Monday, June 28, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
- very pale straw-gold color
- full- intense nose of pineapple, golden apples, Anjou pear
- 0 dryness, moderate++ acids (well balanced and long structure), moderately intense flavors of young peach, crabapple, pear (orchard fruit) - even a touch of floral at the end of the palate
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
First on our plate (literally) was the Sauvignon Blanc with boursin cheese, rice crackers (for me the celiac) and a vegetarian antipasto.
2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 13.5%, 91 Points by Wine & Spirits Magazine
$14 CAN **excellent value**
- vibrant lemony gold color, moderate++ intense bouquet of exotic fruits, wild flowers & mild citrus notes
- moderate+ acids, phenomenal balance for such a modestly priced wine! palate matches the nose exactly
- bouquet of hot alcohol, violets, leathery oak, blood, gamey meat, chalky soil
- moderate++ acids, full tannins, fully intense palate that matches the nose brilliantly
- This was a fantastic wine that will only get better! Buy it now - buy a case, then pull out a new bottle every 3 months to watch it develop. Great structure already, and a fully satisfying balance, there are enough tannins and acids to see this drinking well for another 3 to 5 years easily (IMHO)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
2007 Alban Vineyards "Central Coast" Viognier
by John Alban, winemaker, 14.9%, $38 CAN **very good value
- moderately intense notes of honeysuckle, floral citrus, melon & orchard fruit
- moderate++ acids, well balanced by an exceedingly long structure comparing admirably to the nose. A touch more citrus on the palate, and far less exotic fruit and floral than is found in the "Estate" Viognier for $70 CAN
- this wine softens at the end of the palate, allow more buttery notes to come forward. Expect papaya, tangerine, rich Gala apples to appear after the acids have calmed down. Pair this with fish that have some fat to them such as grilled salmon. Absolutely natural marriage. Also consider veal with roasted chestnuts and cream reduction - seems odd, but both would bring brilliant notes from this richly structured wine.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
fully intense buttery oak on the nose, candied banana, pineapple, a floral like daffodils or maybe peonies
moderate acids, moderate+ body, moderate+ intense flavors of meyer lemon, pineapple tartness, orchard fruit
so a decent little wine... much better value in London @ about $15 (CAN). It's a table wine, and a good one at that. The nose doesn't match the palate, which is a shame, but it shows good structure and fine balance - a worthwhile contender for summer afternoons on the deck
fully intense bouquet; dandelions & summer flowers, Anjou pears, golden apples, more buttery oakiness, soft-rich-meyer lemon forever
moderate acids (start very soft and develop on the palate), moderate flavors that duplicate the nose. Are you reading this DJ? **grin** Excellent craftsmanship
wonderful wine. Perhaps the palate isn't as developed as one would want, but in an under $20 wine I find it brilliant value. Long structure becomes a tad bitter at the end... try this wine with your afternoon brie & baguette. Some apricot compote will bring more richness from the wine.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
- full, absolutely full bouquet of melons, pineapple, guava, orchard fruit... giving way to soft rich florals like Tiger Lilies gone wild... layered, buttery. I wonder, can I buy a potpourri like this?
- moderate++ acids are balanced by a buttery, 10% cream kind of texture, with layers of flavor: crisp pineapple open followed by the citrusy-lemony-grapefruity acids washing the palate. The come lush orchard fruit; I just bite into an Anjou pear, and then a compote of Gala apples, and now at the end I'm left with the barest whisper of that floral.
- Time to drink it again.
Well we served it with a Salade Nicoise, but it has enough acid to balance it against butter poached seafood. I could serve it with Coquilles St Jacques, steamed spot prawns, the possibilities don't end. That's the relationship between wine and food that I adore: great wine inspires great food. And vice versa.
Friday, June 11, 2010
So tonight was the opening of a new watering hole: Rogue Wetbar. Situated in arguably the most central location of Vancouver, it's a classy joint in a classy building.
These guys were finishing up just as we walked in the door. Wow - I've been through opening days before and it's nerve-wracking. Hats off to them though, they pulled it off and apparently without a hitch.
Incredibly friendly staff - very attentive. There was a line-up for the 5:00pm opening and it seems as though the rebranding is going to be a success if the attention of the locals is anything to judge by.
Brilliant room! Lots of light, exposed brick - lots of kitch, bling, pattern, color. This is a room designed (IMHO) to be fun! There are lots of floor-to-ceiling "drapes" the give the illusion of privacy at tables... even the pitcher cocktails I saw at the next table looked nicer then the $14 pricetag would inspire one to believe.
One of the coolest menus I've ever seen, bar none. I am truly impressed. Brilliant design whoever came up with that one.
Neat looking food, but I was a bit let down when I found out that there was nothing I could eat from the appetizers except for nachos (Celiac UnFriendly). I couldn't even eat the fries... too bad - they have a fry trio for $8 with (a) gorgonzola & bacon cream, (b) traditional poutine & (c) truffle oil & parmesan cheese. Oh My.
Did I mention they have 20 beers & ales on tap? And not Coors but micro-brews the lot of them... oh to be an Irishman in Rogue Wetbar.
I'm a winedrinker these days though, and so was happy to see 3-3fl oz samplers for a great price. Imagine my surprise when there was no price on the menu! Ah well, a small error I hope will me amended. (My 3 wine sampler was $16)
Veramonte "Riserva" Chardonnay, Casablanca Valle, Chile
- moderate intense nose of bright, fresh, buttery melon with minerality and pears
- moderate++ acids, balanced by moderately intense flavors of melon, crabapple, lemon and lime
- a moderate+ body with strong alcohol, these rich flavors need great food like melted brie! Raclette anyone?
