Thud and plunk. Epic fail of the pointsters.
Let’s start with the Robert Parker 90 pointer, the Oz red. Heavy as lead. What a walloping clunk of everyday red. We were expecting a fruit forward, peppery Shiraz with a touch of black currant. But it was less than full bodied, rather one-note, and really not complementary (to a not very spicy and lovely chicken chili).
Then there’s this average, virtually generic red recommended by James Suckling. If you poke around online you’ll see it was selected for Air France Business Class, but I guess the contract was cancelled due to the pandemic. Maybe at 39,000 feet it would have the legs to stand up in the stratosphere. But back here on earth it’s a tad inconsequential.
Let’s be fair: Both are drinkable, truthfully nothing much wrong with either, but there’s nothing much right either. And both are hugely forgettable. There is basic red a plenty in the BC government system, it’s unfortunate that the gold seals on a few bottles put a focus on something just not that much better than those without a gold seal.
There’s a spot-on random online review of the Minervois that finishes “…a lingering hint of pepper adds some interest to the fruit-fueled finish.” Some interest. Exactly. Some. That’s about as generous as I think you can be. 88 points tops. Although not a direct comparison, we were sipping a young, robust Syrah from Clos de Soleil the same week, and it just delivered so much satisfaction.
There’s very much a “pop song hit” to both these wines, something of the moment, a catchy tune that fades into the backdrop.
Price: Minervois around $20 (if not discounted on a bulk buy) at private stores, the Mitolo less than $25 in Ontario, over $30 in BC.
Market Liquidity: What were the lyrics to Blurred Lines? Oh right, I’ve forgotten already.