Saturday, February 28, 2009

2005 Okanagan

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I've never tasted a wine from British Columbia before, so this tasting was a great surprise. LCBO released one of the top wines from Okanagan Valley, a joint venture between Vincor and Groupe Taillan of Bordeaux.

2005 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin, VQA Okanagan Valley.

Bayview Village hosted a tasting of this wine today. I've always been intrigued by this wine, so I made sure I was there. All the 5 Bordelais varietals, with an emphasis on merlot. Given that this wine sells for $45, I had high expectations.

I don't like these tastings where they literally pour you a drop, and then rattle on and on with a corporate mandated spiel on how the wine tastes and how great it is. Please don't try to tell me what I'm tasting. I think I can make up my own mind.

Being the fantastic snob I am, let me give you my impressions.

Deep red colour, good saturation with clarity. This isn't a dark wine. The nose is balanced and complex, but I feel there's an over-reliance on oak. It's a bit too oaky to me, without the density or concentration to support it. The fruit just isn't ripe enough. Acidity is a bit un-balanced, and the tannins are very soft. Long finish, quite nice in fact. But I wouldn't (and didn't) buy this wine, not for $45. I believe, strongly, that if it wasn't these big companies getting behind these wines, it should retail for no more than $25. Overoaked, without the power to back it up. Unfortunately, the wine doesn't live up to its reputation.

Maybe its the vintage, maybe it needs to settle in the bottle for a few years to come together. Just didn't show well today. Just felt unfocussed. I don't understand how someone like Marynissen can produce wines of great depth and concentration for $15, while a supposedly terroir driven wine like Osoyoos Larose falls flat. Money can't buy you happiness, and clearly, can't grow ripe grapes for you either.

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Finished last night's bottle of 2006 Domaine Faillenc Saint Marie, AC Corbieres. Brett isn't as obvious as yesterday, and mingles with the fruit to give off the most beautiful aroma. Such a wild, rustic wine, perfect with hearty dishes in the winter. Absolutely delicious, and proves that sometimes patience is required for a wine to really come together. Don't judge a wine by region or by price, because you never know. As a matter of fact, don't judge, period.

2006 Corbieres

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I have a moment before I head out for piano. You know, some people are just shameless, and quite frankly, unmanly. Its a funny concept. But men are supposed to keep their word, and when you say you'll never come back to a certain blog again, it's expected that you uphold that promise. Guess I'm just too alluring!!

Anyways, that's my last bit of sarcasm - as I said, on to better things...

2006 Domaine Faillenc Saint Marie, AC Corbieres.

I love wines from the southern France. They have the density, the power, but also this complexity that brings me back to the shores of the Mediterranean, and onto the Promenade des Anglais. Ahh, la mer!

This is an organic wine, primarily of syrah, grenache noir, and cinsault. Informative profile here.

Really dark purple, impressive saturation to the rim. I took one sniff of the nose, and I knew I was in for a treat. Lots of animal characters, leather hide, chicken coop, dark berries, herbs. Touch of brett, but very appealing. In the mouth, much more fruit appears. Great balance - the tannins are quite stiff, but very ripe. A beautiful wine, which married especially well with the beef tendon and the oxtail soup we had for dinner.

About 1/3 of the bottle remains for tonight's dinner.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sigh...

When I started my blog, I wanted to find an outlet to be creative, and to document my expanding knowledge and experience with wine. It was personal, and meant only for myself and my friends. I had no desire for this space to be viewed by the general public, and to be debated as if it was some kind of insightful truth. I write honestly and as soulfully as I can, and I make no apologies.

I'm so disappointed that this character insists on pushing my buttons, as if it's to satisfy some sick thrill of having someone verbally rip him to shreds. As if he's baiting me, to see if I'll bite and dissolve into a profanity filled mess. It's so easy to fall into this trap, of retaliation and of anger. But that's not me anymore. I refuse to cheapen this creative space, and I refuse to let an illiterate little punk goad me into crassness.

What would induce someone to act so pathetically, to a complete stranger? Insecurity perhaps, but also maybe just pettiness. Its disappointing, especially if this character is supposed to be in the wine trade. What was an opportunity for learning instead turned into a fairly one-sided schooling. Come on, if you're going to offer a retort, offer something more meaningful than that last comment. Weak. And trying to pass yourself off as a veteran of the wine business? Even lamer.

Anyways, it's never worth getting into these kinds of meaningless exchanges. And to be honest, it's only worth debating if the other person is educated, at least semi-literate, and has interesting things to say. And what are you doing visiting my blog, for almost an hour, in the middle of the afternoon? Go to school, get to work, do something productive buddy.

On to better things...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Talk

Well, I was certainly waiting for this. Please refer to the poorly argued and misspelt comment here, sent in by Charlie Brand.

Hello Mr. Brand. Thanks for visiting La Cave de Fang and commenting. Your comments are welcome, and worth taking note of.

It's always fun to critique and judge, isn't it? Certainly more fun, albeit less brave, than putting out your work and creative efforts up for judgement. But really, you could have just been more honest and said what really was on your mind. Instead of rehashing what I wrote, you could have just called as it is, and fingered me out as a petty, pathetic whiner, who needs a reality check and realize Niagara doesn't revolve around him.

It's ok, I can take it. You think you're the first person who's dainty sensibilities I've trampled on? Mr. Brand.........you're not my first. Guess what? I'm not a sensible person. If you left a reply like that, say, 2 years ago, I would have returned a profanity-laced tirade telling you to go fuck yourself. But no, I'm not like that anymore.

I would argue that visiting vineyard sites and engaging in dialogue with the people involved in the actual production of wine is crucial in fully understanding and enjoying a wine. Otherwise, what's the point of coming up to wine country? Niagara isn't reserved for the folks in St. Catharines, you know. Did you take the 'amateur' comment personally? If so, I apologize - I didn't refer to you, Charles Brand, personally. I hold myself in high regard. I'm glad you do too.

I am in no way a professional. Never attempted to pass myself off as such either. If you'd taken the time to peruse the rest of my posts, instead of singled out this post in particular, you would have picked up on that. Please don't assume things. I majored in economics, I know how useful (or useless) assumptions are in relation to the truth.

Are you one of those clichéd anti-intellectual fascists that rail out against what you perceive as "wine snobs"? So you don't care what factors led to how a wine is grown, harvested, and then transformed into wine? You don't care about a vineyards placement, its soil composition, its elevation, its exposition - you don't care how that shapes the flavour profile of a wine? Ohhh.........I guess I'm the only one that does then.

Yes, I don't deny that it's badgering, it's begging, it's obnoxious. But whatever you want to label it as, it's between myself and the great folks at Vincor. I frankly don't give a shit what you think - you havn't read our correspondences, you don't know any other detail beyond what I've offered. Don't be self-righteous, because then you come off sounding as credible as a Roman Catholic priest lecturing against same-sex marriage while he's getting sucked off by an altar boy behind the lectern.

