Election Night – The Red Daily Slosh

21 Oct

Municipal elections are taking place in Ontario this upcoming week and I thought that this video sums up the coverage that we’re likely to get. If I lived in Toronto, I’d know who the Silly Party candidate is. Hell, everyone in North America knows who that is. Although we have candidates here in London vowing to stop the waste, shut down the gravy train at City Hall, and save the hard working taxpayers of this city……..oh, about a billion dollars, is all. So, maybe Toronto isn’t alone with Silly Party candidates. My election night beverage choice? High test – single malt. You need real alcohol to survive this stuff.

This week’s release (October 25) features Tuscan “Trophy Wines” and wines from Chile. Guess which ones cost the most. Using ‘trophy in this way seems to intimate that the wines are beautiful but perhaps hollow as in ‘trophy wives.’ Not exactly the vibe they were looking for, I bet. Regardless, it means that we won’t be talking about the Ornellaia or Luce but I will find you some decent ‘daily’ sloshes. And, because there aren’t many reds that I’ve had that I’d also recommend, I’m going to add a wine from the Vintages Essentials program. Vintages Essentials should be available in all but the smallest stores.

amplusStarting south of the equator with Chile, we find the 2010 Santa Ema Amplus Cabernet Sauvignon #076307 $19.95. This is a pure “New World” cab sav. It’s got some oak both on the sniff and in your mouth. It has classic black currant scents and on the finish and some spice as you swish it around. It’s a smooth yet determined drink – lots of power and a bit of heat (14% ABV). I’d like it with elk burgers, steaks, or something warm and cozy. OK, I have no idea what goes with elk burgers never having had them. It does sound exotic though doesn’t it? “Serve at 62 degrees F. with organic elk burgers, ancho chile aioli and lightly dusted and fried Jerusalem artichokes”? Nice spicy steak wine.

BordonAbout this time last year, I recommended the ’04 Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva. I loved its maturity and food friendliness among other things. This year, the ’05 vintage is on shelves. The 2005 Rioja Bordón Gran Reserva #114454 $22.95 is one of those wines that you fill up your tasting note with – so many different scents and flavours. That doesn’t mean it’s confused (or that I am), just full of experiences and nuances. Like the ’04, this wine is very accessible and smooth with maybe less tannin and acidity – incredibly drinkable. A wine that needs food and friends. Come to think of it, all wine needs friends. That’s why I have an imaginary one. Friend, that is. It allows me to drink wine more often. This wine would develop further over another few years, if you want to see what it becomes when its more experienced. I still have a couple ‘04’s that I’m waiting on.

Biggest complaint I receive from my long suffering listserv peeps is, “Bill, what’s with the price creep? You used to recommend all sorts of wines around $15. We don’t like to spend so much on wine. We’re not winos like you.” Mea culpa both on the ‘wino’ label as well as the price creep. But, let me explain why that might be – the price creep, that is – the wino thing would take awhile. This week’s release features Tuscan wines that average about $40 each. The rest of the offerings may not be so expensive (California aside) but still exceeding the $25 limit on average I have for the “Daily Slosh”. And, this is somewhat normal for the New Arrivals or New Release wines. I have taken to buying cheaper wines in the hope that they will come around again and I can talk about them. That’s real sacrifice on my part but I do what I can for you. In the interim, I’ll try to make sure I mention at least one choice that isn’t over $20. And, I’ll mention some General Listing and Vintages Essentials wines to fill in the gaps as needed.

palaciosremondoThis week there’s one of the Perennial “Best Value” wines arriving. The beauty of the 1012 Palacios Remondo La Vendemia #674564 $16.95 is that it’s not expensive, it’s readily available a couple times a year in this market, and in this vintage, it’s really really good. If you like Garnacha and I really do, you’ll love this. And, surprise, if you like Tempranillo and I really do, you’ll love this. It’s got the personality of both of these grapes showing through. Tannins soft a la Garnacha and acidity, herbal notes from the Tempranillo. This would be a great stand around and party red wine. A host/hostess gift? Now, if you’re a New World red gal or guy, maybe you’d want some food with this – nah, you’d love it by itself too. Let it breathe a bit before you quaff.

Vintages Essentials Selection

cettoYears ago, I picked up what was then my first Mexican wine. Well, it’s still my only Mexican wine to be truthful. Trying new regions, new wines, new grapes and blends provides such a great experience. Even if you kind of decide that it isn’t your cup of wine, you still get to sip something from somewhere else, made in another important tradition. A privilege really. Oh yeah, years ago…….I tried this wine and thought, “Wow, really? This is from Mexico and isn’t a margarita ingredient or illegal?” Even more important was that this wine was pretty good. Well, a few weeks ago, my friend Rod had me to dinner and opened the 2011 vintage of this wine and almost apologized for the commonness of the wine (price equating to commonness – which is not true). It was still as good as I remembered the olde vintage! The wine? The 2011 L.A. Cetto Petit Sirah #983742 $11.95 (yes, I said $11.95 and we’re not standing at Trader Joe’s in Omaha) isn’t Fuzion. I repeat, “This isn’t Fuzion”. Which is a good thing, right? Not sickly sweet and thick. A wine that improves with some air, it carries some herbal notes, some tannins and acidity in the mouth but all pretty balanced for a wine at this price point. I liked its spicy goodness – with a steak or sausages on the grill? – something fatty for sure. Rod and I had it with steak – well, we started the bottle as the steaks were being prepared (Chet Baker in the background) and, surprise, it was done before the steaks were served. But, I bet it would have been a match.

Images courtesy of:

L.A. Cetto, Rioja Bordon – http://www.vintages.com

Santa Ema Amplus – http://www.santaema.cl.en

Palacios Remondo – http://www.winealign.com

3 Responses to “Election Night – The Red Daily Slosh”

  1. Marty October 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Your wine notes are starting to sound more “Asimov”….which is a good thing. More directional, context forming vs overly specific/granular. We’ll done!!!

    Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

    • Duff's Wines October 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

      Thanks. It’s difficult to balance what’s expected about flavours, etc. (what real wine reviewers say) with just what the wine tells me. And, it just so happens that it tells me its time to open it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Try Something Different – The White Daily Slosh | Duff's Wines - October 24, 2014

    […] I mentioned in my last post, there aren’t a lot of wines from this release (October 25) that I’ve had the pleasure of […]

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