Way Too Early Holiday Edition 3 – The Red Daily Slosh

20 Nov

bubleCouldn’t resist another carol of dubious quality – schmaltzy – pretty marginal. But, he’s Canadian, eh? Listen here. If you have any requests or favs, let me know. If there aren’t any, you will be subjected to the Queen of Soul, if I can find one.

This release (November 23) is full of very pricey wines. I’ve spoken about a few of them this week. There are names from California – Dunn and Pahlmeyer. From France – Beaucastel and Dom Perignon. From Italy – Solaia and Guado al Tasso. It goes on and on.

But, how would any of them qualify for “daily” sloshes? Don’t think so, unless you are………..Jay Z or ……(insert rich person’s name here).

So we charge on and we are not daunted. This week there are a number of great value reds.

toasted headToasted Head could be populist politicians – they cater to what people want – gasp, what’s with that? Not like Rob Ford or, and let me see if I’m getting this guy – Ted Cruz – but more responsible and less slutty. But, forgive me as i was in a drunken stupor when i wrote this – I am very, very, very sorry. I don’t know what else I can do. Back to Toasted Head – their house style hits all the marks and is what can best be described as a crowd-pleaser. Now, I’m not trying to be pejorative – pleasing crowds is a very good thing. We get the chardonnay all the time – it’s a lock. The 2011 Toasted Head Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon #686824 $19.95 is similar in appeal. It’s smooth, balanced and jammy loveliness. Now, there are cheaper cabernet sauvignons out there, for sure. I like the Raymond entry level cabernet which is a buck cheaper and the Beringer cheapies are fine too. But, for sheer nerve and certainty – get this one.

kaikenmalbecLast time out I recommended the Kaiken Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon. Well, this week there’s its cousin the 2010 Kaiken Ultra Malbec #050849 $19.95. If you picked up and tried the cab from last time, you’ll know that this line is a step up from the everyday that we scoop up for lots less. The Ultra malbec is dark in the glass – dense, smelling of black fruit and, let me swirl here, it has a hint of wood – not so much oak as cedar maybe? The flavours follow the nose pretty closely – it’s full-bodied with great mouthfeel which means to me that it’s balanced – long finish. A very good malbec. Yes, I think I need more. Maybe enough for over the holidays. Stand around with meat dishes (lean beef) or while typing your blog. Verrrrrry nice.

balbomalbecBe still my heart. What do we have this week but my girlfriend, Susana Balbo putting in an appearance? The 2011 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec #079798 $19.95 is a wine that deserves your undivided attention. With the one above, they may be the best malbecs under $20 this year IMHO (and we are at the end of the year, folks). Now, you can get good malbec for $14.00. I read the other day that we are not drinking the amount of malbec that we used to due to the Fuzion fall off (Quiet Cheer!). What a beautiful wine this is. It has earthy aromas and, in the mouth, more acidity, tannin and juiciness than the one above – not harsh but there’s some structure there for sure. It could cellar for a few years but I’m not waiting. I’ll just let it sit for awhile after opening and hope for the best. Naughty, dark, and juicy. Catherine Zeta Jones? No, she’s in rehab. Anyone with a suggestion? Buehler?

aldianoAnd, while we’re on tangy, juicy and dark, the 2009 Aldiano Riserva Montepulciano d’Abruzzo #051706 $18.95 appears. This is what Italian country-side wine is all about – food friendly, refreshing. Smells of leather and the country-side itself, if you try hard enough. The fruit is black and sheathed in acid, some tannin and a medium finish. Lovely with tomato anything – maybe tomatoes (having their own acid) with some fatty cheese – a Caprese salad? Pretend you’re sitting on a piazza watching the plebes and tourists (oh yeah, we are tourists ourselves). Now a caveat – I read other reviewers and CellarTracker and people aren’t as “all-in” about this wine as I am. I recommended the 2008 and got some good feedback from you on it. So, I’m assuming that some of you will like it again – like me. Not in, please like me. But, rather, similarly to me. Capice?

scholaWhile you’re on the piazza, spring for a second bottle – the 2009 Schola Sarmenti Roccamora Negroamaro Nardò Rosso #245654 $16.95. I picked a bottle of this up in Lecce. Always wanted to say that. Yes, I did indeed pick up a bottle of this in Lecce. Said it twice now. “Step away from the Kaiken Ultra, Bill, and finish your blog post”. Anyway, I love this wine and am so glad the 2009 is here. It’s our secret and you won’t have to battle crowds trying to pick up a bottle because no one really focuses on Apulian wine, especially negroamaros. Negroamaro means “black bitter” and is the primary grape in Salice Salentino. This wine carries a spice box thing, some tobacco too in the glass. It mellows over a few minutes really and you get to the yumminess. There are red fruits and enough acidity to stand up to real meals – pasta with meat sauce would be perfect. I think that if your ‘go to’ wine is Valpolicella, you need to give this a try. It’s got a bit more heft but similar appeal, I think.

Untasted, good looking buys:

2010 di Majo Norante Contado Riserva Aglianico del Molise #967208 – loved the 2009 – organic product

2008 Moritàvora Tinto #293449 $16.95 – if Portuguese wine is your thang, pick this up.

2011 Château du Chatelard Cuvée les Vieux Granits Fleurie #207886 $20.95 – it’s Beaujolais Nouveau Day tomorrow – so why not pick up a ‘real’ Beaujolais too?

4 Responses to “Way Too Early Holiday Edition 3 – The Red Daily Slosh”

  1. vinoinlove November 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    The Aldiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva sounds like a wine I would enjoy a lot. Not familiar with it yet but I’ll be on the look out. Thanks for letting me know about this wine 🙂 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is among my very favorite wines.


  2. Whine And Cheers For Wine November 22, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Couldn’t agree with you more on the Susana Balbo!


    • Duff's Wines November 22, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      I love her stuff probably too much. Her Torrontes is head and shoulders the best at the price point. And the signature cab sav is a bargain too.
      Thanks for dropping by.



  1. Around The World – The Red Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - December 5, 2013

    […] 2 – I attended a wine tasting a week ago that included a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – one that I had recently recommended by Aldiano. It was a favourite of the night for a couple people and loved by all. This week […]


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