I'd like to suggest another word. It's 'persistence'. I know what I want to get out of a wine country visit, and I'll do anything I can to achieve it. Sorry if you feel like I'm trampling on your turf. And what's worse, Vincor's people havn't told me off yet! I mean, if your reasoning is so sound, they could have just told me to fuck off!!!

I can't let this go, I have to be thorough in my response. See, if you had read through my whole blog, you would have picked up on how long-winded I like to be. You're saying that for a comprehensive view, I'd be better served staying at home, and drinking all the wines side by side? Do you understand what I'm describing by 'comprehensive'? Let me explain.

With regards to the term 'comprehensive', I'm describing everything that goes into a wine. Everything. The kinds of things that you can't learn just by drinking. That means touring the vineyard, talking to the production people, and really explaining why La Petite Vineyard tastes different than Claystone Terrace wines. I'd like to ask you what you mean by 'comprehensive'? You mean just talking about bouquet, colour, palate, finish? Come on man, you can do that shit anywhere. Again, why don't you just say what's on your mind. What you're really getting at is, "You're not welcome in Niagara, so stay the fuck away!!"

In any case, Mr. Brand, I'm not a rich man. Unlike say, you, for example. I have all the 2006 Le Clos Jordanne lineup of wines, but I quiver at the thought of opening them. But hey, if you're ever hosting a comprehensive horizontal tasting of top Niagara wines, please extend an invitation to me. Oops, there I go soliciting free tastings again!

I don't like confrontation, I really don't. I've seen where this kind of negative exchange goes, and it's not pleasant, for either party. You don't know me, and I don't know you. We both have our opinions and ways to go about things, so let's keep it at that. I'm not angry or mad, just a little disappointed that once again, people are making generalizations and assumptions, and taking things out of context.

I apologize if you feel insulted. And please, when you write the next scathing review of my moral character, please use paragraphs. Oh, and I assure you, we're still paying for the tastings. We're just not doing it with the rest of the plebs. Oh snap!



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As commented on my last post: "Hey Vincor, help me out"


Hi I rarely say anything on a blog, but I’m interested in wine and spend a fair bit of time rattling around the internet with a particular interest in the wines of Niagara because like you I am lucky enough to live close enough to visit the region quite regularly. Your recent post about wanting to go on tour at Le Clos Jordanne is frankly outrageous. First off your clam that the so called fun tours are for the amateurs is curious because I don’t think that you are a wine professional in any sense of the word are you? Secondly will knowing all of the technical things change how you enjoy the wine or will it just give you something else to write about. If you are really interested in getting a comprehensive picture of the wines I think that you should just go out and buy them, surly tasting the wine from different plots of ground and comparing them to other wines from the area is the best way to make up your own mind, or is it that you are all students who are all on an extremely tight budget and through badgering and begging you hope to get a private tour and so taste the wines for free? To my mind there is no confusion you are a clueless dope.

Charlie Brand



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Co-operation

You see, when people work together, and are reasonable, good things happen. Thank you, really looking forward to this!

Aside: Of all the so called wine blogs being written, 95-98% of it is pure dribble, La Cave de Fang included. To be a good wine blogger, you need experience, credibility, and know the right people. I have none of these things. Just being honest - I'm serious about my blog, but I question anyone else who would take it seriously as well.

---

Anyways. Going out tomorrow to get some wine for this weekend. Really, really sad that it's come to this. So much money spent on wine, yet I still don't have any drinkable at home. Going against everything that I've railed about here.

Things are slowing down a bit, lately, but I'm thankful for all the readers that keep coming back. Especially my international audience, please come back and visit often!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hey Vincor, help me out

I love Niagara terroir, and I want to learn and experience as much as I can about it. I know I'm in an envious position of being only an hour away, and I plan on taking advantage of this - not everyone lives so close to a winegrowing region that has such potential to produce one of the great wines of the world. I'm not interested at all in these touristy, 'fun' wine tours. Those are for amateurs. I want to learn all the technical things, I want to get into the dirt and really get a comprehensive picture of Le Clos Jordanne terroir. Terroir isn't some marketing catchphrase to me - it's a real, tangible thing, and it's the most crucial thing in wine.

Let's make this happen.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Goooooooodlife

Maybe third time's the charm. Signed up today at a fitness club, for the 3rd time in 5 years. Maybe this time things will go right, and I'll be able to stick with it.

First time: Valleywood. That club on Leslie, north of Steeles. Kind of hidden in a ravine, it was a beautiful club, and they made you pay dearly for it. $85 a month, for a pool, tennis courts, and a workout filled with mounds of aged and wrinkly man flesh. The perfect storm of August, 2004 completely demolished Valleywood. The outdoor swimming pool got swamped and broke down the filtration system. Tennis courts were flooded and surface ruined. Bridge got completely washed away by the flooding river - it was there when I went in, gone 75 minutes later. The owners threw in the towel, closed the club down, and I lost a lot of money.

Second time: Goodlife, Waterloo. Good location, start of third year, really hyped to be joining a club again. Thought that because I was paying for it, I would be more diligent in working out, instead of say, going for free at CIF. Didn't work out too well. After some account holds during the summer, harsh winters, and lots of wine drinking, I pretty much gave up. The only highlight was the girl that signed me up. Totally gave off this really hot MILF vibe. Sorry, how rude. I meant "cougar".

Third time: Goodlife, Toronto. Seeing how I'm finally starting to get how important fitness is to overall physical and mental health, I should start taking this stuff seriously. It should work out - I feel motivated. We'll see how this goes. Here we go again!

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One more thing - WTF, Time Canada? How can you just shut down your Canadian subscription service, cancel everyone's service, and not even tell them about it? I stopped receiving my issues on January 5, no replies to my emails or phone calls, wtf man? And even though its been cancelled for a month, still havn't seen my refund cheque. Come on man, get your shit together. Will I subscribe to Time US? I don't know. F*cking Americans, give them your money and you're f*cked. No accountability, no responsibility.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A gift from Buddha

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鐵觀音

I leave in the traditional form, because it's so much more beautiful. I have a serious green tea habit. I need a glass, or 5, every day. To calm me down, to lighten the spirit, and to cleanse the body.

This is the greatest green tea in the world - no, it's the greatest tea in the world, period. We source our tea from a friend who owns a plantation in the southern Chinese province of Fujian, where this tea varietal reaches its peak. Powerful in body, yet delicate in its aroma. Able to clear the mind and relieve all stress in a single sip. Unsurpassed in its fragrance and subtle allure.

