Category: Tempranillo

  • Battle of the Vintage Riojas: Sierra Cantabria San Vicente 2008 vs. CVNE Reserva, 2012

    From the cellar: This time of year, the “season” if you will, is a good excuse to dig up some gems. The 2008 San Vicente was a “significant birthday” birthday gift, and a great gift at that.  What a wine (despite the dry cork: Hey BC wine sellers, how about some lie down?!!).  Each sip […]

  • CVNE Gran Reserva Rioja, 2013

    From the cellar: Is this the best kept secret in Vancouver?  In the middle of a pandemic we walked into a private wine store and bought a seven year old bottle of Rioja.  As part of a mixed half case they gave us a 10% discount.  And a year later, when we got around to […]

  • Artuke Pies Negro, 2018 & Artuke Tinto, 2019

    This is a case where the “better” wine was not as good as the “value” wine. (At least according to the Wine Spectator, which gave the PN 93 points and the Tinto 90.) Let me explain: The Pies Negro is a curious bottle.  It evolved with air, it shifted from an aggressive, acid heavy fruitiness, […]

  • Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja, 2001

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.  Better make the best of it.   Was this better than the 2006 we so eagerly sipped over the holidays?  No.  It wasn’t.  The 2006 was better.  Was the 2001 good?  Oh, Jesus, Joseph and Mary: Heavenly.   This was as warm and cozy as […]

  • Faustino Gran Reserva Rioja, 2006

    Look what Santa brought down the chimney? A very old bottle of Tempranillo.   A beautiful wine, quite up front, luscious on the palate with pronounced and perhaps a too assertive woodiness, gorgeous depth and nuanced on every sip.  It drank spectacularly but not cohesively with food.  It shone just on its own.  And it […]

  • El Pacto Rioja, 2016

    Everything you want in a Rioja at about the price you want to pay for a Rioja.  Drinks like something more expensive, silky tannins, assertive structure, decent fruit, some nice dark hints of charcoal and chocolate; full bodied but not flabby.  Food friendly, a decent sipper, and a lovely label to boot.  There will be […]

  • De Ley Rioja Gran Reserva 2010

    Decanter described the explosion of coconut and hints of woodsmoke which pretty much is the money shot, that juicy forward tropical note with a backdrop of musky smoke.  And the LCBO, in Ontario, hit the nail on the head by selling this $30 cheaper than BC.  So there you go, the crime of drinking wine […]

  • Stag’s Hollow Tempranillo, 2014

    Here’s something novel: Okanagan Tempranillo at a decent price point.  (And here’s something oxymoronic, in a way, Tempranillo from BC’s Okanagan…)  You can ante up in excess of $50 for the Black Hills T, but Stag’s Hollow offers an entry level which is, well, very much Tempranillo.   On the plus side it’s boisterous, acidic, […]

  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva, 2011

    Probably the first bottle of Rioja I ever drank was MdC; a Crianza of course.  I would hazard a guess, based on the volume and availability, many North Americans and not too few British would echo the sentiment.  Marques de Caceres is an omnipresent red which usually comes on strong and tannic and decent in […]

  • Torres Celeste Crianza, 2013

    Corked.  I can’t tell you how common this is in BC.  Oh wait, I can, I kept a record in 2017.  Twice from bottles purchased at private stores and six times from bottles purchased at BC Liquor.  Not including this.  Seven times from BC Liquor.  What a year 2017 was.   In BC, when you […]