Several weeks ago, after writing about Peachy Canyon’s Incredible Red in this space, I received an email from Sam Chammas, the dude behind Whistle Stop Bar, Live Wire and Station tavern, clueing me in to Chronic Cellars, a winery owned by the kids of the folks behind Peachy Canyon. I made a mental note to check it out, and I was pondering doing just that while enjoying a glass of Rickshaw Pinot Noir—which might have been a little heavy on its own but went nicely with short ribs and the Brussels sprouts—at the bar in Gingham, Brian Malarkey’s new restaurant.
It was there that I started talking about movies and wine with a wine distributor rep who suggested I swing by Grapes, Hops, and Fine Food, the bistro and wine store operated by K&B Wine Cellars, in Del Cerro. I’d been by there before—picked up a bottle or two on one occasion, and on another found that there was literally no room at the bar when I swung by for a drink. That’s a good problem for a wine bar to have, and I’m fond of the place, so I stopped by again and almost immediately found myself staring at a bottle of Chronic Cellars 2010 Sofa King Bueno.
First, pretty much everything Chronic Cellars does is the opposite of snooty. The label has a great design, and if you say Sofa King Bueno fast, you’ll see what they’re going for. And then there’s the wine, a big blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Thing is, it isn’t your standard GSM blend, because the Chronic kids have also added some Petite Sirah, which pretty much plows into your mouth with fruit and tannins on the first sip. I found that it almost overpowered my food in a way that I appreciated, and, in fact, I ended up enjoying the wine’s earliest tastes more than after it had breathed and mellowed. Next time, I’ll probably pair it with some strong flavors or a nice stinky cheese, and rather than lingering over my glass, I’ll just pour and drink. Sure, there’s something to be said about sipping and savoring, but sometimes you just want something that’s—well, Sofa King Bueno.
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