I have made it my “calling” to discover emotional wines for you to seek out and enjoy in your personal hedonistic quest. These vins d’émotion have nerve, tension, and energy behind their hedonistic intensity. I hope they evoke your passion: the passion to explore and the passion to have another glass, drink another bottle, then find the next vintage of the wine.
Emotional wines are not made in infinite numbers; they are rare birds, coming from special terroirs, special combinations of rootstock and clone, and revealed by the talent of an open-minded vigneron.
Have the passion to seek out these wines for yourself!
Looking back at 2021
The most hedonistic treat I enjoyed in 2021 was the 2010 Echezeaux from Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. It’s a wine that sort of started the Winehog blog, and a wine that continues to give me and others tremendous emotional joy. I don’t need more than this – and I rarely find it. Also, the pleasure of serving this bottle to vigneron friends was special, underscoring why wines at this level are built for sharing.
Share and enjoy like there is no tomorrow!
Defining emotional whites
I am still fighting to finalise my definition of emotional wines. The essence is that they cannot be defined by bouquet or palate and other physical traits. They are defined by the feeling they give you on the emotional level.
For me, this is more evident for reds. With whites, I find the sulphur level has a strong impact on the style and expression of terroir. This is a long discussion with many valid points of view. But in essence, I feel a more measured level of sulphur helps better express the wine and its terroir. I am talking of quite moderate levels, even by modern standards. This helps bring a resolved feeling to my palate.
There will be more to come on this topic.
White of the year
My focus in 2021 was to learn and understand, and while the ambitions were there, the global health situation set some limitations on tastings and exploring.
My white wine experience of the year was a cask sample of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2020 Corton-Charlemagne, a wine with a mineral glow of energy and a stony presence. It was a serious wine made almost playful by DRC’s new, lighter vinification of its whites.
This was my white moment. But it will not come cheap, and unfortunately, I am!
Magnum of the year
Drinking wine facilitates the joy of the moment and the evening, and sometimes a wine does indeed illuminate an event. This was the case with the Domaine Garcia Corton Baie-par-Baie 2019 in magnum, served by Pierre-Olivier Garcia at his harvest paulée. It was so sensual in its expression and rosy glory on this particular evening. It fully explained why we did all that work in the vineyards during the previous three weeks of harvesting the 2021s.
Baie-par-baie elevated this Corton to sensual heights, and the 2019s from Domaine Garcia are sensational.
Seize the moment!