Politics and wine do not go together. Like discussing religious views with dinner guests. Unless everybody agrees. We know there are those who will disagree with characterizing the set of wines below as second and third string, less than top rung, much like the current GOP field of candidates. The wines reviewed in this post show all the shortcomings of a Cain, Perry or Santorum; as forgettable as Pawlenty; and as phony as Gingrich. It is obvious the GOP has not put out their first string of Presidential party candidates. They are obviously saving the first string for 2016. If you’re a Republican you must feel like you are trapped in a holiday party with nothing but Two Buck Chuck on the bar. The jokers stumbling for the GOP nomination are P-L-O-N-K. To apply some wine metaphors Romney is the only one with legs, any kind of stuffing to merit interest, or any kind of pedigree and brains to withstand scrutiny from those who know better. With tongue in cheek and wine in gullet we present the GOP field of also-ran wines.
2009 Domaine des Quatre Vents R Darroze Fleurie $16: This is one of the negociants who bottles for Georges Dubouef. Our taster says it “smells like grapes.” Some tannins here. Considerable stuffing, meaty, beefy. I am actually choking [ed. he's kidding but the GOP ain't.]. The story on Dubouef wines is they are typically middle of the pack. Taste before you buy, focus on cru labels. I know, this is a Beajolais cru wine. Nice and tart flavors. Excellent with funghi pasta. From a superb vintage. Think Gingrich – you have name recognition but just not quite cutting it. 13%
2010 Domaine de la Citadelle Cotes du Luberon Cuvee Le Chataignier Rose $12: Luberon [ed. cue accordion, please] is very close to Chateauneuf du Pape therefore they share varietals. This pink wine was picked up at Palate. Lean and stoney. Too tart for some as it hits the dry notes but misses the fruity ones which is OK for tBoW but not for everyone. The wine is lovable within a very narrow bandwidth just like Ron Paul. His domestic policies suck but we love his foreign policy! Too bad he’s the only GOP candidate with one. 13.5%
2003 Cascina Fonda Moscato d’Asti $15: These wines are not supposed to last 8 years ferkryinoutloud, before drinking. But here it is and it is excellent. Like hard candy. What they call “pop” in the midwest. Yummeeee. Makes you wonder how a Rochioli Chard cannot live for 11 years but a Moscato d’Asti can go for eight? Romney-like with the ability to survive having been forgotten for so long. Also, like the former governor not much alcohol in the room at 5%.
NV Villa Alena Moscato $5: Non-vintage dark horse wine from Puglia. Jamie at Trader Joes said it would be sweet and lively. Poifeck! What a deal. PT8Y loved it too although she did find it a tad sweet-ish. That’s what the GOP needs! A Nordic surprise who could sweep in and grab the nomination unifying the party and galvanizing the nation. Lovely ribbed bottle like a Diamante Champagne. Absurd U20 bargain. 5.5%
2008 Robert Arnoux Bourgogne Pinot Fin $25: Another entry level Burg from the 2009 vintage that brings new meaning to the latest legend [ed. soon to be eclipsed by the 2010 legend]. Smoky, lean, good not great, soft, terroir driven in a wine that should be none of that. Maybe we should have aerated it? I think so. Like Rick Perry this Arnoux effort is ham-fisted, forgettable and short on substance.
2009 Magnien Petit Chablis $25: Another NBW pick. Very acidic. Short finish. Like sweet tarts. Better after it opens. We find Magnien wines tend to be heavier in weight and stronger in flavors than we prefer. However, if wines that make a strong first impression are your schtick and you are looking to switch from the same old same old to something new then this could be your guy. Has that Herman Cain down-home approachability with plenty of stuff going on beneath surface to keep you interested…somehow. 13%
2010 Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards Rose $12: From the most visible estate on Kanan Road in the heart of the Malibu Mountains region. Strawberry flavors and color. A bit hot from the alcohol. Vintners from Malibu tend to make their pink wines from a single varietal when they would be better served to blend several like Semler has begun to do. The Rocky Oaks crew hit all the right “look-at-me” buttons like Michele Bachmann did when she was on top for a couple weeks. But like Bachmann this house needs to make a better effort and show us why they should be in the game next year. 14.1%
And the winner with a Mormon arm bar…