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5 Reds with Jarred Gild

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We got a private tweet from our buddy Jarred Gild last week, wondering if we were free to get together soon for some good food and wine. Ask us a question like that, and you’ll usually get an answer like, “Hell yeah!” So, at the appointed hour, we stopped in at Western Market in Ferndale, where Jarred runs the wine and beer department, picked up a slew of sausages, peppers and a bagguette, collected several wines that he wanted to try with us and moseyed on over to his place to eat, drink and make merry, all with much lively conversation. There was one white wine that was put in a bucket to chill, but somehow, we never got to it, so it was all reds and there’s nothing wrong with that. We started out on Burgundy, but soon hit the harder stuff…

2006 Rene LeClerc Bourgogne, 12.5% alc., $26: Medium ruby garnet in color, and ever-so-slightly cloudy; shows a ripe core of smoky plum and black cherry shaded with some earthy forest floor. Medium to medium-full bodied and smooth in texture, with decent structure for at least a few years in the cellar. It’s no lightweight, as it has good density and seems to show some oak influence, but not unduly so. Find this wine

2006 Rene LeClerc Gevrey-Chambertin 1ster Cru Combe aux Moines, 13.5% alc., from Jarred’s personal stash: Clean, smoky ruby garnet in color, and a bit more refined in character than the Bourgogne; similar in flavor to the previous selection, but with a little more earthy forest floor and less ripe fruit. It shows less oak influence, and while it’s structured for several years in the cellar, it’s quite approachable now. Find this wine

Rene LeClerc imported by AHD Vintners, Ltd., Warren, MI

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2005 Chateau de Saurs Gaillac, 13% alc., $13.99: Gaillac isn’t exactly a household name, even among the wine geeks that I consort with, but if this particular wine is any example then this appellation in southwestern France is one deserving of greater recognition. A blend of Merlot, Syrah and Braucol, it shows deep, dark color and offers earthy old wood over black currant and blackberry flavors and aromas, with dusty tannins in the mouth that don’t hold the ample fruit back. Full bodied, but not heavy, with good structure for a few years in the cellar; it can also stand up to grilled red meats and hearty stews right now. Nice stuff, this! Find this wine

Imported by Bourgeois Family Selections Llc., Concord, NC

2005 Georges Vigouroux Pigmentum Malbec Cahors, 13% alc., $9.99: Deeply, darkly colored, turning pink at the rim; delivers hard, dense, earthy black currant and blackberry with undertones of old wood when first poured. Deep and dark, yet rich; full bodied, sleek and well structured, this opens fairly quickly in the glass.  This is really nice and offers excellent QPR (quality-price-ratio). Interesting that a Cahors producer would label the wine as Malbec, with the appellation shown less prominently, but why not, given the popularity of the Argentine versions? Frankly, I’d rather drink this than most of the Malbec from Argentina that I’ve tried. Find this wine

Imported by AHD Vintners, Ltd., Warren, MI

Finally, we tried a horse of a stylistically different color, to be sure.

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2007 Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, 14.9% alc., $22.99: Deep, dark color, with deep, dark black raspberry, blackberry, briar-bramble and root beer flavors and aromas. Rich and ripe, but not “jammy,” and full bodied, but not heavy; there’s decent structure here, but there’s also no reason to age this, it’s ready to go now. OK, so it would be interesting to revisit it in a few years to see how it develops, because it certainly has the stuffing. I like this, but I like the last two French reds better for less money. New World palates should find it very appealing. Find this wine

Reporting from Day-twah,

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