Lovely

7 Feb


Oh hey chatty wine! This wine has a lot to say and I was up for listening. And reading. The winery sent me oodles of info on this lil’ sample from Columbia Valley:

Mullan Road Cellars 2013 Red Wine Blend

It’s a Bordeaux blend: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec 

Oh okay okay let us talk about the taste. That’s what y’all are here for no?

Oh okay okay okay I am going to go WSET with the tasting notes but I’ll attempt to spice them up. If you want to skip all that I’ll just say this is a sexy blackberry jam of a wine with some delightful vanilla from its 16 months in oak (some new French, some American).

Here we go!

On ze Eye: Easy. Easy on the eyes. Ahem. Technically it is clear, medium ruby with slow thick tears.

In yer Nose: clean, medium, blackberry, vanilla, and allspice to put it simply. Youthful.

On ye olde Tongue: dry, medium plus acid and alcohol, so a thoroughly serious wine. But like fun serious. Like…I’m not sure things in the world have been unfun serious recently so… 

Body and flavor intensity: medium plus, both of them. Tannins are the medium. But all the acid and alcohol (14.3% abv) make me think this could be aged for some time. 6 years, say?

Flavours (with a u bc why not British): blackberries!!!!!! And as the French and cool people like you and I say: cassis. As in currants: mostly red. Boatloads of vanilla. And allspice! That’s the stuff! And probably some more spices like cloves and nutmeg but they are elegantly woven in so you don’t get the impression you’re eating a Christmas cookie although that sounds good right now…

Oh no now I want another bottle so I can pair it with gingerbread. Not that I have gingerbread right now. Or another bottle so all this will remain a fantasy. For now…

Into every life…

26 Jan


…some health must fall. And being as today is National Green Juice Day it seemed like an appropriate time for a break from wine. As opposed to a wine break.

I was wondering if absinthe counted as green juice since it does come from botanicals but before that nefarious plot could be carried out Evolution Fresh and Postmates were kind enough to save me from myself.

They sent me some of their Smooth Greens and Kale juice. I mean it is actually friggin’ delicious. I don’t particularly like kale and this is tasty. It has fiber and protein and happy happy green things that have been cold-pressed into delicious healthy submission. I would love to turn my nose up at the juice trend except I can’t because my nose is buried in the glass I’m slugging this tasty stuff down from. What doooo you know?

Do it y’all. Have a glass of health even if only for today.

Cheers!!

Pussy drinks Barolo. Kitty likes the tar and roses

21 Jan


I’d saved this bottle. I mean, 2011 Barolo…I could have hung on. But given the state of the union I cracked it open. As I write this I’m getting ready to go to the Los Angeles women’s march tomorrow morn. 

Hence pussy ears. 

Wuss wine can back the hell off.

This is a modern Barolo. Ready to sip now. Or…at least ready to sip six years post-vintage. I dare say earlier may have been too early.

2011 Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo

You know how you make and new friend, and once you have both shared the stories of your messed up lives, think “I’m glad I met you now because we would have HATED each other but now we are gonna be besties”? 

I mean maybe you never thought that but with Nebbiolo you are generally glad you met it once it had gone through it’s rough stage. 

And modern Barolo, rife with the vanilla oak of the modern makers, went through its “rough stage” more quickly than classic Barolo.

This one is friendly. It says:

Roses! Berries! Tar! Tannins so mellow and lilting you take them in and decide to give them a hug!

As a wine person I embrace tannins fyi if you are not necessarily a wine person you may wait another few years to drink this.

But then. Oh then. 

We have flowers and I swoon. Roses.

And we have tar.

And hell if nothing else moves me it is prehistoric gook that bubbles out of the ground in our own La Brea tar pits, it is VIOLETS in a glass. 

Dang, drink this modern shit. Classic Barolo is brilliant and I love it for what it is but Damilano is On Point. 

Now that I’m fortified I’m getting some zzz’s then am off to grab back.

WINTER comes Rosé

9 Jan


My main fear is that my multitude of smart, educated, impassioned musings on rosé still cannot get people to give pink wine a fair shot.

That’s not actually my main fear. My main fears are not fare for blogging here. ANYWAY.

Rosé is NOT JUST FOR SUMMER!!!!

HOPEFULLY ALL CAPS CONVINCE YOU!!!!

Rosé is a wine for all seasons. Don’t you give me lip. This is what you want. I promise. It will warm you up, cool your tongue and light up your soul. 

Before we get to today’s pick let us revisit rosés of the past. This Rosé is still my fave American pink. This One is still my SECOND fave french. 

But right now this is truly my latest hardcore Give Me pink vino love:
2015 Chateau de Trinquevedel Rosé

A full deep wine that offers as much on the tongue as it does to the eye.