I think I may love tea just as much as wine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Being fussy

I'm not a fussy person - I never was. I was easy going as a child, and I'm still easy going as an almost grownup. I don't understand high-maintenance, and I really can't stand the type.

Same applies to wine. Some people are really fussy about tasting - everything needs to be textbook, with regards to temperature, serving procedure, etc.

Stop it. This is affected and quite queer. There's really no need to treat wine tasting like some kind of ritual. As long as you're able to approach and understand wine in an honest and respectful way, you'll be fine.

All I need is the proper stemware, and good company to share wine with. I don't care too much, because I understand how wine can change when its served under all sorts of conditions. It's just too affected when you insist on aerating wine for exactly 3 hours, and at exactly 13 degrees Celcius. Get a grip. In any case, its so true how people drink red wine too warm, and white wine too cold. And plus, all folks in wine circles know that you drink wine at higher temperatures to get a full idea of how the wine tastes.

Snobby enough of a tone for you?

2006 Julienas

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Continuing with our cru Beaujolais theme, we drank a Julienas tonight, another one of the sub-appellations within Beaujolais. This was another bottle plundered from my friend's cellar, where I've been keeping this wine since last February.

2006 Domaine Guy Voluet, AC Julienas.

I love these wines. Wines that are well-balanced, simple, yet speak so much of where and when they were grown. This wine sits in that sweet spot of $15-20, and delivers so much. If you know what wines to look for, you can drink $15 wines for the rest of your life and be very happy indeed.

Lighter colour than yesterday's Chiroubles. Red like cherry juice, a slight desaturation at the rim. A fairly round nose, pungent red fruits. Again, clearly a gamay. I love how these wines, when made right, show so much varietal and regional characteristics. Lean on the palate, lots of sour cherries. Some integrated oak, but the finish drops off a bit. Very well-balanced, fine tannins. An excellent wine, but lacking some complexity.

The value of this wine speaks for itself, and its just an excellent example of what a good Beaujolais can deliver. And these two wines aren't even from the more esteemed sub-appellations of Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent!

Doggy, doggy, doggy!

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I love dogs. That's why I was really happy to see our friend JN bring her dog BB in. BB is a bichon frise, and so adorable it makes you swoon.

BB is one of the cleanest, most well-behaved dogs I've ever seen. Doesn't smell one bit, and she was such a good dog - no annoying barking, just some tentative sniffing and exploring. As you can see, she loves to watch the snow and what's going on in the neighbourhood.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reply, dammit!

It really pisses me off when people let incoming emails marinate in their inbox. The people who feel that making you squirm for an answer gives them more power.

I've been emailing a lot of different wineries, and most of them have not been prompt in their replies. Two of them were on time, but the others? Just havn't bothered to send any kind of acknowledgement or reply. Come on, be professional. You should be happy that such knowledgable, passionate wine tasters want to visit you. My demographic is the market share that will propel this industry into the world of fine wine, so I don't get this cavalier attitude that somehow, we should feel privileged for the opportunity to taste your wines.

Post No. 501

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These last 100 posts were the hardest, by far. Just going through a rough time, things going on in my family. Losing a bit of focus.

The only way to get it back is to always be exploring and looking for new and interesting wines. Some things to look forward to - less holding amd more drinking, my own big wine adventure, a more stable wine budget, and just settling into a routine that works for me. So look out, things are only going to get better from here!

Big Wine Adventure

Oz & James

Oz and James' Big Wine Adventure, Season Two, on BBC.

I watched, and enjoyed, Season One, which was all in France. This time, they're in California. This is one of the most entertaining shows one tv, period. James May can actually be quite insightful, and Oz Clarke is hilarious in that clueless, unintentional way.

They go through some interesting characters in Californian wine. Of all the people I've seen so far, I really want to taste Paul Draper's wines. And I really want a cute blonde fan (stalker) named Amy of my own too.

2005 Chiroubles

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It's almost becoming a cliché to fawn over cru Beaujolais wines among wine circles. I happen to agree, in this instance. When done right, these wines can be absolutely delicious.

2005 Domaine du Clos Verdy, AC Chiroubles.

I've had this bottle for a bit over a year, and was running out of drinkable wine, so this one was it. I've always loved cru Beaujolais. Really bright, earthy wines, well-balanced with great acidity and structure. On top of that, the majority of these wines are great value wines.

Great saturation in colour, deep purple to the rim. Lovely bouquet of sweaty red fruits, bright cherries, and earthy tones. When you get that sweat aroma, it's an indication of a gamay handled properly. Doesn't sound appealing, but if you doubt it, let's have a bottle together and you'll understand.

Such transparency on the palate. Well-balanced, ripe fruit, with a tight backbone and structure. The tannins are present, but quite refined, and finely grained. Just an excellent wine, with intensity and focus. Beautiful.

Wines from this region can be hit and miss, but this wine is clearly an excellent example of what gamay can deliver. Often, you get really candied fruit aromas, with overly bitter, underripe tannins. Not in this case. Minimal manipulation, varietal and vintage characteristics. With some age comes perfect drinkability.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

So empty

Minus 90 or so bottles, and now the house just feels so............empty. I need to take a moment to adjust. Need a cheerful wine tomorrow.

You know what - I think I might have empty nest syndrome.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting some reading material

Went in to Bayview Village today to pick up a release catalogue. Walked around the store, browsed a bit - I don't do that anymore. I don't know how to browse. I shop quickly. I know exactly what I want, I know where to find it, and I try to get out of the store as fast as I can. Buying wine isn't that complicated.

Some interesting wines in this next release. We need a bit of sunshine. And what's great is that my mother's going to buy all of next week's wines. She lost a bet, and now, for the first time in 3 years, my parents will finally buy a bottle of wine.

Cold outside. Winter's long from being over. We've clearly still got a long way to go until we get to mojitos.

Packed and stacked

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And this is how you say goodbye to the loves of your life. Packed away, sent to a proper cellar, where they'll sleep peacefully until that glorious moment when the corks are pulled, glasses are filled, and memories are created.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vincent Lamar Carter!!

Say what you will about (W)ince. The man can dunk the hell out of a ball. Greatest dunker in the history of the game - greater than Kobe, MJ, Dominique, Dr.J., Nance........greater than them all.

It's one thing to jump high, use props, whatever - it's quite another to combine them all, with such an amazing combination of grace, skill, power, and artistry. Dunkers now? Props and tricks seem to impress, but when you watch how VC dunks, you see creativity and incredible body control. He uses his body, more than anything, to create flash. That's the sign of a great dunker. No gimmicks. Even at 30, VC can still school these amateurs.

Greatest dunk of all time. 2000 Olympics, Frederic Weis, 7'2''. No need to say any more.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Back to reality, oh there goes gravity..............

Back to work tomorrow! Well, actually...only for me. I mean, out of my friends, who's actually going back to work? The ones in school have reading week (minus the reading) and the others, well, they're just off.

