Friday, September 28, 2012

2009 Bargain Bordeaux Best Bets

The annual BCLDB Bordeaux release launches tomorrow morning at their Signature Store locations throughout the province. On offer are the terrific wines of what Robert Parker has called the best vintage he's tasted in the 40 years he's been covering France's most famous wine region.

2009 is a Cabernet-friendly vintage with the best examples delivering exquisite fruit and finesse with the structure to age well for a generation. Unfortunately, due to a frenzied en-primeur campaign in early 2010, most of the high-scoring, Cabernet-heavy wines have been priced out of the market for the average consumer and budget conscious collectors. favourites like Pontet-Canet and Montrose received the coveted 100pts score from Parker and skyrocketed in price keeping with the trend of all the classified growth wines. Folks will have to pay a fortune to get their hands on a Bordeaux Cabernet from 2009. However, there are always deals to be found in each vintage.

In a general sense, Merlot-heavy blends offer the best value for 2009. Though thought of as a "Cabernet vintage", the weather in 2009 was also favourable to the Merlot vines with many of the smaller Château producing their best wines to date. Look to lesser-known AOCs like the ever improving Côtes de Castillon and the satellite communes of the Right Bank (Montagne St Émilion and Lalande de Pomerol) for Merlot based blends offering excellent fruit, depth and mid-range ageability. Below are our recommendations for 2009:

Château Cap de Faugères, Côtes de Castillon - $28
Château Clos des Lunelles, Côtes de Castillon - $58
Château Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Supérieur - $28
Château Côte Montpezat, Côtes de Castillon - $25
Chateau Doisy Daëne, Barsac - $50 (375ml)
Château Faizeau Vieilles Vignes, Montagne St Émilion - $28
Château La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande de Pomerol - $55
Château Fombrauge, St Émilion - $55
Château Fontenil, Fronsac - $49
Château La Garde, Pessac Léognan - $39
Château du Glana, St Julien - $39
Château Joanin Bécot, Côtes de Castillon - $39
Château Lilian Ladouys, St Estèphe - $38
Château Plince, Pomerol - $39
Château Poujeaux, Moulis - $60
Chateau Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes - $38
Sarget de Gruaud Larose, St Julien - $29

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Flicks and Flights: Sideways

The Flick: "Sideways" directed by Alexandre Payne, starring Paul Giamotti and Thomas Haden Church

The FlightSanta Barbara County Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir, Pommard 1er Cru Pinot Noir, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Merlot Blend

The central theme of the film, male bonding and the good and bad behaviour it produces, could just have as easily been linked to sports, cars or any other muse that elicits emotional devotion. It just so happens that the author decided to structure the plot around wine and its practical (winery visits) and romantic application (personifying varietal characters). Yes, the granddaddy of all wine-related films could have had any number of different subjects as its plot catalyst. As wine lovers, we couldn't be happier that he chose wine.

The story needs little introduction for folks who are already very familiar with the plot, quotable phrases like "I'm not drinking any fucking Merlot!" and the surprise effect the film had on the wine industry upon release (worldwide Merlot sales are still in recovery). We love this film because it aptly conveys how wine lovers view wine as more than just a tasty drink. It reflects the notion that it is a living thing which deserves a unique language with which to discuss its infinite intricacies and the film does just that, accurately and with humour, intelligence and heart.

Yes, some hardcore vinos objected to the fact that Miles is constantly drinking to intoxication but these folks miss the point that this detail is character based and not a thinly veiled pronouncement by the author that wine appreciation is just an over-intellectualized vehicle for getting drunk. In Vino Veritas, and in the movie Sideways Miles uses wine to expose and communicate the sadness in his life; his inner truth revealed.

It's hard to imagine anyone integrating the language of wine more intricately than its seamless inclusion into the Sideways script - simply put, the best wine related film of all time.

