Sunday, December 26, 2010


Maybe you've heard about the recent remake of True Grit by the Coen Brothers. As you may or may not recall, the original 1969 Robert Evan's era film starred John Wayne and won Wayne an Oscar for his role as the one eyed US Marshal Rooster Cogburn. The 2010 version stars former Dude Jeff Bridges in a return to the Coen Brothers fold. I'm told he turns in a chilling performance. I have yet to see the new film myself, which is something I seem to have in common with a lot of the (older) people who have taken to criticizing it for daring to take up the sacred saddle of Wayne.

I know where these folks are coming from. After all, we all saw what happened with the remake of The Wild Wild West. Er, at least I did, in a theatre, for full price, and basically with no one else around because everybody with a clue was miles from there. That was the worst movie of my entire life, with apologies to Will Smith, who seems like a nice enough dude. And the kicker was, I REALLY liked the old TV show, which just made it all the worse. So I understand when something stupid like a tepid remake of Alfie comes around and the folks who came of age with the original have nothing but scorn for the young upstart. I feel the same sense of tarnished legacy.

I think a lot about remakes around this time of year because all those late release 2008 Italian whites are coming up short in the supply chain right about now. There are 2009s to wait on. Tastings to arrange. Glass pour programs to revamp. That isn't such a bad thing if you don't have to say goodbye to an old friend. Like right now I am about to run out of the Cavallotto Langhe Bianco 2008 and I am bit worried about what the 2009 might hold. You never know, all that ripeness might make things flabby. And the 2008 has been so good to me, and to the people who have tried it.

Have you had the chance to try it?  It is a bit unusual in that it is 1) a pinot noir grown in Italy's Piemonte, an area famous for its Nebbiolo and 2) a pinot noir that is made into a white wine. Yeah, that's right, they press the skins off and just make wine from the clear juice. It is pretty neat to think this baby could have been red if it had wanted to be. Kind of like the Duke of Windsor giving up the throne for love. And I feel that I get to learn something about the character of Pinot Noir and the Piemonte as a result. Like that if you put them together you can get some killer, electric acidity. I mean like deep wellsprings of acidity, matched by that plumpness that you get sometimes in a Blanc de Noirs from Champagne. It is a delicious wine. At least the 2008, with its touch of waxy, lanolin flavor is. But so was the 2007, and especially the 2006. The 2006 was a classic for all time, with acid that just wouldn't quit and a lifespan that lent well to pouring it by the glass a year and a half ago. I really don't understand the guys who say that wines age on their fruit. Do those guys drink wines like this?

Which is what worries me about this 2009 that is coming up, and which I haven't tried yet. It is going to be all packed in fruit salady this time around? With big ticket '09 ripeness? Is it going to be a Hollywood Feel Good Movie of a remake? I really hope not. Because then I would have to pass on the double feature, and the 2006 isn't available on my Netflix streaming just yet.

Maybe I just need to remember that True Grit was a book before it was a movie, anyway.


Alice said...

" It is pretty neat to think this baby could have been red if it had wanted to be. Kind of like the Duke of Windsor giving up the throne for love."

This is why you are so great. Lovely kicker.

Bryan said...

I picked up the 09 a couple of days ago. Felt like the alcohol was a little awkward - 14.5%. Is that usual? Good news: no fruit salady-ness.

It's 84 points for me.


Levi with an i said...


Thanks for the update. The 2008 rings in at 13.5%. Are you sure you were looking at the Langhe Bianco from Pinot Nero, as opposed to the one from Chardonnay? Either that, or that is some extra 2009 ripeness right there.

Bryan said...

It was the Pinot Nero.

Steve said...

Lord, you've been productive writing. Good stuff.

Apparently, someone freed up this wine on the West coast already. I'm chomping at the bit to have some myself, but we're waiting for the better part of a week until it gets here.

Steve said...

It is fleshier this year. It still has lots of pleasure to offer.

TWG said...

Damn, had my only bottle tonight, it was good. Thanks and will the 2009 be available?