Posts tagged ‘James Suckling’

November 4, 2018

Enebral Tinta de Toro, 2015

James Suckling described this as tasting of ivy and forest floor.  Say what?  There is pronounced vanilla, a smoothness that is as deceptive as black ice, giant tannins and gobs of plummy, jammy fruit.  We didn’t get the tightness Robert Parker alluded to but we do agree a dozen in the cellar will pay huge dividends.  At the price it’s a slam dunk and exceptional in more ways than it’s worth describing.  Buy now, buy lots; the holidays will be upon is in weeks.


Price: An astonishing $23 at Everything Wine


Market Liquidity: A case for the wedding.  Or just to drink on Tuesday nights.

November 3, 2018

Tinto Negro Limestone Block Malbec, 2015

The entry level TN Malbec will set you back $15.  It’s good patio value.  The Limestone Block will set you back double.  But it’s not twice as good.


With decanting and a little air this will soften up and beckon.  Previous vintages have scored highly with James Suckling and Robert Parker.  They like the balance, fruit and herbal notes.  We found it muted.  All those things they like are present, you just have to close your eyes and think hard.  It’s not an open book.


Price: $30 at Everything Wine.


Market Liquidity: Fleeting.  Think of a trumpet mute; it has an effect, but nothing worth a whole symphony.

December 14, 2017

Domaine Bousquet Gaia, 2013

James Suckling loved this wine.  I wish we could say the same.  Aside from the organics stamp it didn’t have much satisfaction.

A Malbec dominant blend with Syrah and a touch of Cab Sauv, this has all the assault of a good red but none of the finesse.  It’s like the force of the front line without the expertise of the generals at HQ.  Although the (sharp, tannic, heady) attack is nothing like a Zin, we couldn’t help but think of the myriad California Zinfandels so aggressive and potent which leave you reeling after half a glass.  It held up well to red meat (and by God, I should hope so) but it was like an assault on the palate.  And to sip it was just an affront.


If you need an Uzi to do the work of a cordless drill, this is your wine.  Your 92 points wine.


Price: $30 at EW.


Market Liquidity: Pleasure free.  And wine without pleasure is vodka.

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.

April 5, 2016

Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo, 2013

The last in our brief foray into high pointers from the Wine Spectator et. al.  I should be criminally charged for opening this in early 2016.  And James Suckling should be shot for recommending this as a 2016 bottle.  And the 95 points on the label is a misnomer; it was an Italian wine competition…  At any rate, a wine with this much heft should be sold (so young) with a chastity belt around the cork.  It is simply not ready for the glass; lord knows how the reviewers can “predict” but they do.

Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo, 2013

A rather simple berry (cherry, cranberry) slips across the tongue, deceivingly smooth, and not much else.  You’re dismissive.  Then it hits you, big time.  The finish on this is Nadal Djokovic Australian Open long.  Deeply nuanced.  With air it opens beautifully, a low smoky evocative red like a Billie Holiday ballad. But still, you can tell, you can feel that this is not the wine it could be, should be, in another three years.


If you got it in the US, for, what? $23?, then, OK, try a bottle know, to compare down the road.  But if you’re shelling out over $40, as you will in BC, then this is a cellar companion.  Buy two.


Price: Under $40 before taxes, over $40 with. Ouch.


Market Liquidity: A prodigal now, it will return home given time.