Mocojo 2014 Long Stem Rosé

March 31, 2016 § 1 Comment

Mocojo Long Stem RoseWhen I got started in the wine business, some 20+ years ago, wine choices were Red, White & Pink and BC wines considered a joke and total plonk. The industry has come a long way since then. Not only has it shaken the ‘plonk’ reputation, but it has recently produced the World’s Best Wine (Decanter  2013- Martin’s Lane 2011 Pinot Noir), is the subject of multiple export inquiries, and is now sporting almost 200 wineries. So I have to say that it is no surprise to me when I get a sample from a winery I have never heard of. This the case of the Mocojo 2014 Long Stem Rosé.

Price ~ $18

Score ~ 7.2 Over Delivers

The colour reminded me of some of my favourite Spanish Rosé (Navarra, Calatayud Grenache based), and the nose was brimming with black cherry and strawberry. The palate is fresh and has more weight than I was expecting from a Rosé.

The people at Mocojo totally nailed Rosé and I greatly look forward to the 2015 version.

This is a great pairing for ham, roasted poultry, and yes, paella. Seriously make a fried rice dish but instead of using Soy sauce, reduce some Chicken broth with the rice, add some savoury spices like Thyme, Sage, black pepper, maybe some chili flakes. Make sure you put some peas in it, definitely some chicken and if you can some shellfish.

Grapes ~ Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir

Region ~ Naramata

Store Section ~ BC

Availability ~ Private stores only.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

PS- below is a link to the Wine Folly book on Amazon. Yes this is an affiliate program and it helps us keep the blog going, having said that I highly recommend this book and use it myself. It is colourful easy to read book that you can have a resource. Enjoy.

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Knock Out 2014 Red Wine

March 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

Knock Out YeclaI’m always on the lookout for a bill buster wine that over delivers, so when I was cruising through my local store and came across Knock Out 2014 at $8.99, it was just cheap enough and unique enough to catch my attention.

I have had, and enjoyed, a number of wines from Bodegas Castano in the past, so when I saw their name attached to this wine I was sure I was in for a treat.

This is wine is fairly priced. If you are okay with fairly priced then this is a good wine. However I was looking for something that over delivered for the price and I just don’t think this wine did.

Price ~ $8.99

Score ~ $6.3/10 Good Drop

The nose showed dark cherries and red berries with a hint of savoury herbs. The palate is medium bodied and well balanced, and the finish was okay with a touch of fruit flavour.

As for food, this would work okay with lighter comfort foods like simple grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, simple think crust pizza, that sort of thing.

Grapes ~ Monastrell (Mouvedre), Syrah

Store Section ~ Spain

Availability ~ Exclusive to BC Liquor Stores

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

PS- below is a link to the Wine Folly book on Amazon. Yes this is an affiliate program and it helps us keep the blog going, having said that I highly recommend this book and use it myself. It is colourful easy to read book that you can have a resource. Enjoy.

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Campo Viejo 2014 Tempranillo

March 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

Campo Viejo TempranilloA few weeks back I was in Vancouver to meet with some customers. On the way home we stopped at the largest store in the LDB chain – 39th & Cambie. It had been awhile since I had been in and I was excited to find items that were unique and not commonly available here. Well the truth is that there wasn’t much of a difference. You can pretty much get everything here that was there.

Given that I couldn’t find anything truly unique I was looking for a deal. I have had previous vintages of the Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva, but I hadn’t tried the ‘entry’ level Tempranillo so that became my choice.

Price ~ $15

Score ~ 6.3/10 Good Drop

This turned out to be a decent wine and fairly priced, but that isn’t what we are looking for. We are looking for something that over delivers.

There was definitely some nice berry and fruit, hints of spice. The palate was a little thin but it didn’t show any harsh edges. The finish was fine, somewhat short for a Tempranillo of this price point.

As for food pairings, I would keep it simple. Margherita Pizza, light pastas, and chicken noodle soup… seriously, chicken noodle soup worked really well with this wine.

Grapes ~ 100% Tempranillo

Store Section ~ Spain

Availability ~ Both Private and Public stores.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked.

