Archive for February, 2022

February 11, 2022

Ojai John Sebastiano Vineyard Grenache, 2018

Breathtakingly good.  The best North American Grenache we’ve ever had the privilege to drink.  To sip.  To take deep, deep pleasure in.

After a “dry-ish” January we splurged.  Gorgeous maraschino cherry with a nutty sharp turn towards licorice, clove and pepper.  Elegant notes the way you catch a sweet scent passing a florist.  Both forward and restrained on the palate.  Oak without havoc.  Delectable acidity.  Sheer vino satisfaction.

Gosh, this one left us speechless.  Out of the park dollar wise, a treat wine, a special occasion wine, but oh so satisfying and 100% no disappointment despite the investment.  On this we are totally head over heels in agreement with the Wine Advocate who “pointsed” it 93.

Have you ever seen the Nicholas Brothers dance?  Say 28 minutes into Down Argentine Way?  They are aeronautical, defy gravity, glide over the floor and float in the air, and all that work looks effortless and weightless and yet it’s monumentally effortful and demonstrative.  There is no better metaphor.

Price: $56 at Marquis, but 10% off with a mixed half case.

Market Liquidity: Like the detectorist who found the Henry III gold penny.

February 11, 2022

Roche Wines Texture Pinot Noir, 2019

First tasted with duck in a fine restaurant in early December and it sang.  Not Ethel Merman belting it out, more like Elvis on Are You Lonesome Tonight?, just in sympathy with the food, red currants and pungent acidity and nothing declarative.  It didn’t attack the food, or make any demands.  Note to self: get some of this in the cellar.

A few weeks later we picked up two bottles at Marquis.  And this is where I wondered what happened to that gorgeous food wine symbiosis?  It sipped gently and enjoyably, we thought a decent red, no qualms, there is (as per the label) a kinship with the French much more than most of the BC Okanagan, where assertive and even testy Pinot Noir leads the pack.  But it didn’t meld with any number of foods, from mild cheese to poultry to stew.

Organically farmed, so there is that…

Price: $34 which, as the BC Pinot Noir market goes, is thoroughly decent.

Market Liquidity: You will drink it and enjoy it but it might not impress.

February 11, 2022

Sandhill Single Vineyard Barbera, 2018

We have a few reviews on this going back years here and here; it was a delight to discover and we drank umpteen bottles “back in the day” when you could pick it up at indie wine stores.  But what largely was a “POP” bottle for us fell off the radar.  Plus, try the find the damn thing—Swirl (may that store RIP) told me Sandhill stopped supplying it to them.  And now, lo and behold, BC Liquor has it on the shelves.  This is like meeting up with an old friend, in a good way.

A fine if not excellent expression of the varietal, more than satisfying, present but not omnipresent oak, rustic twiggy earthiness with breakthrough sweetness.  Archetypal juicy tannins.  Sips well, but Barbera, with its appealing acidity, is better suited for everyday “treat” foods like pizza or a rich pasta.  And here’s where we fall out a little, given our reticence to spend so much on what can be got for so much less.  That said, a rare bird in Canada, not too many vineyards with a Barbera this calibre.

Price: $35 at (wait for it,) BC Liquor.

Market Liquidity: Family, er, wine reunion.

February 11, 2022

Fanti Brunello di Montalcino, 2015

Look what Santa left under the tree.  Wow.  Very naughty but obviously someone’s been very nice.

This is ludicrously out of our bandwidth.  This is like that visit to a two star Michelin restaurant in Hong Kong where they had a Burgundy wine flight.  This is just heaven.  Wine heaven.  And I am extremely fortunate to have sampled a sample.

If there is somewhere for the 2015 to go, I guess it would be on Elon Musk’s rocket to Mars, because here on earth it is ready, ready now, and on the palate like drinking velvet.  Smooth to the nth, accents of an early spring garden with dewy violets and buried notes of cedar shavings.  Gobs of palate drenching dark fruit, but never heavy, as light on the tongue as the nose.  Just spectacular, it really needs no explanation.  And of course way, way out of our price range.

Price: Gifted, and not in stock in BC (to my knowledge) but in Ontario $70, and if you can afford to drop that sort of coin on a bottle of red then buy it by the caseload.

Market Liquidity: A bottle of earthly delights.