I'm not complaining though. Really, I'm not. Lot's to do, so let's get to it. Here we go again!

Oh yes, and I'm looking forward to the VintagesOnline release this week. Have to, you know, include one wine-related bit in each post. This IS a wine blog, you realize. All hail LCBO and its ability to magically shrink my bank account!!

The place under the desk

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A walk in the.......cold

What to do on Family Day? Went out for a walk today, and well - it was as cold and snowy outside as ever. Toronto in winter, in all its glory. What were you expecting, a f*cking winter wonderland?


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F

So, today's the second ever Family Day, and the first time I've had this day off. Listen, I'm not complaining about a free day, but what kind of an idiot government committee came up with this? Family Day? WTF are we supposed to be doing? Are we supposed to hug and hold hands with our families all day?

I slept in until 11am. Sleeping in, and only getting up when you wake naturally, instead of to a blaring alarm feels soooooooo gooooooooood! Feel recharged and regular. Nice.

I know, I know....I said I'd join Goodlife again today. But, there's just so many little things I have to do around the house, like clean up, file all my books/magazines/Vintages catalogues away. And contact Time to wonder why we havn't received a single issue since Jan. 5. Honestly, get your act together.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

V

I hope y'all had a good Valentine's. Those that are celebrating anyways. I said it before, I know I'm not the only poor, single sap out there. You know how we should celebrate this day? Some self-love, man. You've got to love yourself to the fullest. I've been trying to do that.

Trying to distract myself with things that make me happy. Wine hunting, though stressful, makes me happy. Receiving new releases catalogues makes me happy. And drinking (and enjoying) new wines definitely counts as self-love.

So there you have it. Love yourself.

Honest

I try to be an honest man. That's the only thing I guarantee - I guarantee that everything that comes out of my mouth will be honest. You know how I'm lying? When I stop talking.

I'll be straight with you, I'm totally just blogging right now for the sake of numbers. I'm watching the All-Star Game right now. Downloading a wine show, which is great.

Oz and James' Big Wine Adventure, the California edition. I watched the first season, based all in France, and really enjoyed it. Not really seriously into the technical aspects of wine, but nevertheless entertaining.

No one really gives a shit, do they? Oh well. I do.

Packing list

Well, this long weekend has been nice, only because I've been resting up. Yes, and I'm still really enjoying that Monbazillac from yesterday. Stunning purity and balance.

I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still. What a shitfest. Really, that was the worst, steaming, pile of shit since 10,000 BC. Awful. Can we be real here? Keanu Reeves is a dead actor - at least The Matrix had a well-written story. This latest movie? Come on, it was based on a 1951 movie that had an absolutely ridiculous premise already, so expectations were low to begin with. Reeves just kind of sleepwalks through it, with eyes half open. That's embarrassing man, honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself for collecting a cheque for that bullshit.

I swear, if it wasn't for the delicate and stunningly beautiful Jennifer Connelly, I would have shut that shit off in 15 minutes. Too bad her considerable talents were wasted.

Anyways - packed up some wines for storage. Want to move them out before temperatures really start rising. More wine than I imagined - we're looking at about 95 bottles, did not expect that many. A lot of important (to me) wines to put away. Highlights are, of course, 2005 Bordeaux including the Hauts de Pontet, D'Aiguilhe, Croix de Beaucaillou. Also, some riesling, Chinon, Bandol, Champagne. And of course, my Le Clos Jordanne. Some good things.

If you're one of the lucky ones with a cellar at home, or even just a cool storage room in your basement, I hope you appreciate it. Otherwise you'll end up like me, a wine lover without a home. I feel like a schmuck every time I show up at my friend's place with a load of boxes. Kind of pathetic.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

2001 Monbazillac

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I absolutely love mature, older sweet wines. There's just something about dessert wines that develop more and more complexity and richness as they age, something you can't say about icewine. Listen, I love Niagara with all my heart, but icewine is the false face of the industry.

2001 Chateau Monbazillac, AC Monbazillac.

I've had this wine for quite some time. Not exactly an "older" wine, but come on, relatively speaking - how many civilian drinkers hold and drink dessert wines like this? Interesting name, mirroring its appellation. I've tasted 2 bottles of this exact wine in the past, and I've been holding onto this one ever since. It's turned amber, quite a remarkable darkening in colour. It used to be light gold.

Lots of minerality, a chlorine character on the nose. Dried red dates, dried apricots, just a lovely, fruity aroma. Excellent balance on the palate - it reminds me of a 4 puttonyos Tokaji, high acidity and just perfect sweetness. Dried fruits follow in the mouth, ending in a long, sweetened finish. So delicious.

Drank this with a chunk of brie, oh my goodness. An orgasmic food experience, if there ever is one.

LCJ 5

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2006 Le Clos Jordanne La Petite Vineyard Pinot Noir, VQA Twenty Mile Bench.

This is the wine I'm most excited about. The most feminine, alluring, seductive, sexy wines in this lineup. I can't wait, I really want to drink this beside a Burgundian Premier Cru.

LCJ 4

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2006 Le Clos Jordanne Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Pinot Noir, VQA Twenty Mile Bench.

LCJ 3

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2006 Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir, VQA Twenty Mile Bench.

Will this wine have some similarities with the chardonnay from the same site? It'll be a fascinating exercise in unearthing whether our Niagara terroir has real potential or not.

LCJ 2

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2006 Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay, VQA Twenty Mile Bench.

With a name like Claystone, how can I resist? Will it be as minerally and flinty as implied.....

LCJ 1

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2006 Le Clos Jordanne Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard Chardonnay, VQA Twenty Mile Bench.

My favourite chardonnay of their lineup. How will it stand up to Chablis? We'll see...

LCJ

Le Clos Jordanne. Does any other Niagara winery really evoke this kind of mystique, this kind of exclusivity? I don't think so. This has been one of the most elusive wines I've ever come across - maybe because I care about Niagara too much, and whenever a wine claims to truly represent Niagara terroir, I always want to experience it.

Which brings me to that tirade on Thursday. You know, the one where I called myself the greatest motherf*cker ever. This weekend's release featured South Africa, but who gives a shit - the star was a lineup of single-vineyard Le Clos Jordanne wines. 3 pinot noirs, 2 chardonnays, epic greatness. I guess you could compare them to Burgundy in that these single-vineyard wines are the Niagara equivalent of a Burgundian Premier Cru, while the Le Grand Clos wines are comparable to Grand Cru wines. Anyways, it was so exciting because I managed to get all of them, and I'll bet money that I was the first person in Ontario to get them. Take me up on it. I f*cking dare you.

All 2006. My friends are going to thank me for working so hard to get these wines, when we get to taste them in 5 years or so. You'll all kiss at my feet when you're the few people in this world who get to taste the whole range of Le Clos Jordanne.