PS – to keep things rolling I have signed onto acting as an affiliate for items that I think are truly noteworthy, remarkable and consistent with my values. If you don’t please click on the following, take a look and if you purchase, they send a commission that would be greatly appreciated.

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Cono Sur 2015 Bicicleta Pinot Noir

March 22, 2016 § Leave a comment

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir2015 is the most anticipated vintage in recent memory. The world over 2015 was one of the best vintages, so as I was strolling through the ‘candy’ store looking for a Pinot Noir I spied a 2015 and grabbed it.

The reason we are seeing 2015 light bodied red wines from South America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia is because the growing season is opposite to ours in the southern hemisphere. Medium and full bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Malbec will likely appear in a couple of years. Expect to see 2015 whites and rosés from the northern hemisphere in the next few months.

The Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir has consistently over delivered for as many vintage as I can remember, so my expectations were kind of high. Not only was I expecting a strong showing due to consistency, but add on the 2015, and I was expecting a lot.

The good news this wine does totally over deliver for the price. Amongst Pinot Noirs of this price range, this would easily be in my top 2. I’m not so sure the quality of the vintage showed through as much as I was expecting, but given my overall enjoyment of the wine I would say the 2015 is a testament to the truly high quality for the price of previous vintages.

Price ~ $11

Score ~ 7.7/10 Over Delivers

The nose shows cherry, cola and strawberry, while the palate has a lovely silky texture. As for the finish there is some fresh cherry and black pepper just to entice you into a second glass.

I would pair this with a nice gouda cheese, grilled or roasted poultry, pasta marinara.

Grapes ~ 100% Pinot Noir

Store Section ~ Chile

Availability ~ Both Private and Public Stores.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

PS – to keep things rolling I have signed onto acting as an affiliate for items that I think are truly noteworthy, remarkable and consistent with my values. If you don’t please click on the following, take a look and if you purchase, they send a commission that would be greatly appreciated.

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Grenache – 2016’s ‘Wow’ Wine: Show Notes Episode 21

March 19, 2016 § Leave a comment

Grenache is the ‘International Man of Mystery’ of the wine world. Dashing, attractive, can handle himself in every situation, known by many names, is global, and is a part of some of the biggest stories of the year.

Today’s show is all about Grenache and includes some recommendations from France, Spain and Australia as well as some key food pairings.

Link to Podcast (when available).

Raise A Glass – Grenache.

The BC Hospitality Foundation (www.bchospitalityfoundation.com) dedicates themselves to support members of the hospitality industry whether it is help to meet financial obligations when illness strikes, or in the form of scholarships to assist in the on going study of the industry from service, culinary and beverage. I know the the founders and they have been industry leaders for decades. Their intentions are pure and the effects have been life changing – Cheers

BC Hydro Emergency Crews – this week saw the strongest winds that I can remember. Numerous power outages hit the South Island and magically within hours the power was back. The skill it must take to get into a bucket, be pushed into the teeth of the wind, remove branches or repair live wires, is truly amazing. Cheers.

Segment 1 ~ The Story of Grenache

I firmly believe that Grenache will be the ‘it’ wine of 2016/17. First it is planted all over the world and there is an ocean of awesome wine produced each year, meaning great wine can be gotten for low prices.

Second it a grape that is often overlooked but forms the backbone of some of the world’s most sought after wines such as Chateauneuf du Pape and Priorat.

Third its taste profile. Ripe juicy fruit flavours that range from black and blueberry, through raspberry and currant depending on where it is from. Spice and savoury herb flavours and a delightfully soft texture owing to the fact that Grenache has naturally low tannin levels (low pucker).

Combine these three facts and you have the makings of a Grenache Tsunami.

Grenache is known by multiple names depending on the country it is grown in. Grenache is most common, but in Spain it is Garnacha, Portugal it is Alicante Bouschet, and Cannonau in Italy.

Although the true origin of Grenache is not known, it is said that it originated on Sardinia and replanted throughout the Kingdom of Aragon which stretches from the Spanish Pyrenees down to Valencia. What’s interesting is that Sardinia, around the same time that Grenache was transplanted to the Spanish mainland, was under the control of the Kingdom of Aragon.

Segment 2 ~ Grenache in Gaul, The Kingdom of Charlemagne, Home of the Franks, otherwise known as France.

