What The Faugères? – Red Daily Slosh

24 Mar


Want a tasty California Petite Sirah? If electing ‘No’, proceed to paragraph 2. If electing ‘Yes’, continue reading here. This week, there’s the 2011 Langtry Guenoc Petite Sirah #019935 $17.95. Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you see a wine on the menu, a Petite Sirah red wine. Is that a small syrah? Has there been a typo? Why would we really care when it’s plenty good regardless. Petite Sirah is it’s own grape and has popped up, like the Viognier in this week’s White Daily Slosh (to be posted Wednesday) as a single varietal wine grape. It can be blended with, say, zinfandel, and stay below the radar. But, why hide in a bottle of zinfandel? This is a powerful wine; as in, people that tell you they can’t tell the difference between merlot and chardonnay will say, “Bill, that’s got some power.” Nice power. Cassis and cedary-power. Have-with-red-meat power. Never-to-be-left-alone power. Got it? Get ahead of the trend and pick up a bottle of this Petite Sirah. Actually think I got carried away with the ‘power’ thing. I meant that it’s got gumption. Don’t be afraid – this is very good.


Paragraph 2. There are lots of well-priced opportunities from the South of France this week. Let’s start the exploration with a repeat recommendation from two years ago – 2010 Château Saint-Roche Chimères #119354 $18.95. This excellent vintage it’s back with loads of oomph and personality. It carries the smell and flavours of the region – brush, earth, and maybe even a floral thing. If you like a wine that rises up and greets you at the top of your glass, this is it. What to eat? Well, what are the denizens of Roussillon eating? Bread, olive oil, pork, or maybe even a tasty cassoulet?


I’m making a sight unseen or taste untasted recommendation based on friends’ accolades and a little knowledge of the winery and region. “Very little, Bill,” shout the always present scoffers in the cheap seats. This week, I’m recommending you get a few of the 2009 Carmel & J Joseph Faugères  #310193 $16.95. Faugères is another appellation in southern France that’s usually a source of great red wine. My friend, DR, likes this appellation for value and I believe this is one of those solid wines that he prefers. The blend of Syrah, Grenache, et al grown on the schist which is predominant there is a great blend for any time. Really? Schist? OK, it’s good stuff qu’il suffise de dire, ce vin est plein de sa maison. I promise to keep the bull schist to a minimum in the future.


 If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know that I’m fond of Saint-Chinian – the wine, the towns, the vibe. The schist? When we travelled there, we stayed in a little village called Rocquebrun (our picture of Rocquebrun, above), at a home called Les Mimosas (highly recommended). We had the pleasure of wandering around and visiting several wineries. I will regale you sometime with the story of the peacocks and the big, scary dog. One winery was the cooperative “Cave de Rocquebrun”. Willingly seduced and upsold by a very pretty salesperson (“pigeon” plastered on my imposter Anglophone forehead), I left with their Cave de Rocquebrun La Grange des Combes to smuggle home in my exceedingly overweight suitcase. This week the newest vintage 2011 Cave de Rocquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint-Chinian-Rocquebrun #155804 $17.95 arrives. This is a full-bodied, wild feeling wine. By that I mean – it’s not tame – which, BTW, is the Webster’s definition of “wild”. Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre – I’m getting a bunch of this both for the nostalgia and with for some braised beef, pork roast, or (eschewing barbecue potato chips during my annual low-carb spring diet) garlic hummus and veggies on a  Friday night. Perfect!



Always one to try and satisfy my shiraz lovers……..wait (too suggestive and just wrong)…….always trying to give you shiraz lovers the fix that you need (better), I’m providing you with a treat. The 2009 Hickinbotham Shiraz/Cabernet #159632 $16.95 is a great blend of Australia’s two red kings. You may have tried it a few months ago when I recommended this 2009 then.This isn’t brawny, chewy and over-the-top-fruit that we can find in Oz. Now restraint isn’t bad, that’s good. It has balance, some bite and still delivers with enough of the fruit that we expect from Aussie reds. Although some reviewers detect all sorts of neat stuff, I find it simpler (maybe my unsophisticated palate?) in a good way – you’ll love it.

One Response to “What The Faugères? – Red Daily Slosh”

  1. Krystle van Hoof March 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Enjoying the Château Saint-Roche Chimères and watching a Food Network marathon. Very sippable on its own and I have a feeling it’ll go very well with our whole wheat KD once Damien serves it up. #holidayweekendlaziness


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