Captain Planet Month(s): Water 06/28/12
It appears that Captain Planet Month has, as sort of originally anticipated, taken longer than a month to unfold. I can think of a few reasons for this – chief among them being my sporadic update schedule as of late. Now sure, I could say I’ve been on some sort of odyssean Odyssey all this time, cursed to rove the seas for week after futile week as penance for offending the mighty god Poseidon; but that would be a violation of my nondisclosure agreement with the boys up on Olympus, so I won’t be doing that.
Other reasons include my propensity to disrupt the rhythm of Captain Planet Month to discuss Texan Blanc du Bois, or my urge to wax poetic about yet another excellent Mencia, and for these I apologize. But fear not, good citizens! I’m committed to staying the course until I summon everyone’s favorite steely blue bastard to do my bidding.
That means it’s time to talk about water – or more specifically, how water is reflected through wine. I could have gone the simple route and chosen something bland and watered-down, but then I’d have to drink something bland and watered-down, and that just didn’t sit very well with me. What, then, was I to do? Well, I had only one opti-
Water. The source of life, the solvent of Kool-Aid. We drink it, and we drown in it. Water is the element of change, of mutability, of dampness. Water is also ubiquitous, comprising over half of the human body, two-thirds of the planet’s surface, and a rather sizable portion of every wine that ever was. So how to choose a representative from this veritable ocean of options? Simple. I opted to procure a wine that exhibited more…oceanic qualities.
Now, when I say the word “oceanic,” I don’t mean wine that comes in ocean-sized quantities – that’s just called good marketing. I’m referring to something else, a certain redolence to the surging seas themselves, or at the very least the beaches onto which they sometimes spill. Best known as salinity, saltiness in wine is a characteristic is akin to minerality (and sometimes considered a manifestation thereof – salt is a mineral, after all). It’s not a particularly common trait, but it’s unmistakable when you encounter a wine that possesses it.
Speaking of which, enter the Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko 2010 from the island of Santorini, which cost me $23 at the PA state store (the wine, not the island), and about which I coincidentally just saw an article yesterday (the island, not the wine [though other wines from the island (and the grape [Assyrtiko])]). Following on the heels of the last wine I tried from Sigalas, an Assyrtiko-Athiri blend – both excellent and about $4 cheaper – my expectations were high. So imagine my delight when at the very first whiff, I was again whisked away to a distant, perhaps nonexistent shore, where the briney scent of sea-foam tickled my olfactory fancies in much the same way as I’d been hoping it would.
In addition to that wonderful salinity I’d successfully sought, pear notes abounded on nose and palate alike for this Assyrtiko, in contrast to the peachier profile of the Assyrtiko-Athiri. I can’t say my preference veers toward one fruit over the other, especially since they alliterate; but to the varietal version’s credit was a hint of fennel, adding a measure of complexity that assured this wine the title of my favorite Assyrtiko or Assyrtiko-based wine (and perhaps more importantly, nudged Assyrtiko up into “Favorite White Grape” territory). Dry but with enough fruit as could be mistaken for residual sugar, crisply acidic and sexily salinous, this was definitely a winner.
I award the Sigalas Assyrtiko thumbs up. And I’m confident the grape will earn a 10 before long.
I also now realize I’ve completely neglected to mention Gi, the Planeteer of Water, in this post.
Farewell until next time, folks! And I promise next time won’t be nearly as long as this time, either. That’s a promise…from the heart.