Tag Archives: Toscana red

What I Did For PD Day – Red Daily Slosh

22 Apr


2010 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni #145920 $21.95  In 2010, this wine has returned to its fantastic 2007/2008 phase from its really, really good phase in 2009. I seem to recommend this wine each year because……..I like it a lot. The price point might dissuade a few of you more comfortable with wines in the $9 – $15 range, particularly when they are labels you know and trust. “What if it isn’t me and I just plain don’t like it? What if I’ve wasted my money on a recommendation of someone I don’t even know, despite how incredibly brilliant he sounds?” So, here I am making my case for why you should try stuff that might be out of your comfort zone or price range once in a while. I went to the movies last week as part of PD day activity for a 10 year old (won’t admit what we saw………The Croods) and came out $38 poorer. Now, I went to the movie simply on the basis of who I was with. So that’s $38 for time spent with someone I love dearly. Did I worry that it might not live up to the $38? “Nooooooo!” Did I worry that I might not understand it – it being a cartoon movie and all. “Nooooooo!” Did I eat all the popcorn? “Yeeeesss!” I had a blast. There is a point and it is: Buy This Wine! It’s got all the spice and purply fruit that Toscana can deliver, plus a little leather and it’s easy drinkin’ right now – balanced, softish tannins. Almost perfect. Quaff with tenderness and affection alongside someone you care about and you’ll appreciate it – just like I appreciated Nicolas Cage’s spectacular voice over work as Grug. That was sarcasm, if you didn’t recognize it in its typed format.

remofarinaripasso 2010 Remo Farina Montecorna Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore #056267 $19.95. My friend Michael R. went on a ripasso obsession run a few months ago and told me about this producer’s entry level ripasso. I ran out and….it was all gone, but this more serious ripasso from the same vintage and producer was in stock. This wine brings nice balance, full flavour and the smells of smoke and leather – full-on. The review in the release magazine says, “Stylistically, this is a stepping stone between Valpolicella Classico Superiore and Amarone Classico.” Maybe much closer to the former for me. You’re not ever close to Amarone until, oops, you are Amarone IMHO. It’s suitable for a stand around wine but would pair well to roast meats. If you’re a ripasso hound like Michael, hurry hard to your local this Friday or Saturday. Click on the link above for availability in stores near you. In fact, click on the stock number links for any wine featured to check stock.

susanabalbocsI have received hundreds of thousands of emails telling me my recommendations are spot on. The most (hundreds and hundreds) had to do with 2010 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec. People love this wine – mature beyond its years, full of dried fruits and balanced like Carl Walenda before the accident. Well, I was walking through my favourite Summerhill store a week ago and what do I spot but 2011 Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon #260919 $19.95. I like it when great winemakers put their name on a wine to declare that, “I’m proud of this wine.” Francisco Yellowtail’s efforts, par exemple. Susana Balbo creates wines for several labels and Dominio del Plata is her home base. This wine is all that the aforementioned malbec is but with a heart of very present tannins and an acidity level that begs for food. I think you could buy a case and sample over the next ten years. Sorry for the obviously inflated stats above – I was hunting sponsorships. Won’t happen again.

langagarnachaFrom the bargain files comes a Spanish red that is, well, a bargain. In the good old days (BTW, these are the ‘good old days’ of 2020), I’d always be gushing about a wine that cost $10 to $15 with a bunch stashed below ground. That price point ($10-$15) has been cluttered by wines that, frankly, seldom thrill me as individual wines; to the detriment of those that do show promise. When I think I’ve found something I tell you (Rosewood Sussreserve Riesling, Rockway’s Assemblage, etc.). Along comes Spain with a wine that’s complex, balanced, unique, and only $14.95 – 2008 Langa Tradicion Centaria Garnacha #194795 $14.95. The last Spanish Daily Slosh I recommended was 2009 El Halcón Old Vine Tempranillo #313783 $17.95 and my readers ran out and made it the biggest selling wine in history (sorry, couldn’t resist). But, it was good, wasn’t it? Very good – I still have a couple in the dark. The Langa Garnacha this week is so ready to drink. Where the El Halcon tempranillo had a bit of a bite to it, this wine is smoother, darker in flavour and colour, and much rounder. It’s incredibly busy in the glass and has a mouthfeel that tells you this has the benefit of some age. Love Spanish style wines? Get this! Would get by nicely without food – maybe while watching The Croods in Blu-Ray when it comes out. Don’t forget the popcorn.

