Archive for December, 2014

December 22, 2014

Ch. Saint-Roch Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Kerbuccio, 2011

Ch Saint-Roch Cotes du Roussillon Villages Kerbuccio

From the cellar: Last summer, summer 2013, we came back from a weekend in the US with our wine allotment of four bottles of Maury Sec.  Not that I would know Maury Sec from Maury Povich.  A “villages” wine to boot.  Laid them down.  Being the holiday, the time to pop the cork on special bottles, we pulled one out of the “cellar.”  Crap my pants.  To think I was in the Cambie BCL store on the weekend, with pundits too rich for their britches checking out $150 bottles of Barolo on their smart phones, and we picked up this gem, this stunner, this absolutely unbelievable bottle, for a mere $20 US.  And back when the Canadian dollar had some value.


If you spend some time on Google you will discover that the region used to bottle fortified wines, dry wines in the area came from Corbieres.  Now they have the “right” to bottle dry wines.  Google away.  But if you can, try and score some of this magnificent red blend, primarily Syrah, that has a ferocious intensity, deeply flavored with cherry, blackberry, black currant, and an uncanny char that is like toast.  Superb.  And then some.


Price: $20 USD in July 2013.


Market Liquidity: You can’t get much more impressed or impressive at this price point.

December 22, 2014

Laguna Russian River Chardonnay, 2012

We bought half a case on spec.


Bottle 1: My notes were uniformly unimpressed. At the start, on the palate, predictable. California Chardonnay. I’ll take my oak IV today. Yawn.


Bottle 2: Hey, with a little air, with a little rise in temperature, some small sips with neutral nibbles, this white really popped. It had the proverbial levels you expect in top CA bottlings but without the price.


Bottle 3: Had to use a Burgundy Reidel glass as it was the only clean one left. Wowza. Gorgeous body. Oak, but balance, lovely floral notes. It reminded us of Asian pears, crisp and forward and juicy. Not the softer richer notes you get in Burgundy, but forward without being brusque. Wonderful. Lively caramel notes and a smooth finish.  Laguna Russian River Chardonnay 2012Consummately new world.


No regrets I have three left!


Price: $20 USD in Seattle.


Market Liquidity: Some things grow on you.

December 16, 2014

Best BC White of the Year

It could have been the Haywire Switchback PG. Swoon. De-lovely. The silver label Haywire is the Switchback. But the huge disappointment that came with the white label Haywire (sorry, White Label) was a strike against it. Bleach. Here’s our brown-nose review of the Switchback; we rejected and didn’t review the White. Also the Haywire Bub, another one we didn’t review, didn’t impress either. So it wasn’t Haywire. Nor was it the Nichol PG. Which is a wonderful white if we do say so. In the end it was the Blue Mountain PG. The non-VQA Blue Mountain PG. Vancouver had an atypical long hot lovely summer and nothing drank like home grown PG. Here’s the review.



December 16, 2014

Best Value Red of the Year

When BCL discontinued the Hickinbotham so began a fierce hunt for an under $20 replacement. And it came not from South America, Spain or Portugal, but Italy. Who woulda thunk it? Thank you Verso Rosso Salento. Here’s the review.


Technically, it’s been pointed out that since Canada discontinued the one cent piece, a $19.99 wine is in fact not under $20. Technical, shmechnical.

December 16, 2014

Best BC Red Wine of the Year

026It should have been the (SUPERB) Blue Mountain Pinot Noir (which is not reviewed on this site, much to my chagrin). Which we hunted down relentlessly, bought by the half bottle when in the end the full bottles were nowhere to be found, generally paid too much for it, paid far too much for it in restaurants, it should have bee the BM PN which we loved, but it is not the Blue Mountain Pinot. Or the Blue Mountain Reserve Pinot. In the end, Nk’ Mip Talon, a much more aggressive, assertive and determined red, red blend, won our hearts over the varietal we drank more of.  Oh Blue Mountain: You send me a free shipping coupon two months after your Pinot is sold out.  How frustrating is that?  Plus, the Talon, easier on our pocket books. And, wonderfully, you can find it almost anywhere. Review here.

