Michael David “Petite Petit,” 2007 Lodi

I’m suffering from something of a “wine whiplash” today- a term we cleverly invented last night to describe the drastic switch from all my delicate, refreshing summer white picks of the last few weeks to this week’s pick- the gargantuan behemoth of a wine that is Michael David’s ‘Petite Petit.’  A very cool blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot from the Lodi region of California.

**pause to admire my new desk set-up!  You can’t see it that well, but it’s pretty sweet and I feel very official.  Wave to the picture of my friend Greg in the background- blowing up a balloon and wearing a birthday hat.  Now if I could just organize it so that random pieces of mail, cameras, screwdrivers, water glasses, paint cans, broken staplers… and a few other things weren’t all over it, I’d be a real grown-up.  One day.  Moving on…

This wine has been something of a showstopper for the last few weeks at Cellar and Mr. Friendly’s- we’re both pouring it by the glass, and it’s been one of our best retail sellers.  Just last night a gentleman came in raving about his dinner at Mr. Friendly’s, and did we sell the wine he just drank?  the one with the carnival on the front?  I said, yes of course- $16  bottle- and fetched him a bottle.  He paused… and then said- “On second thought, just give me a case.”  Like I said- it’s popular.

And with good reason- this thing has atomic-like levels of fruit, oak, spice, bacon- yes, bacon!- all up in it.  Parker gave it 88 points- a reasonable score, but I think considering the fact that it’s so reasonably priced it deserved a 90.  Just sayin’.  On first whiff you get a massive hit of cloves, vanilla, a little hint of flowery-violets, and then- whoah!  BACON!  mmmmmmmm,  yes- bacon in a glass.  Does it get better than that?  Juicy cherries, cedar, blackberries and maybe a bit of fig follow.  Parker calls it a “civilized” Petite Sirah- a grape that is notorious for being too tannic and feral for it’s own good.  It’s used as a blending grape in a lot of circumstances- especially with Zinfandel to tone down and tighten up it’s jammy quality.

In the course of writing this I stumbled into this cool website devoted entirely to fans of Petite Sirah- worth a look-over, it’s pretty funny…. http://www.psiloveyou.org/

Here’s a better look at the image on the front of the bottle.  Elephants are a good choice for a graphic- this wine is big and burly like an elephant, but also smart and purposeful.  Did I mention I love elephants?  Always have.

In conclusion, lest you think I do anything without a good reason- I didn’t switch up from my summer wine kick completely- this wine, although massive, is ALSO a great summer wine!  Know why?!  One word- BURGERS!  Summertime means grilling out!  And with the smokey bacony characteristic of this wine it would be absolutely SUBLIME with a burger.  I even have a perfect burger, one that I devoured last night and thoroughly enjoyed… I don’t know the name of it, but it was from Pawley’s Front Porch and it was blackened with bacon and pimento cheese and it was heaven!  And how convenient- you can place a take out order from Pawleys, run up to Cellar and pick up a bottle of Petite Petit, and then head home to feast on the couch.  At least that’s what I would do.  Just an idea.

It would also taste pretty darn good with the famous Bacon Wrapped Filet with French Quarter Pimento Cheese from Mr. Friendly’s, just in case you thought I had forgotten my allegiances completely.  Ask for Daniel.  He will take good care of you.  And if you’ve never had the oysters from Mr. F, (which would be shocking, to say the least) Daniel will make sure you get two different sauces on the side so you can decide which one you like better.  (That was for you, Fomby).

Well happy drinking, happy Spring, and happy grilling out!  Enjoy the weather!  Seacrest out.

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Hugues Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet, 2008 Languedoc

This week I continue with two recent obsessions- Languedoc aka “the doc” and Spring wines- although I am breaking the Rose trend that I’ve had going for the past two entries.  It’s SPRING!!  And that means WHITE WINE!  This wine with the funny name- Picpoul- is one of my favorite by-the-glass pours we’ve had at Cellar since we opened.  We poured it last year and included it in a flight called “whites u been ignoring” after it sat on the list for a few months, quite literally being ignored.  Poor little Picpoul.  Funny thing happened once we put it on the flight, though- people realized how awesome it was!  And it became a favorite.  Triumph over adversity- it’s the classic American story.  Even though it’s a French wine.  People would come in looking for it, and when the 2007 vintage ran out, there was a resounding disappointment heard all through Greene Street.

Customers who came in looking for it never remembered what it was called, so they usually said something like, “this wine in the skinny green bottle… I can’t remember the name of it…” and that was my cue that they were looking for the Picpoul.

