Summer Glou Glou from Australian's Most Exciting (?) Producer

Glou Glou to the max.

Glou Glou to the max.

Ochota Barrels
"Texture Like Sun" Red/White Blend
Pinot Noir, Grenache, Merlot, Gewurztraminer
Recommended but overpriced

First, in case you are curious what the hell Glou Glou is, check out Sprudge's explanation here.

Now, moving on. You may recall my revelatory review of Ochota Barrel's 2012 Syrah. I've been a big fan of their wines since and was thrilled to get another bottle in my Garagiste shipment last fall. Ochota Barrels inspires a dramatically wide range of impressions from the wine drinking world. Some herald Ochota's wines as the second coming, lauding them for blazing their own natural wine path in a heavily trodden and rather boring Australian wine scene (at least in terms of what is available to US consumers). Others see past the sexy branding and trendiness and proclaim that, across the board, the wines are overpriced and simplistic. I was firmly in the first camp until having this wine but after tasting this over 4-5 hours this evening, I think this quality can be found at wines half the $35 price tag. 

Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful wine, one that I would happily drink gallons of on a warm summer evening... But it's not worth anywhere near $35. There is some mild complexity to it but it's mainly light, fruity, juicy, and chock full of acidity (leaning toward astringency), dominated by bright red fruits, some plumminess, and forest floor funk. Nearly electric on the palate. Grapes are destemmed but fermented whole berry and aged in stainless steel. It's relatable to Beaujolais, especially Beaujolais Nouveau, but I've had a lot of natural red wine blends from the Rhone Valley that are comparable at $15-20. Did I like it? Sure did. Would I buy it anywhere ever for $35? Nope.



2014 Chateau de Cranne Cotes de Bordeaux Rouge


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