Month: January 2017

  • Culmina Dilemma, 2014

    The tasting notes on this whet the appetite.  I quote the vineyard: “An elegant Chardonnay, Dilemma shows enticing aromas of nectarine, lemon curd, hazelnut, and subtle clove spice. Delicate white floral and subtle French oak flavours lead to a concentrated, mineral mid-palate, taut with crunchy acidity and fresh melon fruit. Generous yet classically structured, the […]

  • Van Westen Vineyards V, 2010

    From the cellar: At the beginning of 2016, when Swirl in White Rock began to clear out their stock in advance of being sold to Jimmy Pattison, you could pick up some deals if your purchase was six or 12.  This Bordeaux blend spoke to me, or at least the discount did, and I laid […]

  • Chateau Canada, 2012

    I have never bought this wine on principle: It states the varietals in English on the front of the French label (!).  Plus, and this is just my quirk, a label that reads Chateau Canada is sort of like a Ye Olde pub in Victoria, BC, with faux wainscoting and Molson Canadian on tap.  Worse, […]

  • Conceito Douro Superior, 2013

    I found it very hard to wrap my mind around this.  It was an intriguing if perhaps confounding white, with peaks like the butterscotch of Chardonnay but some valleys with the coarse citrus bite of a mediocre Sauvignon Blanc, and, in the middle, an earthiness reminiscent of Hunter Valley Sem.  All the complexity left me […]

  • Claus Preisinger Basic, 2012

    I finally got around to unscrewing a bottle of the Basic, which I picked up after Gismondi gave it 89 points (my “sweet spot” if you will). Interesting and provocative.  A strange hybrid blend that straddles black forest gateau and steak a la poivre.  Enticing on the nose.  Sweet light peaks contrast with a herbaceous […]

  • Bellingham “Bernhard Series” Chenin Blanc, 2015

    I was thumbing through a Decanter with about 150 Chenin recommendations and all I could easily source was this mid-priced bottle.  If they scored it 89 all I can say is wow, are BC wine drinkers ever missing out on some great CB, because we downed this bottle in record time.  Fresh, vibrant, zesty and […]

  • Casa di Malia Prosecco

    Prosecco with a cork.  In other words lightly effervescent; nominally effervescent.  This certainly isn’t the “fizz” from Kim Crawford.  Organic, so kudos.  Nice label.  Utilitarian bottle with a stopper (you can rinse it and make a vinegar later).  You see where I’m going.  There’s not much to praise once you start to drink.  Using the […]

  • Olivier LeFlaive Volnay, 2011

    Olivier LeFlaive can solve the Mideast peace process.  Can’t he?  I mean the balance, the delirious silky smoothness of this red, who couldn’t be won over?  Who couldn’t compromise?  And when I say compromise, I’m fully aware that no one is out searching for a 2011 Burgundy, certainly not a Pinot, no one is out […]

  • Quinta do Convento Douro, 2008

    A classic Portuguese blend (Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional).  And, get this: Not the 2013 sitting on the shelves in Saskatoon but the 08.  For (just) under $30.  I read online someone called this “all structure and no fruit” and loaded with tannins.  Well not the bottle I scored.  It was weighty, but […]

  • Read Decanter Magazine. Just Do It.

    Decanter is the bomb.  It’s almost impossible to find in Canada (paper, you can always get digital) but what a great, inspiring magazine, a wonderful homage to people who enjoy wine, whether collectors or bottle shop regulars.   I can wax poetic on its myriad merits but I will just point out a few.  First, […]