Posts tagged ‘Hugh Johnson’

December 20, 2021

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 delectable. I heard a background soundtrack of oohs and aahs and very contented sighs Wimbledon-esque, the quiet at the dinner table when everyone digs into a satisfying spread, Terrence Malick-ian lyrical.

Dark, dark, dark; squid ink.  Prune, prominent prune and plum and a few other dried stone fruits on the attack.  There are points on the palate like mince tart (not the UK mince, lest a UK reader mistake me), but sweet and lingering and as if topped with a dollop of thick rich cream.  A deep earthiness on the finish.  Very hard to place this.  Just plain wowza.

We didn’t drink it all in one go and I would say that the second day (although properly “vacu-sealed”) it lost a little glamour.

The CVNE Reserva (not the Gran Reserva, which on occasion we’ve posted about) as expected was admiral.  But it drank like Tempranillo.  I think even the modestly knowledgeable wine afficionado could blind it as Rioja and be much less likely to do so with the San Vicente.  It was good in the typical sense; take the varietal, make an excellent wine, and then bottle it.  A most magnificent sipper, velvet, bouquets of violet, full on the palate.  In 2017, when we first posted about this wine, we paraphrased Hugh Johnson’s quote about wine as a marriage of nature and aesthetics.  True to form this vintage has softened over the last few years and warranted a lot of drinking pleasure.

I am not sure we’ve ever drunk a dud from CVNE/CUNE.

In brief: End of year score.

Price: The 2012 we purchased from Marquis in 2017 for $31.21 before tax, so obviously a score, likely part of a mixed case.  The San Vicente, although gifted, can be found at Kits Wine Cellar for nearly $80.

Market Liquidity: To be absolutely, unequivocally a broken record, we will say it yet again: There is no better red wine value in BC than Spanish Rioja.  Your dollar just goes way, way further, vintage or not.

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September 24, 2020

Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir, 2017

We received our annual case from the vineyard and thought we should “finish up” last year’s remnants to avoid any confusion (!).

Of two bottles in a mixed case we had the first last December.  Our review, here, was of a take it or leave it nature, unimpressed and let down.  So, on first sip of this second bottle, nearly a year later, much of the same, nonplussed.  Pretty ho-hum.

But, sip after sip, this wine popped.  Big time.  I was resentful on the last half glass, resentful the bottle was empty I mean.  And, I was pissed off at our December post last year; we drank it too soon.

Woodsy and herbaceous, some spicy cinnamon, juicy gobs of cherry, time and air bringing to life a really evocative PN.  The filbert finish a touching denouement on a classic Okanagan PN.  Not a whiff of the coconut we made note of on the previous bottle.  Time and air, Hugh Johnson has waxed poetic on how time and air can alter wine. Amazing.

Price: $35 from the vineyard in 2019.

Market Liquidity: A series of fortunate events sips.

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January 16, 2019

Glen Carlou Quartz Stone Chardonnay, 2016

What a wonderful, optimistic and uplifting start to 2019.  A beautiful white; crisp, clean, minerally, the proverbial oyster shells, with hints of honeydew melon and a whisper of jasmine.  A long buttery finish.  When Hugh Johnson writes about his love of acidity, I think this wine epitomizes that sentiment, with a tart acidity extremely well balanced on the palate.  Not knock your socks of Burgundy, but restrained and evocative of terroir.  Zero complaints.

 

Price: Gifted but I’ve seen it at the Kitsilano Wine Cellar in the mid 30s.

 

Market Liquidity: The yin and yang of new and old world Chardonnay.

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February 16, 2017

Sierra Cantabria Rioja, 2011

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.

March 20, 2016

Ch. Saint-Roch Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Kerbuccio, 2011

From the cellar: So we found an old bottle of this in the cellar, tucked away.  It’s been two years since we drank most of the allotment, I guess this one just got missed.

Ch. Saint-Roch Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Kerbuccio, 2011

Every word of the original review stands: Stellar wine, over the top impressive at the price point.  Luscious for the lush.

 

Price: $20 USD in 2013.

 

Market Liquidity: Hugh Johnson and Robert Parker join hands and sing Kumbaya.