The Sideways Drinking Game:

  1. Take a sip of Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir every time... Miles vocalizes an over-elaborate tasting note.
  2. Take a sip of Pommard 1er Cru every time... Miles is seen nursing a hang-over.
  3. Finish the bottle of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru when... Miles hilariously, albeit ironically, disparages Merlot, one of the main varieties in his beloved Cheval Blanc from Bordeaux's Left Bank commune of Saint-Emilion.
  4. Finish the bottle of Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir when... Miles and Maya speak of their love for Pinot and wine in general (though we know they are really describing themselves to one another in this poignant scene).
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Colour 2012 Highlights

Each September the BC Wine Institute holds its Fall tasting of VQA wines. The event, Colour, attracts a large contingent of VQA member wineries ranging from the big conglomerates like the many Vincor properties to the small Mom and Pop shops and everything in-between. The event has an afternoon Trade and Media component and a consumer-friendly, evening food-pairing tasting that always draws a great crowd. It's hard to taste all the wines on offer, however, reporting on what was tasted and having sought-out mostly new releases, below are my notes on a few gems worth seeking out.

Most Memorable White:
Painted Rock Estate Winery 2011 Chardonnay - $30
Absolutely gorgeous nose that will make you smile. Warm, sweet fruit and light brioche. Harmonious palate builds from a whisper on the entry to a full-bodied crescendo of orchard-fruit-goodness and a long, long finish. Very impressive.

Most Memorable Red:
Black Hills Estate Winery 2010 Syrah - $30
A nice surprise considering the cooler vintage and pedestrian 2009 release. Nice floral notes on the nose add complexity to the concentrated red fruit and pepper. Palate's balance is impressive with all components fitting nicely; good fruit, oak influence, mouth-watering acid and good length.

Best Value Wine:
Arrowleaf 2010 Pinot Noir - $17.99
Contender for best value wine of the year! A delicate nose of cherry cola followed by a light bodied, yet intense and fresh palate of red fruit and forest floor. Straight forward, no piece out of place. Delicious.

The Best of the Rest (A-Z):
Black Hills Estate Winery 2010 Nota Bene - $54
Fantastic concentration and depth. Deep, seductive, dark fruit on the nose with a full-bodied, fruit'n'herb palate to follow. Seems to embrace the cool vintage conditions rather than combat them.

Fairview Cellars 2010 The Bear - $34.90
Despite the success of the following single-variety wine, the best way to manage a cool vintage when trying to produce a hearty red wine is via a creative blend of components. Winemaker Bill Eggert succeeds again with his signature Bordeaux blend and similar to the Nota Bene, embraces the cool vintage conditions.

Fairview Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon - $39.90
There's just something about Fairview's terroir and vineyard program that squeezes every once of available ripeness from nature to produce the style of Cabernet Sauvignon folks are willing to pay good money to get. For 2010 we're at the lean and masculine end of the spectrum. But an herbal mess? No. A ripe Cab with delicious flavours? Yes - but you'll need to be patient. 2-3 years at least.

Fort Berens 2010 Meritage - $26.99
Rather different style than the fruit-forward, ready upon release 2009. The 2010 will need to lay quietly in your cellar for a while to mellow out, but, it deserves to be there. Super dry palate with big tannins and an austere style are the biggest changes. Think Right Bank Bordeaux

Fort Berens 2010 Cabernet Franc - $26.99
Similar to the Meritage, the 2010 Cabernet Franc has been made in an ultra-dry, austere style with big tannins that need some time to chill. Lean, focused with a great texture on the palate.

McWatters Collection 2009 Meritage - $29.99
Another stunning, full-bodied and concentrated Meritage from the hot 2009 vintage. Classic New World Meritage nose with ripe berry fruit dominant. Palate is juicy, full of flavour, well balanced and the wine finishes long.

Moon Curser 2010 Border Vines - $25
This wine stands out from its Meritage peers with a unique blend that includes Carmenere (35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Carmenere, 7% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot) and prune notes on the nose. Rich, ripe, chewy tannins and a little extra body from a splash of RS. A big blend.

Moon Curser 2010 Dead of Night - $38
Another proprietary blend with 47% Tannat and 53% Syrah all sourced from the Osoyoos Bench producing a rich and intriguing wine. Again prune notes help distinguish it from the pack, but, will they be to everyone's liking?

Osoyoos Larose 2009 Petales d'Osoyoos - $25
Consistant with the house style of massive tannins and a dense character of dark fruit, licorice and toasted oak. Ripe tannins and fruit, good structure and well balanced. The best Petales in years.