ME-fucking-OW.

You are thirsty. You want something pretty badass and PRETTY to look at too. You want something that makes the woman in you roar. Or maybe the secure male in you knows that true men drink pink…you want that part to make some noise.

So this. It is full and vibrant pink that verges on salmon but is HOT DAMN deep pink.

45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvedre, 6% Syrah

It smells of pink grapefruit, limes, cranberries, and holy fuck fabric? Like crisp ironed fabric. Linens.

And some white roses. Picture a bouquet of white roses on Ophelia’s chest floating away from the shore. It is romantic and delicious.

It is those holiday napkins you starch and iron for special occasions. But you folded them into cornucopias holding strawberries and limes and maybe a pretty smooth river stone.

Like the stiffness of a starched napkin it is robust–a plate full of cranberry sauce and bread hearty stuff. But it is elegant. The starched napkin, unfolded into the lap of a woman in silk changes that dynamic.

It is good. Dang.

So that OUGHT to be enough but if you are a wine nerd here are my WSET 3 notes:

EYES: Clear, medium plus, salmon pink 

NOSE: clean, medium intensity grapefruit, wet stones, nectarines and starch. Youthful.

TONGUE: dry, medium plus acid, medium alcohol+ (thank you Grenache for that 13.5%abv), medium plus body for a rosé, flavor intensity medium, then the grapefruits, cranberries, linens, white peach, white flower and honey perhaps? And just fucking delicious. Finish is medium. Not complex but mellow and stony. Picture the feeling you get turning a cool stone over and over in your palm and that is this. Delish.

Quality: GREAT. That’s not WSET just me. I’d think at least twenty but holy duckbills it is like 18. Drink now don’t age. Get next year’s when it is there. Andddddd YES. THIS IS A YES WINE JUST DRINK IT EVEN IN WINTER ESPECIALLY IN WINTER

Let Us Stay: Beaujolais

13 Dec


Okay so I swear my ten-part series on cru Beaujolais is coming. I am in the midst of amassing a wine from each cru. St-Amour is hard to find, y’all. But I’m on it.

IN THE MEANTIME PINNNNNNNK! Pink as in Rosé.

From a winemaker who you may just see resurface in the ten-part series but HOLY HECK I love this producer:

2015 Pierre-Marie Chermette Vissoux “Les Griottes” Beaujolais Rosé

While generally I claim this as THE BEST I’d say on another note this may be at least one of the best. Shit, you guys. I have enough love in my heart for A LOT of rosés out there.

YAS Gamay rosé from the Chermette’s YAS.

I don’t know if the grammar was correct for Chermette’s. Are Pierre and Marie one or two people? Should I have said “Chermettes'”? These things matter.

But not as much as my tasting notes. Sweet babies.

Okay I lie I paused and did some research: Pierre-Marie and Martine Chermette were the upstarts of sustainable viticulture in Beaujolais. So Pierre-Marie is one person. This is a natural wine. Like it waits for the natural yeast to do it’s duty.

That yeast knew what was up!

This wine. Okay I’ll get to my tasting notes. At last:

Gorgeous salmon color. Peach melba on the nose. Dry. HIGH acid. Medium alcohol. Medium plus body as far as a rosé goes! There is some viscousity. More peach melba in the mouth. When I say peach melba I mean peaches plus acidic raspberries plus vanilla n cream. There is a hint of minerality but it is very smooth. Sanded stones. The finish LINGERS! ON! FURTHER THAN YOU’D EXPECT FOR A ROSÉ!

THIS IS THE MAGIC. FRENCH BEAUJOLAIS MAGIC.

This Gamay is my true love.

For now. I’m a fickle beast.

Meow.

 

Because funk noveau

6 Dec


Let’s shut our eyes, close our ears and sew our mouths shut and pretend Beaujolais Noveau were not such a THING because it leads to people overlook the rest of this righteous region. Then unstitch our lips, open eyes, and take the cotton out of our ear holes and take in Régnié.

This is Beaujolais CRU ma sweet babees.

From Regnié. 

I promise I’ll do a ten-part series on the 10 Beaujolais cru vineyards. They exist up north where the soil is granitic and the living is…well it involves a lot of time with the vines but then the living is party. From what I hear.

Let’s get down with this lovely specimen, purchased for a mere 25 from Domaine LA where the living is delicious.

2015 Julien Sunier Régnié Gamay

Lemme see, if I was at a bar and this wine was some cute lady who engaged me in convo because hey, we are two ladeees minding our own business (sorta) at a wine bar…well this is that lady:

Conventionally attractive, and decidedly feminine, wearing some almost arty but mostly Refinery 29-approved wardrobe, this woman drops some pop-culture references that make you want to dismiss her but then a random lesser known Joy Division song comes on and she knows it and still is perky on the surface but she has an open mind. She’s deeper than you gave her credit at first sip. I mean taste. I mean swallow I mean… 

She is green too. Like fresh. Not jaded. Fuck it this girl sorta gets me but like when I’m in a light-hearted mood.

