Four fall back wines for Daylight Savings

Photograph by Albo, Fotolia.comas seen on canada.com

The wine glasses will have retired when the clocks fall back to standard time at 2:00 o’clock in the morning on Sunday, November 4th. An hour no longer needed and cast off, a casualty of war. He may not have invented it, but we have Benjamin Franklin to thank for being the first to indicate the need for the phenomenon. In the United States, a federal law standardized the yearly start and end of daylight saving time in 1918, for the states that chose to observe it. It was mandatory during WWII and today most states continue to observe the so-called, energy-saving measure. Canadians abide, Quel shoc!, save for Saskatchewan which is on DST year round. What’s that all about?

The M.C. Escher tessellating question is this. Is DST an energy conservation proposition or a Saturday night wine suck? It’s both, actually. Like the Escher model, fine wine is a linear, interwoven tapestry without any gaps or overlaps. The fact that DST is part of a never-ending loop likens it to Groundhog Day and the redundant nature of the ritual zaps life, if only for one night, as if there were no tomorrow.

My advice is to make sure your fridge and racks are stocked with whites and reds possessive of good legs that fall back in the glass. Wines of character and depth to carry you through to Sunday’s raffish onset of darkness. On the bright side, that lost hour does mean that when Sunday morning comes you won’t be confronted by first light purdah masked of a folderol, cimmerian shade. Here are four wines to aid in the transition back to standard time.fallbackwine Four fall back wines for Daylight Savings

The grape: Pinot Grigio

The history: 100% PG from the Friuli Isonzo DOC region (in northeastern Italy near the Slovenian border) produced by the cooperative, Cantina Produttori Cormòns

The lowdown: Tightly wound clusters cause varietal deformity due to the pressure they exert on each other. Intense PG at a great price

The food match: Barque Rub Roast Chicken Wings and Thighs

Cormòns Pinot Grigio 2010 (734038, $14.95) is slick stuff, like vitreous and porous silica gel without the talc. Acacia blossom perfume and agave scherzo symphony in a glass. High praise indeed for lowly PG but go Friuli my friend and note the difference. The conically tapered glass bottle adds to the magic and the profile. By way of Mr. C. for my card at Barque88

The grape: Chardonnay

The history: Burgundy’s great varietal goes haywire along Niagara on the Lake’s old Stone Road

The lowdown: This racy white has just enough brake to watch its speed

The food match: Homemade Tagliatelle, brown butter, parmesan and sage

G. Marquis The Silver Line Chardonnay 2011 (258681, $16.95) streaks across and plays a lick on atomic 16 rails at breakneck speed, all the while jonesing for of a slice of custard pie. “It’s sweet and nice” with lead, nuts and spice. The G. might stand for grateful or great, as in value.  88

The grapes: Grenache, Syrah & Mourvèdre

The history: Gigondas sits one step down from Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhône pecking order

The lowdown: Not nearly as serious as the likes of Brusset, Perrin or Montmirail but look at the price

The food match: Boneless Roast Quail, king oyster mushrooms, fresh thyme

Domaine Santa Duc Les Garancières Gigondas 2009 (234989, $17.90, was $27.95) is Grenache-centric so soft, modern and approachable is its MO. The S and M adds just enough volcanic disturbance, smoke and herbal spew to keep it real. Notes of arpeggios and glissades. At the reduced fare its reductive attributes smooth and flesh out hither and yon at the same time. Simmering raspberries with the intention of becoming jam is a delight to sniff and dip a spoon into.  89

The grape: Malbec

The history: From the emerging Uco Valley in Mendoza where the varietal seems to turn from  red to black

The lowdown: Showing very well for an under $20 Malbec with five years of age under its bottle buckle

The food match: Grilled Barese Sausages, tomato jam, smokey bbq sauce

Trapiche Fincas Las Palmas Malbec 2007 (186668 $17.95) with its vanillin, razor-sharp contour of energy is  rich and powerful for the price. The style is big, blowsy and not without a smokey, blackberry charm. A slight electric loss and corresponding increased valence shows that the clock is ticking fast, but for now the pleasure is all ours.  89

Good to go!

Seeing Red on a Green Day

 

Friday March 16, 2012

 

http://blogs.canada.com/2012/03/16/seeing-red-on-a-green-day/

 

A link to the March 17, 2012 VINTAGES release:

http://www.vintages.com/circular/circ_main.shtml

 

If only it were just the reds of Spain falling mainly on these VINTAGES pages. Kudos to our very own Friendly Wine Giant David Lawrason for calling out the LCBO by noting that something is amiss in the land of the monopoly. The catalogue does indeed look like a Food and Drink issue, minus Lucy and Nancy’s journalistic integrity. Perhaps it’s the social responsibility stance that drives the heavy food component but this is the business of wine promotion and selling. So the question begs. Who’s penning this plane crash with no survivors? Poor Bob Homme must be rolling in his grave. That said, four big picks for Pattys everywhere.

 

Bodega del Abad Dom Bueno Crianza 2001 (244699, $14.95) the red is my 2nd Abad reco and Godello abides. My favourite Wine Ponce exclaims “…most $15 wines are not built to last, but this red still has the good stuff.” From Bierzo, a Mencia munificent spice box of aromas and flavours, savoury, herbal, smoothed out by its age. Great IVR* I say.  mjg 88

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Filippo Le Lucere Brunello di Montalcino 2006 (146175, $49.95) is the better of the two ISD Brunelli. Suckling (95) calls it “…refined and gorgeous.” Sanderson of WS (93) says “…dense and tannic, with a long spicy finish.” Kyle Phillips-IWR (2 stars) writes “…it’s an austere wine, in a traditional key, and very young.” Biggest shout out comes by way of Jonathan of the Grape Life (97), “…excellent finesse. Balanced fruit, acidity, tannins…rather moreish.” Entrenches me in that recurring dream, the one inside Enotecca La Fortezza, tasting through an endless sea of Brunelli.

Lucere Brunello 2006

 

St. Hallett Blackwell Shiraz 2009 (535104, $29.95) bests Barossa at this price point and on that limb for matter, anywhere in the land of Oz. From lands Ebenezer, Seppeltsfield and Greenock, receives extended elevage (20 months) in American Oak and shows off like a multi-coloured bruise. A favourite of Aussie writers from Perth to Sydney. RJ (96), JH (96), GW (94), JL (94), KG (93) and Sarah the Wine Detective, “…well-defined and bright, it’s a thoroughly modern Barossa bruiser!”

Hallet Blackwell Shiraz 2009

 

 

Other Wines Of Note:

Opus One 2008 (158063, $364.95) is what? 

Quintarelli Valpolicella Superiore 2002 (986117, $79.95) price is spot on

Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (315176, $79.95) tag has burst through the roof. I paid $42 for the 2001!

 

 

 

IVR* – Vintage Direct Intrigue-to-Value Ratio

 

 

 

 

Good to go!