow of relief, I was so tired of being bored. The wine brought to mind clover can when the bees are in the height of zero summer, and a romp in the hay is in a distinct possibility.
Happy New Year to you all.