Driving down from Château Margaux towards Bordeaux, as usual, my car radio is tuned to the impeccable Nova FM, a station with a habit of throwing out tunage that stop you in your tracks. Around the entrance gates of Giscours comes a song that compels me to pull over so that I can just marinate in the sound. I cannot put my finger on exactly why I am bewitched. It sounds simple, a melody you cannot believe has never been written before. It is the mesmerizing woman’s voice that whisks me to wherever she is coming from, multi-tracked so that it resembles a small choir. It makes me think of Hope Sandoval. Lots of Sandoval’s singing in unison. There is that loose elastic bassline and the almost meditative atmosphere, something pagan about the lyrics. The song is “Black Willow”. A quick Google search identifies it as a new song by a band I have never heard of before. They are called Loma. I like the name. I make a mental note. Thank the Lord the music column is returning so I can tell the world.
featured, France: Bordeaux, Verticals & Retrospectives
There was no easing into the job and frankly I would not want it any other way. Wines tasted in the morning at an annual ten-year on Bordeaux tasting on one side of the Atlantic, written up on the flight over to New York with my mouth still coated in tannin and completed on the other side of the Atlantic...just a day in the life, so that readers get an idea how things are going to roll with the 2008 Bordeaux.
Wine writing is a narrated voyage. It says as much about the writer as the wines they encounter en route.
cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites
For my maiden “Cellar Favourite”, the obvious choices would be either Bordeaux or Burgundy because I am fortunate to drink a hell of a lot of old and rare bottles. But instead, I opted for a Northern Rhône that I drank before Christmas with friends at one of my favorite London restaurants, Chez Bruce. It was a BYO with serious bottles flying around to bid farewell returning to warming climes for the winter. I took a chance with the 1972 Cornas from Paul Jaboulet Ainé, partly because I had never encountered such a venerable Cornas. I was curious.