Tag Archives: Cream

Front-On, Dude – The Red Daily Slosh

13 Feb

This is for the February 15 release.

barI read a bunch of bloggers (actually a ‘barrel’ of bloggers is the proper term when they write stuff about wine) that do a great job of educating readers on the world of wine. I’ve been at this ‘real’ blog thing for a year and a bit after three years of a newsletter, and the penny just dropped – I recommend wines, ramble about stuff, but it is frequently the same stuff nothing new or educational. I know this because I did a statistical analysis of my recommendations, collated the wine tasting terms used to describe these wines, and applied an algorithm to evaluate the variability of wines and their characteristics. These were further divided into quadrants that represented sixteen different experiences and price points. The graphic analysis is below. OK, I couldn’t copy the chart from my Excel worksheet. But if it was below you’d notice that I have never used the term unctuous.

cytcarmenereSo, let’s start the Red Daily Slosh with a repeat recommendation (that didn’t last long, did it?). Technically, it isn’t a true repeat because it was a different vintage before but…. Anyway, it’s the 2011 Concha y Toro Winemaker’s Lot 148 Carmenère #030957 $18.95. They say that this is an Ontario market-only bottling. Don’t get too excited because they just call it something else elsewhere, I’m betting. What’s carmenère? An opera whose title is the victim of a fat-fingered typist? No. Actually, it is a traditional Bordeaux grape that they don’t use much, if at all, anymore in Bordeaux blends. It migrated to Chile and other regions where it was thought to be merlot (Chile) or cabernet franc (Italy). Interestingly, the mistaken identity came to light when it appeared on an episode of Maury Povich (Who’s The Father of My Baby, Merlot?), had a DNA test, and found out it was, wait for it………………gasp, carmenère! It’s Chile’s answer to Argentina’s malbec in that it is arguably done best and definitely most frequently in Chile. Usually medium to full-bodied, dark, and yummy. Cheaper versions can be a bit sweet and creamy a la cheap malbec but good ones are chewy, edgy and great burnt meat wines. The Concha y Toro above is the latter – the full-bodied and yummy one. It’s syrah-like spicy, dense but some edge to make it feel less ‘heavy’ and has some bush on the nose and in the mouth – woodiness. Love it. Tannins are smoothing out nicely. I think that, if you’ve never had carmenère, this would be a great place to start. If you have had it, do it all over again with this wine from the most complete winery in Chile.

charvetI’d like Spring, please. Yes, it’s a bit of a bugger here with temperatures in the minus 20 Celsius range many days. And, what will we see on the shelves this weekend but a Beaujolais. Wait, isn’t Beaujolais a better warm weather red? Well, it can be but this is maybe more a shoulder season Beaujolais. More substantial and serious. The perfect wine as we wait out the shitty weather. The 2012 Domaine Gérard Charvet La Réserve d’Amélie Moulin-à-Vent #356741 $20.00 would be a bit expensive for a common Beaujolais. But, this one is worth the splurge, IMHO. This is strawberries and even some darker fruits on the sniff – pure and straight forward in the mouth but I don’t mean one-dimensional; rather purposeful – it sneaks up on you on the second swallow and the second glass is even better, duh. Make sure it isn’t too warm – basement temp is best. I’ve recommended a bunch of Beaujolais (mostly for Grant) and love the Cru Beaujolais. Moulin-a-Vent is my favourite. Hurray for Beaujolais! Spring can’t be too far away.

gamayAnd while we’re sipping on gamay why not try one of the better versions of this grape from Ontario. The 2012 Malivoire Gamay #591313 $17.95 is always good value but this year it is a bit deeper with darker fruit than usual. Not sure if they allowed the grapes to ripen more or it just worked out that way given the vintage. This would be a good gamay-off with the Beaujolais above. This one a bit lighter. Buy them both and re-familiarize yourself with the two faces of gamay. I really appreciate the consistency of Malivoire at all their price points. I had this at the cellar door and I encourage you, if you’re down that way to make Malivoire one of your stops.

foretThere’s a club that I’ve mentioned before called the Wine Century Club. It requires that you drink wines that represent 100 different grape varieties. This week there’s a grape that I haven’t knowingly had – negrette and I think it might be my first catalogued wine for WCC sainthood. The negrette grape is mostly found in southwestern France – this one is from AC Fronton (hence the title) 2010 Chateau Bellevue la Forét #354134 $13.95 . They say it’s “hearty old-school”, brambly, and goes with an Olivier salad. I think that they have confused me with someone who knows what an Oliver salad really is. We’ll see. Try one with me and we’ll compare notes.

