Thursday, November 26, 2015

Featured Wines: Icons of Awesome

If any of the wines 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 Morgan Crossing location in South Surrey.

Icons of Awesome

As we enter the Holiday season, great wines start arriving with increasing frequency in the Vintage Room. I’m not sure where these wines have been the whole year, my theories include:

-Hiding timidly in the forest until all the bears hibernate because they’re really scared of bears.

-Waiting to leave the warehouse until the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead because they were all watching that.

-Spending months at the warehouse waiting to be processed because the warehouse now only employs squirrels. Again, these are just theories.

Whatever the reason, I will have a lot of wines to tell you about, so my emails will come more frequently also, I hope you don’t mind. Today, we visit and revisit famous, iconic wines that are either new to us or a new vintage. We begin:

Penfolds 2011 Grange
Because of the reduced production (by half), I wasn't even sure that I was going to get any of this, or even whether BC was. 2011, one of the most challenging years in Aussie viticultural history, was disastrous to most South Australian wineries (many wineries didn't make a flagship that year), but because Grange isn’t tied to any single vineyard, winemaker Peter Gago could dramatically cut yields and pick and choose the very best fruit to make Penfolds’ (and Australia’s) most famous wine. It worked. Four fifths Barossa and one fifth McLaren Vale, this is only the sixth Grange since the ‘50s to be comprised entirely of Shiraz (most have a tiny bit of Cabernet), and the result is a stunning, deep, glass-staining red wine that bleeds blueberry jam and licorice, and threatens to never leave your mouth. I had a glass last month and I'm still smiling. 93 points Robert Parker, $725.00 +tax

Cakebread 2012 Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
A single-vineyard, high-elevation Cabernet from Napa’s Howell Mountain that has about as much in common with regular Cakebread Cab as a spear does with a popsicle stick. Often called California’s Chateau Latour, there is a very Pauillac-ish feel to this, with graphite and deep black fruits blending with the significant oak influence to give this a very opulent, Bordeaux-y texture, and contribute to its nearly perfect score. 99 points Robert Parker, $181.99 +tax

Joseph Phelps 2012 Insignia
Napa Valley’s first Proprietary Blend returns with a stunning 2012 that drinks like Goldilocks, now or 30 years from now. 75% Cab Sauv with Petit Verdot, Merlot and Cab Franc fighting for position, with 2 full years in 100% new French oak providing the life insurance. Blackcurrant liquor and incense precede a body like a bouncer and a frame like a log cabin. I like Insignia best after 10 years from its harvest date, it’s truly magical, but you can totally drink it now because I sell wine. 96 points Robert Parker, $318.99 +tax

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