Quail's Gate Gamay Rose, West Kelowna, BC **Try this wine ASAP**
- fully intense bouquet of strawberries, rhubarb, blackberry & rich summer flowers
- moderate++ acids are quite crisp but not overwhelming. moderately intense flavors match the nose perfectly. Excellent craftsmanship.
- light body - I would choose to drink this wine on it's own in the summer heat, or pair it with subtle foods such as chevre, cold poached prawns or a duck galentine
Vina Maipo Carmenere-Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle Central, Chile
- a moderately intense nose that needed some coaxing, but opened to plums, blackberry, chalky soil, mild leather and tobacco
- moderate(+) acids balanced barely by moderate tannins (quite smooth from the price). Full flavors of strawberry, saskatoon, plums with a touch of jalapeno spice
- I found the acids a bit over-the-top, and would only serve it with food. Try with the biggest, baddest, fattest burger you can get - almost like Rogue planned this?
Monday, June 7, 2010
**BUY THIS NOW @ $22**
- the color of bruised plums: a true Malbec with the barest hint of brickish rim... looking for all the world more like a 2 year old wine rather then 5 years old
- after decanting 2 hours, a bouquet of worn leather, ferric gamey bloody meat, deep black berries and black currants, irises, dusty earth
- moderate++ acids (bordering on full-) well balanced by moderate+ tannins (which are still a touch green, though big-soft-mildly chewy)
- moderate++ intense flavors that perfectly match the nose and last forever... excellent structure and though reasonably high in alcohol, never hot
- visual: clear; deep garnet core with slight cherry rim
- nose: clean; fully intense youthful aromas with substantial development; gamey meat, black berries, layers of cherry and red currant, slight black currant, slight garrigue, vanilla at the end with black florals... smells similar to wine from Languedoc-Rousillion in France
- palate: clean; dry, moderate+ to full (red currant and sour cherry) acids, moderate+ (slightly chewy) tannin, moderate+ ABV, moderate+ body, fully intense youthful flavors showing development; vanilla oak is forward with red berries, followed by some blackberry, black currant, wild savory herbs, black florals at the end with the oak again. Excellent balance. Excellent structure. Brilliant length on the palate (especially for the price).
- conclusion: Drink it now and drink it later! This wine is showing beautifully now and will continue to do so for several years (2011-2015). I don't predict much more development in the bottle, but it is already a significant value for the money.
- PAIRINGS: Bold acids call for a bit of fat, and soft tannin mean you can use a gentler meat; consider duck! It may not be traditional to Argentina, but consider seared duck breast with cherry and caramelized onion compote... onions will brings beauty to this wine- trust me.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
- orangish-amber coloring, very rich
- fully intense nose of dried raisins, hot alcohol, orange peels, vanilla
- moderate+ acids, moderate+ tannins, fully intense flavors exactly matching the nose
This is a brilliantly rich wine that completely over-delivers. I know that standard way of serving it - room temperature with desert & dried fruit, but try it served chilled between courses with some gorgonzola & poached pear!
- rich cherry/ruby centre with a pronounced rim of orange & brick
- deep, unctuous bouquet starting with highlights of leather, baie rouges include cherries and plum, hillside flowers (irises predominate), chalky soil with notes of minerality
- moderate acids, full tannins, full flavors starting with the baie rouges; red currants hit the palate quickly, followed by plums, the calcareous terroir comes in mid palate and stays and stays, evolving with the depth of the tannins from the oaking and the leather that oaking gives
Wow! What to say? This wine has received from 93 to 96 points from a plethora of wine gurus. It placed 6th in the top 100 wines of Italy for 2008. But the best part - the best? This wine hasn't peaked yet. Not even close... give it 5 years the revisit & be prepared to taste a glass of divinity.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
- Trebbiano, if you aren't aware, is the second most widely planted grape in the world. It's also one of the most unremarkable tasting. It's used alot for brandy & spirits, but also for Balsamic vinegar.
- this Trebbiano (or Ugni Blanc) has an overpoweringly rich stonefruit nose
- moderate acids, a rich palate with long flavors of exotic fruits... much more flavor then expected
2006 Cabernet Franc $26 **Buy This Now**
- a full & rich bouquet of violets & earthy notes
- moderate+ acids balanced well by full- smooth tannins, rich palate and long structure, long long flavors of baies rouges especially cherry. Some notes of blackberry. Needs & deserves 1 to 2 hours of decanting
- absolutely brilliant wine. But 6 bottles and try a new bottle every 6 months for 3 years. You will consider it money well spent.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot Blend $16
- lots of floral notes in the nose with a dash of pepper at the end
- moderate++ acids, moderate+ tannins, moderate body - this wine has a decent structure but I found the acids getting in the way of the fruit. Decanting will help, as will another year in the bottle i think - beyond that, perhaps the balance has been designed in this way? Or - if the room you are in is very hot (as it was) - it can throw off the balance of a wine.
Hester Creek has shown enough good (and great) value that I am inspired to visit their winery as early as possible. Brilliant work with one of my favorite reds - the Cab Franc if bought now will last for years (or perhaps only hours if you invite your friends and family over).