Try It You’ll Like It – Red Daily Slosh

9 Apr

eastonlabelThe zinfandel tasting that I went to this time last year had a remarkable Easton Estate Zinfandel from 2006, I believe. It was full of interest and, despite the fact that we had already sipped, swished, and spit or swallowed too many zinfandels (when I say “too many”, that’s a lot of zinfandel), this one captured our attention. I’ve subsequently had their 2000 Estate Bottled Zinfandel which is widely available and overflowing with coffee, chocolate and alcohol. This week, the 2010 Easton Zinfandel #328377 $22.95, their entry level zinfandel, arrives. It isn’t nearly the fun that their estate bottlings are but bears some of the same house style characteristics. Spicy, structured and mouth-watering. It could even take a few years in the basement or closet. As summer (AKA grilling season) approaches, you need to stock up with zinfandels anyway, so this is a start.

KimCrawPNKim Crawford wines are featured this week at the mothership. We’ve all had them. Probably the sauvignon blanc, in particular – pretty dependable, depending on vintage. The 2012 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir #626390 $19.95 is one of those. Dependable Kim Crawford wines, that is. I’ve served this (an earlier vintage) at a New Zealand wine tasting and people weren’t prepared for the tang that this wine can hold. It’s a good tang. It’s a pinot noir tang. And, if that’s your……tang, you should pick this up. Loads of red fruits and a little smokiness too. It’s pretty fresh and could use some time in bottle or swishing violently in your glass. Leaving it for a year or two would soften the wine for sure.

There was a great discussion on a blog that I follow www.savorencyclopedia.wordpress.com about New World versus Old World wines. Sometimes readers take my advice (which never ceases to amaze me) and try Old World wines when they’ve been swilling New World Aussie shiraz, California cabs, and Fuzion since they were babies. These readers sometimes tell me that they can’t see what the big deal is with, say, Italian wines because they are too ‘sour’. It makes ‘em pucker. Well, embrace the pucker! Let it dissipate (“thaw, melt and resolve itself in to a dew” – apologies to Bill Shakespeare) and taste villa cafaggiothe fruit that these wonderful reds offer – Bonus Track – you get all the musty, floral/herabally, earthy, cedary stuff too. Wait, there’s more. You get the feeling that you’re actually there – in Italy – sitting outside overlooking a piazza, Monica Bellucci pushing a flower cart, an older woman in black with a sack of fresh baked baguettes on her shoulders (they smell fantastic – the baguettes that is), two older men playing chess at a café table, did I mention Monica Bellucci? All this as lead up to a Try-It-You’ll-Like-It red from the Old World – 2009 Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico #176776 $19.95. This wine is medium bodied with some good smack but not too much. It has loads of personality in the way of sangiovese red fruit (cherry?) and some essence of the spice that I like in the Chiantis I love the most. Go ahead, try it, you’ll like it.

marransI feel that Beaujolais is a bit under appreciated. How many times do you hear anyone say, “Back up the Beaujolais truck and unload a case or two.” Never. Is it the memories of Beaujolais Nouveau past? Is the name too silly sounding; reminding you of a French Foreign Legion flick? (Note: Shout out to anyone who gets that last line) Is it because it isn’t pursued and analyzed to death by the wine cognoscenti? What’s not to like with a food friendly wine that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? This week 2011 Domaine des Marrans Fleurie #324897 $19.95 hits the shelves. Fleurie is usually the freshest of Beaujolais for me – maybe a bit lighter but still packin’. This one should be chilled a bit – maybe 15 minutes in the fridge to release all the good stuff. Serve with a whole lot of sunshine, a patio, and friends.

There’s a promotion of Portuguese wines this weekend. So, I have to mention something Portuguese. There are a bunch to try and fortunately (for me) I had tasted one and this is it. The 2009 Quinto do Portal Frontaria #324533 $13.95 is a fairly complex wine for the price point. This definitely has the Old World feel to it for me but rounder (not sure if we all mean the same thing when we say round – save that discussion for another time – I guess I mean that it doesn’t start with tannin or acid – so, not sharp in my mouth), a little oak, and some backbone despite the lack of attacking tannins. I like it a lot.

cusumanoOne last Old World red – 2008 Cusumano Noà #109512 $18.95. This red comes from Sicily. Little known fact – Sicily is Italy’s largest wine region and in most years produces the most wine of any region in Italy (courtesy of Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible if you don’t already you really should own this book). This wine is a blend that includes Nero d’Avola, a grape that I mostly associate with Sicily – maybe because most red Sicilian wines that we get here include this grape. When I’ve recommended a wine from this grape in the past, those that take me up on it (fools that they are) are enthusiastic in their praise for the wine – and send me expensive gifts by way of appreciation. Take me up on this one too. It’s not shy and brings lots of spice and earthiness. So, comparing to the Chianti above, it’s got more of a New World presence with an Old World pedigree. I am getting a bunch of this for BBQ’s at the lake. Who’s betting that they don’t last until summer?

3 Responses to “Try It You’ll Like It – Red Daily Slosh”

  1. savorencyclopedia April 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Thanks for referencing our conversation about Old World vs. New World wines! I am adding many of these wines to my list to try.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Malbecs Face Off – Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - May 23, 2013

    […] take on the 2011 Domaine des Marrans Fleurie #324897 $19.95. I spoke about this great example of a cru Beaujolais a few weeks back. It’s bursting with fruit and still bringing more other stuff (complexity, the herbs of the […]

  2. JJ et La Famille – The Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - August 25, 2013

    […] Wine Enthusiast has an article on zinfandel and on the cover an Amador County Zin –  Easton (which I recommended a few months back). I love Amador zinfandels! This week the 2008 Villa Mt. Eden Antique Vines Grand Reserve Zinfandel […]

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