Archive for July, 2018

July 20, 2018

Haywire Secrest Mountain Chardonnay, 2016

Just enough Chardonnay.  That’s how we refer to the Haywire gray label Crush Pad that vats its plonk in concrete.  Just enough.  Gismondi was very kind, “streamlined and textural” but he could have just as easily said “simple and straightforward.”

 

 

But on a blind test down at, say, Far Niente, what would they say?  Maybe “ribbon for participation.”  And at Grgich Hills?  Snarky, “go for broke, but don’t go broke tryin’.”  Liberty might even be pleasant, “you’re on the right track.”  Over at Kistler, well they might say something I couldn’t print in the blog.  And Ridge?  Just bug eyes and a “get your act together” face.  How embarrassing for Ridge.  You really feel for them having to blind taste BC whites.  So it takes all types.  All types of Chardonnays.  And this is one type.  It ain’t no heavy hitter, but it is, just enough, just enough Chardonnay.

 

Price: Around $28 before taxes at most private shops.

 

Market Liquidity: It’s no Rockette but it can do backup.

July 20, 2018

Fort Berens Dry Riesling, 2016

Wine from Lillooet?  What’s next: Wine from Graaff-Reinet?  I suppose.  If one of the myriad Lillooet forest fires common to the region, regularly, consistently, doesn’t wipe out the vineyard.  And lord knows there’s heat up there.

 

Tangy, tart, zesty and refreshing.  Decent with frittata.  But it’s no stellar Riesling and most will, at best, find it inoffensive, in the middle nonplussed, but us we could leave it be.  Quite forgettable.  (92 points over at John Schreiner.  Wow.  God bless him.  But that is just way, way beyond the quality and texture and depth of this very simple table white.)

 

Price: Less than $20.  So four stars on that.

 

Market Liquidity: Turns out only some of the grapes were from Lillooet.  Just one more let down on the last glass.

July 19, 2018

Quinta do Vale Meandro, 2015

A “worth it” blend from the Douro.

 

The proverbial round, full and meaty red without the weight of round, full and meaty reds.  What they call juicy acidity in the trades, and when it hits the palate it teases and entices on that acidity.  The flavour profile is a bowlful of orchard fruits.  Then, a piquant, peppery finish.  Enormously appealing, a bouquet of lavender and light vanilla on the nose.  No weighty powerhouse, we couldn’t sense the tannins identified by the Wine Advocate nor did we find it dry and serious, in fact it has a rather playful, fruity element to the blend the way a fine cru Beaujolais might.  We could easily take up house with the plum and cherry and licorice.

 

Price: $37 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars, a little out of our wheelhouse, but incomparably more likeable than BC reds at $10 more.

 

Market Liquidity: Splurge.  It’s worth it.

July 16, 2018

Indigenous World Pinot Gris, 2017

PG in BC is up and down.  Most bottles promise a lot, the fruit, the blossoms, the herbs.  And then in the end some soar, others tread water.  We bought this bottle as a novelty, based on a recommendation to try a First Nations venture near Kelowna; it was just a one off and I forgot about it and then I drank it and I thought wow, how satisfying.  Jason Parkes, another novelty in BC wines (songwriter, musician, vintner of all things, and award winning in each) had his hand in the pie.

 

I think I will put aside all qualifications on this wine.  It’s not my current favorite BC PG, it’s not my favorite PG period, but we started this blog to highlight value, and to call out overpriced plonk and ludicrous reviews that are divorced from the average drinker and this bottle is all about value: decent wine at an affordable price.  Six for the patio, and that’s just July.

 

Price: Around $18.  Stunning.

 

Market Liquidity: You can do better, but at twice the price, and this is better than half the value of those twice as much.

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July 13, 2018

Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drézéry, 2013

We drank three bottles before I got down on my hands and knees and made a formal commitment.

 

Almost impossible to find, which I take to mean BC Liquor is no longer importing, but if you can find it it’s worth it.  A gem.

 

Online reviews referred to it as new world, modern, and pop and pour.  Pretty much the opposite of how we felt.  It was not welcoming or nearly open without air, and the very first sip of the very first glass was a bomb.  But it blossomed after 20 minutes with a balance and muted tannins that didn’t appear on opening.  Bears no resemblance to the common heavy hitters of California or Oz reds and was unmistakably French, with a purity of place that spoke of lavender fields, earthy notes and figgy pudding.  Delicious.  I’m rarely in concord with RP but the WA crew nailed this one.

 

Price: $29.99 before onerous taxes.

 

Market Liquidity: A rare quality find lingering on the BCLDB shelves.

July 12, 2018

Graef Chardonnay, 2013

Liberty (a wonderful and very reputable private wine seller in Vancouver that has a real knack for curating interesting and often uncommon French wines) was selling the (very reputable and usually too expensive) Graef Chardonnay for half price.  Well buyer be warned because despite the screw cap this 2013 was well past (in July 2018), a total dud, and a blot on Liberty.  I couldn’t help but wonder how many tourists at Granville Island bought a bottle for the same disappointment we suffered.  Sharp, sour, sad.  Into the septic.

 

Still, there’s no accounting for taste.  Someone spent over a quarter of a million on this ludicrous Bentley.  Don’t take it from us; spend your money how you will.

Price: $30 before onerous taxes.

 

Market Liquidity: Irwin Allen couldn’t have created a bigger disaster.

July 11, 2018

Skouras Moscofilero, 2016

A fine Greek wine.  In Vancouver no less.  Thank you Marquis.

 

Gismondi went a little gaga on this.  We had high hopes, especially since the bottle of Assyrtiko we tasted back in Australia made us turn face on Greece and want to revisit the eastern Mediterranean in a big way.

 

Yes, it’s a fragrant posy of floral/herbaceous notes and the crispness is palate cleansing, but somehow it was also a bit flat and forgettable.  Opulence, as AG put it, well that was lost on us.  Start to finish it seemed refined, yes, most definitely better than the plonk that BC Liquor gets in, but for the money there is more to discover over in Spain.

 

Price: $33 at Marquis.

 

Market Liquidity: Tasty but not tantalizing, refreshing but not revelatory.

July 10, 2018

Be So De Vino Old Vine Garnacha, 2014

OK, guess this is what I’m drinking when I retire.  Wine that with tax comes in under $20.  Wine that at least one reviewer liked (and so they put his name on the neck).  Gets you drunk.

 

I couldn’t relate.  On any level.  Not with the juicy brashness of it, the overloaded notes of concord grape and cloying lollipop cherry, the ridiculously sweet notes, meringue with frosting sweet, the pasty finish.

 

Price: $14 at private wine stores and I suppose good value at that.

 

Market Liquidity: Like teenage popularity, it doesn’t hold.

July 9, 2018

Summer Gate Moscato Frizzante, 2017

Well, umm, it’s fizzy. Yeah, it’s that.

 

Supposedly dry, I’d give it a one.

 

Appetizer friendly.  That’s a plus.  And, well, not much more to add.  If you’ve got $30 burning a hole in your pocket, and you need something neutral and novel, OK.  But gosh the province is awash in better options for sparkling.

 

Price: $28 give or take at private wine shops.

 

Market Liquidity: It’s a bottle of wine.