Posts tagged ‘Everything Wine’

December 6, 2017

Bernard-Massard Cuvée de L’Ecusson Brut

Tis the season.


Sparkling from Luxembourg.  At 12.4%.  Cheaper than cheap Prosecco.  Luscious on the palate.  Could there be a better Christmas gift?


Decanter gave this a best in show, 95 points, platinum.  I’m not sure we were drinking the same wine.  However, it is wonderful.  It is lovely.  It has a finish that grows on you inch by inch and will lead you to polish off a bottle in no time.  The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are run of the mill but having Riesling in the mix is a game changer.


This will not sub for Champagne.  In fact, it wouldn’t make for a very good general fizz to doctor with juice or liqueur.  I would even nitpick on the effervescence (which is thick and heavy and without the streamlined cadence of fine champers).  However, stand alone as a sparkler, with its tropical fruit notes and vanilla coconut finish, this is startlingly graceful at the price point.


Price: Good luck.  But EW in Surrey has a few bottles at $23 before tax. The rosé is available at New District in Dunbar.  Alas, welcome to Buying Wines in BC…


Market Liquidity: Brilliant bubbles, and fun to boot.

July 24, 2017

CVNE Rioja Reserva, 2012 & CVNE Rioja Crianza, 2012

The best tasting, best drinking red wine in its class, the best red wine under $40 in BC, period.  And, I might add, much better than many BC reds up to half the price more.  We have held off posting until assured there was no more to be found in the Lower Mainland.  Joking.  Half joking.


Marquis had a superb pre-offer at, with tax, $25 for the Crianza and $36 for the reserve.  We bought a lot.  We went back for more.  Marquis was sold out.  We sourced it at Everything Wine.  We bought a lot.  We went back for more.  EW was sold out.  We sourced it at Kits Wine Cellar.  We bought a lot.  We went back for more.  KWC was sold out.


On the plus side, maybe we were the only ones smart enough to buy up this wine?  I don’t think I’ve drunk, and stashed away, so much of one bottle as I have of this year’s CVNE release.  (The Monopole was similarly outstanding if slightly less impressive.)


These reds are the most comforting, smooth, rich and concentrated blends you can get at such a reasonable price point.  But price be damned, they are just really good tempranillos.  The Wine Spectator said the Reserva has depth and intensity and gave it 93 points.  (Can you imagine a BC red getting 93 points and going on sale for less than $40?).  That’s a fair summation.  But it’s also just plain likable in the most approachable and delectable way.  As you can see from the group picture, we simply can’t get enough.


The Crianza is, yes, lesser, but only by a margin so slim it could be a BC election; and what a wonderful sipper still, and just gorgeous to share at dinner without breaking the bank.  The WS gave it 91 points.  And in Ontario you can buy it with change from a $20.  In BC we have to cough up more and it sells out quicker but let’s give a shout out to Rioja.


Price: See above.


Market Liquidity: These Riojas remind me of that Hugh Johnson quote that wine is a marriage of nature and aesthetics.  To which I think he meant what is real and beautiful.  Because these babies are real beautiful.

April 2, 2017

Famille Perrin “Les Cornuds” Vinsobres, 2014

If it’s Tuesday, there’s probably a wine sale at Everything Wine.  If it’s Wednesday, there’s probably a wine sale at Everything Wine.  So it goes.

When Everything Wine has a sale they invariably have the Vinsobres with a “90” point seal on it.  And the price ($24) drops to $20 before taxes.  And at that price (which is still several dollars more than Ontario) it’s a good deal wine. A solid, smooth, easy to drink and lovely blend.  Dark cherry, a whiff of leather and smoke, balance.  Is it remarkable or striking or even that memorable?  Not particularly.  And in restaurants, where it hovers around the $50 mark, it is simply outrageously overpriced.  But it’s good.  It’s good in that way that you can share it with people and no one will take exception and you can take it as a host gift and no one will think you’re being cheap and on a Thursday, before payday, when you’re running low on funds, it’s probably on sale at Everything Wine.


Price: See review.


Market Liquidity: “Comfort wine” if you will.

March 7, 2017

Doña Paula Black Edition Estate Red Blend, 2015

Extremely good value.  Not a home-run blend by any stretch, but easily as good (i.e., approachable, food friendly, likeable), as any number of $40-plus BC reds.  Plus you get the red heft of a 14.5% wine at only 14%.


We found it flavourful but a bit flat, I mean if you’re comparing with the finer reds in your cellar; although not layered or wham bam impressive, this is obscenely smooth and ridiculously “sip” friendly, with plum jam on the palate and a slightly tannic but robust earthy finish.  Suckling gave it a monumental 94 points which to us seemed overkill but whatever.  We quaffed this down in 94 minutes.


Price: $24 at Everything Wine.  (Buy a case: 5% discount and free delivery.  Think of the upcoming BBQ season.)


Market Liquidity: The most social red at a reasonable price point we’ve sampled in 2017.

March 6, 2017

King Shaka-Zulu Chenin Blanc, 2015

Pretty good but not pretty great.


Notes of clementine, an unusual and pronounced vanilla, a tangy acidity, refreshing floral herb slash butterfly garden, and a monumental minerality that persists on the palate.  I wouldn’t have guessed this as a Chenin blind but enjoyed it nonetheless.  Was superb with a cheese souffle.  As for Shaka-Zulu, check him out.