Osoyoos Larose 2008 Le Grand Vin - $45
The 2008 vintage is one to pass on. The tannins are absolutely huge and slightly under ripe which no amount of time in the cellar will improve. 2009 vintage should be released fairly soon and given the success of the firm's 2nd wine from that vintage (see above) I would save your cash and hold out.

Platinum Bench 2010 Benchmark Red - $?
From a new winery on the Black Sage Bench wedged between Black Hills and Desert Hills with a mature vineyard that used to conract out its grapes. This is a proprietary blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 8% Gamay Noir. Ripe and fruit forward.

See Ya Later Ranch 2009 Ping - $27.99
Expressive, ripe berry and plum fruit on this Meritage blend of 54% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Good intensity with friendly, round tannins. Best Ping I've ever tasted.

Seven Stones 2009 Row 128 Merlot - $30
Unfortunately, this wine is now sold out according to the winery's website. If you do come across it, however, snatch it up and be reminded just how good Merlot can be in BC when it is nicely extracted and properly oaked. Big, fruity and robust with decent complexity and superb balance.

Tantalus 2011 Riesling - $21.90
Off-dry Riesling with grapefruit, lime and loads of green apple acidity. Quite full, perhaps a tad too sweet, but, a great spicy food wine to be sure.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flicks and Flights

Our "Flicks and Flights" series has been created to celebrate films that feature wine as a central theme or plot catalyst. Some films will be very familiar and perhaps others will be new to even the most hardcore of vinos. All are worth a viewing if only for the excuse to open a tasty flight of accompanying wines.

Love Wine
A Good Year
Year of the Comet
and more...

The Flicks: There aren’t truly enough to call it a genre, in fact, wine related movies are few and far between. Rarer still is the wine related movie worth watching a second time. This, however, hasn’t stopped me from searching the nether regions of IMDB for films that use wine to define a character’s motivation or help further a plot and with a few carefully calibrated PVR settings and nefarious downloads later the above list has been researched for your viewing and drinking pleasure.

The Flights: Most of the time we’ve gone for wine suggestions based on the appropriate region or terroir that should be tasted rather than recommending specific producers. Find the matching wine available in your area at the price point you want to pay. In some cases, specific labels that are widely available have been suggested to enhance the tasting experience and may be worth stretching the budget to acquire.

Your best bet on sourcing locally available wines from the regions we’ve suggested is to take the list into your nearest fine wine shop and ask for help and recommendations of similar wines. If you have a suggestion for another (or a new) wine related film that we should cover, please add a comment below.

Happy viewing and tasting!
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stag's Hollow Winery's 2012 Releases

Okanagan Falls' Stag's Hollow Winery has recently released a new slate of wines for the Fall season, a mixture of white and red wines from the previous 3 vintages. The wines were presented at Lift Restaurant and Bar to media and trade with the wines already available on their website and soon to grace the menus of BC restaurants and wine shop shelves.

2011 Sauvignon Blanc - $19.99 (750ml) $427.00 (keg)
Both the bottle and Key Keg versions of this wine were poured for comparison. Both show major grassy characters while subtle, tropical fruit notes compliment the austere mineral elements. Not rated.

2010 Viognier - $21.99
A textured, rich and creamy example of the Rhone Valley varietal resulting from French oak barrel fermentation and extensive lees contact. 89pts
Full Review

2011 GVM - $27.99
Unfortunately, this wine suffered from being served in an open-nosed, goblet-style restaurant glass which made the muted aromatics harder to perceive. First impression is that this vintage is not as stunning as the 2010, yet, remains an intriguing blend of 63% Grenache, 225 Viognier and 15% Marsanne. 2nd impression needed.
Full Review - coming soon

2010 Renaissance Pinot Noir - $35.00
Only the 3rd vintage of Pinot Noir over the past 10 years to be elevated to the winery's reserve tier Renaissance - very appropriate as 2010 has produced some amazing Pinot Noir in the Okanagan Valley. A great entry for the premium Pinot market with a complex, round nose of sweet red fruit and warm, earthy notes. Not a Pinot for the faint of heart! 90+pts
Full Review

