There are certain wines you just treasure. You go to your cellar to get the bottle with a sense of pleasure and anticipation. Often these bottles are rare. You have just a few bottles, or, even more exciting, it's your last bottle.
Most wines that give me such feelings are red, but in this case it was a bottle of white wine. I was only able to get a few bottles of the current releases from Domaine Alice & Olivier De Moor's wonderful domaine in Chablis. The star of the group was the 2005 Chablis Bel Air et Clardy, of which I got only two bottles in my allocation from Chambers St Wine Merchants. The first was exceptional. Tight and firm with a delicious minerality and never-ending finish, it was everything you could hope for in a chardonnay.
Now I know I should have waited. I should have let it age a few more years, but the crab legs were just too perfect and too fresh and I could not resist. Off I went to get the bottle with the excitement I mentioned above. I pulled the cork, poured the wine and raised the glass to my nose. It was so corked I almost gagged. No little corkiness here, but a glass full of smelly, offensive junk.
I am developing a deepening hatred of corks. Enough is enough.