Calycanthus floridus, a relative of Magnolia, the spidery flowers of which smell of wine vinegar
I have been playing a bit of golf recently, on one occasion carrying my bag for a full 18 holes. Killing time on the driving range until tee-off the next day, I felt my beleaguered spine "go" and limped out onto the first fairway, unprepared to cancel the thing.
We played 9 holes and I won. My osteopath later suggested that bad backs improve one's game since one is not so inclined to pound the ball horizon-ward. That was just prior to her illiciting an audible snapping noise from the offending area. I am now straight.
There is usually something of a lull after a Bordeaux campaign and following one quite so lusty as that relating to the 2009 vintage is an opportunity to get on top of office work, do a bit of gardening and attempt to catch a fish or two. I head, tomorrow, to the Borders for a day fishing on the Tweed on Saturday, before we head up to a spot near Inverness where I have high hopes of doing battle with a salmon or two. If I can nick one out of the Tweed one the way up, so much the better. The pressure will, to some degree, be off.
We have tasted - drunk, I should say - a couple of mature Bowes Wine wines in the last week or so and a superb pair they were. Here's the gen:
2005 Volnay, Rebourgeon-Mure
Medium-deep ruby red. Fresh nose of slightly creamy red fruits, principally cherry. There are hints of juicy cranberry, as well as nut paste and a spicy/smoky note. A medicinal note like menthol. In the mouth, the fruit up front is rich and concentrated and a touch plump or creamy. The fruit is never far from the fine, wholly integrated tannin, however, and the palate quickly turns highly tangy. There's an orange-like quality here, to the acidity especially, but also to the cherry-red fruit. This is newly ready. No hurry. Another 5 years of pleasure here at least.
2002 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru les Caillerets, Guy Amiot
N.B. tasted at 18 degrees C: about right
Pronounced, healthy pale yellow colour. The nose needs time to breath at this age, with air offering a pronounced smoky, chalky minerality; almost a hint of gunflint/struck match. Smoked nuts, too, as well as hints of dried white flowers and pure pear fruit. Dry and cool; evidently not a hot vintage: no flab here. Long, picking up a smoky mineral thing throughout its length. Concentrated and highly mineral (finely crystalline). Great straight intent pushing through to a lemon-fresh finish. The merest hint of banana to the pear and lemon fruit. A minerally intense wine, leaving a powdery residue on the tongue.