Archive | 11:26 pm

Raising a Toast With Odin’s Nectar

8 Sep

I bought two bottles of Modus Operandi’s 2009 Valhalla before it was gone. Only a single barrel was made (25 cases) and those fellow fans who love winemaker Jason Moore’s creations have figured out that if you want his wine, you have to grab it when you can. I have learned the hard way, you will too by having to wait for his next creation.

Valhalla starts off big: sealed in black wax with an oversize bottle, it pours deep purple into the decanter. Focusing closely in the glass, I see black in the center of the glass edging towards purple and finally bleeding into red on the edges as I examine the color. As I swirl I note a higher alcohol content than some of the other Modus wines but very similar to the Napa standard- and this one comes in at 14.5%.

The nose offers red cassis, strong black plum, menthol, asphalt/gravel, and a hint of oak. (I had a powerful floral element but the room I’m in is dominated by a huge bouquet of flowers so I’m not going to include the floral element in deference to that outside influence.) Allow me to say simply, the wine smells great. In the mouth, it’s pronounced and powerful- not as balanced as some of Jason’s other creations, but a force to contend with: massive black fruit with bold acidity and strong tannins reel in my lips and cheeks as it swirls in my maw. I take some air and am surprised how much this comes back as tart- “What a perfect complement for red meat!” I ponder, this is a wine that screams rib eye medium rare with a baked potato and creamed spinach. Were it sold by the thousands, you’d see it in the cue with Stag’s Leap, Silver Oak, Opus One. But this is a rare and personal wine, so it will be enjoyed much more privately, and oh so well if paired correctly. I regret getting only a couple of bottles, and now I have to choose the time, place, and company when I will open the next one.

I took a moment and in the mirror saw my tongue was completely black/purple from my tastes, and with a big smile I refill my glass. It takes effort to think in detail about the qualities of this wine; like driving a stunning race car, the experience overpower your senses and you just want to drink in the moment, literally and enjoy. This is a hard glass to put down, yet another of Moore’s genius oenophilic concotions too good to contemplate as you savor the last drop and the finish lingers so long in your mouth with the tart aftertaste of an epic wine that serves the namesake well. Afterwards, the empty glass reminds you of the good things life brings you that sometimes are cut short or made in very limited supply. A bittersweet moment? It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

à votre santé!

or in this case, Skål!

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