Archive for April, 2017

April 27, 2017

Clos des Fous Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013

An evocative wine with legs which, while drinking beautifully now, would benefit from some time and quiet.  Has a softness that is lighter and more ethereal than the Oz and California Cab Sauvs, some chocolate covered cherry on the palate, a talcum soft mouth, and finishes with vanilla alongside an astringent swab of alcohol.  Up and down and over and about without a clear trajectory.


Interesting, provocative, nuanced.


Price: $33 at Liberty. ($10 cheaper in Saskatchewan.  Which is, I might add, also in Canada.)


Market Liquidity: Sudoku in a bottle.

Spectacular with a homemade meat pie braised in Guinness

April 26, 2017

Vasse Felix Chardonnay, 2014

Spectacular.  And dear.


A perfect straddling of the butterscotch with citrus acidity, no oomph of oak, just daubs of wood like a Doppler effect.  Gorgeous to sip, a most lovely pair with halibut, and very hard not to swill the bottle.  I could drink it by the vat if I could afford it.  Not easy to source in BC but for those with the budget most worthwhile. Yet more magic from Margaret River.


Price: A whopping $37 before taxes at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: Spectacular.  And dear.

April 25, 2017

Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 & Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay, 2014

These are easy to drink.  They are easy to find.  They are not too expensive.  And when Gismondi gave the MCC Chardonnay a 91 point rating with the note that it’s probably the best value $20 bottle of wine going, BC Liquor was quick to ribbon the necks with the pointster adornment.


Glass half full: They are drinkable.  (Although the medallions on the Cab Sauv, which end in 2012, seem to speak of a laxity at the vineyard.)  They aren’t expensive.  They are approachable, food friendly, and great social bottles.


Glass half empty: They are totally without endurance.  You will have forgotten them as you finish your glass, not the bottle.  Great in a restaurant, given the markups, but you can do far better at home.  They are like a wild card in a grand slam; all promise.


Price: Around $20 for either, give or take the whims of the “sale makers” at BCL.


Market Liquidity: Glass half full.

April 13, 2017

Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc, 2015

Natalie Maclean loved this wine at $19.  Americans love this wine at a few dollars less.  And while I loved it too, I had to shell out much more.  Welcome to beautiful BC.


There is a marriage of apple (juice and cider and skin) with tropical notes, the softness of papaya, and a striking balance between those oddities that makes it zesty and like a palate cleanser mid-meal.  Over the top spectacular with a Thai meal.  Screw top to boot.


Price: $22 at Liberty before the overages.


Market Liquidity:  The Cold Crisp Taste of Chenin Blanc, to bastardize an old tagline.

April 12, 2017

Chateau de Vieux Puit, 2010

A subtle, straightforward and hugely appealing red without the overbearing demeanor of Bordeaux.  Gorgeous with simply cooked meat.  The Merlot brings a wonderful balance to the Cab Sauv. First sip it might fool you in its simplicity, but the fruit and herbs de Provence shine through, gently.  By the end it leaves you a little taken aback.  It’s a value wine, yes, but not in a Value Village Winners kind of way, more like a Boxing Day sale; the real thing without the ka-ching.


Price: $24.99 at BC Liquor but astoundingly hard to find.


Market Liquidity: No wow factor, but stunning street cred.

April 11, 2017

CVNE Monopole Rioja Blanco, 2015

Nothing about this wine, drinking it, no words sound good: Assertive.  Astringent. Metallic.  And yet it is nothing but pure pleasure; nutty and lemony and complex.  It is bottled sunshine.  There is nothing so striking as a bold, balanced, boisterous Rioja Blanco.  There is something so sensationally Spanish about it, somewhere between Sauvignon Blanc and Sherry.  Of course it bears the “golden ticket” of 90 points on its collar, which is a bugbear, but nevertheless…


Price: $22 at Marquis, and worth every cent.


Market Liquidity: When pointster and anti-pointster see eye to eye.

April 2, 2017

Famille Perrin “Les Cornuds” Vinsobres, 2014

If it’s Tuesday, there’s probably a wine sale at Everything Wine.  If it’s Wednesday, there’s probably a wine sale at Everything Wine.  So it goes.

When Everything Wine has a sale they invariably have the Vinsobres with a “90” point seal on it.  And the price ($24) drops to $20 before taxes.  And at that price (which is still several dollars more than Ontario) it’s a good deal wine. A solid, smooth, easy to drink and lovely blend.  Dark cherry, a whiff of leather and smoke, balance.  Is it remarkable or striking or even that memorable?  Not particularly.  And in restaurants, where it hovers around the $50 mark, it is simply outrageously overpriced.  But it’s good.  It’s good in that way that you can share it with people and no one will take exception and you can take it as a host gift and no one will think you’re being cheap and on a Thursday, before payday, when you’re running low on funds, it’s probably on sale at Everything Wine.


Price: See review.


Market Liquidity: “Comfort wine” if you will.