Chill That Red!

I mean crack that whip. Give a chill to red. I’m sorry if Devo doesn’t ring a bell, please Google those lyrics (maybe “whip it good” would be the best thing to Google) and either thank or hate me. I’ll take no neutral responses. Either way you must hate it…or whip it. Not the wine. That you should chill. Chilled red is to my self-actualization as buttered bread is to my soul. Essential. When I really got into it, I felt found. Sure, I loved a heady Barolo, still do—if you don’t love Barolo who art thou please leave—but I LOVE a chilled red. Is it a goth thing? Is it that I have started wine hiking? If you are wine hiking and want red, make it a chilled red to quench hiker’s thirst. Bring water too though. Unless you are hiking on the tundra (what exactly IS the tundra?) then maybe no wine. Have a hot chocolate and look out for bears. I think? I’m no tundra pro. So, what constitutes a chillable red? Well, if it has bubbles, that indicates a colder chill. But for still wines, I’d say the biggest thing rendering a red chillable is body. And tannins. Or lack thereof. Beyond low tannins, running themes are fruit and less oak. Makes sense since oak adds tannins. Tannins get weirdly medical and/or metallic with a chill. I mentioned to my friend, somm extraordinaire (I only hang out with the best), Erik Segelbaum that I was writing on chilled reds after he sent me the Israeli Carignan and recommended chilling it, and he told me when he opened St. Anselm in DC that he put almost 100 reds on the list stored in the same fridge as the Champagne and white wine, and they were the most popular on the list. So take it from me and Erik, a chilled red is beautiful. The grapes not profiled here that hold chill potential include Cabernet Franc , Zweigelt , Blaufrankisch , St. Laurent , Nerello Mascalese , Gaglioppo , Cinsault , Counoise , Pais (aka Mission or Listan Prieto)…so we have our work cut out for us. The profiled grapes below are my favorites. Heh. You trust me, right? Oh and what is my shower red? Stolpman’s Love You Bunches , duh. Because I do. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ CARBONIC ANYTHING Like…Beaujolais of many sorts. But not all sorts. Why do wines that have gone through carbonic maceration work? For starters, if not sweet, the flavor profile echoes sweetness. And also, carbonic maceration is (I’m giving you the Clifford Notes on this) when grapes are kept whole cluster and put into vats where, starved of oxygen, they begin intracellular fermentation. So there is theoretically less skin contact to pump up the tannin. 2019 Stolpman So Fresh Love You Bunches Carbonic sangiovese from Cali say what? I may not remember my first chilled red but I do remember my first Love You Bunches. Now known as ElIen’s Favorite Damn Wine, my first time was at Same Same Thai with my bestie Maurice. I’d befriended the somm before, and when he saw the two of us, he rushed over, precious bottle and glasses in hand. “This isn’t on the menu yet,” he warned as he poured it. We LOVED it. We tried to get a glass but no dice. He was saving it—the taste was just to get us intrigued. Spritely, nimble, thrilling and chilling. The carbonic telltales—kirsch and bubble gum are in the backdrop, if there at all. It’s more a caramel vibe. Cherries and some spice—white pepper? It is a dance. Cherry candy but not sweet and—what is it—licorice? Hints of a flower or is that the white pepper sensation. I love Love. You. Bunches. GAMAY Whether carbonic or not, get in. Get into Gamay. One must. It shows its face in many iterations. There is, of course, the frequently maligned Beaujolais Nouveau with cotton candy, banana and watermelon notes. Then there is increasingly heavy and serious wine from base level Beaujolais to Beaujolais Villages to the 10 crus of Beaujolais, which will be labeled by their names. From roughly north to south: St. Amour, Julienas, Chenas, Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnie, Cote de Brouilly and Brouilly. Frequently no carbonic shenanigans on those. But. ANY sort of Gamay will likely be good with a good chill. High acid, light tannins, floral and anise and fruit and fun. Fave producers? Well, yah know Louis Jadot does some nice work but look for Charly Thevenet (get the Regnie), Château Thivin, Domaine de Vissoux/Pierre-Marie Chermette, Bonnet Rouge, Jean-Claude Lapalu, David-Beaupere…the beat goes on. HOWEVER! I am featuring a Gamay from the Jura. Which I’ll get more into under the Mondeuse heading. 