Friday, January 14, 2011

Benefactor Cellars Mendocino County Red Wine 2009

I think this wine makes it official that I am in a rut. I'm getting lazy. Really, I'm a little horrified with myself that I'm buying ridiculous spoof labels from Trader Joes instead of like, you know, real wine. Which I could be buying. I've just been lazy, and truth be told, not drinking that much. So there you have it: I am lame. What's funny is how quickly you become accustomed to drinking stuff that is in reality, mediocre--quickly. I now know why it's so easy to slip into the warm embrace of something as unbecoming as Kendall Jackson Chardonnay night after night. If you're used to it, it just doesn't seem that bad. Goes the other way too. If you drink nothing but Cristal every night, you're going to be pretty non-plussed when someone switches it up with Dom Perignon (oh look at that, snobby wine dude talk!). Anyways...I need to stop being lazy, because this shit just doesn't satisfy me like a good Chinon.(I should note here when I grade a wine, it's all relative. A decent bottle of shitty wine is likely to garner an A for effort as opposed to a C for not being as good as Baudry. They are different things.)

You owe yourself to check out Blood Into Wine, which is a documentary about Maynard from Tool actually making wine in Arizona. Seriously cool stuff. I've heard that the wine is actually really good; I just haven't gotten off my lazy ass and procured one of the many different wines they are making at Caduceus or Arizona Stronghold. You can stream the documentary on Netflix; it's a little campy in places, but definitely worth viewing. I find growing wine in Arizona as intriguing as Tool, although they're separate enterprises and should be treated as such. Anyways, I will be getting some of these wines. I want to taste them now and am very intrigued.

This is $5; if a benefactor gave me a bottle of this I might shrug and say, "Gee, thanks." I wouldn't be all that excited about it. The label is sort of tacky...arrggh..."Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum, maties." What? Isn't this wine? Who the fuck are you, Cap'n Morgan? It doesn't even tell you what grapes it's made out of. My guess is it's a kitchen sink blend of whatever was sitting around. Or maybe this is another Castle Rock type of wine, born of surplus wine? Who knows. What I do know is that this is plush and fruity, with raspberry and mint accents behind the silky coffee flavors. It's actually quite good, especially for $5. A little creaminess on the back end along with a vanilla finish and actually enough acid to balance it all out. Despite all of my shit talking and wanting to trash this wine, I actually think it's pretty good. Probably by the time it gets to year two, it will suck. Just guessing... B+/A-

8 comments:

Joshiemac said...

Go get an awesome muscadet or something similar. That will get you right our of your rut, and chances are you'll only drop a 20 spot on it.

Steely, nervy whites are always my go-to choices when I'm in a wine rut. They work every time, always reminded me that at its best, wine is energetic, alive, and exciting.

Jeff said...

Yeah dude I love Muscadet...it always surprises me how cheap the best examples are relative to other wine regions.

MattRyan said...

I like how you give a shout out to the dudes in Arizona and Blood Into Wine. I've seen Tool around 19 times now, in addition to a massive collection of recorded media from live shows and oddly, I've never tried Maynard's wine - but I've been following it from the start. In 2011 I will no doubt try it. I'll keep you posted.

Cabfrancophile said...

I should blog my thoughts on Blood Into Wine as well since I just saw it, though you post encapsulates it really well. I had checked out their website over a year ago and found the prices really insane, but since then they've been lowered to a more sensible level. There's definitely a fascinating case to be made for cool regions of AZ.

Brenda said...

Well I have to say a just loved the Red... aka the Pirate Wine. The other day I was in Trader Joes and just happened to glance over at the wines and noticed the Skelleton label. I thought it would be ok but it was soooo yummy. I went back and they were all gone. Not just from our local Rancho Cucamonga store but every store I called. How do I get more? We love reds and for the money this is a great bottle of wine.

William said...

I really love red wines. They really taste good and they fit on holidays. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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