Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hangin' At The Usual Suspects #12

A Brief, Gummy Night.

Tonight, we begin with a little something from Slovenia. Les comes out with something called “Toh-Kai,” which is winemaker Aleš Kristancic of the Movia winery seeing what he can get away with now that he’s not allowed to use the words “Tocai Friulani” on his label. Which is only right, since he’s not making Tokai, and he’s not in Friulani (Well, he sorta is, but only partly). Sometimes the EU gets this stuff right. As will be evident, it is already hard to believe this is Tocai, or pinot blanc, or klevener, or whatever. The wine is a release from the “Quattro Mani” series, which is kinda like the Long Shadows Project in the Columbia Valley—celebrity winemakers from elsewhere given access to great fruit. Anyway, Kristancic certainly has license to fool around, if only on the basis of the deep, rich, aristocratic Cabernet Sauvignon he turns out at Movia.

Dave: This really smells like Wrigley’s Spearmint gum.

Elaine: It’s bitter. I’m surprised this is still ’07.

Dave: Maybe a little Maraschino cherry. Odd.

Elaine: His interpretation of the wine is mass-market: It’s juicy and fruity light, but not too light.

[‘Goons arrive.]

Elaine: Look, the color of the ‘goons matches the color of the label: Green and white.

Dave: Parker gave this 91 points? You know, I think it really must be true what they say: The man has a sweet tooth.

Next up, Famille Feillot Bugey Mondeuse 2007.

Elaine: I love these wines! This smells like Ricola.

Karl: Kind of medicinal.

Elaine: That shit that’s good for you. And Heirloom Bing Cherry.

Karl: You really need to swirl to bring up the fruit.

Dave: It smells kinda like Strega, too. Does anybody drink Strega anymore?

Elaine: There is a cru Beaujolais character here too.

Dave: Yeah, I’ve always thought of Mondeuse as Gamay’s crazy country cousin. I’m actually digging the medicinal herb thing.

Elaine: This could be a great flavor for red wine chewing gum.

Dave: That “Toh-Kai” would make a great flavor for white wine chewing gum.

Karl: I bought those wine gums. They all tasted the same.

Dave: Oh, wine gums. Not wine-flavored chewing gum. [Xylis makes a chardonnay-flavored chewing gum, sold in Japan, of course.] (Sips) This has more substance than the Puzelat. I still can't get over that business with Le Telquel. Man knocks himself out to be true to terroir, and gets a vin de pays classification for his trouble.

Elaine: Think of Thierry as traditionally experimental.

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