Okay fine, but technically how is she? And her legs? Hahahahhaa. Bad joke I know moving on this WINE is medium ruby purply brew. 

On the nose it is rocks, cherries and dark grape Bubblicious NOT a joke I love that shit. 

On the tongue: dry as can be if grape Bubblicious could be unsweetened. Then comes cherries, raspberry cream soda maybe even…Dr. Pepper? Yes Dr. Pepper. And rocky darkness but barely. Just a hint of the dark side. 

The tannins are medium. They suck at your gums one moment then are like “hey kidding” we are silky fun! Slightly cedar-y fun. Christmas tree delight. 

The alcohol is decidedly not too high (just checked it is 12.5) so you are like hey there is a friendly bite to this! Just a nip of alcohol heat. 

Body I want to say is light from the effervescent nature of what I’m guessing is semi-carbonic maceration. That may be at play but as I did sense some tannins and alcohol it does not keep this from having some body. 

Normally the “medium” nature of many of this wine’s characteristics mighttttt make it far to normal, but like that gal at the bar it is not. It is light enough to banter with but deep enough to carry on with. And if the two of you keep talking well…that friendship may deepen.

It’s a Pinot. It Sounds Cooler. I know all this because I’ve been studying.

1 Dec


I have not written in a few. After November 8th I was observing a period of mourning (you can guess why) and then I was studying NONSTOP for the WSET 3 exam.

Which I still might not pass. I misidentified a Chablis Premier Cru but got the Valpolicella.

And I call myself a Francophile. Apparently Italy has a hold of me.

So screw it all. French wine, Italian– Let’s crack open a bottle of German wine. Spätburgunder!!!!!

Which thanks to my education I know is the Pinot Noir grape, as in the one Burgundy is renowned for. Baden is the German holy land for the Noir-est of grapes. It is warm enough for the grape to flourish but cool enough not to create the jammy travesties occasionally proffered by warmer lands (ahem, certain parts of California, ahem). The Germans renamed many of their  grapes, perhaps to make them sound like they originated in Germany: Pinot Gris is Grauburgunder, Pinot Blanc is Weissburgunder. However, let’s talk about this wine, this fine fine Spätburgunder:

2013 Schneider Weiler Schlipf Spätburgunder

OMG PLEASE CLICK ON THAT AND BEHOLD THE EMO GRANDEUR OF GERMAN WEIN! I CAN hear the beating of this Qualitätswein’s limestone heart. OMG. I’m sorry. If I wasn’t already pale and draped in black clothing I would have to be before I felt appropriately clothed to honor this wine.

And then I took a sip an HOLY FUCKING I’M 15 AGAIN THIS IS CHERRY COKE!

A boozy extra delicious cherry coke. Worth paying 23 dollars a bottle for. Holy heck this wine is bright happy days running around with your friends in a sugar fit good.

If that’s your thing. I mean seriously cherry cola, ripe red cherry, and a hint of vanilla hit you in the face (or at least the nose and tongue) with this guy. And it has something of a body juxtaposed with lightness and verve. Sort of like a soda that is light due to carbonation yet has body due to sugar syrup.

Should I do the WSET3 analysis?

Sure why not:

To the eye: clear medium ruby with medium slow tears.

Nose: clean, medium plus intensity, sour cherry, black cherry all the dang cherries–vanilla bean, Cranberry and soil. Yah soil.

Tongue: Dry, medium plus acidity, medium minus tannin, medium alcohol (doublechecked after that thought and was 13%–exactly in medium range according to WSETS!), body: medium, flavor intensity is Medium plus–this stuff talks!! Flavor components: as I said CHERRY COKE!! And vanilla bean. Then some greenery and garrigue. This sounds esoteric but I friggin’ FEEL the limestone. Something almost salty but mossy. That hides beneath the cherry coke. There ya go.        Finish: Medium plus! Didn’t think it would be but the cherry coke devolves to vanilla ice cream devolves to textured salad marinating in cherry pie. It’s pretty great.

All in all good job, Silver Lake Wine in Silver Lake because they have one in downtown LA…but this one…I’d work there. Putting it out there. I said I was interested in Beaujolais cru then they had not enough low-priced options for my taste (no one has low-priced cru, by the way it is not a bad thing) and then I said “what excites you” and they lead me to this. Odd seeing as I normally am not a big Pinot Noir gal. But this got me.

So get into it!