JJ et La Famille – The Red Daily Slosh

25 Aug

jj cale

Just a shout out to JJ Cale fans – he will be missed. Click on pic for a great rendition of one of my favourites. Love it!

Now to wine – just poured a little something for the writing grind. I’ve been asked why I seem to recommend wines on some arcane and unusual schedule rather than just speak about what I’m drinking. So, a primer for those non-Ontario residents.

Every two weeks our beloved Liquor Control Board of Ontario (the LCBO, the mother ship, but more importantly – the place everyone goes for boxes when they’re moving) puts together a ‘special’ release of wines that they’ve carefully selected for the season, etc. They print a truly beautiful and informative brochure with reviews, stories and a theme for the release. Since the inception of the release approach, the average price per bottle has risen substantially and it is shamelessly an attempt to upsell gullible Ontarians. Hand up – guilty – I’m gullible – it works flawlessly in my house. My reviews are based upon these releases and are an effort to pique readers’ interest in certain wines with the ultimate goal of uncontrolled spending on wine and immense gratitude, in the form of gifts to me for my astute observations. The first part kind of works in the case of my closest friends and I feel like I don’t have a problem any more than they do; the second goal not so much.

This week’s release focuses on wines that score high with the critics – both high priced ones and those to which we’re more likely to gravitate. If I get to it before Friday, I’ll post for Splurge wines on some of the expensive ones that merit a look.

perrinI am nothing if not predictable – well, and undisciplined, compulsive, narcissistic, and frankly over-thinking every aspect of my life – including the preceding analysis. So on the issue of predictability, I’m recommending a Côtes du Rhône – 2011 Perrin Pevre Blanche Cairanne Côtes du Rhône-Villages #650960 $17.95. This is a wine from the famous Famille Perrin. This Cairanne I find to be très solid. Flabbé comme le plonk? Non! Recent vintages in the Southern Rhone have been exceedingly good. This does nothing to dispel that. Grenache et Syrah, full of the smells and tastes of the area – scrubbiness (they call it garrigue), herbal on the nose but more serious in the mouth. A cacophony of flavours – just kidding but it is a mouthful and I had trouble not checking too many flavours off on my tasting notes. Similar to when someone at a tasting suggests cinnamon, then everyone smells it. I was kind of suggesting too much to myself. Leads me to think that the wine could use some time to grow up and sort itself out a bit.  If you really want to know about this wine there’s a discussion of the wine in English and a great video en francais on the Famille Perrin website. A friend recently bought a bunch of Rhone wine and I know that he’d like this one on the balcony with a cigar, which is his style.

brecaThis release features a whole flight of new high scoring Spanish wines but I have only tried the one – 2010 Breca Old Vines Garnacha #329086 $19.95. Robert Parker says that “it may be the most amazing wine I have ever tasted at this price in over three decades.” This roughly translated means that it will be gobbled up if you wait until after noon on Saturday. So, check the inventory via the link to see what store you need to raid – or call to reserve like I will. I love wines from Catalonia – have recommended them with much acceptance by my peeps. This one is a lot more evolved than some of the similarly priced wines from there. It carries the minerality that you might expect but also swirls of black fruits and although Parker says aromas of “lavender’, it’s more fennel to me. But, he’s the expert – so lavender it is. There are times for serious wines and this is one of them – times, that is.

villamtedenzinI see that this month’s 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 #256719 $19.95 represents a blend of Amador County and Napa fruit. Can we talk? I find that zinfandels can sometimes be a bit………..disorganized and/or flabby. They’re good but maybe because of the higher alcohol, extracted fruit – too full-bodied and just too much – could be better is all I’m saying. The sometimes knock on California wine by critics is that it is just too big and extracted – no subtleties – no balance (and there definitely are a lot like that). This one, perhaps because of the old vines used (Amador County has some of the oldest vines in the state) or the cooler nights, is spicy, balanced and has enough acidity to carry all the alcohol and fruit. It’s a beaut! I know many of you used to zinfandel (the verb) a lot and have branched out or moved off this noble grape. Give this a try, if you don’t like it, put the cork back in and call me to come and get it. Perfect ribs wine, I’d think. Vegetarian? Grilled marinated portobellos with arugula salad (feta cheese), and fresh sliced field tomatoes. Vegan? Skip the cheese. Dumpster diver? Can’t help you there.

A few repeats from earlier posts:

delabadIn re-reading the post, I realize that I’ve had two of the Spanish wines that are highly rated including, the Breca above and the 2008 Bodegas del Abad Dom Bueno Mencia #291989 $15.95. After revisiting this, I’d say OK to leave in your basement, closet or whatever you tell friends is your wine cellar, wink, wink, nod, nod for awhile or have now with time to breathe in a decanter. I, myself am not afraid and like its darkness, size and depth of flavour – straight forward, not overly complicated now.

I may have drank, drunk? drunken? as much of the 2006 Rivera cappellaccioCappallaccio Riserva Aglianico #305276 $17.95 as any other recommended red aside from the Beronia and the Le Ponnant. I recommended this wine pre-on-line-blog in my newsletter. It’s an aglianico that has an easy style but don’t be fooled it’s got complexity (not really sure I like that word – seems lazy). I mean that there’s a lot going on in the glass and when you swirl it in your mouth. Herbs, darker fruits and woodiness – but not oak – cedar? Then, fruit, leather and a good dose of tannin on the finish – perfect for pasta in tomato sauce or pizza!

BTW, I poured a glass of Malivoire Ladybug Rosè at the top of the page – so that’s what I’m drinking, drank, drunken. Anyway, it’s finished. I’ll talk about it another time.

3 Responses to “JJ et La Famille – The Red Daily Slosh”

  1. $12 taste buds August 26, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    You’ve convinced me to shop for an Amador County zin this week…or maybe today.


    • Duff's Wines August 27, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      I know that Sobon has a nice zin. And the Easton, I’ve always loved. Thanks for following.



  1. Sad Songs and Dirty Old Men – The Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - August 14, 2014

    […] Another wine that I’m glad is back is the 2008 Abad Dom Bueno Mencia #291989 $16.95. It’s Spanish not from Languedoc-Roussillon. Note the vintage. It’s a 2008 and still could benefit from cellaring. A great way to start a little wine stash under the stairs. But now, it’s deep, dark, and strong. Beautiful yet you don’t mess with it. Which all adds up to Grace Jones? I’d suggest it for those that like a wine that makes its own statement. You don’t taste this and then say, “This tastes a lot like Abad Dom Delouise”. Spicy – anise-like aroma from the glass, dark fruit in the mouth. Like it a lot. Food and more food, please – think sausage pizza with Joe Bonamassa shredding. For my previous review of this wine click here. […]


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