Millenial Magnums of Fresh-as-Shit Gamay

Forty Ounce Wine in a 33.8 oz package.

Forty Ounce Wine in a 33.8 oz package.

Julien Braud 2016 "Forty Ounce" Red
Gaillac Region, France
100% Gamay
12% Alcohol

$17/Liter
Highly Recommended

10 years ago this wine would not have sold. We've come so far in the last decade, too far in some people's minds, in reducing the white table clothing pomposity associated with wine that we now have a selection of wines called Forty Ounce. While there are certain more formal and ceremonial aspects to wine drinking that I think should be preserved, in general, I've been fully supportive of the effort my generation, referred to by some as millenial, has put into taking the snobby out of wine. The culmination of this cultural phenomenon is Forty Ounce wines, a selection of sustainably-farmed red, white, and rose wines that is the brain child of Patrick Capiello and produced by Julien Braud, a vigneron in France's Loire Valley.

While I have yet to have the rose, I've had the muscadet before, an alluringly fresh and drinkable white that is gluggable by any standard. The 100% gamay red is in a similar vein as the muscadet. It hails from the Gaillac region in south central France, somewhat of an odd choice for gamay given it is generally warmer there than in the Loire Valley, but the freshness and vivacity of the gamay that you want with this grape is still alive and well in this wine. These wines are so fresh they leave you salivating for more. Better yet, they are all around 12% alcohol so you can drink a lot of them.

The red is made from 100% gamay, farmed sustainably, fermented with indigenous yeast in concrete vats, and is lightly filtered. It has an incredibly vibrant, almost electric ruby color reminiscent of cranberry juice. The nose is well-integrated; I could smell this wine all day. On the palate, dry, medium bodied, virtually no tannin, and juicy with notes of bright red fruits. It's not just alcoholic kool-aid though, the wine has a nice earthy complexity and savory note that comes toward the finish. Top-notch juice right here.

Only disappointing thing about this bottle is that you may think you are getting 40 ounces of wine but it's really only a liter (33.8 oz). A clever and hip marketing angle but a disappointing realization. Don't blame the winemakers though, 40 oz. containers of wine are not currently allowed by the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Trade Bureau so there's not much budging room as of now. Anyone up for a lobbying effort?

I think this bottle is a great option for people who enjoy highly drinkable wines that you can consume all day and night. This red would be great slightly chilled on a hot summer day, or conversely, paired with a hearty Thanksgiving meal. Is there better French gamay for the money? Maybe, but they can't be found for much cheaper and they are few and far between. Get it!!

2014 Chateau de Cranne Cotes de Bordeaux Rouge

ChateaudeCranne

2014 Chateau de Cranne Red Blend
Cotes de Bordeaux, France
Merlot (85%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%)
12.8% Alcohol
$13
Highly Recommended

It's been too long!! Turns out getting a puppy is a wonderful thing that happens to take over your life for the first few months. I was missing the blog and was so pleased with this bottle of Bordeaux that I had to write a spontaneous post about it. 

As with so many good value wines I review, I found this bottle of Chateau de Cranne for sale on the Garagiste email list for a paltry $12.98. This evening I took a gander at the wines I've ordered over the last two years and there is a consistent trend of older Bordeaux, Oregon and the occasional California pinot noir, Beaujolais, and a spattering of old, old riesling and random Italian bottles. I can't help myself in being a stubborn stalwart for Bordeaux reds (though dry whites are almost as interesting!). Aged old-world style Bordeaux is one of the greatest material and existential pleasures in life. I may sound like a wine douchebag but... yea, don't care. Given their proclivity to claret, maybe I need to do a search on ancestry.com and see if there is a familial connection to a bunch of old British grandpas...

Anyways, to the wine. I opened this yesterday and it was good but nothing remarkable. A night in the refrigerator and a few hours on the counter saw this transform into something well beyond it's monetary value. Chateau de Cranne is certified organic and places a strong emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

A beautiful and vibrant ruby in the glass with well-integrated aromas of blackberry, black cherry, cedar, tobacco, earth, and just a hint of bell pepper on the nose. This took hours to open up but it was well worth the wait. The palate is equally satisfying, with medium body, healthy acidity, and flavors that mimic the nose. A hint of tannins and a medium+ finish round this out in the end. 

This is the whole package, everything you want in an old-world red that is 12.8% alcohol and begs for an evening-long meal. In keeping with Garagiste's emphasis on neglected sub-90 point wines, this was awarded 89 points by Wine Enthusiast. I kept a half glass in the bottle for tomorrow, just in case there are more mysteries to be revealed...

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