Dropped into Bayview Village today, just to see if they had any left. They ran out of the chardonnays, and didn't even carry one of the pinot noirs. Thank goodness I got them early because I would have been out of luck and extremely pissed.

Coming up - the lineup!

Sigh..

Today's Valentine's Day. Now I know I'm not the only single loser out there, so cheers......it's not so bad to not be celebrating right? At least we're saving money...

Seemed like a busy day today. Great dinner, had some beer - yes, I'm out of drinking wine again. Drinking wine, meaning wine that's ready to drink now. Not for putting away.

Went in to LCBO today, guess what? The best wines in the release are almost gone. Thank goodness I'm the greatest wine hunter ever, and I got them early.

Sliding punch

Finally, this shit goes down - finally, Shawn Marion is on his way over.

I'm not so sure we'll be any better but at least we won't have to witness Jermaine O'Neal drag his injured ass around the paint anymore. Let's be honest, he wasn't as much a banger as he claimed to be.

And I'm glad Moon got packaged in as well. I swear, I'll lose my f*cking mind if I see Moon take one more ill-advised three pointer 5 seconds into the shot clock, or jump at another pump fake. At least now, he'll be doing that shit for another team.

Before O'Neal's career is (mercifully) over, can we at least see him get into another brawl? That's what I'd really like to see. Another sliding punch, just for old time's sake?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Letting out the bubbles

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This is crazy right? Decanting Champagne? But you'll let out all the bubbles!!

I'm still drinking this right now. I like it - you don't see the mousse, it just ever so slightly tickles your tongue. It's the most amazing sensation. The Champagne is just a bit richer, just a bit more open. Interesting, but I don't think I can see myself decanting an entire bottle from the start.

Empty means good

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An empty glass means that the wine was enjoyed.

Not my glass, let's be clear. I don't drink Champagne out of flutes - flutes are for looks, not for taste. Substance, my friends, I'm all about substance.

NV Grand Cru Chouilly

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NV R & L Legras Brut Blanc de Blancs, AC Grand Cru Chouilly.

I've been looking forward to this wine for so long!

Why am I blogging on a Friday night? I really don't have a cool-sounding answer to that. Before I start sounding even more like a loser, let me tell you about this wine.

It's so unfortunate that most people don't see Champagne as wine - they see it as **Champagne**, the once in a year bubbly alcohol that you pop on New Year's, and that rappers chug because it implies that you're rich and classy. F*cktards.

Champagne is one of the most transcendant wines I've ever had the pleasure and privilege of drinking, and every time I have a taste, I'm reminded of the power and the wonder of wine. I remember why I fell in love with wine in the first place and why I pursue my hobby obsessively. I read Peter Liem's blog and I see myself as so lacking - I really don't know anything about wine compared to industry characters like him, but that doesn't discourage me, it only makes me hungry for more knowledge and more experiences. I'm a huge fan, Peter, by the way. The piece on "Goblessness"..........brilliant!

Anyways, onto this wine, before I get too carried away. Light, yellow gold colour. Very fine mousse, thick and persistent. Nose of minerals, yeasty as it warms, citrus. On the palate, it develops and becomes richer - shows off its chardonnay profile. Lots of sweet almonds, lemons, and finishes with lemon zest, minerals. Long, long finish. Lots of purity, lots of energy. Absolutely delicious.

This is a very young Champagne, but I do have another bottle put away, so I'd love to see how it develops. It's showing some complexity now, but I want to see how far it can go. Unfortunately, it doesn't show its disgorgement date - but I assume it's been disgorged at most in the past year to 18 months. An extremely delicious, young Champagne. I prefer them a little more mature, but then again, I love Champagne at all stages.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm coming for you!

I've been restless, not just today, but for the last f*cking 2 weeks. Restless because of this blockbuster release. And you know what? I finally got them. Finally, after 24 months of trying and trying, I finally got my hands on them. On what? I'll let you know on Saturday, when the release is public. Because I'm not giving away any of my secrets.

I am the greatest. I think this acquisition proves that I am undeniably, incontestably, incontrovertibly, indubitably, lucidly, manifestly, markedly, noticeably, obviously, openly, overtly, patently, penetratingly, perceptibly, plainly, positively, precisely, prominently, purely, recognizably, seemingly, sharply, sonorously, surely, translucently, transparently, undeniably, undoubtedly, unmistakably...........the greatest motherf*cker alive. Straight up and down, I am the greatest.

Omg you can't understand how excited and happy I am!! I'm bouncing off the walls right now, I'm so happy! I'm like a crack addict getting that first fix in days kind of happy.

I'll divulge fully, on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Th. J.

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What do I - David Fang - and Thomas Jefferson - 3rd President of the United States of America, The Sage of Monticello, The Man of the People - have in common? Why, we're both Francophile wine lovers in fact, and we're both quite anal retentive about written records.

Jefferson drank his way through France, as the Minister to France. I drank my way through France in Waterloo, as an economics major. Jefferson bankrupted himself buying, among other things, Chateau-bottled Bordeaux wines. In his later years, he was reduced to drinking simple, cheap swill - a far cry from Brane-Mouton and Laffite (check it, that's what it was known as). I've spent far above my means procuring classified Bordeaux, Champagne, and boutique Niagara wines. Maybe not to the point of bankruptcy, but getting there. And Jefferson kept 4 separate written records of every wine transaction he ever made. Four exact same records. I keep 3. Well, 4, if you count this blog as a written record.

And that's what I, and the 3rd U.S. President have in common.

---

Blogger's note:

All joking aside, Jefferson was one of the greatest, and most important Americans the country has ever produced. He was also, unequivocally, the greatest American wine connoisseur, period. Yes, there is The Critic, and The Establishment, but Parker can hardly be considered a man of good taste, and as for Suckling? Suckling's just a queer who's still trying to convince the French that he's America's No. 1 wine writer. Don't believe me? Watch any one of his videos and tell me if he inspires respect.

Most beautiful thing in the world

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I miss this. Niagara, October 2007.

Photo courtesy of Rocky413

2008 Consumption

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So, I guess it's long overdue, but I want to mention something really important. To me, that is.

Flipping through my wine notes, recorded 113 bottles consumed in all of 2008. See, I don't have a gauge of whether this is high, medium, or low level of drinking. Clearly, I'm not going to be comparing myself to the 35,000-40,000 wines that Rolland tastes annually. Anyways, just in comparison to, you know, civilian drinkers. I think it's a fairly small number. Working on that, by the way.

If I was in this position last year, when I was still in Waterloo - damn, son, we could have done some damage. One hundred thirteen last year, let's see if I can inflate that this year. Who's going to help me?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mistakes in wine

I know everyone talks about all these wonderful, memorable, legendary wines drunk. But what about the mistakes? I've had more than my fair share of wines that in hindsight, cost far too much for what was offered in the glass.

