Archive for ‘Italy’

June 8, 2018

Monte Del Fra Ca’ Del Magro, 2015

Superiore bianco indeed.  Fragrant and floral.  Enticing.  Light and lovely.  The yum in yummy.

 

A crazy legs blend of Garganega, Treviano Toscano, Tocai, Cortese, and then a smidgen of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Malvasio.  Aging on the lees is what the reviewers write.  Wine drinkers will just enjoy.  Or should just enjoy.

 

A most desirable departure from the usual suspects.  Here comes summer.

 

Gobs of gentle fruit, more blossom and aroma than meat, gorgeously balanced, a tight, acid finish with a plummy aftertaste.  Beautiful on the palate, a superb aperitif, and very friendly with light cheese and seafood.  Who can complain?  Buy six for the patio.

 

Price: An extremely reasonable $23 at BC Liquor.

 

Market Liquidity: It writes happily, Best Wishes from Napoli.

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May 18, 2018

Cannonau di Sardegna, 2014

A relatively inexpensive red that didn’t impress on the first sip.  In fact it was near offensive.  So we decanted and let sit and low and behold manna from heaven.  Wowza.

 

Honestly, you could be on a rocky outcrop in Sardinia.

 

We’ve spent about a month focused on BC wines, some we love and repeat (Culmina, Bartier, Haywire, Sea Star) and others it’s a dabble.  But how refreshing to take a step back in time.  There is simply no red in the Pacific Northwest that comes out of the bottle with this much sense of place.  The only thing missing was cellar dust on the neck.  Two kraters please.

 

Price:  $26.50 at Kits before tax (but buy six and take a 10% discount).  Or pick it up for $17 in Toronto.  Sigh.

 

Market Liquidity: Golden like the Golden Girls.

March 12, 2018

Masseria Li Veli, Fiano, 2016

A light and refreshing “summer sipper” which as spring arrives prematurely suits the urge for fresh asparagus alongside seafood.  Puglia churns out some unusual but really appealing simple wines, relatively easy on the budget and novel enough to warrant a second purchase; we are always up for a test run.

 

Metallic like pure Semillon, hints of menthol, acidic and tangy as it hits the tongue, peach and honey on the palate, a soft nutty finish.  Umami without the other four components.  The proverbial “drink now” white wine.

 

The surname, an incidental pun on lively in English, seems apt.

 

Price: $26 at Kitsilano Wine

 

Market Liquidity: The only thing missing is effervescence.

August 18, 2017

Foradori Teroldego, 2013

First time ever we’ve blogged about a Teroldego.  Probably have had some in one of our many trips to Italy but don’t recall.

 

Overripe plum (in a juicy, appetizing sense), un-hulled strawberries (in a not so perfect balance sense), a smoky medicinal top note (in an interesting and provocative sense) and a striking acidity on the finish (in a palate cleansing red meat sense).  We found it exceptionally good drinking in that curious unusual out of the ordinary way you do when testing a new varietal.  But, honestly, we didn’t think it was quite as great as the generous lauds its picked up globally.  Maybe one of the most interesting and unusual reds readily available at BC Liquor?  Enormously food friendly; not your go-to sipper.

 

Price: $34 at BCL before the extras.  And kudos to BCL for having it on the shelves in the first place.

 

Market Liquidity: Delectable in a deer in the headlights sort of way.

July 19, 2017

ColleStefano Verdicchio de Matelica, 2015

Colossally satisfying.  This isn’t your classic verdhicchio in a fish shaped bottle.  It’s hard to find (in Vancouver), reasonably priced (all things considered BC-wise), ridiculously food friendly, and just good drinking.  Organic to boot.

 

There is something Orange Julius peach fuzz Creamsicle about it, with an oily nuttiness underlying the stone fruit.  It has gobs of flavour without being cloying.  Decanter listed it as one of their top verdicchios; we couldn’t agree more.

 

Price: Around $30 in private wine shops, give or take; if you’re smart, you’ll shop where they discount on bottles of six, and you’ll get six.  You won’t be sorry.

 

Market Liquidity: Just make the effort to find it.  It’s all reward.

July 17, 2017

Castel Del Monte Tormaresca Trentangeli, 2014

Puglia, down in the boot, produces some lively wine, without the heft of Tuscany (meaning price tag).  We are very fortunate that here in BC the Liquor Board stocks an enormously appealing and not too expensive red which is not only delectable but organic and can be sourced across the province.

