Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Featured Wines: Back Up The Truck!

If the wine in this week's Featured Wines column tickle your fancy, you can order them directly from Jordan by email ( or find him in the Vintage Room of Everything Wine's newest location River District in South Vancouver (8570 River District Crossing).

Back Up The Truck!: Summer Edition

As Summer signals that it is indeed here for a bit – I think it really means it this time – I’d like to bring your attention to a couple wines of great power, great points and reduced subtleties. These are bunker-busters, large, loud and luscious, and they are both politely under $75. This summer is gonna be swell.

Fantini Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 2015 Italy
A New World wine from the Old World. If your 93-year-old aunt texted you “omg that rave was so lit” you’d feel weird about it, and that’s because “old-doing-new” rarely works out, except for when it does: Edizione is on fire, I’ve already sold through 20 cases of it and the buzz hasn’t subsided. Edizione seems almost specifically engineered to anger Italian traditionalists: Not only does it refuse to specify a village or DOC like most Italian wines, it’s sourced from several regions (Abruzzo, Puglia predominantly), made from indigenous (“Autoctoni”) grapes that are almost never blended together (Montepulciano, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera and Negroamaro), and to cause maximum consternation they age it all in blasphemous new American oak, which Italian winemakers employ about as often as snakes use chopsticks. If an Amarone stuck a fork in a light socket, that’d be a starting point. The Negroamaro gives dark, stewed fruit, the Montepulciano builds the frame, the Primitivo brings power, spice and precious, precious alcohol. Layered, balanced and electric. By sheer weight alone this’ll cellar for decades, but what then? I don’t know what this becomes and I like it too much now to wait. The bottle is huge, like Hillside Select huge, and the reason I mention this is that it feels like a one-litre bottle but it ain’t. 99 points Luca Maroni*, Best Italian Red 2018 (Luca again), 6 6-packs available, $53.99 +tax

Montes Purple Angel 2015 Colchagua Valley - Chile
The Carmenere-As-Big-As-A-Bear returns. I’ve written about Purple Angel for so many successive vintages that I’m not sure what I can newly provide other than knock-knock jokes, but it’s enjoying an exceptionally good vintage in this 2015 offering, which could be a personal best for one of Chile’s most delicious ambassadors. Chocolate wrapped in a cherry wrapped in a plum wrapped in an anvil, this is maximalism liquefied, and it’s drinking great now with grilled meat but will positively sing when the training wheels come off in a couple years. Noted Hyperbolist James Suckling gave this 2015 99 points, and although he treats each wine like it’s the first one he’s tasted after a year in prison, it’s notable that this is the highest score he’s given Purple Angel. Not many other reviewers have gotten to this vintage yet, but if patterns hold you can reasonably expect Parker to come in 2 points lower and Wine Spectator one point lower than that. This vintage is not to be missed. 99 points James “Gulp” Suckling, 6 6-packs available, $74.99 +tax

We’ll be pouring both of these 99-point blockbusters in out River District Vintage Room at 3pm this Saturday, but until then,

Happy Drinking!!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

News: BCLDB's South African Feature Includes Consumer Tastings

From the WOSA Media Release

This summer is the perfect time to discover the great value of wines from South Africa. Throughout June, the BCLDB will focus on the country with in-store tastings and displays, as well as a FREE consumer tasting. The tasting will take place Friday, June 8th 2018 at the Park Royal BCLDB Signature Liquor Store, and will pair South African wine samples with cheese and charcuterie from Granville Island's Oyama Sausage Co.

South African wines are particularly well suited to the summer activity circuit of barbecues, ball games, and weekends at the cottage. The BCLDB will highlight some great options with displays in 60 locations and free in-store tastings. On June 8th, consumers will also be treated to South African wine samples and tasty bites from Oyama in the fresh new Park Royal store. Wines will include:

Wines of South Africa Consumer Tasting
Friday, June 8 2018
3:00 - 7:00pm
BCLDB Park Royal Signature Liquor Store
Park Royal North, West Vancouver

Thursday, May 17, 2018

News: Winemaker Changes at Black Hills Estate Winery

From the Black Hills Estate Winery Press Release

After 10 successful years in the position as our head winemaker at Black Hills Estate Winery, Graham Pierce will transition to a new role as our consulting winemaker. In this new part-time role, Graham will continue to be involved in key strategic decisions and practices in the winery's winemaking program. These include but are not limited to: grape picking and fermentation decisions, barrel selections, blending, and stylistic directions.

The assignment of this role allows Graham the time to pursue a long-time dream to create his own brand of sparkling wine and other possible projects, while continuing to work closely with the esteemed Black Hills winery team. This includes his close relationship with the winery's winegrower Steve Carberry, who continues into his 14-year commitment as the veteran vineyard manager at Black Hills. As part of the winery's practice of "continual quality evolution", every member of the Black Hills team is committed to improving the quality of the grapes grown, the wines produced, and the hospitality provided every year.

As consulting winemaker, Graham will also work closely with Black Hills' future winemaker and the existing winery team to execute the day-to-day operations. The search for a new winemaker is now underway. We are confident we will attract a world-class candidate that will be thrilled to work directly with Graham and the rest of our winery team. It is envisioned that Graham will transition into the consulting winemaker role in early July 2018.

"We are thrilled to continue to work with Graham and have on-going access to his incredible experience, perspective, palate and passion for wine," says Glenn Fawcett, director, Black Hills Estate Winery. "At Black Hills, we value every team member and support them in pursuing their dreams. We are very excited that Graham will now have the time and freedom to pursue the side projects that are so important to him. Many of us at Black Hills will be rushing to become Graham's first customer when he makes his sparkling wine release in the future".

Graham proudly shared, "It has been an amazing 10 years working with the exceptional team at Black Hills. The dedication and talent from every team member has allowed us to craft the wine that we proudly stand behind. I look forward to working with the new winemaker and the rest of the team as we continue our continual quality evolution of our wine."


A sample of some of Graham's most recent releases:

Black Hills Estate Winery 2015 Syrah
Fantastical concentration in this Black Sage Bench sourced Syrah with deep, black cherry and sensual, floral aromas on the generous nose and oak-kissed layers of black cherry, mint, pepper, tobacco and blood orange flavours on the smoky, fine tannin palate. Simply gorgeous.
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Black Hills Estate Winery 2016 Viognier
Black Hills have dialed in their Viognier program delivering a focused wine with both plump, Tropical fruit and lean, refreshing citrus characters that make it a great pairing for rich, spicy soups and seafood dishes. Look for subtle notes of white flowers on the pleasant nose and fresh, tangy apricots on the palate. The finish is long with lingering clove and aniseed spice.
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Black Hills Estate Winery 2016 Chardonnay
Both rich and vibrant and anchored with baby bear levels of oak (just right) on the vanilla and peach cream scented nose and on the orchard'n'citrus fruit infused palate. Layers of mineral, blossom and spice add depth throughout. Clove, pear and ever-so-slightly bitter lemon zest notes linger on the long finish.
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Black Hills Estate Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Likely to be limited to the wine club only, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine may be the best reason ever to join such a club with its out-of-this-world depth of flavour, rarely seen in a BC Cab. Both sensual and powerful on the nose with deep, minty dark chocolate, pure cassis liqueur, cordial cherry and nutmeg aromas.
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- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2018