La Frenz Merlot, 2013

I am not reviewing the 2015 base model La Frenz Chardonnay.  The price was right ($22) but it was strange, it tasted tweaked, as if tinkered with to achieve a result and not supported to evolve and become an interesting wine.  To call it a huge disappointment is being kind.  And since I’m not prone to reviewing every bottle we drink, and trying not to slag off those BC vineyards I like to support, we skip to the 2013 Merlot, also modestly priced.

La Frenze Merlot 2013

First, it is not the slightly more expensive and more fulfilling Burrowing Owl Merlot, but it is heaps better than the base model Cedar Creek.  It comes on floral, lavender and rose and violet, hefty and off-putting, but it mellows with decanting and an hour or so later has a medium body that is as appealing as a sipper as it is with a gently spiced chicken dinner.


Here’s the thing: Bartier Brothers makes an excellent Merlot, (which I’ve drunk heaps of, never reviewed for no good reason, and is an oft-turned to weeknight red), now widely available at BCL, which is virtually the same price point.  And if you think of these two wines, both local, as apples and apples, BB is on the podium, and La Frenz is simply in the pack.


Price: $26 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: It hurts to say it, but it’s two strikes to La Frenz.

3 responses to “La Frenz Merlot, 2013”

  1. First of all, was that a cycling analogy or a general sporting one? The BB merlot is actually a blend with a smidge of cab franc I believe. It’s been one of my favourites too. The only La Frenz I’ve had is the Grand Total 2009 and it was great. I now have a vertical and am hoping the rest are as good. The Cedar Creek has been decent for under $20, but I haven’t had the 2013 yet.

    • I guess what I’m really saying is that my mixed case from La Frenz this year has been more disappointment than not, but particularly their Chardonnay, strike one, which over the years has been a good standby for guests and picnics, and now their Merlot, strike two. In Vancouver the hardest three vineyards to source “a variety of varietals” from are Burrowing Owl, La Frenz and Blue Mountain. Each are worth a mixed case come spring. But I’m rethinking LF after 2016.

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