Here it is- a skinny green bottle with a bunch of weird French words on it.  Honestly- something that your average wine buyer would likely overlook- or be too scared of- if it were sitting on a shelf somewhere.  It’s not really clear WHAT the heck it is.  Picpoul?  Pinet?  What on earth is Coteaux?  And how do you say Hugues Beaulieu?  All this is just too much.  Leave it for the wine nerds.

But we need to move past all that.  Who cares how to pronounce it.  Just call it Picpoul.  Pick.  Pool.  As one of our servers at Cellar says- “This is great pool wine.  It’s in the name!”  Okay, Sarah- maybe you say it a little cooler than that- but this is a test to see if you actually read my blog like I tell y’all to!

Besides the Opala Vinho Verde, this really is a perfect pool wine.  It’s great for hot weather.  It’s a delicate, pretty wine- like a girl in a tutu.  Notes of green apple and lemon make up the majority of the palate, with a slightly salty, almost “briney” finish that make it perfect for… ??  you guess it!!  OYSTERS!  Ohhhh sweet Jesus I can almost imagine this with some fresh oysters on the half shell.  Here’s a photo of some deliciousl oysters I had recently in Vegas, just to get you salivating…

And in a perfect tribute to Mother Nature, it’s no coincidence that Picpoul tastes great with oysters- the village of Pinet overlooks the oyster and mussel farms of Bassin de Thau.  Interesting how that works, huh?  I think so.  I can’t claim to be a subscriber to any theory of intelligent design- but if I were, I would use this as evidence.  And that’s all I will say about that.  This is a blog about wine, after all.

In any case, come taste the Picpoul!  You can try it any old night of the week, since it is by-the-glass, or just stop by the Wine Sale this Saturday at Cellar from 12-2, where it will be for sale for an attractive $11!! If you’re not our friend on Facebook, hop on it!  I often throw special deals for facebook friends on, so it’s worth paying attention to!

Hope to see everyone Saturday- Happy Spring and Happy Drinking!

Oscar Edition- Domaine de Nizas Rose, 2008

Yes, that’s right- another Rose.  Two weeks in a row.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to drink Rose every day until Spring decides to stay.  Today was nice, but I’m still holding out for a nice 70 degrees.  You may as well know- I go through phases a lot, and right now I’m in a Rose phase.  Call it the phase, call it whatever, BUT the Mulderbosch Rose and this Domaine de Nizas Rose from Languedoc (aka The ‘Doc) are two of the BEST wines I’ve had recently- and they’re as different as night and day!  Which is why I love wine.

Alright- I know it says “Ricky’s Pick”- but it’s my pick, too!  We like the same things a lot of times.  But I always pronounce them properly (inside joke).  Actually, I really don’t know how to pronounce Nizas.  Somehow Nih-zus doesn’t sound right.  Maybe Nee-zus?  Either way it’s an awkward word.  Those darn French!  If the wine wasn’t so good I’d hold it against them!

So, if the Mulderbosch Rose was a “manly” Rose, this Nizas Rose is it’s lovely female companion.  If it were to take the form of a dress (in honor of the fact that I’m watching the Oscars as I write), it would definitely be Jennifer Lopez’s iridescent pink, beautifully sculptural dress.  I’m really not her *biggest* fan, but I do think that dress was amazing!  Feminine, yet strongly shaped and a little exotic and with a nice flair.  Kudos to J-Lo for that one.  Here it is in case you missed it…

But I digress- the point is- THIS ROSE IS UNBELIEVABLE!!  In case I didn’t beat it into your head with the Mulderbosch post- Rose is SO GOOD!  and remember- not all pink wine is White Zinfandel!  Feminine really is the operative word- it’s delicate, with notes of dried berries, cherries, white flowers, hint of spice, some white chocolate, and a simply beautiful mouthfeel.  The winemaker’s notes call it “vibrant, crisp and dry” and I can’t really improve on that succinct wording.  One of my favorite words- quaffable- I’ll throw that in here.  This is quaffable wine.  An extremely awkward word that means it’s pleasant and easy to drink.  But when else does one get to say quaffable?

And PS- Wine Spectator!  I am pissed at you for only giving this 88 points!  88 points is decent, but you’re waaay off on this one.  It costs an unbelievable $15, and that fact alone, combined with how freaking good it is, makes it deserving of a 90-point rating.  It’s only a 2-point difference, but I’m still sour about it.

Happy sipping, DRINK ROSE!

Another PS- I’m going to VEGAS this week, so keep an eye on my tweets (@winesnobsc) and be prepared to drool over all the wine I’ll be drinkin’!