Month: June 2012

  • Château Haut-Bergey Blanc, Pessac-Léognan, 2006

    From the cellar: White Bordeaux.  Sounds like an oxymoron.  Even the more eloquent Bordeaux blanc sounds like a misnomer.  And it comes at a steep price to boot.  The day I bought it, the white next to it was Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte, a mere $299 (seriously) with aging potential according to the “specialist” on duty to […]

  • L’Ecole No. 41 Red, 2009

    A mostly Merlot blend that is extremely easy to drink although without the defining characteristics that make LN41’s varietals so exacting and exciting.  [This blog is littered with L’Ecole plaudits: Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon, Chenin; too bad we didn’t do a handstand with this one.]  It seemed to me an ideal social wine, a BBQ wine, […]

  • La Crema Monterey Chardonnay, 2009

    The archetypal California chard.  Laden with butter, oak, deep earthy caramel and zero citrus.  Too heavily oak-ish for some but it drinks as you would anticipate, and expect, on a warm summer evening in Healdsburg.  In other words simple, appealing, without pretension.   It certainly didn’t bring the house down but we got through a […]

  • Huet Vouvray, Le Haut-Lieu Sec, 2009

    From the cellar: Ambiguous and alluring. Exquisite and exciting; sort of like a trip to the Louvre and seeing something old for the first time.  Contradictory—sweet but not, strong while gentle, assertive while delicate—and intriguing: A floral nose but not a bouquet on the mouth; it reminded me of once taking a bus across Crete […]

  • Vistalba Corte C, 2009

    Critic’s darling.  Mr. Parker gave it 90 points; collar on the neck.  Local reviewer Anthony Gismondi echoed that with 90; hand-written note in the store.  Wine Access best buy sticker on the neck.  And so on.  But I can’t help but feel this is a bit like the critics who liked Clooney in The American.  […]

  • Chateau St. Michelle Ethos Chardonnay, 2007

    Delectable.  In a one-two-three punch of west coast chardonnays this week (L’Ecole No 41, Cambria and CSM’s Ethos) this is the hands down winner.   While L’Ecole was the most impressive, in terms of artistry, it was sort of like fine china out to impress the in-laws, and the Cambria had fine structure, although it […]

  • Cambria Katharine’s Vineyard Chardonnay, 2009

    First of all, the grand poobahs of the wine review establishment (you know who you are) need to get off their collective tushes and take a stand on high alcohol.  Maybe they’re for it; maybe they like getting drunk on table wine that is essentially fortified and an inch away from spirits.  Or maybe they […]

  • L’Ecole No 41 Chardonnay, 2010

    A very potent potable.   Golden in the glass.  An unusual floral note in the stemware (heightened if all that’s clean is a Montrachet balloon as opposed to a Chablis glass.  Oh, remind me to put the dishwasher through…).  A deep and resonant bite with a pleasing long finish.  The west coast chardonnay style done […]

  • People’s Sauvignon Blanc, 2010

    A tart green grassy mouthful but slightly brash.  A tad reminiscent of Taveners Sour Lemon Drops.  Lingers on the tongue with what seemed a hard undertone (compared to, say, the softness of a gewurtz).   With dinner (fresh halibut baked in a parchment packet with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallots and wine alongside sautéed criminis and […]

  • Figeat Pouilly-Fume, Les Chaumiennes, 2010

    Imagine picking up a decent French white for around $20?  Even though Ontario has high taxes, they’re still lower on liquor than BC.  And it astonished me how much choice there was in the good old LCBO during a recent stay in YYZ. The Figeat has a well developed deep and appetizing flavour, a herby […]