Humbrecht Marc de Gewurztraminer 1976 / 2016 63.1%

Nose: Handmade glycerine soap. There seems to be a canonical symbol in the US for graduations, and that is the stargazer lily. A stunning visual expression of pure classiness. But just like that family who is visiting to celebrate, by day 5, it’s taken over the whole house and has become overbearing. Walking into a bath and body work, nearly a pop in the nose. I once visited Charlotte, North Carolina in full spring, and wandered along the waterways in the countryside (careful of the gators). I’d sit in the shade under the weeping willow, the air thick with pollen and floating spider webs, watching the lily pads drift along and the mash grasses in the splendor bend in the wind.

Palate: I became obsessed with lemon verbena yerba mate while hiding out in a monastery in Syria. It was one of the few places that seemed to avoid the shockwaves of the transfer of power between generations of Asads. The old Argentinian monk liked to listen to the valley and pass the cup back and forth while we filled and then winced at the bitterness. The oak is super concentrated and yet the grape still wins out. Instead it pops in as wet driftwood. And a bright chemical taste, the disposable wet wipes my son used when he came out of the NICU. So fresh and so clean clean.

Rating: 7 / 10 – What an explosion of flavors. Everything turned up to 11. A bottle to share and blow people’s minds. But only something the foolish and insane would reach for daily. A legitimately challenging pour to rate but I want a bottle, so there you have it.