Feeling Good – The White Daily Slosh

28 Aug

kellyleeA few weeks ago, I said that I would get back to my music links and I gave you JJ Cale earlier this week. I wanted to continue by mentioning the best concert I attended in the last three years or so (at least back to the Leonard Cohen night which I’ll leave for another time),  KellyLee Evans. Thought I’d promote her a bit – click here to hear this exceptional performer. So genuine, so generous, so much fun, so talented. If you ever get a chance to see her live at a jazz festival near you – don’t miss it. A disclaimer – she gave me a hug at her concert!

Now to the White Daily Slosh – with an interloping sparkler.

laileychardMy first brush with Lailey was hearing about it from Arlene. She had attended a cooking class at Kiss the Cook and Tanya Lailey (and I may have the first name wrong) poured their wines while Chris Squires hammed it up and made something spectacular, as always. So, I made it a point to get myself to Niagara and see what the fuss was about. I did, and it has remained one of my always-go-to wineries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I even make sure to recommend it to people who ask me what wineries to drop in on. The people are great, it’s more like a cellar door than many of the others – informal, understated. The wines are some of the most consistent performers year-in-year-out (for me the pinots, cab blends and chardonnays). They have mid-term cellaring potential in many cases (we still have a 2008 Brickyard Chardonnay that’s got some time to go, I suspect). They also try innovative things like using Canadian oak to age their pinots. So, if you’re heading to Niagara-on-the-Lake to catch some wineries, dinner and a play, drop in to Lailey along the Niagara Parkway. Say, hi from me, someone that they have never heard of. This week, the 2011 Lailey Chardonnay #193482 $19.95 graces our shelves. I’m not sure it isn’t always there but I guess the LCBO has taken some time to highlight it – good thing. This chardonnay has some acidity to carry what the Vintages Panel calls ‘ripeness’. I’m not sure I understand that term as I taste the wine itself. It seems like it’s trying to be Californian (a bit buttery) but knows it’s really cool climate and doesn’t give in to the temptation of being all about the fruit (more stony and appley, which is a fruit, I admit). I think just the right balance to please the big chard hounds but subtle and structured enough to please the rest of us. Simple. Nice finish too.

santoNow, when wine wankers (apologies to the real Wine Wankers) talk about terroirs they many times mention the soils of Santorini and Assyrtiko wines. To quote Wine & Spirits magazine – “Santorini is a rugged, sun-baked half-ring of tufa – the remains of a volcano responsible for one of the largest eruptions in the history of the earth”. Now admit it, none of us knows what tufa really is (Hell, spellchecker says it isn’t a word) – but I think we get the gist. If you’ve been, and I see a few nods out there, you’ll agree that Santorini is one of the most spectacular places on this earth. For the grapes, the vines are trained in a tight circle on the ground and it’s hard to believe that they could manage to survive let alone provide any fruit clusters. So, from this stark and challenging climate – you get a wine that sings to us about its home. Sounding a bit philosophical here but then again, I’ve had two glasses of Aglianico and if I want to philosophize and cry a little, I will. 2011 Santo Assyrtiko #627760 $16.95 – get it every year – with memories of overlooking the cauldera – minerally, but with loads of fruit and flavour. Bigger than I remember most Assyrtikos to be. It is a foundational hot weather wine. Serve cold with seafood, simple tomatoes and eggplant and/or saganaki – OPA!

A wine that I’m going to pick up but haven’t had is the 2011 Finca la Emperatriz Viura #342766 $15.95. I have had only a handful of Viura wines. But have had the same grape under it’s French name, Macabeo, in white wines from the Roussillon area. It’s light, can be fruity and usually dry and crisp. Why don’t we all enjoy a bottle and talk amongst ourselves next week?

auntsfieldSometimes, I hear people say that they have a ‘go to’ wine. When pressed, it sounds more like the only wine. Is it because it’s safe? Hell, all wine is safe! Now, in our house, I have to make sure that there’s some oaky chardonnay hiding somewhere in a cool spot. But, it isn’t always the same label. So, when I heard about a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc fixation, I felt compelled to respond and provide some type of gooseberry Nicoderm to wean this person from her addiction. I mean Kim might be her entry level drug but she needs to move on! I thought it best to just try sauvignon blanc from someone else.  So, let’s start with one of my favourite, usually available, kiwi sauvignon blancs – 2012 Auntsfield Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc #663286 $19.95.  This is such a complete wine. It’s pretty dramatic in the glass, swirling around and providing great aromas of citrus and gooseberry – maybe a little tropical thing too. Full in your mouth and what I’ve come to know as New Zealand’s stamp of freshness and flavour – too good. But, I discovered someone who might be better equipped to tell her about New Zealand wines and that’s a blog called What’s In The Glass Tonight. I’ve provided a link here to her great blog and review of Marlborough wineries.

malvoltiI’d think that most of us are ambivalent towards prosecco. It’s alright and suits a situation – but we can live with it or without it – no biggee. The first time that I had a prosecco that was more than that was when I visited Jennifer and Andrew and he served Carpenè Malvolti Cuvée Brut Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore #727438 $15.95. This is a dry prosecco. Now, by that I mean – dry. But that doesn’t mean that it’s uninteresting. I’d say that it brings enough soft flesh (or stone) fruit to keep you quaffing. The biggest compliment I can bestow is that it’s a two glass Prosecco.

2 Responses to “Feeling Good – The White Daily Slosh”

  1. Tonya Lailey September 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Hello,

    I just read your review of the 2011 Lailey Chardonnay. It’s great to hear that you have some history with Lailey. I’m Tonya, the Lailey who poured wine at Kiss the Cook alongside Chris Squire years ago. I remember the good vibes of that evening.
    I like your direct approach to wine reviews generally and look forward to following your blog. I live in Calgary now but remain a partner in Lailey. I’ll let you know when I’m headed there and maybe we could meet for some good drinking in the barrel cellar. Best!

    • Duff's Wines September 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      Thanks Tonya and sorry for the misspell. Would love to share a gllass and get to learn more about Lailey. As I stated in the article I really like your approach to the tasting room and the house style of your pinots, Chardonnays, and red blends. Thanks for following.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: