Archive for ‘mourvedre’

July 22, 2020

Saint-Damien Plan de Dieu Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, 2018

Saint-Damien Plan de Dieu Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, 2018

It might be a CDR villages, but it’s old vines CDR villages, and it shows.  Big time.


A spectacular “common” red.  To find a wine in BC around $30 that has this much finesse without dripping in oak or insipidly acidic, is a treat.  Amen to Côtes-du-Rhône.  Grenache and Mourvèdre get married, the former is dominant, but a lovely partnership all round.  Right up there at the Wine Advocate and rightly so.


We couldn’t really discern the plum, but the black cherry and big swath of strawberry flood the palate leading to a restrained finish.  True, it’s not Gigondas.  But you know what else?  We’re not royalty, and this drinks better than half the BC Okanagan which sells at double the price.


Usually, with a wine like this, Gismondi writes “back up the truck.”  I would echo that sentiment.  That said, on the flip side it is an oppressive 14.5%, something that tends to curry favour over at the WA.  And, despite the recommendation to cellar, we weren’t sure how much further it would go: It drinks today smooth, velvety and delectable.


Price: $30 before tax at Marquis, although there was a discount on pre-orders (thank you Marquis).


Market Liquidity: U-Haul rents a van for the price of less than two bottles.  Do the math.

June 27, 2013

Tarima HIll, Bodegas Volver, 2010

002The third of three different bottles we scored at Pete’s in Seattle recently; all over 90 points WA/WS, and all well under $20.  The anguish of inflated over-taxed wine in BC…


This had (the worst label imaginable, half three year old learning Spirograph, half hermaphroditic nudibranch, what were they thinking? as well as) a pasted review of the most glowing tribute imaginable, lauding the winemaker, the quality, the price, which was all true, as well as this quip: “Certainly, one could say that Jorge Ordonez if a gift from Bacchus to thrifty wine consumers” which I take as a slight dig at RP having to laud “thrifty” bottles (how horrible he had to dirty his palate) as well as a dig at any wine consumer who balks at the price of “highly rated” wine.


A very dense and rewarding red from very old vines (1935) with a strong immediate hit of berry and cocoa and a big pack of pepper (100% Monastrell or Mourvedre, but to the average North American I think we’d finger this akin to a hefty Oz Shiraz) with a superb long cassis finish.  But it was also 15% alcohol.  It seemed impossible after a glass and a half not to like this wine.  We went through the bottle without any difficulty, liking it more with each glass.  Ah, the life of the wine reviewer.  Port next.003


Superb with Spanish chorizo, vegetables, salads, tapas.  And two liters of sparkling water.


Price: A spectacular $12.99 USD (or, a mere $11.25 if you lived in the US and could buy it by the half case).


Market Liquidity: One bottle of Le Vieux Pin Equinoxe versus nine—that’s right, nine—bottles Tarima Hill.  It’s a no brainer.

April 25, 2013

Juan Gil Jumilla Monastrell, 2010

So BC Liquor had a little “Stephen Tanzer loved this wine” type blurb beside this bottle and we decided to give it a try because of that, it’s lovely label, and there is so much good plonk flowing from Espana lately.  Is it good?  Yes.  It’s heavy, heady, alcoholic and mind numbingly defiantly red wine.  But there was also something generic about it, something that left it less a unique wine and more a run of the mill wine.


I realize that mourvedre/monastrell is usually a tad alcoholic and that wasn’t my main gripe; it was that eight out of ten high point wines seem to all taste the same, CA, Spain, Oz, whatever.


If you are a point-hunter, then this is good value I guess.  All the point-critics love it.  But I defy the wine establishment to blind taste this, e.g.,  against any number of heavy, alcoholic California Zinfandels with similar notes of cherry, earthy smoke and vanilla.  It’s like the international ticket to wine review fame these reds.


Price: $24.99 at BC Liquor (which claims online to have the 08 and 09 in stock and doesn’t).


Market Liquidity: Not separate from the pack.

December 19, 2011

Langmeil Barossa Three Gardens Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2009

Now this is how to blend.  This is artistry.  Open the spice cabinet.  Clove, cinnamon, plum, vanilla on the finish and long in what I can only describe as slightly unusual, not as smooth as the Robert Parker clones usually are, but just lovely.  We drank it with some extra old cheddar, not what would be a match made in heaven, but it did the job and it did it well.  More than I like to pay for wine but sometimes you have to pay more for wine than you want to (which is called living in British Columbia…).  I did not write down or Google the percentages on blends because in the end it didn’t matter, they did an excellent job, an expert job.  Thank you Langmeil.


Price: $27.99 from Everything Wine (or $26.59 with the case discount)


Market Liquidity: Alex, I’ll take Potent Potables for $28 please