What counts as a mistake? Money's a big one. I don't care if a wine tastes like shit, as long as someone else has paid for it. The most disappointing has to be an expensive wine that you've held onto for a long time, expecting to be absolutely amazed, only to come crashing down to earth with a whiff and taste of mediocrity.

I've spent far too much on some wines, and then there've been wines that I should have known better. I now know better that cheap Burgundy is a waste of money. And that $20 Medoc wines disappoint more often than not. But the most horrible price and quality discrepancy in wine? Californian wines, my friends. I can't tell you how many Sonoma County wines, Russian River Valley wines I've had that were just, just awful. And these are wines that I've paid $30, $40 for. I guess that's what makes them so terrible - uniformly raisined, flabby, over-alcoholic, freaks of wines.

The wine that I've held for years that have failed to deliver hurt the most. Like the Amarone we had last year. And the Northern Rhone wines. I paid good money, expecting a certain level of complexity and nuance in the wine. I wanted some uniqueness. Unfortunately, it was all missing. It was good wine, but that's not enough when you've invested so much money and sentiment into it.

I havn't touched any of the 2005 Bordeaux futures yet, and probably won't for the next 5 years. I wake up shaking thinking about all the wrong things that can happen with them.

The remedy for disappointment? Return to LCBO, pick up another bottle. Be careful what you buy. There are some wines that are more or less foolproof. Not foolproof in the sense of bottle variation - you can't help things like TCA or oxidation, no, I'm not talking about that at all. I'm talking strictly about taste.

You can't go wrong with older Rioja Reserva. Can't go wrong with small producer Champagne. Can't go wrong with German QmP rieslings. And you definitely can't go wrong with wine that someone else has paid for.

Officially certified

A milestone was achieved today. Finally, I feel like i'm officially a member of the workforce. You know how? I got my business card today.

I know its not much - I'm fawning over nothing. It's like when a new father tries to convince you that their baby is a genius because he knows how to say witty little things that don't make sense to anyone else. A little harsh? Definitely. But I'm just kind of tired about sappy ass parents who go on and on and ON about everything little thing their kids say/do. It's not that special!!! You'd think their kids were shitting gold eggs or something.

Anyways....sorry. Just had to share that. I got my business card!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Legless

I lost my mobility and my slice of freedom today, from now until June. My mother took my car away from - MY car. Just because you have to babysit some bratty kids........why do I have to suffer? WTF, these kids are hardly worth the effort. One of them is in Grade 8. Grow up, start taking the f*cking bus you wussy little shit. I switched 3 buses to make my Piano History classes AT THE AGE OF TEN.

Champagne this weekend! NV R&L Legras Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru Chouilly! Looking forward to drinking and documenting.

I've been so bored...2 months ago, I could at least sit through a Raptors game. I swear I'd rather get a prostate exam. Stop it with all this nonsense about salvaging the season. That hope died 25 games ago. They should shut Bosh down for the season. How many people think he'll still be in a TO uniform next year?

Sorry, material's been pretty dry the past 2 weeks. Sorry. Trying to spice this space up a little. Notice the photos? I like the large format, gives a little something more. Shh....watching Obama's first Presidential news conference.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Swagger like us

Wow. Just watched 5 hip hop gods take the stage together to perform. Hot, hot, hot. The formal wear was great, as was the black and white filming. You think I can pull off swagger like that?


Blogging the Grammy's

Omg, Kanye!!!! Damn son, I don't care too much about his mannerisms or his self-proclamation that he's the greatest human alive, but the man is a great rapper. Keep an open mind to music. I would have gone apeshit if he launched into Love Lockdown.

This month in wine

It's been quite a weekend of wine.....6 wines in 3 days? Not much, but, I try. Some great things to look forward. This release, mes amis, is a blockbuster among blockbusters. Gearing up, because I'll be talking about it 10 years from now when I get to treat my friends to transcendant, mature jewels of wine.

This Friday, we're celebrating at home, so I have some Grand Cru Champagne ready. As well, we'll finally finish that last bottle of Monbazillac. Yes, good things to look forward to.

I'm going to be real aggressive, need to get my face cleared up in a week. Ridiculous. I'm not a f*cking 16 year old anymore, really shouldn't be breaking out like this. C'est ridicule!

Cognac and brie

Really, brie and cognac is just a perfect match. I don't know how else to describe it, except as perfect. Everything just works so well, I find it so hard because it's such a sensual experience. And those kinds of experiences are always the greatest.

Watching the Grammy Awards. How does Miley Cyrus have a career? And how electrifying is J-Hova? Best rapper alive man, best rapper alive.

Dealing with some issues, but there's optimism. Winter's kind of dragging on, but then.....why should we be complaining.

I'm seeing all these Grey Goose commercials. Really craving fine vodka out of the freezer, served alongside a bowl of caviar (molossol), preferably beluga.

Monday tomorrow. Here we go again!

New things

So..........Winterlicious didn't work out too well for us.

But, moving on to new things. A wine adventure is in planning. And of course, the butt squeezing starts now. No more spending, OR ELSE!

Dinner at Dave's

Cooked dinner for some special company tonight. Clam spaghetti, in a simple sauce of tomatoes and onion, simmered in fresh clam stock and white wine. I think I did a good job, but then judging shouldn't be left up to me.

Had some great wines, along with masterful cuts of bread and brie.

Thank you both, for the conversation and the friendship. It's hard when you get out of school to see everyone regularly, and I value my friends more than anything. More than that, it's being with friends who you can talk to. Given the right wines, the right food, I feel we can talk well into the night. Who says 20 year olds are all club-going fiends? I'm not. And I don't think my closest friends are too.

And Pris, I wanted to let you know - I have your ring. I like it so much that I'm not giving it back. It just looks too dead sexy on me - you're just going to have to buy another one.

Now, sappy things over - I want my friends to experience the wonderful things I'm tasting in wine. We've done Champagne, Rioja, Loire........moving on to rieslings, both German and Niagara. And of course, more Champagne - the Jacquart was a bit too simple. Let's move on to bigger and better things.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2002 Rioja Alta

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I will try any sort of wine, but I will always love Rioja. She'll always occupy a special place in my heart, and whenever I begin to doubt myself, Rioja will always be there to warm me up, and restore my faith.

2002 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, DOC Rioja.

I'm honoured that I've passed on this love of Rioja to my friends. Close friends, mind you - I could never share something so dear to me to casual wine drinkers. Rioja is just so sensual, so sexy, so intimate - whenever I pour a glass, I'm pouring my soul as well.

