Archive for August 19th, 2014

August 19, 2014

Ridge East Bench Zinfandel, 2012

171Screw methadone. We have found our drug of choice. It’s not on Schedule I. It’s not on Schedule II. But it damn well could be. We haven’t found a wine this interesting, luxurious or addictive since the Woodward Canyon a year or so ago.

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Although I haven’t tried the BulletProof diet, where strong coffee and butter are blended for a morning beverage, this Zin from Ridge has a buttery palate that is creamy, rich, and ridiculously likable: It might as well be butter blended into wine. Huge, piercing fruit notes that are astonishingly smooth and velvety. An absolute stunning tribute to what a Zin can be—and line it up next to the myriad metallic bombs that line the government store shelves for some real competitive taste testing. There isn’t a CA red in the BC Liquor Control Board stock that could draw a straw against this. Plus, it’s not an overpowering 16 per cent alcohol.

 

You can find raves on any old Google search. I like the words pure, opulent and transparent which I’ve seen elsewhere. But Goggle will help you find more “winey” descriptions if you don’t trust the fireworks reference. Suffice to say this is a knock-your-socks off good red, a mouth watering sipper, a superb meat accompaniment, and a shocking under $30 at the vineyard. If we could, I’d nominate it for a Tony, an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar. But we can’t. All we can do is bring it back into Canada, one bottle at a time, as our duty free allotment, and bemoan the high tax crapshoot that is the BC wine landscape.

 

You cannot live by bread alone.  Even really good home-made bread.

You cannot live by bread alone. Even really good home-made bread.

Price: $28 at the vineyard, and similar in the Pacific NW.  Here in BC, if you can find it, over $50.

 

Market Liquidity: EGOT: Ridge hits another home-run.

August 19, 2014

Domaine Lafage Tesselae Old Vine Carignan, 2012

058This is the sort of red that Robert Parker loves. Let him love it. It’s pure, 100 per cent Carignan, which in BC makes it something of a rarity and a talking point. But the 15 per cent alcohol, the heady fruit notes, the nearly fortified wine-ness of it all, we found it tedious and predictable. And with just nothing unique or wonderful or striking to boot, despite expectations. A case for general consumption at a BBQ would be lauded.  Sipping over a medium rare ribeye, not so much.  I believe Parker referred to it as a “sexy, voluptuous beauty.” Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Price: A nicely comfortable $13 USD. You can’t beat that for value. On value alone I agree with Parker: 92 points. Hell, 100 points on value.

 

Market Liquidity: Ready to wear but not bespoke.

August 19, 2014

La Frenz Ensemble, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, 2011

056A very accomplished blend. A thoughtful blend. Not too Sem, not to Sauv Bl. We get at least one mixed case a year from La Frenz: Their wines are reasonably priced and good quality. But we rarely drink them thinking about them. With each sip, this wine was a Cartesian brain teaser: How much Sauv Bl, how much Sem, how did they achieve that note, is that sweet or tart or stony or lush or all of the above? A lot to think about. Think Thomas Pynchon-ish.

 

Cobb Salad.  Really, really good Cobb Salad.  Ah, summer.

Cobb Salad. Really, really good Cobb Salad. Ah, summer.

In short, we liked it a lot but didn’t love it. Ultimately it sort of exhausted us considering about the blend as opposed to just enjoying it. And it was a tad pricey. But I recommend it. It should be required reading, er, drinking for the local cognoscenti. Try to find it though…

 

Price: $29 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar (the site perpetually under construction).

 

Market Liquidity: All things considered.