Tag Archives: red wine

Regnié and a Red Hat

3 Jul


The name of this wine inspired me to put on a red cap of my own.

Apologies to Mets, Cubs and Giants fans in particular, but I’m a Cardinals girl. Okay now that that’s out of the way–

On this Beaujolais journey we have swilled on down:

Morgon

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas
And!
Saint-Amour

Okey dokey yea now we are on to Regnié. I talked about it once before.

But this one oh yes.

2012 Bonnet Rouge Regnié

Holy hell no sulfur! Normally I worry about that ending up stanky in a bad way but this is a natural phenomen. 

Thank god or I would think it unseemly… that this is…okay there is no polite way to say but cloudy.

Okay so also it is not penultimate in complexity. But it is more interesting than wines I’ve tasted three times the 10-ish dollar expense of this one.

If you hate: licorice, anise, or tarragon ye best run.

I LOVE this wine and probably would pay three times the amount it was (which would still be medium in price) because it is friggin’ RIFE with licorice-y taste deeeelite..but more than that anise? It makes me think of springerles–cookies my family makes around Christmas.

Which are the magic.

THE magic. This is an alcoholic springerle in a glass.

With just a bit more than a hint of the pastille I get in the Morgon. 

The Morgon has about as much pastille as I got in Chiroubles. This is a tiny region and hell now I want to open all three crus and do an anise-off between them. And I might chase that with some absinthe. Just so I can compare to the hardcore but jeez just all the anise/licorice/pastille etc ness. Y’all.

How does this compare? Oddly the further south I get the fresher the flavor I get. A phenomenon you see in say, Napa Velley but I don’t know it the type of wine (i.e. natural or not) has something to do with it. Still learning.

Anywho this has the delightful Gamay classic flavor of ALL sorts of cherries. Violets. And then that licorice and anise. The licorice and anise overwhelm my tastebuds but I FUCKING LOVE THEM. If you don’t this will undoubtedly be not good to you.

But fuck yah if I would not believe this bottle was 25-30. Not just under ten.

Bargain royalty.

And go Redbirds!! We need to win some more games so I can toast them with this red hat wine. 

Chiroubles: some would call it gender fluid. i call it fluid.

19 Jun


ONWARDDDD!!!!!

We have tackled Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-a-Vent, and Fleurie! So let us keep on. To Chiroubles!!

Specifically:

2015 Laurent Gauthier Chiroubles Chatenay “Vielles Vignes”

I got this sucker for about 14 bucks from guess………duh Garagiste.

Oh golly apparently these “old vines” were planted on a steep pink granitic arena. HELLZ YEAH THIS WINE IS A BEEFY WINE AND YET FROM PINK SOIL!

Pink pussy power y’all. Pink granite grit. Feel it. Vinified in whole clusters in concrete vats.

This shit is hardcore essence of pink granitic Gamay and I am into it. It is a delightfully balanced wine, essence-wise. The acid is balanced with ripe blueberry and cherry fruitiness (which so may confuse with sweetness). The light tannins are balanced with…well they are still light but have strong handshake. Wicked oaky tannins would detract from what I ADORE that is hard to find in say…well I don’t know but. Soil is a lady y’all.

What I am saying is this wine has light flowers and I love it. Violets. This wine is violets and I want to french kiss it. As for the finish this wine doesn’t last long or change which is fine. I mean there are the vinos whose finish is so complex and crazy you can’t believe it and want to dwell on it forever but day to day I am a working lady. Sometime I want a quickie.

This wine is tough on the outside but then…those violets. Tasty.

In terms of comparison this wine, as compared to the other crus of Beaujolais is not as tough as most but fuller than Fleurie. Which is full but lacks manliness.

Chiroubles is gender fluid wine. It is true. I hear you giggling at that. Stop making fun of me. It is funny because it is true.

So actually, go ahead and laugh. I own my silliness. I’m macho like that.

Gimme some fleurs 

11 Jun


Real quick: this week we had actress Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, anyone?) on the podcast. And get into how to talk about cat pee notes in New Zealand wine so…listen to it here!

And now.

Fleuries! Oh yes my dahhhhhlings having gotten through Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, AND those devilish windmills aka Moulin-A-Vent we are  moving on to our darling flowers: Fleurie.

2014 Chateau de Grand Pre Fleurie

The gorgeous thing about French wines is they SOUND like they taste.

Moulins tilt. Saint-Amour is complex as true love. Brouilly brews up trouble and Chénas? Well it chains you to Beaujolais😁. 

Fleurie stays true to its name in that it tends to be more aromatic of flowers like violets. And it can be light and delicate like a lovely rose blossom. Makes you wonder what influences what more–the name or the wine?

I am doing this series probably more for my own education than anyone else’s. 

Ugh okay for all the following add “plus flowers and a whiff bubble gum” to the description and you’ll get the more typical Fleurie I like. Not as flowery and jammy as Beaujolais noveau but Fleurie does have some of those delightful things from time to time. Because carbonic maceration.

This Fleurie appeals to hipsters who like raw and natural. Let’s get WSET-y:

Look: medium and muddy grape-purple colored and the tears are slow but medium.

