Archive for March, 2022

March 25, 2022

Coterie Cabernet Franc & Malbec, 2018

For years we’ve written some variation on how exceptional the wine is in the Cape region and how it rivals many much more established wine regions, and how dire and uninspired the South African selection is at BC Liquor (and bemoaned the discrepancy).  This is more of the same.  Despite, I must point out, being “BC Select” meaning the consultants chose it as a cellar selection.

Where the CF is, where the barnyard funk is, that remained elusive.  The Malbec shone through, but not in a substantive way, just heavy, with a thud.  It drank like a decent red wine, but only.  Oh gosh, that sounds so petty, but in a way this wine is forgettable from the first sip.  Our notes were, and I quote in total, “juicy,” “where’s the CF?,” “bland without redeeming features,” and “not too memorable.”  Not a scribble on aroma, the palate, or afters.

We drink a lot of mediocre wine.  A lot.  I mean we shop twice a week at BC Liquor stores, what do you expect?  But we don’t post about it all.  We try to find redeeming wines and give then a good shake, we try to focus on the positive, take the Tony Robbins Louise Hay Goop route and just find the gorgeousness and determination in every drop.  We appreciate the hard work of producing a decent bottle.  But God is there a sea of middle of the road plonk on the shelves.

The private wine stores regularly stock Graceland Cab Sauv and when you’ve won the lottery there’s Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, South Africa is not a middle of the road producer, but it’s just a shame that in Cape Town you drink Bordeaux style red that knocks your socks off for half the price of stuff like this.

Price: $28 at BC Liquor.

Market Liquidity: What did I read over on Goop?  Be stronger than your excuses.  Dear BC Liquor: I will try.

March 25, 2022

La Primera Rivancha Chenin Blanc, 2020

We like us our Chenin Blanc.

Like the simple Axle.

Like the not too easy to find old vines Bellingham. Which, you know, we liked before. And before.

And like the Le Parc.

Or just search Huet on the site; it’s awash with short shoves for Vouvray

So we had high hopes for this Argentinian offering that was 91 points over at Vinous.  The review noted “a lovely tension” and I’m never sure exactly what that means, having seen it so many times over the years.  When I’m tense I might bite my lip or tongue.  Or my muscles might ache.  Or I might be sitting on the edge of my seat, on the crack of my ass during the Wimbledon finals, so tense I scab up.  A lovely tension; huh. Reviews baffle me.

Despite the glowing reviews we found this unmemorable.  And not for want of trying; goodness, we have three more bottles to drink.  Very lime-citrus, earthy, and hints of the metallic French Chenin that costs so much more.  Not hugely food friendly. To dumb it down, it lacks some of the anticipated crispness you count on in CB.

Plaudits to Marquis on Davie for continuing to bring in novel wines and expand the limited BC horizons.  Discounts to boot.  But you win some, you lose some.

Price: $31 with a discount so more than reasonable for a Chenin.

Market Liquidity: It ain’t no Vouvray.  Just sayin’.

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March 2, 2022

Mazzei Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva, 2018

95 points from James Suckling.  Seriously.  95 points.  I have no idea what that even means.  For what?  It’s not the best Chianti at BC Liquor let alone the best Chianti available in the province.  It’s a very good Chianti.  Period.  It’s like a 90 point red wine if in fact you must rate wine.

James Suckling: I call him the Peter “great movie” Travers of wine reviewers.  No shade on Travers, but if there was one aspect of his career that hovered above everything it was his name in print, on posters, on signage, in ads.  He gave more space to “Rolling Stone” than the actual Rolling Stones.  And Suckling seems much the same; he loves to see his name in print.  95 points will get your name in print.  But how meaningless.  And for the average drinker, the person who doesn’t rate wine, who may buy this bottle purely on the points and review, how misguided.  It educates the novice nothing.  It diminishes the value of professional reviews.  And it blatantly exploits the privilege accorded to tasters who don’t pay the exorbitant prices for vino.

Anyhoo…  Decent Chianti.  I would head over to the Nebbiolo we loved and Gismondi highly recommended and which was for a month on sale.  It may not be Sangiovese, but on the palate and the pocketbook it’s better wine, better value, higher satisfaction, no points decal.

Price: $33 at BC Liquor.  If you can see the price tag behind the 95 points signage.

Market Liquidity: Wine success, poinster fail.