Grenache is widely planted throughout Southern France and centered in Languedoc Roussillon, Provence, and all through the Southern Rhone valley including being the backbone of Chateauneuf du Pape.

Each unique region shows its own flavours of Grenache but for the most, Grenache from France features more of the juicy blackberry and blueberry fruit flavours and tends to show more black and white pepper than do Spanish or Australian versions.

Here are a couple of wines that truly over deliver for their prices.

Mas Janeil – $19.99, blend of mostly Grenache, but also has some Carignan and Syrah (full review to follow).

Gayda ‘Flying Man’ 2014 Grenache – $14-$15, 100% Grenache and super juicy! (click here to see full review).

Paul Mas Grenache Noir – $13, 100% Grenache (click here to see review).

Cote Mas – $13, Mostly Grenache, with some Carignan, Syrah, Mourvedre as well (click here to see full review).

La Bastide – $11, Mostly Grenache with some Syrah. (click here to see review).

Segment 3 ~ Garnacha in Iberia, Hispania, Espana, also known as Spain.

The Kingdom of Aragon was at the height of it’s power in the 14th and 15th centuries and included most of Spain, much of the southern coast of France and the island Corsica and Sardinia. I mention this as it is said that Garnacha originated in Sardinia (known as Connanau in Sardinia), and was transplanted by Aragon royalty in Spain.

Garnacha is used in Rioja, Ribero de Deuro, Navarra, La Mancha, Somantano, but it is the main grape in areas of Calatayud, Carinena and Campo de Borja.

Again, depending on the region you will find differences in the taste profile, however Spanish Garnacha  shows ripe raspberry, cherry and currant fruit flavours along with savoury herbs like Thyme, Sage and Rosemary.

Here are some recommendations of Spanish Garnacha that over deliver for their price.

Campo de Borja 5G – $16 (full review to follow).

Borsao – $13 (click here for full review).

Castillo de Monseran Old Vines Garnacha – $12 (click here to see review).

Segment 4 ~ Grenache in the World

Grenache loves long, hot, dry summers so it has flourished in places like California, parts of Chile and Argentina, but perhaps where it is most comfortable is in Australia.

In the 1800’s there was mass emigration from Europe. A number of these emigres took with them their food and wine culture in hopes of transplanting them in their new home. Numerous Italians and Spanish emigrated to the area now known as South Australia and immediately planted Grenache. In fact some of the oldest Grenache in the world can be found in the Barossa and Riverland areas of Australia.

You have all heard of Penfold’s and its iconic wine Grange. Grange now fetches close to $1000/bottle, but it wouldn’t have been if it were not for Grenache.

Rawson Penfold first planted Grenache upon his arrival and built a business based on port like wines (the naturally high alcohols that come from Grenache made it ideal for this purpose). If it wasn’t for the success of his Grenache based ports, the world would be without the Penfold’s brand and Grange.

Here are just a couple of Grenache and Grenache dominated wines for Australia that won’t break the bank and show fantastic quality.

McPherson ‘the Dish’ Grenache Shiraz Mouvedre – $15 (full review to follow).

Rosemount Grenache-Shiraz – $13 (full review to follow).

Segment 5 ~ Food Pairings for Grenache

Grenache is a wedding planners dream. It is one of the most food versatile wines on the market. It goes with spicy foods (higher alcohols work as a solvent for hot spice), it loves roasted poultry, lamb, anything encrusted with savoury herbs, paté…. and the list goes on.

I highly recommend having any of the wines above with Roast Lamb with Moroccan spices, Korean Ginger Beer, Indian Butter Chicken and roasted Turkey.

Best Buy of the Week – La Bastide 2014 (click here for full review)

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

PS- below is a link to the Wine Folly book on Amazon. Yes this is an affiliate program and it helps us keep the blog going, having said that I highly recommend this book and use it myself. It is colourful easy to read book that you can have a resource. Enjoy.

Wine Folly Image

La Bastide 2014 Pays d’Oc

March 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

La BastideI firmly believe that Grenache, and Grenache blends will be the ‘it’ wine of 2016/2017. I declare this to be true for a few of reasons.