Ruby red colour, good saturation and just starting to turn amber/orange ever so slightly at the rim. Exotic nose of spices, cinnamon, stewed fruits, sour cherries. High acidity on the palate, a bit unbalanced in that regard. It becomes a bit too simple in the mouth. Fine tannins, silky texture - an elegant wine, but one that lacks a bit of presence and character.

Not the best Rioja I've drank. But one that begins to show what Rioja can deliver. I love this wine, as I do the friends I pour it for.

2005 Chinon

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I love this wine. 2005 Couly-Dutheil La Baronnie Madeleine, AC Chinon.

The first experience I've had with this wine was their 2003 vintage. Wrote somewhat well of it, here, in the post Honest Loire.

This wine clearly demonstrates the 2 most important things in wine - a sense of place, and vintage characteristics. As typical with 2005, this is a well structured wine, with great density and power. And there's no mistaking, from the nose onto the palate. This is clearly a Loire wine, with great complexity and depth.

Deep purple colour, full saturation to the rim. Nose of celery stalk, washed vegetables, graphite minerality, and ripe red fruits. The palate shows great intensity, and confirms the nose. Big, but ripe tannins, all balanced by a racy acidity. Long, mineral-tinged finish.

Just a great, balanced wine that will definitely show better with some age. From what I remember, this is much more dense than the 2003, and much heavier. Just more presence, but very well-balanced.

I was a bit reticent to pour this wine for my friends over dinner. Wasn't sure they'd like it, especially if Loire red wines weren't familiar on the palate. But they enjoyed it, which I appreciate. I shouldn't be surprised though - these girls have fantastic taste. Just a fascinating, interesting wine that's so complex. A wine for intellectuals and sensualists, if there is such thing.

Nothing!?

Wow, how sad. For me. Zero views today, the first time that's happened in 40 days. How sad. I guess people don't like what I've been writing. What if I cursed a bit more in my posts? Or only blogged when I'm drunk as a skunk?

Friday, February 6, 2009

2006 Bekaa Valley

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2006 Chateau Ksara Reserve du Couvent, Bekaa Valley.

This was the first wine I've ever tasted from Lebanon. Very excited. I have bottles of Chateau Musar, which is very, very famous among wine circles, but given the price I paid for it, I won't open it for a few more years. This wine seems right for some experimentation.

This wine is 40% syrah, 30% cabernet franc, 30% cabernet sauvignon. An interesting blend, but keep in mind, these are not indigenous Lebanese varietals. A deep purple hue, intense saturation. Nose of stewed red fruits, dried dates and longans. A bit overripe, over-macerated, over-manipulated.

Good structure on the palate, but the tannins are very polished. Too much human intervention, too industrialized of a wine.

I hope this isn't an indication of Lebanese wine. LCBO's been releasing a lot recently. Just hope the Chateau Musar isn't remotely close to this. An interesting experience, but one that I'm not keen to repeat.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Minerals and more

Drank another glass of the Bessin "Montmains", and I'm just completely, unabashedly amazed at this wine. Becomes more and more elegant, and delicate, without losing any of its steely minerality and acidic backbone. Any hint of bitterness at the finish disappears, and you're just left with a long, seductive blossom of fruit and stone in the mouth.

Picked up my mother tonight, from the airport. Freezing outside, just absolutely frigid. Waited in the cell-phone parking lot, and wanting to conserve some fuel, I shut the engine off. Within 10 minutes, my teeth were chattering. Didn't have to wait long, the flight from HK was fairly empty.

Struggling a bit with skin issues. There's nothing like an outbreak of pimples to bring out all your insecurities. What's going on?

Going to finish off the Burgundy tomorrow night, maybe we'll open a Chinon? Or maybe a Rioja? Who knows, I like a little suspense in my life.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2005 Chablis Premier Cru Montmains

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2005 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin, AC Chablis Premier Cru Montmains.

Sometimes you just really need a wine to pick up your spirits. I havn't had a wine like that in a very long time. Needed something to cheer me up, give me a positive emotional response. So here we are, a Chablis Premier Cru.

I've never looked on chardonnay kindly. I don't have the resources to drink white Burgundy on a regular basis, and New World chardonnays, with the exception of some Niagara producers, have always disappointed. But this wine, it demonstrated the greatness of Burgundy, and why it produces one of the greatest white wines of the world.

Light, lemon colour, almost colourless at the rim. Intense nose of minerals, citrus, green apple, and sweet oranges. A lovely, round texture in the mouth, so velvety. Stiff acidity to cleanse the palate, and a long, ethereal, appetizingly slight bitter finish. Layers and layers of aromas and flavours, this is an absolutely delicious wine.

The purity and intensity of this wine is amazing - you really don't get this balance of fruit, minerality, acidity, and richness in any other wine. The terroir of Montmains is clearly showcased. Just a touch of oak - only 15% of this wine is fermented and barrel-aged. Great clarity and freshness. I have no doubt that the minerality will become even more present with some age, but this wine is drinking extremely well now.

I feel like I'm in a better mood. This is as religious of a wine experience as I've ever had. With half a bottle left, I'm excited to see how it develops. Maybe it's just a thought, but I can't remember the last time a red wine has excited me like this. I remember a few German and Niagara rieslings that've got me going, but the last red wine? White wine, to me, is able to express terroir with greater clarity and honesty. There's less tricks you can do with it, because human manipulation is instantly unveiled on the first sniff.

Anyways....this wine has restored my faith in what chardonnay can do in the right terroir. I'd love to see what other wines I can get from this Domaine. It's expensive, but good Chablis is definitely worth it.

Frosty

Frosty today, outside and in.

Picked up some wines today! I'll start sorting them out, cataloguing everything soon. Lots of great stuff, although the rieslings were a bit of an impulse purchase.

Blockbuster coming up. Should I commit?

How do you feel about the size of the photos? I've started hosting them off of Flickr, and I can play around with them a bit more. Makes it easier to format on Blogger. I personally like it when bigger, so you can see more detail, but is it distracting?

Still unsuccessful at booking a table for Winterlicious. Tried so many places, nothing. You see, if I was a prince, this shit wouldn't be happening. I'd just have to show up in my chaffeur driven W12 A8, jump out with some girls, and they'd snap out a table for me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

one of these days........

Maybe should have thought twice before clicking Publish. I'll know better next time. Sorry.

the BLOWUP

Ohh man, ohhhhhhhhhh man!!!!!!!!

The mother of all blowups. You really have to listen to this, epic ownage!!! The best part, listen carefully, is how he switches between his on-screen American accent, and his natural Brit accent. But his F*CK sounds real American to me...



...stay off the set man. For f*ck's sake.

Willpower

I can do it. F*ck, this is nothing, I can do this shit.

Why can't I control my wine spending?

Another VintagesOnline release tomorrow. Will I find the willpower to hold off from buying anything? I have 4 Classics orders coming in, and a blockbuster release in 2 weeks. Oh boy.