2011 Renaissance Sauvignon Blanc - $24.99
Despite the 100% barrel fermentation in new oak with active lees stirring, the wine never feels heavy or overdone while the lees adds complexity in the form of sweet brioche notes on the nose. Citrus, crisp, steely with nice minerality on the finish. 89pts
Full Review

2011 Con-Fusion - $17.99
An off-dry blend of 46% Gewurztraminer, 35% Semillon, 8% Muscat, 7% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Chardonnay and 1% Viognier which focuses on offering fruity-fun in a bottle. In the past, the Con-Fusion was a tad sweet for food pairing beyond spicy Asian food, but for 201 the unctuousness has been dialed back from "11" which will make it a nice companion to many more foods. 87pts

2010 Cabernet Franc - $27.99
This is a wine that stays with you and, upon reflection, was my favourite wine of the tasting. Builds nicely on the success of the 2009 with a turn towards more acidity for 2010 but remains effortlessly in balance. A great example of cool-climate Cabernet Franc with endless spice on the long finish. 90-91pts

2009 Heritage Block - $24.99
Stag's Hollow has moved towards an homage of Bordeaux's Right Bank for 2009 with a Merlot and Cab Franc heavy blend which delivers ripe blue fruit and berry aromas and flavours. An extra year in the bottle makes this wine stand-out from the winery's other new red wine releases - it is ready to go now and makes a competitive entry into the mid-tier, Bordeaux blend market in BC (think Fairview's Two Hoots and Osoyoos Larose's Petales). 89pts

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon - $27.99
This sku is always the one piece of the Stag's Hollow line-up that doesn't seem to quite fit. Cabernet Sauvignon is not a signature grape of Okanagan Falls (think "all things Pinot" as per winemaker Dwight Sick recently when discussing his view on what OK Falls should be known for) and the variety is notoriously hard to ripen in the Okanagan Valley with only a few vineyards consistently producing ripe, robust Cabernet grapes. The Stag's Hollow Cabernet makes the most of its cool climate pedigree with a well structured palate and nice, spicy/herbal elements but it fails to deliver the concentrated ripe dark fruit characters that we crave and may be best served as a blending component for its other wines. 87pts

2010 Syrah - $27.99
Pure white pepper delight on the nose and palate with more integrated tannins and a more subtle approach all-round than the powerhouse 2009; reflective of the cooler temperatures and longer growing season of 2010. 8.5% co-fermented Viognier adds depth and a feminine touch. 90pts

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Flicks and Flights: Bottle Shock

The Flick: "Bottle Shock" directed by Randall Miller, starring Chris Pine and Alan Rickman

The Flight: Grgich Hills Estate California Chardonnay, Meursault 1er Charmes White Burgundy, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis California Cabernet, Clos du Marquis Red Bordeaux

Bottleshock is a fictionalized account of the factual events which lead to a Californian Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon outscoring Burgundy Grand Cru and Bordeaux First Growth wines at the Steven Spurrier organized competition now known as the “Judgment of Paris”. This, now mythical tasting from 1976, announced the arrival of quality New World wines and challenged the presumption of French wine dominance. Long is the list of historical inaccuracies that litter the movie’s plot including the complete omission of winemaker Mike Grgich, who was instrumental in creating the winning Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, and in the introduction of Wine Sharking where winery workers dupe unsuspecting local bar patrons into betting against one’s ability to correctly guess the vintage, label and blend of a series of wines tasted blind.

The plot intertwines Spurrier’s conception of the tasting and trip to California to acquire the appropriate challengers with the strained father-son relationship of winery co-owner Jim Barrett and his hippy-living son Beau. Spurrier weaves the kooky world of 1970’s Napa valley winery personalities while father and son learn to communicate in an effort to save the beloved family business and succeed in Paris. Fairly formulaic.

The film suffers from a poorly paced and conceived script that would have been wiser to stick to the trials and triumphs of the actual events (as captured in the book Judgment of Paris by George M. Taber) rather than focus on made-up characters and wine hijinks like the aforementioned Wine Sharking. However, for wine lovers, watching Alan Rickman as Spurrier wax poetic about the intricacies and delights of a great glass of wine will save the film, mostly. He chews-up the scenery with his reserved and inherently snooty Britishness, pointed speech and elaborated diction – ok, I’m describing most Alan Rickman roles. Whatever. This one is about wine! Rent it and follow along with...

