Archive for September, 2015

September 27, 2015

Agharta Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009

Sensational. Liquid sild, blackcurrant, licorice, heavy spice, hugely satisfying. An unfortunate but predictable 14.77 per cent alcohol volume. A lingering concord grape sweetness on the finish. The epitome of a superb new world CS.

Agharta Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Price: Bought in the US. No receipt. $40+ USD is my recollection.


Market Liquidity: What you want when you want California Cabernet Sauvignon.

September 27, 2015

Grgich Hills Chardonnay, 2010

We went head over heels over the 2008. Read our rave here.


We went gaga over the 2009. Read our rave here.

Grgich Hills Chardonnay 2010

Restraint overcame us with the 2010. It was subtle, to the point of simplicity, missed a lot of the exuberant finish the previous vintages displayed, and came up short where Chardonnay half the price is excelling.


Price: An astounding $71.


Market Liquidity: Clint Eastwood talks to the chair.

September 27, 2015

Domaine des Gorges du Soleil Rivesaltes Rouge, 1963

From the cellar: A somewhat spectacular bottle of Grenache in the Muscat style. Burnt chocolate, an array of dried fruit Turkish bazaar style, caramel and Australian Leatherwood honey (a most spectacular and distinct honey if you’ve never had it).

Rivesaltes 1963

But it’s not port. It’s not Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. It’s not sweet Sherry. It might remind a connoisseur of some Madeira, with that light nutty note, but even then, it is all the way different.


Superlatives fail. Share with friends? We did; something of a letdown. The expectations ran high. It’s not as sweet as some sweet wines, it’s complex and layered and not as wine-y as many after dinner bottles.  Some people expected port, some were taken aback by the masculinity.


Not sure where I stand with this.


Price: $80 USD.


Market Liquidity: Like a bucket list item.

September 15, 2015

Blue Mountain Pinot Gris, 2014

The new BM PG is out. A friend sent me an email recently “Don’t you drink anything besides Pinot Gris?” I apologize; it’s a half case here, a half case there. Fun fact: Did you know Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are all genetic mutations of the same grape? Sorry; this blog is not about wine education! My apologies though for yet one more PG review.  I think with the cooler weather we’re closing in on our 2015 allotment.

Blue Mountain Pinot Gris 2014

The BM will sell out, it always does, but it’s not a stellar year. Dry, crisp, tart, like the first apples of the season. The oak gives it a slight dimension not common in BC PG. Brusque, if it can be said, as it leaves little on the palate. A lovely counterpoint to some Manchego, avocado and kohlrabi slaw, a not exceptional sipper but pleasant. Does not have the legs for serious cuisine. Still, five more bottles to go, and it won’t be hard…


Price: Inexpensive. Period.  Kudos to BM.


Market Liquidity: Mixed emotions.

September 15, 2015

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, 2010

Grgich Hills step aside. Gorgeous California Chard. Elevated comfort food, er wine. Smooth, elegant, buttery, butterscotch, balanced, nuanced, a long soft cakey finish, lightly floral. It was sad we only had one bottle so we tasted a farewell to summer with a find summer wine. Thank you ABC.  A most satisfying white.  And what a superstar compared to the 2011.

Scintillatingly good

Price: $25 from the vineyard; even with the Canadian peso it was worth it.


Market Liquidity: What a difference a day vintage makes.

September 15, 2015

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, 2011

Hard to believe this is vintage Chardonnay; on first blush, acidic, citric, aggressively tropical. But with some air, and warmth, a lovely apple, pear and stone fruit comes forward, a modest vanilla balanced with a nuanced gun metal finish are reminiscent of tasting rooms in Burgundy.

Au Bon Climat Los Alamos Vineyard Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2011

The bottom line: We didn’t love this. At least not by the glass. But by golly we didn’t hate it, and with a plain roast chicken it was delectable. As a complement wine, it was fresh, nutty, piquant and crisp.

Price: From the vineyard, but not expensive in USD.

Market Liquidity: It makes the cut, but it’s not first past pole.

NB: See our much different take on the 2010 here.