Nose: Oh funk a hit of oils! But otherwise raw green pepper and cherries and mulberries. Hint of allspice.

On yer tongue: Dry as f and acid as almost f and alcohol also medium (oh let me check label says 13% abv yup medium) tannins medium minus, body medium minus (for red), intensity of flavor is perhaps medium maybe even medium plus.

I’d like some more Fleuries and I’d take some flowers too. But if forced to decide between I’d likely take the wine first. Just sayin’.

Cheers darlings. Pick a flower for me. 

Et tu, Beaujolais? Yup this Juliénas will kill

21 May


Firstly pretty please check out The Whine Situation, my new comedy n wine podcast on iTunes and  we just got added to Stitcher too yeaaaaaaaa. If you like it n wanna give us an iTunes subscribe or rating all the better. 

One more distraction before the next cru! I was a guest on The Delightful Table, a fantastic blog by my friend Scheherezade features sustainable cooking and seasonal veggies. We experimented pairing “difficult to pair” veggies with wines. Check out the artichoke madness here


And now. We are moving on down through the Beaujolais crus! From flippant Saint-Amour to rather stern Juliénas! A jerk face who is sinister and will beat your mouth up. In a good way, of course!

Named for Caesar. Shall we salad with this wine? Would a Caesar salad pair well? Huh, I feel like maybe not but it’s worth investigating. The wine in question:

2015 David-Beaupere Juliénas “Vayolette”

I got it for about 20 bucks from Garagiste, my favorite source for interesting wines at jolly prices.
Juliénas has a variety of terroirs but the unifying factor tends to be that they are bigger and rougher wines.

This wicked wine was grown in yards of volcanic blue stone, and was made organically. It is a unique devil.

Holy moly it’s high alcohol! 15 % abv. Holy heck it bashes your tongue with little blue pebbles and bramble cranberries! I don’t care if bramble cranberries are not a thing in case you were concerned. I taste violets are blooming in the pebbles to boot. What is this specimen? How is it conquering me with so many different sensations that don’t match yet go together?

And holy holy hell is this wine dark.

Purple as sin. Presuming sin’s true color when showing true colors is purple. The darkness is in flavor too: black pepper, a bit of…I dunno. This is a total snobby “I imagine” tasting note but I bet if those dark purple irises–ya know the flower I’m speaking of?–had a flavor it would be in this wine.

The biggest difference between this and our friend St. Love is the power and the depth. The similarity? The lack of tannins! Many times I taste a tannic wine and describe it as beating my mouth up but this tongue-beater does so without tannins.

Tricky tricky sly sly Caesar.

Now to make that salad (but sans anchovies in the dressing seeing as I’m a vegetarian).

Cheers and tongue-lashings! 

I Feel Amour. The Cycle begins!

15 May


I’ve been saying it for some time. That I was going to do a cycle going through all the lovely Beaujolais crus. Those are: Saint-Amour, Julienas, Chenas, Moulin-à-Vènt, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié,  Côte de Brouilly, and Brouilly. I came up with a device to remember this: Saint Julian Called Many French Cheapo Madams Really Comely Broads.

And I’ve been feeling the…oh…feeling of spring so what better time to jump into Saint-Amour? The most northerly. We begin at zee beginning.

2015 Pascal Berthier “Esprit de Séduction” Saint-Amour

Beyond waiting for spring fever it took me fucking forever to find a Chenas and I wanted to have located all the crus before starting the dang cycle. But we are here now.

I am feeling love for this Saint-Amour, the most northern of the Beaujolais crus. Ah yes, the granite/clay/schist/limestone soils are on hillier regions than much of the Beaujolais area. Hills can be lovely for wine that wants warmth and sun. And Gamay, the Beaujolais grape, needs a whiff of both.

So far I love this wine and it is loving me back.

Blueberries, y’all. And more blueberries plus blackberries and friggin’ slate blackboard. Picture your childhood art teacher grabbing blue chalk and drawing blueberries and you lick the board and it actually tastes both like the board, the chalk, and the berries. Therrrrre you go. This is a classic gamay in its freshness, berry-ness, a hint of some sort of fortified wine so whaaaa—chamomile/herbs/quinine?—and just more love.

Love y’all back. Next week———–Julienas!

We are cycling together my people. Love you too. 

 

Wine-timidation

18 Apr

Oh no so there is that friend. She has her shit together. She is smarter, cooler, more–I dunno everything-er–than you, and you love her but worry about saying the wrong thing around her until the night gets going and you realize really her presence is actually calming.

She looks super deep, and also somehow pulls off the paisley/plaid/denim look like a boss. Like this wine pulls off combining varietals from Spain (the Tempranillo), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Northern Rhone (Syrah). And then this wine sports the one wacky grape like she rocks the random nonsensical jacket patches and it works! The grape in this oh-so-super metaphor is the Petit Verdot. Who the F grows that? It is a finicky and needs extra-special heat and is hardcore and normally used in tiny amounts except here where it is a full 25% of the beverage but hey! This wine has it! And makes it wicked awesome! Why does she have a wombat patch? That’s so odd! And cool now you wanna get to know some wombats even though she probably forgot she ever got that patch.

