Posts tagged ‘Garagiste’

July 6, 2017

Domaine de la Graveirette Vaucluse Mus C, 2013

Our swooning review of the 2012 is here. We went a little ga-ga. Our opinion hasn’t altered: When you want a decent glass of red with pizza, with pasta in a tomato sauce, with a frittata, whenever you want a decent glass of red and don’t want to open a heavyweight because the food is likely going to grandstand, your BC Liquor choices are rather dire. You can either go with a new world cheapie, probably a Malbec that is so young it tastes like a greasy wheel, or a “bottled in BC” special, with a modulated flavour profile so chemical you could be drinking tap water in Flint. But what a treat if you could pick up something like the Mus C.


Welcome this ever dependable “villages” style Rhone red. My god is it versatile. It’s luscious and forward, more hay and fresh cut grass than most are prepared for (and, if online reviews are anything to go by, “too much dust” for which I beg to differ, that is just typical of Grenache), but it’s also smooth and luxe and “berry-liscious” for the price. Best of all, this is table wine, pure and simple, of the first order. There is nothing, and I repeat nothing, in BC at this price point that could hold a candle; BC vintners are so focused on their heavyweight reds they seem to have forgotten the masses who like a glass with dinner.


In respect to food this has the flexibility of Nadia Comaneci, is as complementary as Seth was to Amy, and is as brazen as a Marvel superhero. It really is one of the finest “cheap” reds I’ve ever had the privilege to get change for on a $20 bill.


Price: Not available in Canada, which is criminal, but between $10-13 USD in Washington, and a perennial favorite for Jon Rimmerman’s Garagiste clients.


Market Liquidity: I think de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo would find nothing but joy. We did.

July 25, 2016

C C Jentsch Cellars Syrah, 2013

Super spicy—in a good way. A funky woodiness reminiscent of Oz Shiraz.  There is an unusual Pinot Noir lightness on the palate (and the glass, it’s so pale it’s nearly anemic), but it holds its weight on the finish.  Despite the balance and approachability, despite all the lovely tangents on the nose and mouth, this wine never grew on us, as a sipper, or with dinner.  Ephemeral.  When all was said and done we felt it wasn’t, dollar-wise, better than many cheaper options at BCL, but neither was it as striking or memorable as we’d been led to believe.

C C Jentsch Cellars Syrah, 2013

By that I mean we bought it as the Jentsch rated tops in a list of 15 Syrahs, many from BC which were judged alongside “global benchmarks” (their term, not mine); although judging a dozen wines or so seems hardly representative, more of the sort of party game you’d see this blogger create, “judges” who produce a “list” gives credence to the “sticker” which boosts sales (which also translates as hard to find in a store; a Jentsch blog with the top Syrah and Chardonnays is here.).  In the “judged” list Nichol is my favorite of the lot but overall, despite the quality of these wines, you pay through the nose, relative to Australia and South America.  (As an aside, the Hamilton Russell scored quite high in their Chardonnay list; although a different vintage, we are huge fans too.)  OK, rather than quibble with the list per se, and noting that no one will turn up their nose at a guest bringing over a bottle of Langmeil, but as a previous client of Garagiste in Seattle, I can tell you point blank that nothing in the Okanagan, nothing, at whatever price point, can compete with the very best from Walla Walla.  Which leads me to believe the judges missed some fine West Coast wines, despite the global benchmark.


Price: $35 plus at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: All I could hear was Mr. Burns saying “I like the cut of his jib.”  Which is, yes, a dig at the experts.

February 25, 2016

Cave Mont Blanc “La Piagne” 2014

Cave Mont Blanc “Le Piagne” 2014

All wine retailers gush about their stock, but perhaps none moreso than Jon Rimmerman who sends out prosaic emails two or three times a week without a picture and often no third party reviews, to a long list of subscribers who pore over what, in the end, is just a series of flowery adjectives and a string of superlatives; it’s as if Jimmy Fallon is swooning over an A-list celeb (or, on Jon’s worst days, Justin Timberlake impersonating Jimmy Fallon fawning over a celeb). If you Yelp or Google Garagiste (his retail company) you will find that the high level of eagerness to impart this vino passion isn’t always met with gratitude. While I will credit him with bringing wine to the Pacific Northwest that many don’t, won’t or can’t, and certainly here in Canada what is beyond our archaic, anti-wine, Kafkaesque wine bureaucracy, he also misses now and again. This, in my humble opinion, is a big miss. Here’s his missive on the La Paigne:


“It’s all here – the granite of the alps, the Ricola scrub brush and the refreshment of an ice-cold/painfully fresh mountain spring that you can’t wait to dive into. If you are a fan of Belluard, the 2014 Le Piagne does for Prie Blanc what Belluard’s Le Feu did for Gringet… …at $19+. Keep in mind, this is meager production – approximately 2000 bottles were produced of this wine (165-167 cases) from one of the most incredible, steeply terraced vineyards you will ever see (at extreme elevation for wine grapes – in the flank of Mont Blanc). What more can I say? The 2014 Le Piagne is an electric white wine that is not only top-class but it’s also an exhilarating value (if you don’t secure all of it, I’ll keep the rest for my own cellar!)”


Value? Yes. Under $20 US. Electric? Well, anyone remember the Tomy toy Gripidee Gravidee? A space pod that motored horizontally and vertically on a D cell at about .03 mph. (That was, technically, electric, and about as much of shock and awe as this moderately palatable and not very nuanced and instantly forgettalbe flat, dry white.) So was, they say, Robert Redford playing Sonny Steele who, like it or not, was neither electric nor exhilarating, despite the mo. And so it goes.

Grippidee Gravidee

Price: $19.60 USD.


Market Liquidity: Note to Jon: “CAPTAIN Deadpool. …Okay, just, just Deadpool.”