The Bottle Shock Drinking Game:

  1. Take a sip of California Chardonnay every time…The editor cuts to sweeping helicopter shots of vineyards in an effort to connect poorly paced scenes of the two competing narratives.
  2. Take a sip of White Burgundy every time…You see an iconic Citroen DS or a chain-smoking old man with a baret in a scene to reinforce the setting is in France.
  3. Take a sip of California Cabernet every time…The film overreaches with an awkward social comment on gender or race inequality in 1970's Napa Valley by way of its motley crew of society challenging misfits.
  4. Finish the bottle of red Bordeaux once…You realize that, despite the tittle of the film, the key, plot-moving wine fault is never attributed to the unsettling caused by the vibrations of transportation, aka actual “bottle shock”. Whoops!
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Best of BC: Icon Wines

What makes a wine an Icon Wine? To us, it's a wine that combines the best grapes with the best vineyard and winery practices and becomes a signature of its region. As our Best of BC section attests, there are a lot of great wines being produced in BC. But there's a difference between producing BC's best Chardonnay or Merlot and producing a wine that is the epitome of BC's best, an Icon.

Currently, our list contains Meritage blends only - possibly due to the fact that the style of Bordeaux is revered worldwide and many wineries devote their best fruit, barrels and effort to these wines. This will change in years to come as wineries figure out the best varietals to grow in their different vineyard blocks and signature varietals emerge like Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Blanc.

Updated: 9-9-12

Cassini Cellars 2009 Maximus - $29
Youthful, vibrant and raw may best describe the intense, fruit'n'savoury nose of the latest edition of Cassini Cellars' Meritage blend called "Maximus". This year's blend boasts 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% of Malbec, aged in new and second fill French and American oak for 14 months. Where to buy: Direct from winery.
Icon Score

Fairview Cellars 2009 The Bear - $35
Lovers of wines with a refined bite (fine tannins and mouth-watering acidity) will adore this vintage of The Bear. As for development, the sky's the limit. I look forward mightily to re-tasting this wine in two year intervals over the next eight as it melds and evolves. Where to buy: Direct from winery and select private wine shops.
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Laughing Stock Vineyards 2009 Portfolio - $42
The final blend of 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 14% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot was aged in French oak (60% new) for 19 months prior to bottling resulting in a structured wine with big, coarse tannins and loads of character. Where to buy: Direct from winery and VQA stores.
Icon Score

Herder Winery and Vineyards 2008 Josephine - $50
style and in composition, Herder's "Josephine" confidently conveys the essence of a fruit-forward leaning, Right Bank garagiste wine all the while keeping to its Similkameen roots. A blend of 81% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, it offers a lovely balance of bold, concentrated dark berry puree characters and savoury, earthy cedar notes with plenty of new French oak tannins and flavours. Where to buy: Direct from winery and VQA stores.
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Black Hills Estate Winery 2009 Note Bene - $54
Higher extraction and more modern vinification techniques have upped the concentration and increased the potential cellar life for this highly collected blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc. Where to buy: Direct from winery and select private wine shops ($55-60).
Icon Score

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2009 Red Icon - $55
The 2009 is a harmonious blend of 30% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot and 1% Syrah delivering massive complexity and concentration that never overloads the dry palate rather evolves slowly in the glass to reveal layers of the flavour profile. Where to buy: Direct from winery, select private wine shops and VQA stores.
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Fairview Cellars 2009 The Wrath - $65
Intense, brooding and fantastically complex, this wonderful wine offers loads of dark fruit and French oak at the core of its flavour profile. Big tannins, big mouth feel, big nose, big presence... big everything! Where to buy: Direct from winery.
Icon Score

Mission Hill Estate Winery 2006 Oculus - $70
Great concentration of flavours on the nose and palate with a final blend of 51% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. Each component is aged separately in 100% French oak barrels for 14.5 months. Where to buy: Direct from winery, select private wine shops and VQA stores.
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Blackwood Lane 2007 The Referènce - $90
This attention to detail and use of elite components is all done to add complexity to the wine. Time must be taken with this wine to fully appreciate the complexity as it evolves in the glass revealing hidden layers and clues to its secrets. Where to buy: Direct from winery and VQA stores.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

BC Wine Deal: September 4th, 2012

The following wines have been reduced at participating BC VQA and BCLDB Stores.