2018 Maison Angelot Bugey Gamay So good, so fresh, so easy and acid and spice. That should be my dating profile. Just kidding I don’t have one. I don’t date. But I do make lasting relationships with wine, and I’d like Maison Angelot to hang with me for some time. MONDEUSE Ah yes, Savoie! A region I’ve been feeling in my bones. And my taste buds. Eastern France, dahling, full of varietal wines you may not know. I confess there is one particular winery that got my heart initially. And now there are two. Domaine de l’Idylle is dynamite, time after time, variety after variety but especially Mondeuse. Maison Angelot has been a winner two times—I’ve enjoyed both their Mondeuse and Gamay. I’d like to try more of their offerings. But Mondeuse! The grape. Yes. It is peppery; it has good acid; it is nimble. It can handle not being chilled but excels in the cold like a luge-er, or a skier, in the cold. Would they be strong and balanced when warm? Probably, if they are Olympians. But they can really show their stuff when chilly and speeding down slopes and such it is with chilled Mondeuse. Mondo good in summer or winter so long as chilled like it was winter. CARIGNAN Oh hey, I don’t think of Carignan a lot…it is a grape you see largely blended—in southern France, or in Rioja under the name of Mazuelo. I’ve always thought of it as a grape too tannic for a chill but I’ve found in the right hands, with time to meld those tannins into fruit, it works. So do it. 2014 Jezreel Valley Winery Single Vineyard Carignan According to the aforementioned Erik Segelbaum, Israel is doing the best Carignan anywhere and tasting this, I can’t say he is wrong. I can verify there is a hit of earth and tobacco and a lot of dried red and black fruits—I’m thinking dried strawberries and blackberries and some blue fruit too and prunes. Very velvety tannins and the chilling it down makes me love it more because I think of this like a fruit pie COLD, which is how I like a lot of foods you typically aren’t supposed to eat cold like oatmeal or minestrone. I know I’m weird. I know. Anyway, give a chill to some Carignan. And get some Carignan from Israel! PINOT NOIR / SPATBURGUNDER If you want Pinot Noir recommendations, there are scads in the two articles I wrote about this grape*. I am typically a celebrity wine skeptic but Charles Woodson’s Intercept (great name) is delicious. I suppose it sorta makes good sense—if you have the cash to drink top wines, when you go to make it your palate will be primed for the good stuff. Anyway, right when I started writing this I saw the Intercept Pinot on the shelf and was compelled to buy. I’ll also note that cooler-climate Pinot Noirs, such as Germany’s offerings, which are called Spätburgunder, are oft good chilled calls too. 2017 Charles Woodson’s Intercept Monterey County Pinot Noir Love the lion on the label. Classic California cool Pinot. Ripe but not-too-ripe cherries, cinnamon, and maybe some blue fruit? Monterey is cool, in that it literally is cooler. So overripe Pinot you will not get from here. Juicy acidity. Is that a thing? Not sure, but football player wine is now apparently my thing. I opened last night out of the wine fridge...Then took straight from the fridge-y fridge today and think it is best enjoyed somewhere in between 45 and 55 degrees. FRAPPATTO Island wine! Are island wines predisposed to chilling because…a lot of islands are hot? Je ne sais pas. I don’t know. Anyway. Frappato. Sicily. Give it a whirl. Paolo Calî Mandragola Vittoria DOC Frappato I started drinking this whilst Zoom-ing—as one does. If you like barnyard and berries? This is here for you. All the structural elements embrace a chill. So, let’s dive in! There are red berries and plums but barnyard—just the right amount—and spice and fun. VALDIGUIE I feel like the onset of the natural wine world getting popular, and such, made this a thing. I didn’t know much about Valdiguie but joiner Ellen decided to learn. Much as Pinueau D’Aunis and Nerello Mascalese had their moments, I feel like Valdiguie is still having one. I first tasted it and thought, “Tastes like Gamay” and it took one Google click on Valdiguie to see an article declaring a smackdown betwixt the two. Truly, in a blind tasting I’d think it was Gamay. Chill it. 2018 Pax Quail Run Vineyard Valdiguie WHOA. Serve very chilled. Pepper and pastilles (violets + anise) and red fruits on the nose. And this wine is ALIVE. It prickles the tongue and tickles the throat. So light in body and purple in the glass. Underbelly of darker fruit, all of it fresh. This wine pisses me off it is so good. Beware if you are sensitive to brett (I am) there is a tiny bit at the end, but it brings this floating angel of a wine down to earth for you to enjoy. Also beware that what may be brett upon opening rapidly went into “mouse” on my bottle rendering me unable of finishing the bottle the next day. Such can be the risk with natural. But the first hours together were marvelous. Risk it. TROUSSEAU To the Jura! Poulsard/Ploussard is also delightful, but this is about Trousseau. Full of peppery but friendly tannins and (fun fact) called Bastardo in Madeira! 2017 Badoz Cotes du Jura Trousseau Pepper and Frankincense and black raspberries? Wants nay, NEEDS a chill. Herbs of any sort. A sense of floral. I know I use the word lithe loads, but…this isn’t so much lithe as lively. More petite allegro, the music is not legato. Alert, energetic, spicy and berry-y and light and bright. Chill it good. Did I say that about all these wines already? Maybe but at least I’m repetitive and not inconsistent. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: TJ’s All Days Old World vs. New World: Sauvignon Blanc Fast Food Slow Wine: Let’s Support Local Pizza! Old World vs. New World: Pinot Noir Part Deux * Old World vs. New World: Pinot Noir Part One * Quaran-wine Pastimes You can also listen to Ellen's podcast , The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! With Kara Newman Wine Situation Final Five! With Victoria James

