Archive | July, 2016

A Report From The Field

13 Jul

I’m filing this from the field and a week late. Excuse? At work on the many things that require fixing, building, and ignoring. Read: sitting, reading, swimming, boating, sleeping. So, I apologize for spelling errors, lack of label shots and links to inventory (kind of).

I do have time for a few recommendations. The July 9th release has some great summer wines to try.

coppiThe 2010 Coppi Peucetico Primitivo #724674 $14.95 is good value. It is made from the Primitivo grape which is genetically the same as Zinfandel but grows in Puglia. This approach to the grape is a little less jammy and high alcohol than Zin typically is. Gentler but carries the richness of Zin. It would be great with something tomatoey and gooey, sausagy like a hot Italian sausage pizza.

bilaAlways a redo on these pages is the M. Chapoutier les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon-Villages #168716 $14.95. This year it’s the 2014. Shit, two $15 wines in a row. It looks like I’m trying to appease the masses. And, we elites know better than to consider the opinions of the masses. It’s why ‘Leave’ will never win the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump will never win the GOP nomination. Elegant snort, “We know best.” Regardless, this label is exceptional value if you like Grenache, Syrah, Carignan blends – and I really. really do. This smells and tastes like you are drinking it overlooking a vineyard in Languedoc or Roussillon, say. Herby, lavender, spicy. Hitting well above it’s weight in class. Great every day wine for those that enjoy Grenache-based wines.

susanaI’d go on and on about Susana Balbo but you must get it by now – the 2013 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec #079798 $19.95 is elegant, smoky goodness. If you don’t believe me, search my web site for Balbo recommendations – probably the most recommended label on the site. Aaah, that would still be me though, wouldn’t it? So, why not just believe me. If you are a Malbec lover, it’s a must. Buy with confidence.

viognierA great white for the summer is the 2014 Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier #147975 $14.95 (another $15 wine?). Incredible aroma fills this glass and although that can be attributed to Viognier, I think this exceeds the Viognier-norm. Viognier is one of the more expressive whites, I think. The warm weather in the Languedoc allows this grape to ripen and although extra dry, it doesn’t come off as crisp – more round, ripe. Great food wine or by itself.

Most years at the lake, I try and pick a signature cocktail. Maybe it’s a Kahshe Cosmo, a Torontonian, a Muskoka Manhattan (if you have a Manhattan before 4, that’s a Muskoka Manhattan). This year, I’m going to perfect the Hugo. My niece in Germany gave us some pre-mixed Hugos for Christmas one year and I have tried to make this Euro-centric drink a few times before. This year, I’m all in. The Hugo is a blend of muddled mint, St-Germain liqueur (or non-alcoholic elderflower syrup), and Prosecco served over ice. This better be great because the St-Germain is expensive and tastes pretty “I’m not likely to serve this on it’s own.” So I need a cheap Prosecco. The NV Torresella Prosecco #400440 $14.95 is a bargain and tasty. Not as dry as some but loads of flavour unlike some of those same Proseccos. It will go great in the Hugo. I’ll let you know what the magic mix is. I love the experiment – just keep the boat tied to the dock after my second one because I don’t want to go water skiing or jumping off Mt. Mary as that always ends badly.

A wine I’ve liked in past vintages:
2014 Alkoomi Shiraz #138560 $16.95 – This label has been good to me before. It’s from Western Australia (Franklin River) which my experience has been primarily Cab Sav and Chardonnay. Less full-bodied than Barossa Shiraz. Leaner in past years – more subtle. I’ve always liked it. Will get this vintage too. Good cottage/beach/patio/BBQ wine.

Splurges if you are bringing me a host gift?
2013 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crogiolo #727636 $29.95 – I’ve had this one in other vintages. It’s a Super Tuscan – able to leap tall bottles in a single bound. This means that it doesn’t conform to ‘rules’ of Tuscan DOC’s. I’ve always appreciated the fruit forward nature of this wine. Tannins are integrated not grating and the finish was always interesting. I’m picking up a couple. One for now; another for much later. If you love the shelf talkers, this one will say 95!

2010 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino #642561 $63.95 – 2010 Brunello is something else – unique for Brunello. It can be consumed short or early and can also sit awhile in the basement. I kind of got off drinking Brunellos as I found myself with only a few down below left to quaff. So, I’ve ante’d up with the 2010 vintage. This is one that I’ll get to supplement my addiction to this DOCG. I love Brunellos! Remember. I told you the story of the stinky Brunello that everybody at a tasting hated and then everyone later loved? Of course you do – shit, everyone remembers my stories. That was a La Gerla Brunello. I’m hoping for the same experience minus the hating. Into scores? This wine scored 95!

Bonus Recommendation:
miravalIf celebrity magazine purchases and Entertainment Tonight-type shows are any indication, we are clearly suckers for celebs. I even bought a Nespresso just because of George. He is gorgeous and uber cool. I’m sure that he likes me now – ‘cause I’m kind of like him. Well, as far as the Nespresso goes. So, why would that be any different with wine. Celebrity wine is a ‘thing’. Whether it’s Greg Norman Wines, Drew Barrymore, Kate Hudson or, in this country, Wayne Gretzky Estates we truly are susceptible to the call of the celebrity. And what better celebrities to hang with than Brad and Angelina? They are the epitome of cool and they even have a moniker that works – Brangelina. Brad and Angie have a nifty estate in Provence and they make wine there – 2015 Miravel Rose #342584 $22.95 – I’ve had in other vintages and it’s been full value. Made by Famille Perrin of Beaucastel fame. And, the bottle is beautiful but unlike Angie is quite plump. I worry about her. I just read in Them magazine that she is wasting away and adopting 6 more kids. I’d like to be adopted by her, if you know what I mean.



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