Giancondi Sangiovese Merlot 1.5L

January 11, 2015 § 1 Comment

Score: 9.2 – Best Buy2015/01/img_0681.jpg

Price: $12.79  ($6.40 750ml equivalent)

About the Wine: Bright ruby-red in the glass with aromas of sour cherry, plum and dried herbs. The palate is of mid-weight, round and shows juicy plum, cherry and savoury herb flavours. The finish is short to medium in length with ripe tannin and spicy fruits. Granted this is not a juice bomb and it shows remarkable finesse and complexity for a wine at this price. If you are looking for a juice bomb then this is not your wine, if, on the other hand you are looking for the best value for your red wine dollar, this could be it.

Value: This is not the best wine in the world, just one of the best values on the market. This wine really shines with Comfort Foods like BBQ burgers, pizza, pasta with tomato and meat sauce, or a hearty grilled cheese sandwich.

More To The Story: Giacondi was a wine that I snickered at as a buyer and wine whanker. It has been around for as long as I can remember and it has always been at the low-end of the price scale, which of course means that it can’t be good right? Not! Over the last year my income has dropped significantly and I could no longer afford the $15-$30 wines I was used to buying, but dinner without a glass of wine is silly. Food just tastes better with wine.

So my choice was to find a lower end wine that I could get behind. I tried a number and happily landed on Giacondi Sangiovese Merlot. The moral of the story is that there are great wines for every budget, I just had to get past my mental limitations to let real wine shine through.

Service: Twist off the cap and let it breathe for 10 minutes or so so. I know, I know, let a $8 wine breathe?! Yes this wine is remarkably complex and has good structure, letting it breathe will open it up and let the fruit aromas and flavours fully express themselves. Have this will simple everyday Comfort Foods. Casseroles, leftovers, pizza, burgers, pasta, grilled cheese, that sort of thing.

Grapes: Sangiovese, Merlot

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Rubicone

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Legacy Liquor Store, Beverly Corner Liquor Store, Everything Wine

Buy Online: Legacy Liquor Store, Everything Wine

Alcohol: 12.5 %

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Cal Y Canto 2012

January 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 8.2 – Over Delivers2015/01/img_0670.png

Price: $11.99

About the Wine: This wine is a dark ruby purple in the glass. The nose shows fruit aromas bright red berry and ripe Italian plum. The nose also shows white and black pepper, leather, savoury herbs and just the slightest hint of smoked meat. The palate is velvety, round and delivers bold fruit flavours with subtle herbs and spice. The finish is of medium length, soft tannin and dried figs.

Value: This wine, for those that know it, has become one of the most popular Spanish wines to hit the BC market in the last few years. For those looking for a little more finesse and style in their wines, a trade up of $1 to $2 from $10 Argentine Malbec or Barefoot Shiraz is well worth it and highly recommended.

Added Value: For those serving Chicken or Fish at their upcoming wedding this is a great choice for a red wine. A date night that features a plates of cheeses, charcuterie, and prawns, here is your wine… especially if chocolate is to follow. This wine shines when served with comfort foods. A Saturday afternoon treat for me is a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of Cal Y Canto.

More To The Story: You have heard of the concept of terroir? Basically it states that a wine’s character, soul, aroma and flavour are a function of the soil and climate of the vineyard it comes from. In the case of Cal Y Canto I would add another component; the people.

Some of the best wines that I tasted during my travels through Spain as a buyer were at the local wine co-op for a village or collection of villages. I found many wines that had an uncommon ‘truth’ to them. It seems that the simple act of contributing the fruit of one’s labour to be a part of a community wine, gives the community wine an added element. Cal Y Canto comes from just such a place in the middle of Spain’s largest wine growing region- La Mancha.