I'm guilty of convincing myself that in 10 years, I'll thank myself for buying like this now. That any and all 2005 Bordeaux are worth putting away, no matter the price. Am I just playing with myself?

I need to be born rich, that's what I need. Or maybe just a reality check.

Rivalry

I have to apologize to my Honda Civic. Sorry, baby, didn't mean to. I slammed her door this morning in a fit of rage. Should have kept my cool and taken my anger on someone else. Someone else.

Hard to control my rage when someone just oozes negativity at you, when everything out of their mouth turns usuallly critical, and who's no stranger to spewing oral feces.

F*ck, I was steamed when I left the house, f*cking steamed all day at my desk, and still f*cking steaming mad. You think I'm joking? Do you think I'm joking? F*cking as illiterate as the rest of your f*cking degenerate family.

I'm trying to calm down.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Got you!

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I told you, I told you, and now I've got you! 2005 Couly-Dutheil La Baronnie Madeleine, AC Chinon.

Drove, literally, half way around the city to get this bottle. Bayview Village's playing f*cking mind games with me. One moment you see this in their inventory, one minute its gone, and now there's 2 bottle again. WTF, man, WTF.

I really love this wine. I remember the 2004 so vividly - really, the wine that proved the genius of Chinon, and how fantastic cabernet franc can be.

One interesting note. Because of the Bin Ends sale, I paid more for this bottle than the premium cuvee that Couly-Dutheil makes, the Clos de L'Echo. I'll look forward to drinking these two wines together.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Upcoming week

I'm finishing up the wine from last night, the 2005 La Gorce. Well-chilled, it suppresses the negative aspects of the brett. Some iron minerality, some twiggy earthiness.

Going to try to go to bed early tonight. I feel like I didn't do anything today except watch tv, blog, and eat. How'd the day go by so fast? Maybe because I slept until 1.

Going to keep trying for those bottles of Couly. Tomorrow, going to see if any of the Markham locations have it. I'm coming for you!

Man, this match is just amazing. Third set coming to a close, Nadal and Federer tied at 5 games apiece. It's a great time to be a tennis fan.

My mother comes back on Thursday. Finally. Because at this moment, I have more of a relationship with the glass of wine in my hand than I do with him. I'm tired.

Modern Classic

It seems everytime we see Federer and Nadal, it's an instant classic. There just isn't a better rivalry in all of sports. Nothing - you'd have to go back to the old, old Boston/L.A. rivalry in the NBA to see something of this level. Just incredible.


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Nadal really seems to have his number. It's eerie to see a grown man break down like that. It's unbelievable - Nadal gets him on clay, on grass, and now on hardcourt. I can see the frustration. I watched some of the highlights, and by the final set, Federer just had this almost defeated look on his face. And this is Federer we're talking about, the king of cool under pressure. Wow.

Federer's always been my favourite sports star. He has that calm demeanor that's so inspiring - I want to be as cool and focussed under pressure. He has great respect for the game and for the opponents, but he has ice in his veins - this man just doesn't make any mental errors. The best tennis player ever. Come on, who wins 13 Grand Slams, and is No.1 for 237 consecutive weeks? I just think it's Nadal. He's the only man in the world that can take down Federer, and that's got to shake your confidence. And the man is only 22!

This is passion, this is love for the game. There's really no more reason for Federer to be this upset - what else does he have left to prove? He's one win away from tying Sampras for the Grand Slam record, which he surely will get. My respect for him just jumped another few notches.

They're showing the match again on TSN, I'm watching the entire thing now. It's ok Roger, shake it off. You're still my hero.

Release - 1/31

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This bottle is from this week's release. I really enjoy these smaller Champagne producers. Always good to have simple, nonvintage Champagne around the house. NV Janisson & Fils Brut Tradition.

I'm really disappointed that I still havn't been able to get a bottle of the Couly-Dutheil. What is going on? It's not even in Bayview Village's inventory anymore. There were 19 bottles listed yesterday, but nothing on store shelves. And now, nothing. Really don't get it. I'll keep trying though.

2005 Medoc

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2005 Chateau La Gorce, AC Medoc Cru Bourgeois.

If you remember from a while back, I drank the 1996 La Gorce. Not impressed. Well, in hindsight, I shouldn't have been expecting too much given the price. Overoaked, without the density to hold it up.

This 2005 is no different. Especially given such a ripe and powerful vintage, this wine disappoints. Very oaky nose, with overwhelming Brettanomyces, the yeast that gives a stinky, rustic aroma. I don't mind a touch of brettanomyces at all, but not when it covers up the fruit. And this is what's happening here. Otherwise, good structure, very dry finish. Maybe it just needs some time to come together, but clearly, the quality isn't there. I have one more bottle of 1996 left, not looking forward to it, to be honest. Maybe I'll forget about it for a few years and it'll turn into something transcendant.

2006 Vinsobres

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2006 Perrin & Fils "Les Cornuds", AC Vinsobres.

I've loved Vinsobres for so long. Always so much flavour and intensity for a wine that's priced so well. I have some experience with the Les Cornuds vineyard. In particular, I remember being very impressed with the 2004. Partly because I paid $45 for a bottle of the 2004 Les Hauts de Julien, and the $17 Les Cornuds was a bombshell. Really made me question my sanity - who in their right mind would pay $45 for a Cotes du Rhone?

Anyways. The 2006 was a bit uninspired. Ruby red, full saturation. Nose of deep red cherries, stewed prunes, raisiny. Some earthiness, but maybe this is too young. Lean on the palate, high acidity into an extremely bitter finish. Good intensity, but overall, lacks the depth of the 2004. Unfortunate, but maybe this is a symptom of the vintage. Half each of syrah and grenache, maybe this blend didn't work so well for 2006.

Heartless

Ok, I lied, I'm still not sleeping. Reliving my UW days, no doubt. What a masterpiece, listening to this:


Disclosure

In my work life, disclosure is an important thing. So I must reiterate that all the preceding photos (non-wine related, of course), are from the blog The Sartorialist. Really, I don't want to get, like, sued or anything for stealing someone's photos.

I'm a huge fan of this photographer. Not so much of his more high fashion photos, but his street photography is extraordinary.

And now, I am druuuuuunk, and not in a good place. Mind is shot, I should really be getting to bed. Good night.

You really love me, you really do! Readership JUMPED in the last few hours of Saturday, and early Sunday. Well, it's just after 1 am Sunday. We can count it as 2 days. I really thought I was going to get zero page views on Saturday, but you came through for me, so thank you very much, I hope you enjoyed what I've written. Really, I hope you enjoyed it because I think it's the last time I'm going to talk about clothing. Honestly, how lame is it to write about content from someone else's blog? LAME!!! And I hate being a lame person.