December 16, 2014

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin, 2009

From the Cellar: No two bit wine blogger is going to have a whisper of impact on this wine which consistently and persistently tops reviewer’s hot lists and best of lists. If BC wine is a mafia family this is Tony Soprano. This is the Don. This is the be-all red.

Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2009

So, yes, it’s overwhelmingly majestic, powerful, impressive, deeply considered, with a heavy hitting Bordeaux blast. I struggled to side with Beppi Crosario in the Globe who slavered over it with a stunning 92 point assessment. I couldn’t see (based on my nominal experience in France tasting Bordeaux) that it was as layered, nuanced, or elegant as the rarities I’ve been fortunate to sample in Pessac-Leognan or Pauillac. We were gifted this pricey bottle a while back and took it out for a celebration. Absolutely no complaints. But, frankly, it’s been there done that for me. Hype can do that.


Price: No idea, but Google claims $45 in BC.


Market Liquidity: Bucket list: Check.

December 16, 2014

Costamolino Argiolas, Vermentino, 2013

Costamolino Vermentino 2013

Refreshing like being a kid running through a sprinkler. Crisp, cool, clean. Dry, delightful. No-nonsense but hugely enjoyable. This is a white that gets things done. Spectacularly paired with a vegetable stew (zucchini, turnip, parsnip, spinach, potato, green and cannellini beans, celery, carrot and a dollop of pesto). But I think if you were nibbling on pistachios, if you had fried sardines with an arugula side, if you were sharing fish and vegetarian tapas, this is a go-to delight. It is not heavy, overbearing or (for better or worse) impressive; your vino-expert friends may find this too every-day and mock you. This will not wow. But oh lovely Tuesday; at 13.5%, a light and unoaked and very fragrant white will brighten your day. I can’t wait to try it out with Thai and Indian. Try it on a cool, dark, stormy winter night with a non-winter dish. It’s like vitamin D for the soul. Then buy half a case for June. No qualms at the price point either.


Price: $20 at BC Liquor.  Cheaper elsewhere in Canada.  Ludicrously illegal to ship across Canada at the cheaper price…


Market Liquidity: Add Sardinia to the bucket list.

December 16, 2014

Secateurs Red Blend, 2011

Wonderful everyday wine. Pungent, smooth, light vanilla, red berries, easy drinking. Paired with homemade pizza a charm. Their Chenin was our “favorite label” of 2013.

Secateurs Red Blend 2011

We found it by accident at Everything Wine for under $30. For the price, I think we can do better, but online I see it’s a bargain south of the border. There is, however, something a little simplistic and unmemorable.


Price: $29 at Everything Wine


Market Liquidity: Good is subjective.

December 10, 2014

Best White of 2014: Ridge Mikulaco Chardonnay, 2011

From the Cellar: We had six bottles from last year.  I drank it, reviewed it, and missed it sorely.  Then, this week, I found a hold out!  Spectacular.  This is where I insert the link to my review, which is not as over the top as I was on this “bin end” and, truthfully, a little glib.  Ridge, the vineyard I would like to marry, produced just a smattering of this fine wine.  A white which has the brilliant balance of “Burgundy light” with “California heavy” and manages fruit with oak with green with gold.  Very, very hard to say goodbye.

Ridge Mikulaco 2011

It’s that time of year when everyone creates their “best of the year” right?


Price: $25 back in the day.


Market Liquidity: Like meeting an old friend by accident.

December 10, 2014

Punto Final Malbec, 2013

punto final

Flat, sour, unmemorable, although not undrinkable. We got it down.  But probably the most disappointing red in a few months (especially if you’ve followed some of the spectacular reds we’ve blogged this fall).


Price: $16 at BC Liquor, $20 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar


Market Liquidity: It’s an also ran.