Church and State Gravelbourg Chardonnay was $29.90 is now $24.90
Inniskillin Pinot Noir Reserve was $18.99 is now $17.49
Inniskillin Chenin Blanc was $16.99 is now $15.49
Joie PTG was $25.90 is now $23.90
Kalala 3 Cru Nomad was $17.90 is now $14.90
Kalala 3 Cru Traveller was $19.90 is now $16.90
NKMIP Meritage QQ was $30.00 is now $24.99
Rigamarole Red was $14.99 is now $13.99
Saturna Pinot Gris was $ 16.99 is now $11.99
Saturna Rose was $14.99 is now $11.99
Saturna Un-Oaked Chardonnay was $15.99 is now $11.99
See Ya Later Chardonnay was $19.99 is now $17.99
See Ya Later Pinot Noir was $22.00 is now $20.00
See Ya Later Riesling was $16.99 is now $14.99
Sumac Ridge Cabernet/Merlot was $14.99 is now $13.99
Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer was $14.99 is now $13.99
Sumac Ridge Merlot Private Reserve was $15.99 is now $14.99
Sumac Ridge Sauvignon Blanc was $13.99 is now $12.99
Summerhill Pinot Gris was $17.95 is now $15.95

1976 Paris Tasting Re-Creation

It’s back!! Since the original event in June sold out so quickly, and so many folks missed out, we’re staging an encore performance! In case you missed the last description, here’s a brief synopsis: we taste 9 wines blind, California vs. France, and rate our winners along a 20-point scale, just like they did in 1976 when the French judges chose California wines over French ones (as portrayed in the movie “Bottle Shock”). It’s great fun, the last one was a blast, and as always we’ll have some nibbles provided by Chef Alistair from Tap Restaurant.

Wednesday Sept 26 at 6:30pm
$100.00 per person, seating is very limited.

The Cabernets:
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2005 $1099.99 (an original competitor)
  • Clos de Marquis 2005 $106.99 (Second wine to Leyoville-Les-Cases, an original competitor)
  • Clos Du Val Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $89.99 (original competitor)
  • Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 $59.99 (original competitor)
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $71.99 (Second wine to S.L.V., an original competitor)
The Chardonnay:
  • Joseph Drouhin Clos De Mouches Blanc 2009 $119.99 (original competitor)
  • Louis Jadot Meursault Charmes 2009 $99.99
  • Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2007 $79.99 (original competitor)
  • Grgich Hills Chardonnay 2008 $75.99 (winemaker of Ch Montelena, original competitor)
For tickets or more information contact me at Everything Wine by email or phone at 604-542-2480.
 - Jordan Carrier

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Monthly Picks: September 2012

It's the Last of the Summer Wine for September's picks. All are still available directly from the wineries as of this posting.

Intrigue Wines 2011 Focus Riesling - $20
The nose is subtle, but has depth with layers of pear, roasted lemon and lees. This is followed by an off-dry palate with measured acidity and a long, long, mouth-watering finish.
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La Frenz Winery 2011 Sémillon - $20
Enhanced with 10% barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc, its traditional blending partner, to add an extra layer of complexity and citrus kick, this Sémillon has a mouth-watering combination of vibrant acidity and rich texture from tropical and ripe melon fruit.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir - $20
This is the second vintage of the winery's new Pinot Noir program which sees the firm hold back the varietal tier wine 2 years prior to release. The patient approach has certainly elevated the quality and value of the wines which have become some of the best Pinots in the southern part of the valley.
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SpierHead Winery 2011 Riesling - $22
Acid level is not for the faint of heart, yet, serves its purpose - balancing the fruit and full-ish body - leaving the wine with a (mostly) dry finish.
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Cassini Cellars 2009 Reserve Chardonnay - $29
A delightful, fully oaked Chardonnay from a concentrated, hot vintage that manages to remain fairly bright and fruity - not burdened with the chunky nature of lesser, over-oaked Chards.
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