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Return to the scene of the crime

It was almost exactly 19 years ago that Martha and I took our first trip to France together. I was still working in the music business, but way deep into my Burgundy and Champagne obsession that would lead to my changing careers just a couple of year later. My current obsession at that time was the then new Krug single-vineyard Blanc de Blancs from their Clos du Mesnil vineyard in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. I remember asking in the village where the Clos was, and that a couple of old dudes who were drinking their morning beers in the café pointed us in the right direction.

We luckily stumbled upon the resident-manager of the Clos, who agreed to walk us through the vineyard. It was originally planted in 1698, and while always having been thought of as a special site, it didn't rise to world-wide fame until Krug released their first wine from it, the 1979, in 1986. That wine, and virtually every vintage that followed, has blown my mind, and is to me the pinnacle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne.

Martha had the idea to drive up the hill outside of the village and see if she could get a picture of the Clos from up above. She got a great shot on a simple little point-n-shoot 35mm camera (this was before digital photography - seems like the dark ages!), and we took the film to Fotomat (remember those?) when we got back to LA.

A couple of years down the road, Martha found one of the early digital photo scanning experts and had him scan the 4"x6" print, and blow it up onto a 6'x8' canvas as a special gift for me in our new house in Yountville. That canvas hung in our living room there, and then in our house in Portland ever since we moved there in 2001. (If you come to any of our tastings or events, you'll see it hanging in our Caveau space now.)

So today, I decided to make a pilgrimage back to the scene of the crime. It had rained pretty hard yesterday, so I had to abandon the car halfway up the road, but I made it to the same spot, shoes and ankles covered in Grand Cru clay, limestone and mud by the time I reached the spot.

In honor of my wonderful wife, here's my 2016 digital version shot today (despite technology, it's nowhere near as good as Martha's original - and the trees have grown a lot in 19 years!)

Krug's  legendary   Clos du Mesnil

Krug's legendary Clos du Mesnil