My Bride always makes sure that I am remembered on Father’s Day, and half the time, even though I usually select the gifts for me, I tend to forget. She also claims that I am a very expensive habit, high maintenance and stuff like that. She doesn’t say it in a mean or derisive manner, but I would rather have one item, instead of five items, unfortunately the one item usually cost more than the other five items combined. With men’s wear, I have always thought it was a good investment, because fashions last for a long time, if you avoid the really trendy stuff. I also believe in age-appropriate attire, as I am not sure that a Peewee Herman skin-tight suit with petal pusher pants would be the right clothes for me. Actually, I can’t think of a time, when it would have been appropriate. So, I probably do drive my Bride crazy, but after all of these years, she has adjusted to my peccadillos. After brunch, we went out shopping, not that either of us need anything, but it is an activity, and it also guarantees that the gifts for whatever holiday is in the future, will be the right size.
If you think that I am only a raconteur when it comes to wine, it occurs with other subjects as well, and if I am in a men’s wear establishment and I discover another old veteran from the glory days, we can actually talk about brands, stores, fashions, sales representatives and especially quality. My poor Bride would sometimes like to put me on a leash, so that she could drag me out of a store. I guess that she is happy that I don’t want to shop that often. Then again, I am not going to take assistance from a clerk that can’t coordinate colors and patterns and who looks slovenly. I am old enough to be a curmudgeon and I want to deal with a salesman or a consultant, not someone that is perpetually in a job-searching mode. We actually finished shopping, and had a chance to talk to our other two children a couple of time zones away and all was good. Parents always get concerned about their children and grandchildren, especially if we have a chance to proffer some ideas. We got home, and my Bride decided that we were going to have filets for dinner along with a salad, potatoes and vegetables. She is always trying to keep me healthy, perhaps a filet is that not healthy to some, but I am sorry, I still enjoy a steak, and with a filet, there is no waste.
Since it was Father’s Day and only the two of us for dinner, I went to the cellar to look for something interesting in our collection of splits. I thought a bottle of Chateau Latour “Les Forts de Latour” Pauillac 1998 was the right selection. Chateau Latour is probably one of the most famous wine producers in the world. It was a foregone conclusion that it was a First Growth in the Medoc back in 1855 and it hasn’t faltered since then, perhaps even getting more desirable year after year. The site goes back to 1331 with a fort and a garrison to protect the estuary and it started with several small vineyards. It eventually cobbled all the small vineyards and began getting recognition in the 16th Century. One family owned the estate for almost three-hundred years and they survived the French Revolution and eventually got the estate back together back in 1841. Chateau Latour is currently owned by Francois Pinault and his Groupe Artemis. The vineyard is eighty percent Cabernet, the rest basically Merlot with just a touch of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Chateau Latour is only made from the vineyard plots surrounding the domain as platted in 1759. “Les Forts de Latour” which is their second label is made from younger vines. There is a bit of an inherent chance of trouble with older splits, so I went and used The Durand corkscrew, which we got strictly for older corks. As you can see, the cork was in pristine condition and I was really all set to have to decant the wine through a filter, because of a crumbling cork, but it was perfect right from the bottle and the nose filled up the room, perhaps even more than the filet and the dinner. I have had the good fortune to have enjoyed two vintages of Chateau Latour and this was my second bottle of “Les Forts de Latour.” Perhaps this Street Somm is out of it, but this twenty-three-year-old wine was still full of life, the tannins were robust, the fruit was still tempting and the finish was nice and lingering. One can’t really ask more from any red wine and if there were any tears in my eyes, it was because the wine may have been good for another ten plus years in the cellar, and it was the only bottle I had of this wine. C’est la vie.