Month: February 2017

  • Di Majo Norante Ramitello, 2012

    This opens up nicely with pronounced bittersweet chocolate and sour cherry.  Light notes of candied violets.  The final push, a raspberry soda with a woodsy note, is soft and not overwhelming.  Silken on the palate.  Drinks like a well tailored suit.   Over at RA’s Wine Advocate, Monica Larner referred to it as having a […]

  • Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011

    From the cellar: What’s your desert island wine appellation?  I mean if you had to drink, for the rest of your life, one appellation?  My hunch is most people will pick Bordeaux or Burgundy or Champagne.  For me, it would be a close call between Alsace and Margaret River.  I mean imagine having Leeuwin Estate […]

  • Sierra Cantabria Rioja, 2011

    Ever taste wine with friends, take notes, compare them, and find that what one person found heavy and tannic another found fruity and light?  Or, more typically, buy wine specifically because of the reviewer’s blurb—only to be wholly let down?  This is that experience in a nutshell.   Here’s the professional review: “…dense, rich red […]

  • Blue Mountain Reserve Brut, 2008

    Wow.   An explosion of flavour.  This is to the base BM fizz (aka Gold Label) what the hydrogen bomb is to the atom bomb.   Hearty and full, there is nothing ethereal.  Probably the most assertive BC sparkler I’ve ever tasted.  It could be food.  A wonderful Pinot/Chardonnay blend.   Gentle effervescence, pronounced tart […]

  • D’Orrance Chenin Blanc KAMA, 2012

      Poetry.   If you splurge once in a while on a wine simply because of critical praise, and then are disappointed, I hear your pain. Amen brother. We need to forge a twelve step critical disappointment program. But sometimes you dig deep into the wine budget and it pays off big time. Case in […]

  • Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc, 2012

    Bought a bottle for a fondue party but it was trumped by Champagne. How insulting! Still, unless you’re royalty, the Champagne runs out. So after dinner we drank the Pinot Blanc.   I was immediately hypnotized by the depth and layers of flavour, the fruit (it had high notes of pear and apple and low […]

  • Joie Gamay, 2014

    I’ve always thought of Gamay as the poor man’s Pinot—and not in a bad way, in a way to access light, fruity wines that can surprise much more often than similarly priced Pinots. The Joie doesn’t disappoint.   Sour cherry, rose petals, violet, vanilla and a finish that echoes a black currant pastille. Plus, take […]

  • Seven Stones Row 128 Merlot, 2012

      “My heart grew tipsy in me…my sweet embraceable you.”   Lord what a lovely Merlot.  This gorgeous red curls up on your tongue, lights a fire, and settles in for the night.  It has more seasoning and crispness than your regular run of the mill glossy Merlot, less cloying perfume but no less complexity […]

  • Finca 10 Rioja, 2014

    The epitome of cheap and cheerful.  A wonderful Wednesday red.  Fruity, approachable, marginally tannic.  Maraschino syrup against a light peppery bite; think grenadine mixed with Chartreuse.  No weight, feather light for a Tempranillo, and as weak on the nose as the palate and the finish.  But food friendly in a big way and welcome (and […]

  • Proyecto La Garnacha Salvaje del Moncayo, 2014

    Highly recommended by the wine store staff, hugely disappointing at the dinner table.  Which is too bad because, generally speaking, Spanish Grenache (Garnacha) is among the most reasonable of reds, price wise, in the province.   Fermented raspberry juice with  a tart cherry top note and a smoky finish which we found not remotely appealing.  […]