‘The Twelve Wines of Christmas’

Issue #21 December 2020 

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Two nice Merlots and a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Five….Sauvignon…Blancs…… Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Six Rhones a breathing, Five….Sauvig-non…Blancs……, Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Seven Temp-ra-nillos, Six Rhones a breathing, Five…..Sauvig-non…Blancs……,Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Eight corks a popping, Seven Temp-ra-nillos, Six Rhones a breathing, Five…..Sauvig-non….Blancs……, Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Nine Barolos ageing, Eight corks a popping, Seven Temp-ra-nillosSix Rhones a breathing, Five….Sauvig-non….Blancs……, Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Ten Zins a zinning, Nine Barolos ageing, Eight corks a popping, Seven Temp-ra-nillosSix Rhones a breathing, Five….Sauvig-non….Blancs……, Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: Eleven Malbecs melding, Ten Zins a zinning, Nine Barolos ageing, Eight corks a popping, Seven Temp-ra-nillosSix Rhones a breathing, Five….Sauvig-non…Blancs……, Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots, And a Cabernet from Califor-nia!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: Twelve Champagnes a bubbling, Eleven Malbecs melding, Ten Zins a zinning, Nine Barolos ageing, Eight corks a popping, Seven Temp-ra-nillosSix Rhones a breathing, Five….Sauvig-non…Blancs……, Four old Bordeauxs, Three Pinot Noirs, Two nice Merlots,

And a Cabernet from Califor-nia!

My apologies if that was a bit weird. Did I just ‘Jump the Shark’? In fairness, I got down to the cellar before you arrived and after a little sampling, I thought some seasonal music might be a good idea. 

So now that we’ve (I’ve) done some seasonal singing. Let’s do some sipping. 

Welcome back to the cellar.

In the spirit of never shying away from trying something new, our first red comes to us from a place we’ve never ventured to on our wine travels; Mexico’s largest winery, located in Baja California. There was a time when we used to say about Mexico, “don’t drink the water!” Well we certainly wouldn’t say that about this popular wine. 

L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah 2017
Petite Sirah, France
750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  983742
$13.95

L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah 2017 features you guessed it, Petite Sirah. Actually, this grape is named Durif after Francois Durif, the French botanist who discovered it. What he discovered was a chance cross-pollination between Sirah and another promiscuous French grape called Peloursin. Their little frolic in the nursery created a delicious result that has become a popular varietal for wineries all over the world.

And don’t be fooled by the ‘Petite’ in the name. There is nothing the least bit diminutive about this grape. On the contrary, it’s a full-bodied tannic heavyweight!

It’s dark, dark ruby in the glass with wafting plums and raspberries. And it’s silky on the tongue with luscious, meaty flavours of dark, ripe berries and perhaps hints of licorice and pepper. Any wine that conjures up that many adjectives must be good.

Plus, the price point makes it taste even better.

Now it’s time to get to our second gift; a very nice white from Provence in the south of France. And it comes in a unique and elegant bottle that just looks like a present.

Let’s open it. 

Château Miraval Blanch 2018
Grenache Blanc Blend, Italy
750 mL bottle  |   VINTAGES#:  561241
$23.95

Chateau Miraval Blanc 2018 is a combination of two grapes; Grenache Blanc and Rolle. Rolle (also known as Vermentino) hails from Provence and found in abundance on the Italian Riviera. 

The folks at Miraval hand-pick these grapes. (By the way, the owners of this winery are Brad and Angelina). My guess is they probably aren’t doing any of the hand picking. At any rate the winemakers have converted those grapes into an extroverted and sunny quaffer with lots of tropical fruit and herbal aromas. 

Any turkey would be thrilled to be accompanied by this beauty.

In 1963 the cardigan clad crooner Andy Williams, recorded a song that would become quite a popular Christmas tune. ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ has become synonymous with our twelfth month but every December I have another version of that song in my heart. It’s the Most Cabernet Time of the Year.

So with that, here is our third present. A Cabernet from Argentina.

Navarro Correas Seleccion de Parcela Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina
750 mL bottle  VINTAGES#:  15125
$19.95

I think there’s something about the round, richness of a good Cab that for me just belongs in this season alongside a lit fireplace, a grilled peppercorn steak and pretty much anything sung by Sinatra. 

Enter Navarro Correas Seleccion de Parcela Reserva, what a mouthful that is. But fitting because this tasty wine is also quite a mouthful.

It sits dark and invitingly in the glass. Cassis rises and flavours the air. It tastes of black cherries with a subtle dark chocolate that lingers. This cab takes on slightly more robust qualities than perhaps the velvety richness you find in California. But it’s a very nice Cab indeed. I’m hearing Andy Williams with every sip.

Well, it appears to be time to push in our chairs around the old oak tasting table and ascend from the cellar once again. I think there’s a good chance Christmas Vacation is on. I might just have a glass of that Petite Syrah while I watch.

This brings us to the end of another year of our monthly visits; a tough year in many respects, but one that ends with a twinkle of hope for a healthier, happier 2021. Let’s remember our courageous front line workers who are putting themselves in harm’s way to help make that happen.

I look forward to continuing our journey through the vineyards of the world in January. Until then, as always keep your glass of wine close and your friends even closer.

Happy Christmas.

Jim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s