“COURAGE!” he said, and pointed toward the land,
“This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.”
In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.
That’s Tennyson to kick us off, retelling an episode of The Odyssey in which Odysseus and his sailors discover a land of placid ‘Lotos-Eaters’. These islanders do the company no harm, but instead feed them their delicious, soporific fruits — sapping the sailors of their resolve to leave and continue their quest.
Well. If Lord Alfred’s ‘mild-eyed melancholy’ islanders had been drinking wine, I’ll warrant they’d’ve gone for Cave de Turckheim’s Gewürztraminer.
It’s heavy-yet-light, floral, perfumed. The scent is sweet; muskily grapey, heady. Each mouthful lies heavy on the tongue.
Slow. Still. Smooth.
Lazily it lingers in the mouth, unhurried, drowsy. There’s a subtle, appealing bitterness in there — which further enhances the wine’s narcotic character, as well as providing balance to the blossomy aromatics. Unfortunately, it’s a touch too alcoholly, meaning that there’s a slight rough note amidst its swooning diminuendo.
And after a glass or so, what first seemed winsome acquires a slightly desultory air. A vague, lethargic emptiness.
But I don’t complain particularly vociferously.
I’m just too — tired.
With a little more balance, this would be a very good wine. As it is, it’s interesting (especially in view of its languorousness), but becomes a little repetitive and empty. Only a little, mind you. And for the price, I’d say it’s a pretty good specimen.