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April 02, 2008

04 Francis-Tannahill, Jack White

When I first had this wine, I saw it as prophecy. Now that prophecy has come true. This Oregon white wine is one of my favorite Rhone reds. But unlike the truly esoteric bottling I tried at Small Batch, deep down inside this one actually knows what it is. What I have to tell you here is not how strange this wine is. Not that it is rust colored and tannic. Not that it smells like a mix between apricots and exhaust. Or tastes like olives and orange marmalade. No, because you'll just see experience all that for yourself--somewhere between your first sip and the moment your brain collapses in on itself. What you must know is, after hours of sitting open, this wine has a moment of actualization, like the crosslegged yogi who sees her blue pearl of light. The machine becomes human, spits out an infinity of Pi. I might be dying and smell like carignane, but I am chardonnay. Chardonnay makes up about a third of this wine (the rest is pinot blanc and pinot gris), but it's all that remains if you take it for its full 750 mL. Not the ones you have with dinner; the ones you have with friends, when in your weakest hour you reach way back in the Eurocave for that bottle you've been saving. Since you were married. Until your kid is 21. And you open it, regretfully, but not really. Your kid will never know. It might just taste like wood chips and Barbasol right now, but damn it it's fantastic. Treat this like those wines. If you do, then the end will be great chardonnay. Only the great survives. It's like the densities settle. What's on top goes well with fish, fennel, maybe even asparagus. And suddenly, you notice the wine has changed, but you don't know how. Not until you get to Burgundy, which, on a map, is located in the final two ounces of a glass of Jack White. At last, I understand you, Jackass. I know who you really are.


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