Friday, October 21, 2016

At long last! Lemon cake and cloves, again


From the Nahe region of Germany: Paul Anheuser, 2000 Kreuznacher (" --er" indicating the town of Kreuznach) Kahlenberg (the vineyard, a site "first mentioned in 1499") Riesling (the grape) Spatlese (the harvest designation, in other words, second pass through the vines to pluck riper grapes). It proved a happy chance, to find a sixteen-year-old riesling on the shelves, for a retail price of only about $20. The color was golden amber, the aroma at long last --- after so many charming German rieslings that are all "racy" and zingy acidity and not much scent -- the lemon cake and cloves I remember from my first trade tasting ever. A supple mouthfeel balanced the sweetness. 

I always like to add a story to my wine thoughts, so there is this: I am trying Wuthering Heights again, for the third time in this life. Now I remember -- now I have reached the spot that annoys me. Unfortunately it is early on. The first narrator, Mr. Lockwood, gives place to the second narrator, Mrs. Dean, and then you must grapple with which characters in her telling are Hindley, and Hareton, and Heathcliff, and Cathy, and which were how old when the story begins in her memory, and which were how old or long dead from the first page of the first chapter. In real time, so to speak. In her introduction, Charlotte Bronte admits to the flaws in her late sister Emily's work. "How so?" you think. "It is a classic. Charlotte must be looking back on it very firmly, holding it to very high standards." But then, in that introduction you are also so distracted by the horrible brief chronicle of her two sisters' deaths from consumption, in a little more than five months from Christmas 1848 to spring 1849, that you resolve to overlook all flaws.    

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