Oh right and before I forget there is hip minimalist intervention in the making of this vineyard to boot. So cool.

Also a friend of mine in the wine community sent this to me because he rocks and I do my best to give him educated wine feedback…

Here is the thing. This girl (wine) is good. And quality. And worth keeping in your wheelhouse. I might eat it with migas but don’t tell.

So this intimidating friend/wine…although at first glance too hip n cool for school, once you get to chatting (sipping) she is relatable. Do-able. Maybe even basic. Simpler than you surmised but still…upscale shall we say. Delectable.

And now I shall like a WSET advanced certified person I’ll judge for you this wine:

2012 Booker Vineyard “Remnant” 

35% Tempranillo, 25 % Petite Verdot, 23 % Syrah, 17 % Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. From Paso Robles (so near yet so far!).

Lemme give those of you who want a soundbite tasting note my thoughts: This is plush but has a bite. Fruity in a way some peeps will call sweet but really just fruity. With some spice. Balanced perfectly. If you want to know what to pair it with I would say walnuts. That’s my gut feeling. But you are not ordering that for dinner so I’d say anything with nuts. Oooooh a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich would be flippin’ wicked with this. Now I need a sandwich. Oh my.

All of which to say this is an approachable wine with an attitude. Like that girl who is so cool you hope she likes you too. She probably will.

Details, WSET-style:

To the eye: DARK!!! Which I love. Dark ruby/purple. Opaque even poured in small amounts. Medium thick slow tears gliding down the wineglass sides.

Nose: All sorts of blackberries, plums, allspice, red pears,and ginger.

Tongue: Dry but so fruit-forward you almost wanna call it sweet. Acid is medium. Tannins medium and may be from the petit verdot but clearly there is some influence from the oak. Sorta plush yet textured like that. Alcohol is medium (13.8% abv which technically is .3 over medium but what the heck evs). Body is for a red medium…almost plus> Strawberries blackberries cherries all the -ies, allspice as heck, a hint of that sorta sweet baby spinach…rightttt? Right. Flavor intensity is medium, Finish is medium plus. There is a moment you think “this is short-ish or maybe medium” then something spicy kicks you. In a Pleasant Kicking Way. Someone is into that right??

Okay. Thank you Paul for sending this my way. It is truly a delight.

Oh heck realized I have some peanut butter cup ice cream and a cherry ice cream and that may be the ideal pairing for this wine. Test it and tell me?

Pink Pussy ordered the next year but it is still tar and roses 

10 Apr


Oh hey I reviewed 2011 here on the eve of the epic women’s march. I was fighting and ready to grab back proving that all us delicate lil’ pussies, could take a stand. And STILL we HAVE PERSISTED! And will keep doing so.

Unlike this bottle I bought and should have hung onto longer. I should have gotten one to try now and one for later. Even though it was still too soon, I cracked the:

2012 Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo

This is…in all honesty I feel it needs less aging than 2011? Like I detect less of the “good bones” (high acid tannins and alcohol plus secondary flavors like anything funky pretty much) than 2011.

The roses are potent. But I dunno this is less potent and possibly maybe less complicated than 2011 which is sad. If only every year could be CRAAAZY.

But this is still pretty crazy. Interesting but not demented. Its complexity evolves as it sits in the glass.

Although the acid and tannins are standing the fuck up so maybe re-testing in a few years would be good. But kitty is impatient.

Pussy (me. meow!) still loves the tar and roses which are rampant in this bottle. I am not a plant person so the fact that the first thing I detect on this wine makes me think “holy roses and violets” says something. I do like tar. In wine. Although I used to smoke so maybe that is why it is easy for me to detect tar notes. And/or it is LA and the tar pits here are fun.

Tar and roses. Quintessential stereotypical Barolo for a reason yet this is a modern Barolo and much more immediately elegant and silky than a kickass old-school one.

But stellar. Sometimes it is okay to be new.

Okay let us go metaphors. So it is the girl/guy you meet and think “they smell enticing”. But at first blush the personality is not there. But then you keep talking (wait for your glass to get some air) and you find they are fascinating. Which is to say once you pour this vino it will evolve with oxygen contact.

For you who are like “gimme the flavors breakdown woman!” A. don’t call me “woman” (I prefer Ellen) unless I give permission meow and

B. Ignoring that you called me “woman” I’ll tell you this is rife with violets, roses, potting soil, caramelized blueberries and blackberries.

BUT the tannins may distract you. Not the alcohol level. At 14 percent it is high but not burning.

The finish goes the hell on. For some time. Oh hey it’s still going as I type. IT PERSISTS! STILL! LIKE US!

Actually the finish is what makes me want to try this in a couple of years. I dare say I will. If I can secure a bottle. Although this is thoroughly drinkable right now.

This wine seems basic right off but then it evolves and you think “oh heck I am…Very Interested in learning more.

I’m gonna tell this wine my secrets. If I can GRAB another bottle. Back.