At a price point about 30 per cent cheaper, this would be a steal, a deal, a must buy.  Regardless of the pointster’s praise, at $30, it’s not exceptional value.  This bottle reminds me of the gorgeous Springfield Life from Stone which we swooned over in Cape Town at dollars a bottle then sourced it back home in BC at $33 in a private store where, as we emptied out wallet, we sort of lost our appetite and enthusiasm.


Price: $29.95 at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: Close but no cigar.

February 16, 2017

Sierra Cantabria Rioja, 2011


Ever taste wine with friends, take notes, compare them, and find that what one person found heavy and tannic another found fruity and light?  Or, more typically, buy wine specifically because of the reviewer’s blurb—only to be wholly let down?  This is that experience in a nutshell.


Here’s the professional review: “…dense, rich red cherry and liquorice aromas…sour cherry, coffee and nutmeg notes and the oak is fully integrated.”


We just couldn’t get past the flatness of it, the one note, a very tepid Tempranillo, immediately forgettable.  Not cheap either.  And this was after our splurge on D’Orrance a few weeks back based on a stellar review which was a match made in heaven.  So it goes.


Price: $30 at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: Hugh Johnson called Sierra Cantabria “drinkable and good” and I’ll give it that.

February 11, 2017

D’Orrance Chenin Blanc KAMA, 2012





If you splurge once in a while on a wine simply because of critical praise, and then are disappointed, I hear your pain. Amen brother. We need to forge a twelve step critical disappointment program. But sometimes you dig deep into the wine budget and it pays off big time. Case in point this elegant, eloquent, Chenin that was like an encased jewel box, that just needed dusting off to show all it’s colour and dimension.


Of course Chenin is not to everyone’s taste; even in France, Loire whites are not as ubiquitous in the corner wine store as you’d expect. In South Africa, where they blossom, BC rarely gets an opp to experiment (it’s Bellingham and then things hit a chasm). But we sourced this bottle at Everything Wine and were suitably impressed. Five year old luxe white for around $40; sounds expensive but really that’s a bargoon considering the lay away.


Ludicrously delicious. A golden shimmer in the glass, toffee, apple, honey and honeydew hits the palate along with an oily nuttiness and some lighter minerality. Acidity that is pure pleasure. It is exquisite in its complexity and hugely intriguing. I have some Neem honey from the Himalayas and that sweet, blossom, funkiness is also in this wine. The oak is almost transparent (thankfully); in fact the oak is umami.


Price: Expensive in BC; a very unfortunate $43 at Everything Wine (but keep in mind this is the 2012, not the 2014). The 2014 is available in Saskatchewan for $23. That is plainly extraordinary value.


Market Liquidity: Controlled delirium if such a thing is possible.

July 26, 2016

TintoNegro Limestone Block Malbec, 2012

TintoNegro Limestone Block Malbec, 2012

92 points.  Seriously?  Someone is losing their marbles.


Price: $32.50 at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: An easy to drink red.

January 19, 2016

Maycas del Limari Sumaq Reserva Chardonnay, 2013 & Urban Uco Malbec Tempranillo, 2013

Urban Uco Malbec Tempranillo, 2013Value week on Buyingbcwines: To round off our value wine theme this week we finish with an enormously satisfying Chilean Chardonnay and a critics pick. The Argentinian blend, Malbec-Tempranillo, is an over-90 pointer from Parker, and drinks pretty much the way you’d expect: Fruit heavy, a little leaden, rich and hearty. Personally, I didn’t like it, neither its predictability nor character, it’s 14.5%, a little too heavy on the cigar and without any elegance whatsoever. Too flat on the finish. But that is irrelevant. Most people will like it, like it a lot, as a house wine it could sell like hotcakes, the price is exacetment as the French say. Exactamente I should say. In fact, I’ll set the bar for 2016: Best value red in BC at the price. (Let’s see what happens over the next 11 months.) Comparatively, the local and foreign dross at this price point is suicidally depressing. Ignore my misgivings; dare to compare with your other Tuesday night selections.


Price: A budget conscious $14.99 at BC Liquor (with tax $17.25).


Market Liquidity: Like getting an upgrade at the rental desk from economy to midsize.

Maycas del Limari Sumaq Reserva Chardonnay, 2013

The Maycas del Limari, on the other hand, won’t win awards nor critical favour beyond “good value” and “fresh”, but what a hugely appealing wine that speaks volumes to breaking the Chardonnay norm. Honestly, it was exciting to cork this bargain bottle. Bright to the point of glaring, this is sunshine encapsulated in a bottle, and really reminded us of the Boutari (in terms of its liveliness). There are more tropical tangents than you can imagine, guava, pineapple, passionfruit, than typical stony notes, but a current of oak runs underneath the forward, very forward, fruit. Drinks like a 12 per cent lunch wine. Is not cloying and does not seek to wow.  It’s all enjoyment.  Great to sip, perfect with frittata. And easy to share at the cost.


Price: $21 with tax ($18 before) at Everything Wine or Legacy.


Market Liquidity: Carnival in Rio in a bottle.