That’s all that I have any positive perspective on for the weekend.

Music accompaniment – Last time I included a video of Cream and a friend wondered why I made the Eric Clapton reference in the lead up, because he didn’t recognize Eric in the video. Why not? He’s the old worn out crooner isn’t he? Nope, he’s like 18! So, I’ve included one this time of Cream and an iconic song, again – Eric is in the red. He’s not Eric The Red but wearing the red Sergeant Pepper knock off.

Barrel picture from wikipedia

Hey Hippy, Get a Hair Cut – The White Daily Slosh

23 Jan

Scan_Pic00232010BarrelFermChard1These are recommendations for the February 1st Release.

When I was young, hair past my shoulders (yes, that’s me up there), struggling Fu Manchu, unfortunately even more vain than I am now, but flat broke, I had my hair cut at a barber school. I was going for the Rod Stewart Jeff Beck Group Look®. You can see it didn’t quite take. Suffice it to say that I learned the truth of the sigh-filled comment expressed by many a woman after a hair styling, “It will grow out eventually, I guess.” Now, what can this possibly have to do with wine? Well, it just so happens that you can like-wise buy wine made by those who are honing their craft at the Niagara Teaching Winery. Thankfully, it surpasses expectations usually and you won’t have to wait out a figurative ‘growing out’ of the wine. This week, the 2010 Niagara Teaching Winery Barrel Fermented Chardonnay #040634 $18.95 hits the shelves for an extended stay. This is a great example of how chardonnay in a cool climate can bring some edge in the mouth as well as the butter on the finish. Typical fruits – apple, a touch of peach on the nose. Good value! With food or without.

nadjaIt arrives! The best label in Niagara riesling IMHO – 2012 Flat Rock Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling #578625 $19.95. This wine is spectacular in great vintages, great in good vintages, and good in poor vintages, it seems. Like the Detroit Red Wings, it must be superior management; not luck or just the result of a great site. Great aromas of apple, stone fruit and a little floral somethin’ somethin’. Citrusy. Mouthwatering. This wine is made for food. It has some bracing acidity, an edge that would lend itself to something with some pop – nothing rich – maybe something from the Mediterranean as their site suggests. Nadja is surreal I’m Breton! Anyway, it’s good stuff.

kaikenchardI’ve mentioned the Kaiken Ultra line before in the red wines that they have. This week, there comes an Ultra chardonnay – 2012 Kaiken Ultra Chardonnay #355552 $19.95. This is a great candidate for a taste off with the Niagara Teaching Winery chardonnay above. Have some people over, blind taste them both and see what you think. This one is a bit riper – creamier. This is good stuff and if you’re looking for a strong contender for value creamy (but not too) chardonnay of the month, this is it.

Shallow Philosophical Disclosure: Can I say sometimes wines seem a bit too formula without it sounding critical? No – well, I’m saying it anyway. They just smell, taste and finish too purely – just what you thought they’d bring. Lately, or maybe always, I’m needing a bit more weirdness or deviation from expectation. So, I guess I prefer wines that have flaws or peculiarities? Maybe. Does that make sense? It’s like some of those current California cabs (and, Australian Shiraz’ of years gone by) – all in a row – priced within pennies and, seemingly to this amateur, tasting almost the same. I want to take the chance of having a bad one once in awhile. Surprising myself. I don’t think that I’m talking about terroir or anything that deep and I don’t like ‘bad’ wine. It’s just….. I don’t know, just sayin’ and thought you should know when following my recommendations.


Nostalgic Tune of The Post – Crossroads by Cream. Yes, Eric was young once just like the guy at the top of the page. More importantly, why aren’t there any ‘great’ drummers anymore. Or are there?

%d bloggers like this: