Archive for August 6th, 2013

August 6, 2013

La Frenz Montage, 2008

089From the cellar: Stuck in the back of the “cellar” and forgotten?  But oh so luscious and what a wonderful keeper this turned out to be.  The Naramata Bench Rattlesnake Vineyard Montage  (a Shiraz, Merlot, Cab Sauv blend with Shiraz bling and Merlot deftness and not too much CS it seemed).  Big and bold with a spicy kick, an aromatic currant nose, with a deep, glorious fruit finish.  A long pleasing pleasant finish with no rough edges.  Honestly, a most wonderful Okanagan red.  But why did I keep it?  Did Gismondi recommend lying down?  No idea, no notes, no meticulous record.  Usually, the Montage is one for fresh from the bottle, now and away.  Maybe it was a mistake?  A glorious mistake.  Opens up with air to a deep cherry vanilla soda with leathery overtones, beautiful nuance of oak but no oaky-whitewash.  And, at only 13% alcohol, a miracle of sorts.


Price: From the vineyard a few years back.  The 2011 sells for $22, so let’s say something like that.


Market Liquidity: Smooth but not glib—like Ella Fitzgerald forgetting the lyrics…

August 6, 2013

Peter Lehmann Layers, 2011

045A quality blend (and we are blend nuts) at a reasonable price (and we are nothing if not budget conscious) but, alas, not a lot more.  Lehmann (now part of the Hess “family”) makes some accessible wines at prices that mean parties can go on longer, and wine can be at table instead of beer.  So kudos I guess.  No disrespect but this isn’t refined or exciting or captivating; it has an enjoyable “social” berry, smoke and woodsy earthiness, few tannins and a non-event finish.  A decent patio BBQ red but not as satisfying as the Hickinbotham.  A surprising 90-pointer from the magazine famous for pointing.


Price: $18.99 at BC Liquor.


Market Liquidity: Smooth but not suave.

August 6, 2013

Mt Monster Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010

019Petrol, pepper, eucalyptus, cedar and dark cherry.  Be careful; it’s one of those Jekyll and Hyde reds, with a lot of Incredible Hulk heft (14.5%) alcohol, but easy to sip with virtually no burn.  Compared to many of the California Cab Sauvs at this price point, the Monster is an exceptional value with none of the rough edges you’d expect.  But at the same time it’s not quite as refined as Cab Sauv sometimes needs to be.  BBQ on the deck?  Yes.  Gordon Ramsey’ Beef Wellington?  No.  Still, with one summer movie blockbuster after another, sooner or later you need a credible quaff.


Price: $23.77 with the case discount at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: Strong and reliable but not heroic.