Archive for February 16th, 2016

February 16, 2016

Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 & Rosso Langhe Nebbiolo, 2012

OK, so in keeping with the Vancouver Magazine review theme, see our other comments here, two more reviews which, ultimately, drove us to wines not on the Vancouver Mag list…

Langhe Nebbiolo, Giovanni Rosso, 2012

Langhe Nebbiolo, Giovanni Rosso, 2012

Simply put not worth the price. But quite good (when compared against other Italian reds at BC Liquor). I would say, in my humble opinion, that if you must drink Italian wine in Vancouver, then you’re better off with Chianti, as the range, prices and options are more diverse. If you are buying this thinking you are getting a Barolo, at one-third the price, you are delusional. If you are hoping for something more approachable (young) than a Barbaresco, I’d say this is not Langhe’s finest moment.


For a better description of why you might buy Nebbiolo, see a wonderfully succinct intro article over at the New York Times.


Price: $26.99 (with tax $31.04) at BCL

Market Liquidity: Some of the hits of its tony cousins, but none of the peaks.


Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

So smooth it’s glib. A crowd pleaser if ever there was one, but you won’t catch me lining up for an Apple release, the Star Wars franchise or playoff tix. And that’s all you can really say about this enormously, overwhelmingly populist wine, which drinks like velvet but has nothing memorable to say about itself or the varietal except that it will please in droves. When you’ve bought your Banana Republic jacket, your Club Monaco khakis, your Aldo shoes, your Foot Locker kicks, your Abercrombie underwear, your Fossil watch and want to cap it off in keeping with a generic wine which will offend not a soul, cin cin.

Price $24.99 (with tax $28.74) at BCL

Market Liquidity: Socially acceptable.

February 16, 2016

Blasons de Bourgogne Brut Réserve & Jansz Tasmania, Méthode Tasmanoise

Vancouver magazine publishes a list of the best wines in BC by a panel of experts. Or so the copy reads. It’s a give-away at liquor stores and the wines are all selected based on general availability so the weight, in my mind, is more advertorial and promo, a la the LCBO Food & Drink, than expertly chosen. (Download the great Food & Drink app here!) But whereas Food & Drink has some amazing recipes and great food pairing tips (it is in fact, arguably, the most in demand publication in Ontario, with higher editorial and readership scores than Chatelaine, Toronto Life, Canadian Living or Canadian House and Home. And it’s free too), the Van Mag reviews seem a little arbitrary.


Anyway, we thought we’d focus in February, on an off, with the Vancouver mag “expert” reviews.

Blasons de Bourgogne Brut Réserve

We started with the Blasons, a pretty sensational sparkling, given the price point. Lightly effervescent, much more accomplished than the many dreary Prosecco options at BCL. An honest to god brilliant bubbly for cocktails, with even a drop of Grande Marnier or Campari popping this out of the park. It lacks depth and sits a little one note on the palate but we vote it well worth the extra five dollars over bats piss.

Price: $22.80 (with tax $26.21) at BCL.

Market Liquidity: A fine faux.

The Jansz I had very high hopes for. Sparkling is a way of life in Australia. Even the hard core beer drinkers with their schooners and middys and pots will stop for a toast, be it Seaview or Wolf Blass. But how about something crispy, fruity, lively from the deep south? Unfortunately, this is a bit of a letdown. Hearty but heavy, with too much effervescence and a minerality that overpowers the fruit. It foams up on the palate the way hydrogen peroxide does, has a leaden finish and lacks both the feathery ephemeral fruit of a good prosecco or the luscious creaminess of a good méthode champagne.

Jansz Tasmania, Méthode Tasmanoise

Price: $27.99 (with tax $32.19) at BCL.

Market Liquidity: Very much a sparkling white as opposed to a sparkling.