  1. Taste Profile – Grenache is alway juicy and easy to enjoy, with a delicious kiss of savoury spices and a soft round texture because the grape is naturally low in tannin (pucker).
  2. The Underdog Effect – Grenache has long been considered a blending grape and therefore its impact on the quality of a wine has either been overshadowed or totally missed. Loads of cork dorks around the globe are choosing Grenache because it so overlooked.
  3. Value – Grenache is the second most planted red grape in the world meaning there are oceans of quality Grenache produced each year meaning there are lots of great wines under $20 and even under $15.

I was strolling around my local store looking for that underappreciated bottle of Grenache at a real good price… enter La Bastide.

La Bastide hit the market like a bomb a few years back. Every store had a stack and it was flying out the doors. Little did people know that this wine is about 70% Grenache, hence its juicy delicious character. Well that was a few years ago and now this wine is most likely found on the bottom shelf as the shine has worn off. That is great news for those looking for a juicy, delicious wine with loads of flavour, lively spice, a soft texture and are willing to bend their knees to get a bottle that totally over delivers for the price.

Price ~ $11

Score ~ 7.4/10 – Over Delivers

This is a real crowd pleaser and if you are looking to get married this summer or perhaps you are buying the wine for the nuptials, this is a great choice- inexpensive, over delivers and is incredibly food versatile.

Speaking of food I would have this wine with anything BBQ. Either BBQ sauce or slow roasted. Oh and it is also awfully good with a flank steak that has been marinating all day.

Grapes ~ 70% Grenache, Carignan, Syrah

Store Section ~ France

Availability ~ Both Private & Public Stores.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

PS – to keep things rolling I have signed onto acting as an affiliate for items that I think are truly noteworthy, remarkable and consistent with my values. If you don’t please click on the following, take a look and if you purchase, they send a commission that would be greatly appreciated.

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Craft Distilling Part 2: Episode 19 Vodka & Gin

March 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

Here are the show notes for Part 2 on our series on Craft Distilling in BC and here on the island. There is a lot to cover so let’s dive right in and listen to what our Spirits/Cocktail expert Shawn Soole has to say.

Link To Podcast

Segment 1 ~ What Makes a Craft Distillery a Craft Distillery

There continues to be a lot of debate as to what can be referred to as Craft. The same level of debate happens within the brewing business.

The key thing is to separate the marketing function of the word craft from the the legal definition.

In B.C. to be considered a craft distillery the distillery must produce less than 50,000 litres of spirit and they can not use what is called Neutral Grain Spirit (NSG). They must distill their own NSG.

Segment 2 ~ Craft Vodka

Vodka is usually the first thing that a distillery will make because it is the easiest. There are no ageing requirements.

For years what was most desirable about Vodka was neutrality, which lead to Vodka becoming more of commodity where the only differentiator was the brand and price. Craft Vodka in BC is changing that and provides a sense of terroir.

Shawn’s Recommended Craft Vodkas (coming soon)

  1. Sheringham Vodka ~ $45-$50

 

2. Unruly Vodka ~ $45-$50

 

3. Liberty Truth Vodka ~ $54-$60

 

Segment 3 ~ Craft Gin

So what makes a Gin a Gin. The only single element that is required is Juniper berry. After that the list of botanicals can include anything.

Gin is becoming the hot spirit because of the diversity. We are blessed, here on the coast, to have such a phenomenal array for Gins produced right here on the island.

Shawn’s Recommended Craft Gins (coming soon).

  1. Stump Gin ~ $50

2. Arbutus Empiric Gin ~ $43

3. Juniperus Lupulus ~ $45-$50

4. Ampersand Gin ~ $44-$47

Segment 4 ~ What is the Future and Where Can I Find Local Craft Cocktails

It may be a cliché but the future is indeed bright. There is a great deal of interest in locally produced spirits and that is only set to grow. Look for more and more space on the retail space and back bar given to locally made spirits.

If you want to find some great cocktail lists featuring locally made Craft Spirits head to Olo Restaurant, Clive’s Classic Lounge, Veneto, The Guild and Sooke Harbour House.

Best Buy of The WeekThree Winds 2009 Grenache

Rare is putting it mildly. Wines at this price point are made for consumption within a few years of release so to find a 2009 that was still fresh, alive and delicious is very special.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

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