Bodegas Breca Garnacha de Fuego hits it out of park

November 19, 2012

Congratulations to the Progressives. This week I drank a lot of wine, so I have quite a few recommendations. I started with something light: Domaine des Grandes Perrieres 2011, a very typical rendition of the best Sancerre. Aged on lees, fresh-cut grass aromas, tropical fruit and lively lemon-lime flavors with good minerality and a long and crisp finish; 88 points. Buy it for $16 or less.  In the same vein Perrin & Fils  Pouilly Fume Les Deux Cailloux 2009, a label I usually enjoy, was about 85 points and $23. Passable, but avoid.

RP went on about enjoying a “Blanquette de Veau” served with a 94-point, 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape. Folks, I am becoming more suspicious of the man as time progresses. Here are ingredients for blanquette from my notes: cube veal shoulder and poach. Pour off all liquid and rinse. Make a light cream veloute using chicken stock. Reintroduce veal and simmer. Add the following so they are all a pointe when veal is tender. Add pearl onions, celery root, carrots, turnips, mushrooms; you may need to add chicken stock if it over thickens. Add haricots verts and cook until just tender, about two minutes.  Here is my read on 2007 Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme. The winemaker claims old vines Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and a minor blend of Cinsault, Vaccaresecarese and Counoise.  Mourvedre and Syrah were in small oak casks. Vignon provides a huge, dark monster with 15 percent alcohol and a potent bouquet of garrigue, cherries, licorice and oak-driven soy. Pronounced tannins, but the color said it needs time, and so did the flavors. Blanquette of veal, really, Robert?

Usually a $45 Cali chard doesn’t get my attention, but a 95-point tout by Anthony Galloni sent a tingle down my taste buds, to paraphrase Sis Matthews, about  Neely Chardonnay Holly's Cuvee 2010, sourced from Varner Brothers' Spring Ridge vineyards. Spring Ridge in Santa Cruz claims to be dry-farmed and insecticide free since being planted in 1988. As expected, a pale golden color due to small barrel and natural yeast fermentation. Complex bouquet of lemon curd, apples, white pepper and caramel.

High-profile acids are balanced by a huge, buttery palate, key lime pie and pineapple. The acid cleans up the palate nicely through a long, clean finish. This wine is a stand-alone like fine white Burgundy. Will cellar through 2020.

Gary’s in New Jersey was ballyhooing a 92-point Spaniard for $7 - 2011 Bodegas Breca Garnacha de Fuego. Bobby Blanquette exclaimed, "Just when you think you’ve tasted the wine world’s greatest values, along comes the Bodegas Breca.” You know I had to smuggle some in. Drove to Jersey in the dead of night with cases of high-fat, salty, meaty, acidic, nonnutritional, Italian food to donate and picked Bodegas Breca up, to buy gas, for the return trip. With this rating RP hit it out of the park. If your local wine shop guy can bring a case into Delaware for less that $120/case, snap it up. Dark, inky purple, with a red rim.

When snorted (I love that picture), black cherries and wet gravel open into black currants, eucalyptus mushroom and cherry flavors with a mineral frame. Excellent body, smooth as silk. Indeed, a true bargain wine.

BV Georges Latour Private Reserve Cab 2001 is in its perfect drinking window. If you did not buy some when I recommended it in 2006 at $75, don’t despair. Currently on sale now in the $85 range it is a wonderful Napa Cab worth the price. The 2005 are quite good also and the 93-point 2008 is a good buy right now for patient people.

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