Archive for May 2nd, 2022

May 2, 2022

Undurraga Gran Reserva “Sibaris” Pinot Noir, 2020

We came across this wine at a social event then started serving it to guests.

Instead of a review, because review wise we don’t have much to say, here’s our alternative take: People love it.  We’ve served it to guests umpteen times.  It never seems to disappoint.  It’s a remarkably affordable bottle, you don’t feel guilty opening a second or third at a dinner party. We have it by the two or three just in case.

OK, I’ve never read a splashy review and don’t know its points and of course it doesn’t compare with kingpin Pinot from Oregon or Burgundy.  It’s very light, it’s smooth, it’s definitely not our go-to, it’s not our sort of wine really, but here’s the rub: It’s social.  And a drinkable bottle of inexpensive wine is, in a social setting, worth three Ridge Zinfandels.

Most people socializing over a glass of wine are not holding a grudge against the bottle.  They didn’t come to visit to judge the label or the vintage.  They want something palatable, that doesn’t overpower dinner and doesn’t assert itself so demonstrably as to take away from actually being social.  And this easy going red does the trick.  So thumbs up.  Who would of thunk it with 8% inflation?

Price: $18 at BC Liquor

Market Liquidity: Keep your friends friendly.

May 2, 2022

Clos du Soleil Signature, 2013

There are a couple of old posts on the site for the CdS Signature which, once upon a time, many moons ago, we dubbed BC’s best red.  So much has happened in the last decade across the province it would be both wrong and a disservice to stake the same claim today.  And then a little surprise…

We decided to subscribe to the CdS wine club.  The problem with BC wine clubs (as opposed to American, like the NYT or WS Journal) is that you pledge loyalty to a vineyard.  If you like some Burrowing Owl, or some Cedar Creek, but not all, it’s a crap shoot.  Still, we took an oath and called it CdS.  Which, not to be too over the top since there’s no kickback on compliments, but it has been pure joy.  And little presents, so to speak, sneak into the allotment.

This 2013 Signature was absolutely plum: luscious, gobs of fruit, huge mouth feel, delectable with meat, a stupendous sipper.  It opened up a little with air, we noted the first sip and the second pour were markedly different.  A three volt kick on acidity that gives way to ripe orchard fruits and a snippet of cedar shavings. 

So, you know, thanks CdS and, gosh, anything else lying around in the cellar you need to pass off?

[Sad Sidebar: In 2013, this clocked in at 13.8% alcohol; newer vintages approach 15%.  Sigh.]

Price: $48 at the vineyard for the current vintage (about $10 more than when we first became aware of the blend X years ago).  Discounts, it should be noted, for wine club subscribers.

Market Liquidity: It’s a scratch lotto win.

May 2, 2022

La Frenz Vivant, 2017

Heavy and veering towards cloying.  Not La Frenz’ finest hour.  It sips a bit closer to Muscat than you expect, and fights with fish at dinner.  Believe it or not, some plain potato chips paired a dream.  We haven’t blogged about a Vivant since the 2013 vintage where we felt, well, pretty much the same: Just shy of intent.  We wrote, back then, “Lewis Hamilton on the label, 12th on the grid.” [Now, with a failing car, I guess it’s not uncommon to see him in the slipstream. Lapped in Italy by his nemesis this year!]

It’s just such an appealing blend (on the label), touch of sweet, touch of class, lovely hue, decent nose.  And yet somehow it’s not on the mark on the palate.  There are heaps of fine vines littering the La Frenz vineyard, it seems to me this blend could use a tweak or two.

A little buoyant on the alcohol content to boot.  Sells out though, so perennial favorite.  Who are we to say?

Price: $30 on Salt Spring Island, sold out at the vineyard

Market Liquidity: Close but no cigar.