Service: Twist of the cap and let breathe for about 10 minutes or run it through

Grapes: Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot

Store Section: Spain

Appellation: Castilla La Mancha

Available: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Stores, Hillside Liquor Store, Cascadia Liquor Stores, Legacy Liquor Store, Beverly Corners Liquor Store

Buy Online:  Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Stores, Legacy Liquor Store

Alcohol: 12.0%

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Red Barn 2012 Pinot Noir

January 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 8.6 – Over Delivers2015/01/img_0662.jpg
Price: $14.99

About the Wine: Pinot Noir is a tough one to measure on the same scale as say a Shiraz or Chardonnay. The low-end, in terms of price for Pinot Noir is about $14.99. Pinot Noir is a very fickle grape and very difficult to make into great wine and very easy to make into terrible wine. Having said all that we are blessed here in BC to have the quality that we do right around the corner from us. This wine shows dense red and black cherry, hints of cassis, savoury spices and leather. Very complex for a wine at $14.99 and extremely complex for a $14.99 Pinot Noir.

The palate is lush and layered showing a classic silky texture expected by those who love Pinot Noir (we call them Pinot-philes). The finish is of medium length and features fruit, spice and silk all the way through to the end.

Value: Pinot Noirs, including this one are more cerebral than hedonistic, and thus one who is willing to let the aromas and flavours wash over them will enjoy it more than those looking for a big blast of fruit and alcohol. When I’m in a pensive, calm mood I would trade up in price from $13 wines for this wine every time. In relation to California Pinot Noirs that average $20 and up, I would grab the Red Barn over them during the week, but on the weekend, with a special meal, I would stick with the $20 range.

Added Value: This is a great wine for when the ‘Foodies’ are coming over or if you want to introduce yourself and friends to the potential of the Pinot Noir grape.

More To The Story: Each year one of the world’s most prestigious wine magazines, Decanter, has its world wine awards. Each year Master’s of Wine, Master Sommeliers, Media and Sommeliers blind taste through thousands of wines to come up with the best in each class and the best overall. In 2013 Martin’s Lane 2011 Pinot Noir made by my friends at Mission Hill in the Okanagan, won World’s Best Pinot Noir. That is no small feat when you consider the pedigree of Burgundy. The Red Barn Pinot Noir comes from the same vineyard as the Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir. Maybe get a case.

Service: Serve at room temperature and if it is a hot day, chill it down in the fridge for a few minutes. As for food my preference is a simple roasted chicken, but local wild salmon will work as well.

Grapes: Pinot Noir

Store Section: VQA

Appellation: Okanagan

Available: Cascadia Liquor Stores, Legacy Liquor Store, Beverly Corners Liquor Store, Hillside Liquor Store

Buy Online: Legacy Liquor Store.

Alcohol: 12.5%

The Dork UnCorked provides fun and useful reviews of wines that retail under $20 and are available in B.C. If you would like these delivered daily to your e-mail in-box, feel free to subscribe to the blog.

 

Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah

January 8, 2015 § 1 Comment

Score: 9.1 – Best Buy /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4dc/16438419/files/2015/01/img_0660.png
Price: $9.99-$10.99

About the Wine: Juicy, seductive, spicy, layered sub $15 bliss. The nose shows generous lush dark plum, blackberry and black pepper, while the palate is lush. The complexity of this wine suggests $15/bottle easily. It does the job from start to finish. Speaking of the finish, it is very long for an $11 wine, and leaves you with a spicy, juicy kiss goodbye.

I recall a time about 10 years ago when I was an importer and we carried this winery and wine. The price then was $14.99 and we had trouble keeping it in stock. At $10.99/$11.99 this is a steal. Best Buy indeed.

Value: Put down the Fincas Los Primos or Copper Moon Malbec and trade up to this wine. In fact I would save myself a buck or two and choose this wine over Beringer Stone Cellars Cab Sauv or the Vina Maipo Carmenere.

Added Value: Those who would serve this as a wedding wine or having a BBQ will find extra value in this wine.

Service: Twist off the cap, wait 5-10 minutes and enjoy.

Grapes: Carmenere, Syrah

Store Section: Chile

Appellation: Central Valley

Available: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Legacy Liquor Store,Beverly Corners Liquor Store, Hillside Liquor Store, Liquor Express, Liquor Depot

Buy Online/Delivered To Your Door: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Legacy Liquor Store, Liquor Depot

Alcohol: 12.5%

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