Archive for October, 2020

October 20, 2020

Majella Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015

So here’s an upbeat Coonawarra Cab Sauv. All that slang for stimulants — black mollies, black beauty, bling bling, blue devil — that’s going to hit you first.

And, first sip this is a wow, wow, wow.  A high point pointster wowza.  But you know what?  On the last sip, it’s good, not wow, just good.  And I wonder if the pointsters drank a comparative sip or nursed a bottle over the course of an evening?  Because there’s a significant difference between professional tasters and people who drink wine: People who drink wine don’t buy wine to have a taste.  They buy wine to drink it.

All right, so there you go, this is a huge points winner, many plaudits, it’s got balance and then some, it could be Simone Bile’s Olympic Beam master class.  And it oozes plum, red, juicy, sloppy, overripe plum.  It’s a delicacy on the approach but something about it ends up too much, too rich, and like a slice of layer cake that’s got the proportion of icing to cake in excess, this wine ultimately satisfies but misses; it’s a bronze, not a gold.

Price: $40 something, but rare in Vancouver; the base model “Musician” however, a much less interesting red, is on the corner at every liquor outlet.

Market Liquidity: It will impress, but even Pacino in Scarface was, you know, over the top.

October 20, 2020

Culmina Hypothesis, 2012

From the cellar: A perpetual critic’s pick, Gismondi basically gives it a pass, year after year.  It is a typical Okanagan potent potable, with heft and then some.  And although I’ve only drunk less than five bottles, since discovering Culmina, it’s never left a huge impression.

It certainly lacks the wow factor of, say, Ridge or Caymus.  It doesn’t have the huge appeal you’d expect at the price point and being a BC flagship red blend, being the Culmina flagship red blend.  But it’s good.  $50 good?  You tell me.

How we came across this 2012 I don’t know; perhaps a gift, maybe a purchase at the vineyard.  We do have another lying down, part of their mixed six pack reds they offered this summer.  But the 2012, at eight years, did not leave anyone at table champing at the bit for more.  Which is a shame, this should be a celebratory bottle.

Price: Lost our record, but close to $50 I would imagine.

Market Liquidity: Not every Mercedes is a gullwing 300 SL; in other words, buyer beware the lure of luxury.

October 20, 2020

Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir, 2018

From our most recent mixed case, we busted out a bottle of the PN as a tester.  OOF, what a punchy pop; no pointster is going to review this as “tight”.  Super pronounced, sharp and peppery on the first sip, gobs of nuanced berry, cedar shavings and a soft, long, long finish.  It was satisfaction at first sip.

Of note, though, is we decanted, and with air some of that punch was diminished, not in a good way.  Which, I should point out, did not take away from our overall enjoyment, it was just surprising how some of the bulk and body of the bottle seemed to evaporate in pretty quick order.

Price: $35 direct from the vineyard.

Market Liquidity: Charm offensive.

October 20, 2020

Sea Star Ortega, 2019

A whack of stone fruit, notably apple and pear, with an apple cider acidity that rounds out the syrupy weight.  Delightfully light and weighty all at once; heaps more likable than the Salish Sea, which we dissed a few weeks back…

Sea Star generally grows the right grapes in the right region and makes wines that are complementary to so much west coast cuisine, most commonly low in alcohol, and inherently social.  But they can miss, as well.  For a light lunch, an afternoon aperitif, or just to pair with a nibble of cheese, the Ortega fits the bill.

Price: $24.27 at the Saturna General Store.

Market Liquidity: Easy on the palate and the pocketbook.