Posts tagged ‘La Frenz’

September 25, 2018

La Vita Pazza White Blend, 2016

In my notes I wrote accidentally “white bland.”  Cute, but incorrect.


Think of a lively, decent house white in a local bistro, something palatable, something not bland like generic Pinot Gris or choking pine resin Sauv Blanc.  Something with a lilt, a dash of sweetness, and accommodation for everything from fatty appies to curries and spicy stew.


There is nothing that memorable to the Pazza white.  It’s just a base model blend.  It is in fact the La Frenz base model blend, a more or less balanced Muscat and Riesling, very fruit punch and rich without being cloying.  But really, how enjoyable, easy to drink, and food friendly.  The pointsters may pass it by, but you could do much worse at the price point at half the fun.


Price:  Wait for it (are you waiting for it?): $15.56 at the vineyard.  Wowza.  This could sell for $29 at a restaurant and still turn the standard mark-up on profit.  And how cheap and cheerful would that be in our over-taxed Western Hemisphere haven?


Market Liquidity: Eat, drink, be merry.

August 16, 2016

La Frenz Probyn-Eastman Viognier, 2015

La Frenz Probyn-Eastman Viognier, 2015Two people drank this bottle.  The first had one glass and called it a day: Oily.  Sweet.  Sweet and dense to the point of cloying, like condensed milk for key lime pie, like treacle.  Like you’ve wandered the midway and overdosed on caramel apples, cotton candy and glazed donut holes.  Stewed fruit like an overripe Riesling and hardly recognizable as Viognier.


The second person like it, liked the density, the overbearing fruit, the 14.7 per cent alcohol (!), the oozing luxe-ness of the finish, and got to finish it off.


But here’s the thing: The first person paid for it.  So that’s a done deal.


Price: $24 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: It’s a yin yang thing.  (You thought I was going to say “there’s no accounting for taste” didn’t you?)

July 7, 2016

La Frenz Merlot, 2013

I am not reviewing the 2015 base model La Frenz Chardonnay.  The price was right ($22) but it was strange, it tasted tweaked, as if tinkered with to achieve a result and not supported to evolve and become an interesting wine.  To call it a huge disappointment is being kind.  And since I’m not prone to reviewing every bottle we drink, and trying not to slag off those BC vineyards I like to support, we skip to the 2013 Merlot, also modestly priced.

La Frenze Merlot 2013

First, it is not the slightly more expensive and more fulfilling Burrowing Owl Merlot, but it is heaps better than the base model Cedar Creek.  It comes on floral, lavender and rose and violet, hefty and off-putting, but it mellows with decanting and an hour or so later has a medium body that is as appealing as a sipper as it is with a gently spiced chicken dinner.


Here’s the thing: Bartier Brothers makes an excellent Merlot, (which I’ve drunk heaps of, never reviewed for no good reason, and is an oft-turned to weeknight red), now widely available at BCL, which is virtually the same price point.  And if you think of these two wines, both local, as apples and apples, BB is on the podium, and La Frenz is simply in the pack.


Price: $26 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: It hurts to say it, but it’s two strikes to La Frenz.

June 30, 2016

La Frenz Vivant, 2013 & La Frenz Ensemble, 2013

La Frenz Vivant

La Frenz Vivant, 2013

So close.  I mean look at the label, what a gorgeous blend, it’s whet-your-wine appetite enticing.  Viognier, a touch of sweetness, Chardonnay, a touch of class, Rousanne, a touch of herbal tea.  It makes you want to buy three bottles, one of each viaretal, take an eye dropper, and experiment in blends.  I had such high expectations.  But, while not a dud, it reaches for the stars and only gets two points from within the three point line.  All the way through we kept thinking about how the flavour tried, but couldn’t.  It touched on moments of interest but never got there.  It was like a roller coaster rolling backwards rather than cresting the hill.  If there was Rousanne, the Rousanne you associate with the Rhone, we were too inept to decipher it.  We did not get the potpourri or spice or complexity we expected; peaches and papaya, yes, although nothing to write much of a review about.


Price: $25 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: Lewis Hamilton on the label, but the wine inside 12th on the grid.

La Frenz Ensemble

La Frenz Ensemble, 2013

A big surprise.  We put the bottle on the table and the next thing you know it was empty.  And we only had the one!  Extremely food friendly, enough acid and citrus Sauvignon style to wash down Asian or fish and chips.  Enough Semillon to have more interest in plain old SB.  Not as austere, striking or noteworthy as some of the noble Hunter Valley Sem/Sauv blends, but really lovely, approachable, and, as I said, easy to drink.  The citrus floral aspects counter a lingering creamy finish which leads to just one more sip. A keeper, by which I mean I should have cellared it.


Price: $25 from the vineyard.


Market Liquidity: Nico Rosberg quietly slips into first place.

mercedes crash

April 29, 2016

La Frenz Montage, 2013

A fruity, juicy, cherry cola mouthful.  Light and refreshing as any white might be.  A touch too acid, which lingers, not in a good way.

La Frenz Montage 2013

While we swooned over the 2008, and thought the 2011 OK, the 2013 is not the finest moment for La Frenz / Montage.  Given the price point, there are much better options.


Aside from these reservations, I do like the wine’s ethereal nature and its blast of Starburst like generic berry.  (Think a palatable Lambrusco without the effervescence.  Or, if you’re old enough, Punchy, the original Hawaiian Punch mascot.)


Price: $30 plus taxes at Kitsilano Wine Cellar, so not an everyday red. Even though it drinks like a Tuesday night sipper.


Market Liquidity: Doesn’t pack a punch, but it tastes like one.


                                      The original Hawaiian Punch “Punchy”