Friday, April 28, 2017

Try This, Cellar That - Kaiken Malbec

This week we showcase two Malbecs from Argentina's Kaiken Wines:

Try This...
Kaiken 2015 Reserva Malbec - $15
Impressive balance and intensity for the price, the Kaiken Reserva Malbec is produced by the Montes family of Chile from Mendoza fruit and offers a blooming nose of dark berry fruit, charred oak and sweet pipe tobacco aromas followed by a mouth-watering, full-bodied and round palate with a combination of sweet berry and spicy flavours. Finished with a hint of mint. Enjoy in its youth with sweet'n'spicy, BBQ dished. Drink now-2019.

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Cellar That...
Kaiken 2014 Ultra Malbec - $25
The Ultra Malbec sees 12 months in French oak prior to bottling, imparting a smoothness to the palate and light oak aromas and flavours. Ripe, dark fruit throughout with lively, brambly acidity, soft, fine tannins and a touch of smoke and spice that linger on the moderate-plus finish. Handles its 14.5% alcohol superbly. Ready to go now, or hold for some further development over the next 2-3 years. Drink now-2020.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Featured Wines: 3 for Under $50

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 Morgan Crossing location in South Surrey.

3 for Under $50

“Hipster” is a funny term to watch evolve in the wild, because it produces the most push-back from the people it’s most correctly used on. If someone calls me a Hipster, I laugh and wonder if that person can see. If the same title is levelled at a young man with ironic boots, a pierced beard and Far Side glasses, you’ll invariably hear “Ugh, I hate Hipsters” before he leaves in disgust, spilling his tomato stout as he gets into his Yugo.  Of course now that I just wrote that – by my own rules – I’m one too…. Drat, I didn’t think that through.

The following are certainly not Hipster Wines (even if they were I wouldn’t call them that because then the Hipsters wouldn’t buy them) because they can be enjoyed completely unironically, but they do have unique, esoteric qualities. Satisfying enough to patio, but cool enough to intrigue your meta-nephew (who you should not under any circumstances call a Hipster). We begin:

Mazzei Zisola 2013, Sicily, Italy
In truth, this was almost a “Back Up The Truck” (it’s a Top 100 wine), but I just don’t have quite enough. This is magnetic, spot-on Sicilian Nero d’Avola with savoury herbaceous notes over black forest cake. The fruit party takes a left turn on the finish, where the orangey acidity and tannic structure give it that final push towards classicism. Mazzei is a Chianti Classico family that was drawn to Sicily by curiosity and – let’s stay real – very agreeable prices. They found a small hamlet near Noto called Zisola, where grape vines were still being grown and harvested hunter-gatherer-style in the bush training system, and they set up shop. Keep your eye on this wine, this won’t be the last time it makes the year-end lists. We’ll be tasting Zisola in the Vintage Room this Saturday at 3pm! 92 points James Suckling, 92 points Wine Enthusiast, #89 – Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2015, 15 6-packs available, $39.99 +tax

Chateau de Nages “JT Rouge” 2006, Costières de Nimes, France
With a decade under its belt and both feet planted firmly in the zone-of-awesome, this wine will spend a lot of time travelling to my belly. 100% Organic Syrah from just south of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, culled from a single block of a single vineyard, and vinified by Halos de Jupiter guru Philippe Cambie and biodynamic-minimalist/crazy-man Michel Gassier. The fringes belong to tertiary leather and tea, but the primary fruit still runs the table with blood orange and floral notes, falling into a way-bigger-than-expected body and a firm, almost Bordeaux-like finish. Very way-cool. The texture is multi-layered and earned, with wisps of pepper and smoked meat. We’ll be pouring this one also this Saturday at 3pm.One-time-only buy, this won’t be back. 6 wooden 6-packs available, $49.99 +tax

Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques “Clos du Grand Carquelin” 2013, Moulin-a-Vent, France
A new vintage for this “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Burgundy” superstar that I’ve written about before. Burgundian viticulture and quality for half the price, this is Cru Beaujolais in all of its glory. It follows the same adherence to terroir specificity (Region>>Village>>Vineyard) as Premier Cru Burgundy, and it’s made by  Louis Jadot (in their surrogate Beaujolais winery Chateau des Jacques) in almost exactly the same way they make their Burgundian Pinot Noirs. The indigenous Gamay brings a shade more friendly red fruit to the party than Pinot, but you can pair this with any Burgundian match – duck, mushroom risotto, ratatouille – and be awesome. 93 points Wine Enthusiast, 3 cases available, $46.99 +tax