Monday, February 25, 2008

Open That Bottle Night: Vincent Girardin Echezaux

Saturday was Open That Bottle Night, the one night of the year when Wine Street Journal critics Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher urge you to go into your closets, cupboards, wine fridges, and cellars and pull out a bottle of wine you are "saving for a special day." Sometimes they're old bottles. Sometimes, they're bottles you set aside to celebrate a specific event. Sometimes they were gifts that you couldn't bear to open because they were so special.

The wine I drank for OTBN fit into categories 2 and 3. It was given to me by a dear friend in July of 2006 to celebrate a major career milestone: turning in my second book manuscript. This is the kind of thing that you just DO, you stick it in the mail and go home and eat chocolate. So this wine was very special to me and even after the book came out I couldn't bear to open it.

Open That Bottle Night to the rescue!

The bottle in question was a 2003 Vincent Girardin Echezeaux. I know, I know, I could have opened this for OTBN 2018, but I opened it now. And I'm not sorry that I did, either. This wine was just spectacular, and I loved the way that it tried to find 100 ways to say cherry -- iron-inflected cherry, herbal-inflected cherry, mushroom-inflected cherry, cherry blossom. The wine had a beautiful color, too, as this picture showed, which only added to the pleasure that I had in drinking it. After it settled down a bit it evolved into a cherry and truffley set of aromas and flavors wrapped in a silky package. There were also interesting meaty and gamy notes in both the aromas and the flavors. There was a slightly sweet aftertaste--like cherry essence--and smooth, smooth tannins.

I have to admit that I wonder what this wine would have become in another 5 or 10 years, but I'm glad that I took the plunge and drank my special bottle of wine. You can read what others opened up by checking out the WSJ forum dedicated to Open That Bottle Night. If you missed this year's event, just open that bottle anyway, and start uncorking all the memories that you've stored away.


RougeAndBlanc said...

Hey Dr. Debs.
I am really happy that you have enjoyed this Grand Cru Burgurndy. However, don't despair; for the 2002 vintage is still under $100 and the 2003 vintage can be found for under $90 at time of writing.
If you buy one of each, you'll know in 10 years how both of them turn out to be.

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks, Rouge and Blanc--I think... Only my checkbook knows for sure if this is a good thing to know!