Archive for May, 2021

May 14, 2021

Hester Creek Trebbiano, 2019

Trebbiano in the Canadian Okanagan.  Who knew? And old vines at that.

To be fair, we knew; during the stay at home C19 days of stir crazy stillness.  And we knew where to score it at the vineyard price, in Vancouver, at $23, rather than, say, Marquis, at $29.  So why bother blogging about that little secret?

During the darkest days of the pandemic winter, a glass of this was transformative; it could truly evoke a stinking hot day on a vine draped pergola over a long Italian lunch.  The 2018 was fruity, rippled with a honey sweetness, and sat on the tongue like Sun-Rype Apple-Cot nectar from back in the day.  A gem.  A real surprising I can’t believe this came from BC gem.  The 2019? Well, err, you know, good I guess.

The 2019 and 2020, both available from private stores in YVR, are just as a bottle to bottle comparison, a tad less thrilling than 2018.  Either the wine is the same but the world is different or the vintages just don’t have the same pop as 2018.  Gismondi called this a highly affordable treasure; that it is, and at the vineyard price it’s a summer slam dunk.  And to think no one else is growing this ebullient treasure.

Price:  $23 at a store that got the price wrong.

Market Liquidity: Travelogue in a bottle.

May 13, 2021

Envinate Palo Blanco, 2018

Woodsy, walk in the dewy woods, if you will, dampness and pungent, sour, acidic, and heavy, like an earthen pot; and look at the glass, that mellow amber hue.  This is the Yin to, say, an ethereal Alsace white Yang.  And it is novel; pretty much unlike any white you’ll have in the cellar.  I will admit it’s the first Listan Blanco that I’ve searched out.

Over at the Wine Advocate they raved, gave it 97 points, and perhaps in its class (a unique and individual class, like a wire haired Ibizan Hound), it soars.  We couldn’t get past the novelty of it all.  I write that both positive and negative, yin and yang.  The WA used the term “rock juice” which is both accurate and the first time I’ve ever seen a pointster use the phrase in print.

Just as a relevant sidebar: Up at Okanagan Crush Pad they are (in our view) extremely hit and miss, but never do they rest on their laurels.  There is no repetitive “Wolf Blass minimize the vintage variation” at OCP.  And right now they have a Vin Gris which, rather than Pinot Gris, is a Pinot Noir treated as if a white wine.  And it’s novel.  Also earthy, funky, unusual, appealing, and complex.  And half the price of the Blanco.  So if novelty is your thing, you don’t need to travel halfway round the globe to sample the Canarias.

As you reach for the stars with wine, if you are willing to shell out the big bucks, novelty is of course a thing.  Gary Shteyngart can’t stop buying watches, not that he needs another watch.  And we can’t stop buying wine, not that we need another bottle, the cellars (yes, plural), are brimming.  To say nothing of the “everyday” drinkers under the sofa in the coldest room of the house.  And then that box that got delivered to the office.  Or two…

But despite the WA raves, the way this wine opened with air, and the unusual mouth texture, it still left us feeling a bit unsure, deer in the headlights stunned, and over it before it all began. And, yes, the wax on the neck is bar none a gargantuan pet peeve.

Price: $60.

Market Liquidity: Lovely, in passing, but the memory will fade too soon.

May 13, 2021

Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon, 2015

From the cellar: Ah yes I remember it well (said Maurice Chevalier in Gigi for anyone under 102).  This gorgeous wine straddles the fence of sticky, crushed blackberries, inky on the fingers after picking, with cleaning the stalls at the racetrack.  There is a deep, dark, currant and savoury streak crossed with the barnyard, undeniable Cab Franc, exquisitely French Cab Franc, and 100% Chinon.

This is our last bottle (of the Jean-Maurice Raffault, may he RIP, 2015).  Gismondi apparently recommended it as a cellar pick; it held up well.  Based on our notes from last summer, the tannins have diminished significantly.  We have no note on purchase date but get this: It was under $20.  So go figure, must have been sold before it was bottled! I think it’s been lying for four years at least.  There is only one Chinon at BC Liquor, as of this post (ONE CHINON I write in all caps, how pathetic is BCL…), and it’s $35 before tax.

Price: $19.49 at BC Liquor (back in the day).

Market Liquidity: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live on the Loire.