Archive for February, 2015

February 23, 2015

Yalumba Y-Series Viognier, 2014

Yalumba Viognier

Much trumpeted, poorly executed. A simple, innocuous, pale imitator of Viognier. And we are big proponents of obscure grapes. Just had a wonderful Cos Pithos Bianco in NYC which was gorgeous. And in a Brooklyn Michelin starred restaurant the server recommended a Californian Celadon Grenache Blanc, hands down the most food friendly and versatile white we’ve had in a long time (and only a couple hundred cases made). But this, this Y Series made us ask why at all? The blogosphere disagrees with me:


Loaded with fruit

Satisfyingly silky

Intense and perfumed

Bla bla bla


No.  This was hands down the most disappointing white I’ve tasted in months. Certainly it is, so far, the dud of the year. I know they make a higher end Viognier, but this was just plonk.


Viognier is such a versatile and welcome white I was sorely annoyed at how flat and distant this bottle was. We’d prepared a gorgeous Asian chicken stew with fresh ginger and star anise, cooked in daikon and squash. A decent Oz Tahblik Viognier would have hit the spot. The Yalumba went back to the pantry for risotto.


Fortunately we had a bottle of last year’s Blue Mountain Pinot Gris. And it hit the spot like magic.  BC Wines To the Rescue (who woulda thunk it?).


Price: $17.99 at BCL.


Market Liquidity: In the words of Simon Cowell, it was like ordering a hamburger and only getting the bun.

February 23, 2015

Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne-Boutinet Sauvage, 2010

CDR Villages for $30.  Better be good.  Hmmm.

Cairanne Boutinet 2010

First, I’m shocked at how many great reviews there are for this wine which, sure, has stupendous legs, but it needs much more time in the bottle, and has what the vineratti call intensity and/or is forward on the attack.  If, like me, you open it now, it needs time, time and more time.  I recommend four hours decanted.  It is hugely powerful, overpowering out of the bottle.  It softens and evens out, there are gorgeous herbal notes and (of course, RP’s favorite) oak, but buttery and soft.  None of that is on the tongue freshly corked.  We went from one tannic sip to a small glass an hour later to finishing the bottle after waiting another two and a half hours.  It was like a journey down a bumpy road ending up on tarmac.  In the end elegant and nuanced flavours on a silky finish.  And such slow drinking kept us sober (it is a heady 14.5%…)

Price: $29.99.  A heck of a lot of money.  At BCL.

Market Liquidity: A little too rustic for us, but if you can score it in the US at $17, a no-brainer.

February 20, 2015

Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!


I didn’t celebrate CNY but I did celebrate Valentine’s (not alone of course!) and look at my gift.  A $70 bottle of sparkling.  Oooh la la.  Came with its own cool pack.

Perrier Jouet

I fell head over heels for this rich, creamy Champers.  Then I went to BC Liquor and saw how much it cost.  They have a review citing its apple flavour which gives way to lemon curd and warm bread.  I didn’t get that.  I got more peach/apricot, with an astringent passion fruit or tropical note; the yeasty notes are constrained.  A consistent and long lasting effervescence.  To wallow in.


Price: $67 at BC Liquor.


Market Liquidity: Why do rap stars bother with Cristal?

February 20, 2015

Moss Wood Margaret River Chardonnay, 2010

Crap. As in holy crap, er, Holy Crap I guess. Bone dry, startlingly low oak, pure fruit that crosses between honeydew and cantaloupe without one smidgen of syrup (cantaloupe, what the Australians call rock melon, that’s a much better descriptor, it catches that stoniness of the fruit), crisp, tiny little pasty notes that leave you with a nut butter finish, unbearably delicious.

Moss Wood Chardonnay 2010

Price: Expensive.  I don’t dip into this category.  Although, obviously, some people do.  This came sort of gifted, so I researched online after the fact and was astounded at the bottle price.  I was a bit cavalier just opening this on a week night but no regrets.


Market Liquidity: Regrets, I’ve had a few, but never one from Margaret River.

February 20, 2015

Emplacement Walla Walla Syrah, 2012

Americans need to stop saying Syrah.  It’s as affected as toe-mah-toe.  Still, that’s a rant for another day.  This is a full on crazy ass kick in the pants walloping of red. All the leather you’d expect in Grenache and all the spice you’d hope for in Cabernet. This is headstrong but softly romantic. It’s deeply aromatic and with a ludicrous finish. All the hits of those 15-17% Australian reds flooding the market without the headiness. I write it over and over and over, but Walla Walla is the bomb. Let’s give it some love already.

Emplacement Syrah

Price: Less than $20 in WA.


Market Liquidity: Washington puts BC to shame yet again.

February 20, 2015

Array Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, 2010

Unctuous. Although, I know, a much under-used and mis-used word because I don’t mean oily or minerally I mean virtuous.


OK: Good. Very good. None of that grating severity common in unoaked chardonnay. Has all the warmth of a much finer, more refined white. But who am I to say this isn’t refined? It’s just the price that baffles me. Around $20 for a white that, if made in BC, would be over $40.  There is a tinge of burnt sugar on the tongue, not a sharp caramel, but just a flinty sweetness that is hugely alluring.

Array Chardonnay

Mission Hill bottles a Perpetua that I would put in this class but then, again, I wouldn’t. I mean the Array stands heads and tails above it. Absolutely a perfect fish wine, a very good mushroom wine, a decent (non tomato sauce) pasta wine, and a fairly decent aperitif.


Price: Over $40 USD in a restaurant so, presumably, $20-25 retail.


Market Liquidity: Who says unctuous?  Prick.