Down and Dirty – The Red Daily Slosh, a Splurge and a Revisit

14 Sep

The life of a blogger is pretty cool and dynamic. Right now I’ve spent a half hour trying to get my title to show on this post. I give up! What it says is – “Down and Dirty – The Red Daily Slosh, A Splurge, and ….. You don’t really care, do you? That and starting a Facebook page. Yes, I am going against my longstanding opinionated anti-Facebook rant and just drinking the Kool-Aid with the rest of you. Besides, I can see how much better I look than many of my old high school friends

nostre paisAbout six months ago, I recommended a 2010 red from the south of France. It threw “all sorts of regional flavours into the mix – lavender, spice, and garrigue (in my wine tasting lexicon, that’s French for ‘earthy, lime-stoney, shrubby’ and is typical of wines from here)”. This week the 2011 vintage is out and like the write up says, this is even better. At our house we simply say, “This s@@* is good.” The 2011 Nostre Païs Costières de Nïmes #295410 $19.95 from the land that brought us denim comes full of the same regional smells and flavours (above mentioned) but with a lot more heft. I think that this is less a Vin de Pays d’Oc (which it isn’t) and more a true southern Rhone wine, which it kind of is. Maybe the heavy emphasis on grenache and very little if any syrah makes it so. That line above is confusing. I mean to say that it isn’t Arrogant Frog or Fat Bastard – ish (both wines from the Langudoc, I believe). Less one-dimensional and a truly great value. Case purchase! Plus, one of the most interesting labels ever.

sueannstaffTraveling last spring around Niagara, I made it a point to drop in on Sue-Ann Staff’s place. This is truly a cellar door winery. No fancy wood trims and anything that didn’t try and connect the place with the land. After all, wine making is first and foremost agriculture. So, barns, earthy equipment, etc. all within sight. Just perfect for me having spent my formative years working on farms; driving tractors, picking tomatoes, hanging tobacco, eating strawberries and stealing produce. Maybe better left for another post? Anyway, I believe that it’s best to keep viticulture firmly rooted to the……roots, soils and activities of farms. Sue-Ann is an exceptional winemaker who has been recognized worldwide for her contribution to the growth of Ontario’s wine economy. This week, her 2010 Sue-Ann Staff Merlot #358416 $17.95 is on the shelves. This is rich without being heavy or thick. Does that make sense? Lots of red fruits but still a dark side in the mouth and no hint of the green pepper or stemmy stuff that I find in many single Bordeaux varietal reds from Niagara. A fine dinner wine – beef roast, beef stew, something meaty but not too fatty. And, next time you’re doing the Niagara wine stumble, avoid the tour buses, the crowds and make it a point to drop into this lovely little winery.

falascoI wonder sometimes why the mother ship places a wine that’s almost always available into their “special release”. But, in this case, why argue with that? They know best. They own the place. They don’t have to make sense or be interested in logic. The 2011 Valpantena del Falasco Ripasso Valpolicella #642421 $16.95 is a verrrrrry nice little wine. I know there are Ripasso lovers out there. I don’t always think that Ripassos are a significant improvement from a fresh Valpolicella Classico but the masses have spoken and I am kind of listening. Well, listening this time anyway. This is a pretty smooth number – no harsh, sharp tannins – just some juicy acidity and loads of red fruits like cherries. A perfect – I said – PERFECT pizza wine!

lanI’m stretching the “Daily” part of the Red Daily Slosh because I’m not doing a splurge section for this release. I recommended a Beronia Reserva a few weeks back. Actually, I was effusive in my praise. I gushed about it. I just love Rioja that’s ready and it was. But, I heard from Grant that he didn’t like it – too harsh for him. I appreciate the feedback – everyone has their spot – sweet spot – that they like a wine to be close to. Confession? I don’t like sherry. Love the whole “how sherry is made” thing but don’t like it. So, this is for Grant – this next wine isn’t for you! These Rioja reds can have a dirtiness to them. I love dirty reds. Not dirty as in tasting like dirt or like Brittany Spears – just not clean, fresh, and smooth. Rather – edgy, nervy, smoky, leathery, and well, dirty sums it up best. The 2005 LAN Gran Reserva #928622 $27.95 made primarily from tempranillo is smoking dirty. Think of a reserva from a bodegas that we know, say, Muga, and then add some tarriness and leather. Beautiful! Never, ever, have this without food unless you write a blog; making those rules totally unnecessary.

Revisiting an earlier recommendation – 2008 Talamonti Tre Saggi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo #204016 $15.95 – this wine brings bacon on the nose and chocolate on the finish. Now, if you’ve ever had bacon flavoured chocolate – you’ll know that this is special at this price. I said before it was medium bodied but maybe it was the moment – it’s fuller than that and round and scrumptious.

I apologize for the rather monotone narrative this week. I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I’ll be back next week with snappy repartee, clever double entendres and some wine stuff too. Can’t remember who to attribute this to but – Remember: Wine is groceries not a luxury!


5 Responses to “Down and Dirty – The Red Daily Slosh, a Splurge and a Revisit”

  1. Conrad (The Wine Wankers) September 14, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    “Wine is groceries not a luxury!” … I like that!


    • Duff's Wines September 15, 2013 at 7:13 am #

      I can’t take credit but used to include it in my wine letter before I had the blog.


  2. foxress September 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I love chocolate bacon. I live by ‘groceries not luxury,’ and I love the way your house describes the Nostre Pais. Great blog. I didn’t find anything monotone about it.


  3. the winegetter September 15, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Wine IS an everyday staple, not a luxury good. So right!! And, by the way, didn’t seem “monotone” at all to me. As always, enjoyed your style. Thanks for the recommendations!



  1. Pais It Forward – The Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - November 19, 2014

    […] week there is a three-peat wine. I liked it in 2010, liked it more in 2011, love it in 2012. The 2012 Nostre Païs Costières de Nîmes #295410 $21.95 from Michel Gassier is […]


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