SB TriompheCFI bumped into someone this week that used to work at Southbrook Vineyards (picture below – of the winery, not the person) and we talked about how well their wines have been received, over the last few years particularly. I love their 2011 Triomphe Chardonnay and the Framboise. This week, an organic, biodynamic cabernet franc from Southbrook Vineyards is featured. The 2011 Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Franc #275958 $21.95 will bring you a full blown New World cab franc experience but only if you pick it up. This wine is very flavourful (red fruits mostly with some interest in peppery, spicy notes) and has a nose that’s, as usual, powerful but a surprise, in that it’s fruitier – not covered up with wood or smothered in alcohol (13.3% ABV) like some. Plus a twist cap ready-made for picnics and third bottle of the evening openings – ’cause we all know how dangerous a sommelier’s corkscrew can get as the evening progresses. This wine will cellar for a few years, I think. Very nice to see organic and biodynamic practices making their mark in Ontario (I’ll try to feature when I can). And, if you haven’t had the Southbrook Framboise #341024 $15.95 over real vanilla ice cream or with dark chocolate, you haven’t lived on the Precipice of Delish!


Best of the Daily Slosh 2012: Red

31 Dec

At this time of year, we reflect on the past twelve months, make promises about the next twelve, and get hammered a bit more than we’d care to admit. In that spirit (the reflecting part) I’d like to offer up Duff’s Best of 2012.

These choices and entries were pulled from my regular newsletters and your feedback, initial calculations were made on the back of an envelope (yes, I still use real mail), logarithms were developed to create unbiased selections, and then I chose the ones that I wanted to. Well, I listened to you too.

2012 Best of Daily Slosh Red  

  1. 2006 Sasso Al Poggio When I recommend Toscana reds, you love them and I feel the love when you do. This week, there’s a special one that was named #60 in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2011. The 2006 Sasso Al Poggio (#134809 $18.95) is a “stunner”. Well, that may be hyperbole (and awfully UK) but you get the point – it’s damn fine. Now, who would like this wine? I’d say that if you like your wine a little dirty (not psychotic and sad Britney Spears-dirty but Sarah Silverman-dirty – good dirty, if that makes sense. If not, forget the ramble), not heavy (Britney redux) and with loads of personality – then, this is for you. Seriously, it is a full-bodied wine with loads going on and all in the right balance. The winery web site says to serve with matured cheeses and game.
  1. 2007 Beronia Reserva – Spain has brought us special things – Paella, Flamenco, Coca Cola, Chess, Penélope Cruz and wine! We can discuss the other things over a glass of Sherry but on the wine front, maybe there’s nothing more Spanish than Rioja. The 2007 Beronia Reserva (#050203 $18.95) is a great example of Rioja Reserva – smooth, balanced, and quirky good. Love Muga? Love LAN? You’ll love this! And, it’s cheaper.
  1. 2009 Brancaia Tre – I was in Providence, Rhode Island last week visiting our son and just couldn’t leave him with lousy wine. What caring father would do that?  So, I wandered to the local and picked up a bottle of 2009 Brancaia Tre for him. And, what do I see this week in our LCBO release but Brancaia Tre, a Super Tuscan. It just keeps getting spookier. FYI, a Super Tuscan isn’t a mild-mannered Florentine news reporter. One, two, three……It’s a consumer term for a Tuscan wine made outside of the traditional DOC or DOCG rules. Typically, it uses cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and/or merlot to a greater extent than normally allowed in Chianti, Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino, or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and usually is labeled as an IGT (Indacazione Geografica Tipica) and, sometimes, Toscana. This one – 2009 Brancaia Tre (#164715 $22.95) has a good dose of cabernet sauvignon and merlot along with sangiovese and is understated and delicate. I love this stuff! This was offered a few months ago and vanished within minutes. Did I say that I love this stuff? Take your time with it, savour it, and think about the warm Tuscan sun that produced this beauty.
  1. 2010 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec – While we’re discussing malbec, you need to pick up a bottle of 2010 Susana Balbo Signature Malbec (#079798 $19.95). This is a full-bodied malbec that has integrated oak and lots of fruit to enjoy. Susana Balbo makes some wine under her name, like this one, but also consults with many malbec growers and vintners in Argentina. She’s one very busy Argentinean. But don’t cry for her……………cause O Susana don’t cry for me.
  1. 2006 Hecht and Bannier (H&B) Côtes du Roussillon-Villages – A great wine from the south of France made by a superior winery is the 2006 Hecht and Bannier (H&B) Côtes du Roussillon-Villages (#142802). The St.-Chinian by H&B was also spectacular. These guys continue to turn out fabulous wines, typical of this region. E. Robert Parker’s wine critic in Roussillon says of this wine, “…….you don’t have to believe in the efficacy of geological underpinnings to recognize the dazzling complexity and uncanny balance on display here.” Phew! I have had sleepless nights worrying that my lack of belief in the efficacy of geological underpinnings was getting in the way of me recognizing dazzling complexity and uncanny balance. Anyone else with me?
  1. 2008 The Watcher Shiraz – For the Aussie lovers, there’s a wonderful shiraz that’s been recommended here before. The 2008 The Watcher Shiraz (#219196 $19.95). Chewy? You bet. Made by Fetish Winery. So, this wine goes well with hand cuffs, feather ticklers, lace, and small rodents (kidding on the rodents, of course!). It’s also recognized as #51 of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2010. Pick up a bottle and see if they were right.


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