At home I’m on this huge French kick at the mo, so it’s not too often that I delve into the New Worlds of the wine rack. Early in the week was a Chilean Clos de Fous (a huge blend of 40% Malbec, 25% Carmenere, 14% Syrah, 10% Pais, 6% Carignan). Clos is French term used for walled in vineyards….and fous is crazy…..so there you have Clos des Fous. The grapes are sourced from around the town of Cauquenes in the region of Maule. For a $30 blend, this wine is pretty killer…lots of tart red berry fruit, sour cherries and dried cranberry. The accompanying tech sheet says the vines have an average age of 80 years, and we like them old vines! I had it opened for two days and admittedly it stood up better and had a lot more going on the second day. All in all though a great find. Oh and it went great with local fav delivery pizza, Escape from New York Pizza.
The other pizza, which was made by the in-house chef, went with the organically grown, and naturally made Ambyth Estate , “El Rancho de Juan Fiesta” Syrah, probably my favorite Paso Robles winery. I think Ambyth is making all their wines from estate grapes now, so not sure if they’re still going with this Syrah….and too bad for all of you as this was such true varietal characteristic of the grape. Spicy with hints of blueberries, multi-layered dense fruit flavors. This is one of the better natural wineries around and a great representative of the (supposedly) controversial style. Welsh winemaker Phil Hart goes all the way when it comes to the unwritten rules of natural winemaking, and this place will be soon be a California benchmark of the style.
Towards the end of the week we opened up an Albariño from a super tiny production made by Santa Barbara winery De Su Propia Cosecha. Sadly this is another wine that is not only out of stock, but the vineyard where the grapes were sourced, in San Luis Obispo, has been sold and the allocation has changed hands. Regardless, this wine proves the natural talent from winemaker Chris King. Such a precise, lean, pure wine. Lemon sherbert with hints of macadamia on the nose while it tastes of apricot and lime, and a healthy dose of chalk-like minerality. You can find DSP in Lompoc’s wine ghetto….seek them out! 1501 E. Chestnut Ct, Lompoc, CA 93436
One last little thing: if you want expand your palate, you have to taste nearly everything you come across. One easy way to do this is to buy whatever new fruit or veg you come across in the supermarket. While in Cal-mart the other day I saw these mini Forelle Pears and mini Lady Apples. The pears had a particularly delicate and pure pear flavor, while the apples tasted of a blend of apple sauce and pear. Then there was the Tohato Caramel Corn I found at Daiso, the dollar store in Japan Town, they tasted like caramelised Cap’n Crunch….awesome!
Just another goofy thing I do…..out.