Archive for August, 2015

August 19, 2015

Baillie-Grohman Blanc de Noir Rosé & Belle Glos Oeil de Perdrix Pinot Noir Blanc 2014

Rosé is a ruse. You pay the same dollars as for a fine red (or white), and you get something in between, not as good as either. But for whatever reason rosé is also in vogue. Reviewers go head over heel. God knows why. The average Josephine, she tends to like the colour. I write that seriously. Labels, bottle shape and colour seem to matter more at a party nowadays than what you drink.


We almost always find the quality and price point of a decent Pinot Gris trumps local rosé but there are one or two exceptions. Here it is mid-August, stinking hot, the summer that started in May and is predicted to continue to October, so if you’re going to stay with the patio theme, try either or both.

Belle Glos Oeil de Perdrix Pinot noir Blanc 2014


The Baillie-Grohman we inhaled. It was light, ethereal, floral, and a stunning complement to a pesto pasta salad. The Belle Glos, on the other hand, we sipped over an evening.  It is a hot commodity in BC this summer; it came in one fell swoop to the Lower Mainland then sold out almost instantly. Last time I checked there were only a handful of bottles left in the province. It obviously has many admirers, to say nothing of the long and pretentious label, from California (not France). Comparatively, it’s heavier, and more classically Pinot-ish, while it came on the palate inoffensive like a dime store rosé, it had a deep finish that resonates with the archetypal candy apple of its ilk; piquant, appealing, sharply acidic. And, yes, hard to resist. But ten dollars more than the wholly lovable Grohman. You know where I’m going…


Gone too soon!

Gone too soon!

Price: The Baillie-Grohman sells at the VQA retailers for a stunning value, a mere $19 including tax. Wow. The hard to find much sought after CA with the French label goes, with tax, for $28 at BC Liquor.


Market Liquidity: To quote Chris Rock, a man is only as faithful as his options. We take the savings.

August 11, 2015

Melini La Selvanella Riserva, Chianti Classico, 2010

Melini La Selvanella Riserva, Chianti Classico, 2010Ho-hum.  The Grigio we drank a while back, sensational.  Still holding back on the last few bottles.  This could not compare.


Gismondi loved it and scored it 90 points so of course I bought the last two bottles at my local outlet.  He noted its “silky textures” and “long smooth elegant finish.”  For us it was more the bristle of four days growth on a burly longshoreman and a less than memorable and rather flat finish.  I won’t battle his prose but this was the most disappointing red of the summer.


Price: $24.50 plus taxes at BC Liquor


Market Liquidity: Second bottle goes out as a host gift.

August 11, 2015

Bench 1775 Sauvignon Blanc, 2014

Bench 1775 2014 Sauvignon BlancA light, astringent, very sharp, pale straw Sauv Bl that is a wonderful counterpoint to the heavier, more aggressive NZ SBs. Has lovely flavours of grass, gooseberries (who eats gooseberries? I don’t know, but having actually grown them I can tell you they aren’t sweet, they have a juicy acid fruit that is evocative of many wines and deserve the reference), a woodsy citrus finish, lemon tart, that is pleasing and pleasurable if even with a bit too much “pucker”. We had some homemade bread to go with market produce and it was a treat.  Multi award winner which caught us a bit off guard, it’s not that sensational, but stock up if in fact you can find it.


Price: $25 at Mud Bay


Market Liquidity: Makes summer last a little longer.

Good wine and homemade bread.  Ooh la la.

Good wine and homemade bread. Ooh la la.

August 11, 2015

Stag’s Hollow Syrah, 2011

Ottolenghi Moroccan Carrot Salad

Ottolenghi Moroccan carrot salad and Bill Granger’s lamb kofta and Bombay potatoes.

Stags Hollow Syrah 2011Heavy. Heavy hitter. Label claims it’s only 13.5% alcohol but it drinks like a 15% California Zin. While it pulls a powerhouse punch, it also sits on the palate with typical Oz Shiraz aplomb; starts out a little acidic but ends soft, full, with all the cherry, plum and stone fruit depth you’d expect in any decent Shiraz. Has the feel, in your mouth, of a young red, of something not quite fully developed, satisfying but not satiating. Or have I got that backwards?


We liked it a lot. But we opened it on the wrong night. For dinner there was an ethnic feast: Ottolenghi’s Morroccan carrot salad, Bill Granger’s lamb kofta and Bombay potatoes. The Stag’s had the heft for the lamb but was overkill with spice. What did work? The Haywire Gamay Noir was a marriage made in heaven. We switched. Then, after dinner, switched back. Switch hitters.


Nothing to complain about and I’ll pick up another bottle or two but no home run.

This wine works with Indian, African and I'm sure Thai.  A gorgeous food friendly sipper.

This wine works with Indian, African and I’m sure Thai. A gorgeous food friendly sipper.


Price: $27.99 from Mud Bay


Market Liquidity: Good value, good drinking.

August 11, 2015

Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2013

Tinhorn Creek Pinot GrisHow to explain OK PG? It can be heavy, sweet, cloying, light, ethereal, fruity, flat, dry, nuanced and heavy handed. And in all the many guises it takes on, each has its own merit. We tend towards something more patio friendly than this TC but, nonetheless, it won us over.


Yes, it took a couple of glasses to warm up to this lovely OK white, and a few more bottles. In fact, we started drinking this in June and it was August before I noticed it had become our favorite summer sipper of 2015. How do the “pros” determine so much on first glance? You know the dust jacket on Cloud Atlas had very little to do with the complexity of the book; but I digress. Dominant flavours of pear and with a quince-y note, it is deep, masculine and much more rigorous than the average OK PG. Enormously food friendly it had the legs for all sorts of salad, charcuterie and crudités. It is not, however, a pretty wine; it doesn’t warm up or rest on the palate the way the more luxe Burrowing Owl does or the more lean Clos de Soleil does. But, as I say, in the end we bought more. And more.


Price: $18.99 from Mud Bay.


Market Liquidity: It developed over time. As they say.

August 11, 2015

Moraine Viognier, 2012

Moraine ViognierGismondi gave it a good review. Hmmm.


We have a phrase on the blog for wines that miss the mark this wide of the mark: Not even for risotto.


Price: $19.00 from Mud Bay.


Market Liquidity: Not even for risotto.