Posts tagged ‘Sea Star’

July 12, 2017

Pure Mirabeau en Provence Rosé, 2015

Boring and banal.  But Anthony Gismondi gave it 90 points so, yes, I sourced it (at $30 before taxes!) and gave it a go.  And I guess Gismondi was obligated because Robert Parker also found it “excessively” drinkable.  I feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy sets up the football: Each summer Gismondi gives a rosé a high point score and each summer I source it and each summer I’m suckered.  Look at the pic: I bought not one but two!  Who knows how rich I might be if I’d invested in lottery tickets instead?  At least there is the “hope” that comes with a lottery ticket.


This wine, in our opinion, is a veritable disaster.  Any thinner and it would be admitted to a medical clinic  for anorexia.  It’s pale to look at, plain on the palate, innocuous on the finish.  And here’s the extra special rub: BC has some of the finest pinot gris (or pinot grigio, our vintners can’t make up their minds) on the planet.  From A to Z.  We’ve reviewed a bunch.  The Sea Star is sensationally interesting, layers of depth.  The La Stella is a crowd favorite, what a mouthful of delight.  The Blue Mountain is ridiculously inexpensive and of especial value.  The Nichol we blow hot and cold on, but this year we really took to it, and even when we don’t it towers over the Mirabeau.  Even the Tinhorn Creek has won us over.  Why with this abundance of patio friendly, light and lovely and diverse PGs should we even bother with rosé?  Beats me.




Price: $29.99 before tax at BC Liquor (and hard to source at that).


Market Liquidity: This is to a decent bottle of wine what a Christmas panto is to Shakespeare.

September 7, 2016

Sea Star Prose, 2014


There was a lot of wine on offer during the last “official” week of summer.  Most of it neither here nor there.  A 2009 Priorat that Robert Parker claimed could be drunk over the next 15-20 years was corked.  A CdR Sablet that Gismondi had recommended for the cellar through 2020 was mediocre.  A cheap red from the OK crush pad was character-free but enormously quaffable.  The star of the lot for me was a dessert beverage from Pender Island.


Sea Star turns out some exceptional, light, aromatic whites.  We’ll review a couple next week.  Hard to find, but inexpensive and easy to drink, they show what can be done in earnest, as opposed to ego.  They sell two dessert wines, one a Riesling paired with apple, the Prose, and another which is Foch, Pinot Noir and berries, which they call Poetry.


I’ll be blunt: The Poetry is a disaster like, I hasten to add, so much modern poetry.  There’s an American “conceptual” poet called Kenneth Goldsmith who originated “uncreative” writing including an art installation of every word he said for a week, and who has stated he never suffers from writer’s block because there’s always something to copy.  In other words, insufferable.  Sea Star Poetry drinks like your neighbour’s kit wine club plonk which they bottle at $4 per plus supplies.  Alcoholic, forward, blatantly berry, and not unlike any number of bottled fruit beverages they serve on ice with a cherry instead of ale.


Which is to say, that’s too bad, because the Prose is something to be savored.  It sails in the direction of Sauternes, shy of course, but still with that full fruit of apple, stone, kiwi, lingers on the tongue (but not long enough), and is will suited to not just cheese (thank God) but actual honest to god desserts.  Expensive ($21 for the half) but a wonderful BC antidote to the Port wannabes, such as Black Sage’s Pipe, et. al.


Price: $21 at the Saturna General Store (!).


Market Liquidity: Sometimes good things come in small packages.

July 10, 2015

Sea Star Vineyards Siegerrebe, 2014

Sieger what?

Sea Star Vineyards Siegerrebe, 2014

South Pender Island lies along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, abutting the meandering nautical Border Pass which dips below the 49th along the US and Canada. East across Plumper Sound, even further south, is Saturna Island. Both have young-ish vineyards. Sea Star at Pender comes out of the gate with a select selection of light, aromatic, appealing whites at an extremely reasonable price point. Meanwhile Saturna Vineyard sits fallow for the second year in a row. Hence the strange goings on in the BC wine industry; whether to strive for the most common, most loved, most drunk varietals (i.e., as Saturna did, and more or less drain the gas tank doing so) or to simply embrace terroir and go for what’s likely to produce good plonk.


Kudos to Pender. The Siegerrebe is a Gewurtz cross hybrid, something I’ve never knowingly drunk before even though I’ve seen the Gray Monk; it was reminiscent of the first time I sipped Summerhill’s Ehrenfelser. In other words wonderfully different and immediately interesting. The label proclaims light acidity when in fact we found it heavy handed; it proclaims stone fruit but instead we found it strongly tropical and too ripe, like lychees in sugar syrup. There was a bloom of herbaceousness as well; think winter savoury, a sort of brighter, stronger more floral version of thyme. None of these comments are meant as negative. It’s a wonderful summer sipper, I carted a bottle nestled in cool packs on a two hour hike all the way to remote Taylor Point on Saturna, and we drank it with cheese, fruit, fresh homemade soda bread while watching eagles and orcas overhead and beyond. The low alcohol point is an extra feather in its cap.


Price: $21 at the Saturna Island General Store of all places.


Market Liquidity: Mazel Tov to Pender.

The gorgeous view from the bistro (closed) and the Saturna vineyard (fallow).  Sigh.

The gorgeous view from the bistro (closed) and the Saturna vineyard (fallow). Sigh.