 

This is an ideal red for the patio, for the BBQ, for sipping and eating and socializing.  It’s not top of the game, it’s no Brunello, on the palate it lacks, but the finish is all love, joyously generous, and in a group you can drink three bottles for under $75.  That is, unless you order it in a restaurant, where it will run you an exorbitant $55 or more.

 

It’s in Smithers, it’s in Stewart; it’s in Kaslo it’s in Fruitvale.  I think the Italians would approve.  And I believe it’s worth more, all things considered, than the 89 points Gismondi gave it.

 

Price: $19.50 at BC Liquor before taxes.

 

Market Liquidity: I think if socialist filmmaker Ken Loach gave his seal of approval to wine he’d give this a gold star.

May 9, 2017

Rocca di Montegrossi, Chianti Classico, 2014

First, not the finest Chianti in BC and not the finest under $50 even at the government stores.  It is like luxe plum juice, has a cordial bent that is pleasant enough, smooth like silk, but not with all the dimension and ka-ching of a few others we’ve tasted over the years–plus it doesn’t quite have the heft of its compatriots.  However, however, however: This is sensationally affordable for the quality in the bottle.  And it drinks just as good as BC red wines twice and even three times the price.  Plus it has some legs.  This is a “stocker upper” if you can get it.  I can’t imagine finding a BC red as drinkable at this price point.

 

Price: $28 at BC Liquor.

 

Market Liquidity: Organic to boot.

March 28, 2017

GD Vajra Barbera D’Alba, 2013

What a food friendly wine.  When the red becomes soul partner to the dish, a complement to but never overshadowing, a magic happens; it’s like Frosty becoming alive.  Light but not weak.  Unusually restrained for a Barbera, or so we thought, with a delicate cigar leaf and black currant on the palate, finishing with a nuanced tinny note that subsides like ether.  Magic on the tongue.

 

I discovered Vajra in London (UK) where there is more to choose from without going whole hog Barolo, but I’m grateful that you can even find a wine like this in BC Liquor.  Stock up, if your wine budget allows, it’s a keeper.

 

Price: A rather steep $33 plus taxes at BC Liquor (even cheaper at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge!).  But, then, the Culmina Hypothesis will be released this year at a monumental $46; pass.

 

Market Liquidity: Hands down it trumps half of BC’s hearty reds without being particularly hearty.

February 24, 2017

Di Majo Norante Ramitello, 2012

di-majo-norante-ramitello-2012

This opens up nicely with pronounced bittersweet chocolate and sour cherry.  Light notes of candied violets.  The final push, a raspberry soda with a woodsy note, is soft and not overwhelming.  Silken on the palate.  Drinks like a well tailored suit.

 

Over at RA’s Wine Advocate, Monica Larner referred to it as having a sophisticated international style and being “exciting value” from southern Italy.  It is all that and then some.  While we couldn’t quite get the 91 points of the whole enterprise we do say this: BC churns out a wine like this there are seven “very limited” cases at $80 a bottle.  I exaggerate, but you get my drift.  At this price point BC vineyards are selling their “base model” reds that are often bitter and lesser and forgettable.  Plus, why not try something from Abruzzi-Molise?

 

Price: Regularly a very respectable $24 at BC Liquor, on sale currently at $22.50 but, and I must rub your nose in this, only $19 in Ontario.  We really are the oppressed state Ms. Christy Clark.

 

Market Liquidity: You’d be hard pressed to serve this at dinner and not please the lot.

January 21, 2017

Casa di Malia Prosecco

malia-prosecco

Prosecco with a cork.  In other words lightly effervescent; nominally effervescent.  This certainly isn’t the “fizz” from Kim Crawford.  Organic, so kudos.  Nice label.  Utilitarian bottle with a stopper (you can rinse it and make a vinegar later).  You see where I’m going.  There’s not much to praise once you start to drink.  Using the gratis stopper we corked it and I poured a small glass the next day; still, and I mean flat, still it was peachy in a candy floss way, not terribly interesting (without orange juice or Campari or something…).  There is such a huge market for Prosecco and it’s all over the map and (in my humble view) in the majority at the less than palatable level but at least, at least it’s usually festive, as in fizzy.

 

Price: A very reasonable $20.

 

Market Liquidity: Hostess gift.