Maison Angelot

Vin du Bugey Gamay 2018

So very gulpable I’ll take mine in a Big Gulp cup, thank you. Jk I’m drinking out of a Burgundy glass but what else is new? Light on tannin, big on acid and spice and almost cherry cough syrup but not in a bad way notes. Goes down easy. So Bugey. — 4 years ago

Paul, Serge and 14 others liked this



Pax Mahle Wines

Pax Quail Run Vineyard Valdiguié 2018

This wine pisses me off it is so good. It is alive. I hate to kill it but I must for the job. Drink chilled. It’s peppers and flowers and pastilles and it prickles the tongue. There is perhaps a teeny hint of brett at the end. The pleasant type of grounds this dancing prancing enchanting wine. — 4 years ago

Severn, Paul and 33 others liked this

Domaine Badoz

Côtes du Jura Trousseau 2017

Pepper, Frankincense and myrrh or is it myth—things I’ve smelled in incense. Perky acid and tannins and...why do we not drink more Jura? We should. — 4 years ago

Severn, Iwan and 21 others liked this
Ellen Clifford

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@Chris Shultz it is both those things!
Lorenzo Muslia

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Bottom up.
Ellen Clifford

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@Lorenzo Muslia cheers to you! 🥂

Paolo Calì

Mandragola Vittoria Frappato 2016

Fun with fruit but upfront—in 2020–there is some barnyard coming to play. Still feels fresh though. Growing on me. I feel like I should get textbook-ish with it so:
Medium acid
Medium tannin (maybe med plus but RIPE)
Alcohol medium alllllmost medium plus
Flavor intensity medium, I get all the red fruits I can imagine except for red apple. Some baking spice. Some vanilla. This is fun wine. Definitely chill it. A bit. Chill it good. A bit.
— 4 years ago

Mike, Daniel and 14 others liked this

Jezreel Valley Winery

Single Vineyard Carignan 2014

So this is new and unexpected much like most of this year. Does anyone know what is happening? Didn’t think so. But I do know that it seems in Israel they are doing Carignan justice. It has a heavy silk body, heavy on blue and black fruit and some...tobacco? The structural elements are all in balance it is a well built house, perhaps in the style of...I was gonna say Gaudi because there is a lot happening but it doesn’t feel so avant- garde. I should have food with this. — 4 years ago

Mike, Paul and 25 others liked this
Vin d’Ottawa

Vin d’Ottawa

Jezreel also does a red wine blend that is out of this world. They are one of the best Israeli wineries up there with Lotem, Shvo and others.
Ellen Clifford

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@Randy Slepchik I got to try some of their other wines too—they do good work!

Stolpman Vineyards

"Love You Bunches" Carbonic Sangiovese 2019

Cannot stop drinking. I think I first tasted this 2016 or 17 and year after year it is my darling. About to heat some pizza to go with. Egads LOVE this carbonic Sangiovese. I want to share it with the world:just the whiffs of kirsch and bubble gum are so light and SO perfect with a slight chill and I’m about to see how it goes with a pizza pie. There is some white pepper and caramelized cherry. Some LA nights are more fun than others. — 4 years ago

Neil, Serge and 18 others liked this
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

Spent many nights in Van Nuys... LA nights are hit or miss. Pizza and good red wine- I can agree! 🍷
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

I agree about LA being hit or miss, living in the OC there are nights I can smell LA & other nights it dissipates.
Ellen Clifford

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@Neil Valenzuela @Paul T- Huntington Beach Hmmm, I said some nights are better than others—I didn’t mean to imply there are a lot of bad ones! I happen to love it here. I don’t know if I’d feel that way if I lived in Van Nuys though. I’m by downtown and adore it. But at least we can all agree on pizza and red wine! 🍕🍷❤️