Malbecs Face Off – Red Daily Slosh

23 May

plandeddieuIf you’ve been playing along at home, you know that I love the reds from the southern Rhone. I love the reds from the northern Rhone too but budgets are budgets and I share a Visa account with Arlene. This week, there’s another great value from the southern Rhone – 2010 La Gravillas Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhone-Villages #264648 $14.95.  This is a typical Côtes du Rhone. They say ‘meaty’, I say full-bodied and providing a bit of smoke and muscle. This is the perfect backyard grilling wine. If you burn it, they will come. I have been recommending another product from this producer to great acclaim. But, frankly it is a little more expensive and not anymore satisfying than this. If you are a Côtes fan and who isn’t, buy a bunch of these and save for that special occasion – sorting your sock drawer, balancing the cheque book (does anyone out there have a cheque book anymore?), or completing the build of the shed at the cottage (Note to Self: Include personal insights to develop relationships with readers).

lyonnatLast week, a friend shared his last 1999 Château Leoville-Barton with me. It was nothing short of orgasmic (his words). So if I love Bordeaux so much why do I seldom recommend a Bordeaux as Daily Slosh? Why? They are usually too expensive to qualify as ‘daily’ unless you’re an investment banker or baseball player. I also don’t try many reasonably-priced Bordeaux because I fear that I’ll find out that I can get my Bordeaux buzz for $19.95, when I’ve ploughed my children’s inheritance, pitiful as it is, into futures? Well, I took a leap of faith and tasted a Bordeaux priced at $19.95 and it altered my opinion and will impact my approach going forward – more Bordeaux in the Daily Slosh! Maybe it is the age, given it’s a 2006 (a vintage that holds a lot of value compared to the vintage preceding it), but I was pleasantly surprised and excited – the 2006 Château Lyonnat #243774 $19.95 – a well balanced red with softness that makes it a Bordeaux ready to drink now with grilled meats, lamb stews, even barbecue burgers – which is a grilled meat! This is primarily Merlot (according to their web site) and shows you what France does with Merlot that others can’t quite duplicate. If you want to know what the Bordeaux fuss is about, skip the futures and pick this up. It ain’t Chateau Leoville-Barton but…. If you experience a Bordeaux find, please share it with us.

terrazasIt’s been months since we did a Malbec-off. So, drum roll please. In this corner, a favourite at this house wearing an understated label, 2010 Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva #029280 $17.95. This is nothing if not consistently hot and stylish. By that I mean the wine has some alcohol front and centre and isn’t shameless like many other malbecs – you know the ones – all flabby and dripping in their vanilla, boasting fruit with little structure or food friendliness. This has a vein of acid and tannins that gives it an Old(er) World feel for me. I like it a lot. Traditional Argentinean meaty fare would be great with this.

chakanaIn the other corner, in the black label with a hieroglyphic-styled depiction of God-knows-what is the 2011 Chakana Estate Selection Malbec #219261 #19.95. Where the opponent stands tall and hits with fruit and power, the Chakana bobs and weaves about the ring – lighter on it’s feet. That doesn’t mean that the Chakana is without definition or punch (yes the metaphor continues). It’s just bringing more finesse, maturity and subtlety to the ring. This could be a stand around wine; your company saying, “Where did you get this?” “You are brilliant.”

Daily Slosh Reflections – I’ve been re-introduced to some of my past recommendations lately. Taken a second swig, as it were. I want to mention my second 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 region, I guess) to your experience. Perfect backyard wine. Love it still. And, if you click on the link, I believe you’ll find that there’s still some out there, Grant.marrans

3 Responses to “Malbecs Face Off – Red Daily Slosh”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dude, It’s The Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - June 3, 2013

    […] don’t forget that I recommended a couple of other Argentinean wines a while back. I bought a bunch of the Terrazas malbec and it is a great sipping wine and still around and priced […]

  2. Oh No, It’s Beau – Again – The Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - June 21, 2013

    […] we have our Côtes on, why not get another. I recommended a red from this producer a few weeks ago – enjoyed one the other night and see that I still have a couple left. This time it’s 2011 Le […]

  3. Weekend Splurges Return and So Does Diane Lane | Duff's Wines - August 5, 2013

    […] Bordeaux and, although it’s in my splurge category, they are bargains. Aside for a few finds like the Chateau Lyonnat a few weeks back, Bordeaux breaks the $20 barrier with ease and frequency if you’re looking tasty and accessible. […]

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