Many of you all know that I’ve been on a new marketing assignment with a client based in Europe and have been on a few whirlwind multi-country tours over the past few weeks.  While most of my clients appreciate wine, it is rare to find one that has made it a priority to taste his way through first growth Bordeaux, the finest blends from Italy and California cult wine verticals.  Long story short – this guy knows his wines. 

We got together for dinner in Stockholm last week and I knew that he wasn’t a traditional Pinot fan, but I was up for the challenge.  I ordered a 07 Domain Serene and it didn’t disappoint.  It was a new world wine with an old world sensibility and I think my client will now give Pinot another try. 

E Guigal

But then he went and raised the gauntlet.  He picked up the bill for a Robert Parker 100 pointer – the E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque 1999 and had the sommelier serve it to us blind.  While I guessed French and Old World, there was no way I’ve sampled enough top-tier wines to have a multitude of reference points.  I tasted it and the different layers and textures seamlessly integrated to make every sip different.  The wine evolved in the glass with notes of vanilla, espresso, blackberries and tea.  It was perfect, lush and powerful.   

My first “a ha” moment with wine occurred long ago when I sampled Stag’s Leap Cast 23.  I’ve been searching for a similar palate ignition every since and the stars aligned last week in Stockholm.