Archive for ‘France: Languedoc-Roussilon’

November 21, 2018

Calmel & Joseph Blanquette de Limoux

Gismondi quite liked this and “pointsed” it 90.  Yeah, OK, whatever; he’s gotta keep up with his colleagues who found it similarly “over the 89 point hump.”  We found it, well, a little austere, lacking in depth, mineral forward, cucumber hits the palate in an unusual not invigorating way, mediocre effervescence.  Glass half full it makes a wonderful French 75 but a little on the ho hum side as a sipper.  From our perspective, it doesn’t hold a candle to the (four dollars cheaper) Bernard-Massard Brut which we love and which has been our go-to sparkler for over a year.

 

We were attracted to it for the Mauzac, unusual to say the least, but not entranced or seduced.  Another odd thing is that the weekend of AG’s review the Calmel J was in six BC Liquor stores.  Total.  Pretty slim pickings in advance of the holiday season.

 

Price: A more or less reasonable $29 before taxes at BC Liquor.

 

Market Liquidity: Brunch yes, birthday no.

November 16, 2018

Domaine de la Baume Elite D’or Chardonnay, 2015

Just wrong.  It smells like Australian Chardonnay from the cask.  It drinks like inexpensive over-oaked California Chardonnay.  And then it disappears on the palate.  The heft of the bottle weight, the adornment of points from the WA, and the golden hue of the wine, lean towards something substantial, but like candy floss, while it looks and feels like one thing, on the palate it’s another.  We’ve never experienced a Chardonnay with so little finish.  It’s like a vanishing act.

 

Price: I can see paying $16 all in, as you can in Ontario, but to charge nearly $30 at Everything Wine in BC before taxes seems a criminal act.

 

Market Liquidity: I bought a couple of extra based on reviews (and, yes, the stupid number 90 on the neck).  Guess I’ll be sharing with those I don’t care about sharing with.

 

July 13, 2018

Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drézéry, 2013

We drank three bottles before I got down on my hands and knees and made a formal commitment.

 

Almost impossible to find, which I take to mean BC Liquor is no longer importing, but if you can find it it’s worth it.  A gem.

 

Online reviews referred to it as new world, modern, and pop and pour.  Pretty much the opposite of how we felt.  It was not welcoming or nearly open without air, and the very first sip of the very first glass was a bomb.  But it blossomed after 20 minutes with a balance and muted tannins that didn’t appear on opening.  Bears no resemblance to the common heavy hitters of California or Oz reds and was unmistakably French, with a purity of place that spoke of lavender fields, earthy notes and figgy pudding.  Delicious.  I’m rarely in concord with RP but the WA crew nailed this one.

 

Price: $29.99 before onerous taxes.

 

Market Liquidity: A rare quality find lingering on the BCLDB shelves.

February 19, 2016

Domaine de Cébène Les Bancèls, Coteaux du Languedoc, Faugéres, 2013

Domaine de Cébène Les Bancèls, Coteaux du Languedoc, Faugéres, 2013

At basically the same price point of the Wynns, which we found cookie cutter and predictable, you can get the smooth, velvety texture of a sippable red, if that’s your thing, with the more woodsy, herby notes of a French red that oozes olde worlde charm. Generally, you’ll pay twice as much for Rhone red this palatable. With legs for the cellar, there’s no shame in corking tonight. NB: Afraid of poncey labels?  Don’t be put off by the cryptic label with too many foreign words. Ask BCL staff for the “Faugéres, the Rhone red, with the grey label.”  A favorite over at Decanter, so probably a hard find, but worth it.  And, wait for it: Organic, yes!

 

Price: $28 at BCL before taxes.

 

Market Liquidity: An elevated wine at an entry level price.

September 27, 2015

Domaine des Gorges du Soleil Rivesaltes Rouge, 1963

From the cellar: A somewhat spectacular bottle of Grenache in the Muscat style. Burnt chocolate, an array of dried fruit Turkish bazaar style, caramel and Australian Leatherwood honey (a most spectacular and distinct honey if you’ve never had it).

Rivesaltes 1963

But it’s not port. It’s not Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. It’s not sweet Sherry. It might remind a connoisseur of some Madeira, with that light nutty note, but even then, it is all the way different.

 

Superlatives fail. Share with friends? We did; something of a letdown. The expectations ran high. It’s not as sweet as some sweet wines, it’s complex and layered and not as wine-y as many after dinner bottles.  Some people expected port, some were taken aback by the masculinity.

 

Not sure where I stand with this.

 

Price: $80 USD.

 

Market Liquidity: Like a bucket list item.

April 9, 2015

Bila-Haut or, properly, Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages, Chapoutier, Les Vignes de Bila-Haut 2013

Bila Haut

A superb sipper, a dismal dinner option. Soft to the point of angora, mellow, relaxed. Has a very pure quality, uncomplicated, raspberry gelato and peppercorn. But it is neither contemplative or hedonistic. It reminded us of Eugene Levy parodying Perry Como, so laid back as to be comatose. With all our taxes, however, it is a fine option at the price point.

Price: $17.99 at BCL.

Market Liquidity: For your crass friends who want to start the night with red wine, at least have them start the night with something gentle.

Perry Como: Staying Alive (barely)…

August 19, 2014

Domaine Lafage Tesselae Old Vine Carignan, 2012

058This is the sort of red that Robert Parker loves. Let him love it. It’s pure, 100 per cent Carignan, which in BC makes it something of a rarity and a talking point. But the 15 per cent alcohol, the heady fruit notes, the nearly fortified wine-ness of it all, we found it tedious and predictable. And with just nothing unique or wonderful or striking to boot, despite expectations. A case for general consumption at a BBQ would be lauded.  Sipping over a medium rare ribeye, not so much.  I believe Parker referred to it as a “sexy, voluptuous beauty.” Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Price: A nicely comfortable $13 USD. You can’t beat that for value. On value alone I agree with Parker: 92 points. Hell, 100 points on value.

 

Market Liquidity: Ready to wear but not bespoke.