January 30, 2016 § 1 Comment
This is the most recent vintage of this wine, and as much as there is not a huge vintage change when it comes to the wines of Puglia, this wine shows a lot more juicy punch than did the previous vintage. For $9 you really can’t go wrong.
Price ~ $8.99
Score ~ 7.2/10 Over Delivers
I first discovered this wine after a trip to Argentina where I tasted 200+ Malbecs over a 10 day buying trip. Needless to say I was looking for something a little different but I still had the zest for the rich fruit, structure and leathery elements of Malbec. Negroamaro perfectly fit the bill. Rich and juicy like Malbec, but just different enough to be very enticing. The difference is in the spice. This wine shows black pepper and hints of rosemary instead of the leather and smoky nature of Malbec.
Grapes: 100% Negroamaro
Store Section: Italy
Availability: Both Government and Private Stores
Foods Pairing – Pasta, Burgers, Pizza, Steak
If you have had the opportunity to have tasted this wine please let me know what you thought of it.
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January 9, 2016 § 1 Comment
Primitivo is one of those wines on the market that I think over delivers for the price simply because most people aren’t familiar with what Primitivo is.
Certainly not a household name Primitivo is the European cousin to Zinfandel and offers many of the same juicy, jammy, rich flavours found in California Zinfandel.
Primitivo comes to us from Puglia in Italy (the heel of Italian boot) and gets its name because it is an early ripening grape. The story goes that the first clippings to be planted in Italy were part of the dowry of a Croatian Princess that married a Puglian Prince.
Yes Primitivo wines offer great value and are deserving of your exploration, and you could start with $20 – $30 wines but like every great exploration you don’t reach the summit until you walk the approaches. In other words start with relatively inexpensive wines to see if you like what you taste. The Farnese is one that I would recommend for this task and isn’t a wallet waster.
Price ~ $11.49
Score ~ 8.1/10 Over Delivers
The aromas of this wine betray it’s juicy palate. Brimming with blueberry, blackberry and hints of pastry. The palate is all about flavour and has a soft, easygoing finish. You could call this wine hedonistic and you wouldn’t be wrong.
Food Pairings – Burgers, Turkey, BBQ
Store Section – Italy
Availability – Available in both government and private sector stores.
Let me know what you think.
the Dork UnCorked
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December 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
When I say the word Shiraz what do you think of? Probably Yellow Tail right? I have a very clear recollection of the Aussie wave that hit our shores in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Every Shiraz coming into the market seemed to fit a very thin taste spectrum. I remember thinking that could be a big mistake. As it turned out, like most things, people tired of the same flavour and body and started to migrate to Malbec thus insuring the rapid decline of Australian wine fortunes in BC.
The fact is that only those Shiraz’s manufactured to taste the same year after year do. 99% of Shiraz made in Australia is not manufactured and actually reflects the region and winery it comes from.
I know that the Grey Label is outside of the $20 but holy crap does it represent a great value. Close your eyes here comes some dorky terms – very well balanced, bright acidity, dense flavours and aromas from start to finish. This is the whole package and thoroughly enjoyable.
Price ~ $29-$33
Score ~ 9.3/10 Best Buy
Unscrew the cap and let this wine breathe for a few minutes (10-15) and you will be well rewarded. Stick your nose right in the glass and take a deep breathe. What you will notice is the scent of blueberry, blackberry, ripe plum, black cherry, black pepper, violets, lavender, and just a hint of cured meat. I know, I know it seems like there couldn’t be all that, but there is.
The palate is bright yet full and ripe and the finish is juicy with just a kiss of spice and sultry smoke.
Grapes ~ 100% Shiraz
Store Section ~ Australia
Availability ~ Both government and private stores.
Food ~ Roasted or grilled lamb, Duck, even Turkey, Aged Cheddar.
Acknowledgements: Stacey Brennan, Pam Sanderson, Ernest Sargent, Brianna Kirby, Jami Wood, Karin Kallio, Angela Phillips, Patti Raffle.
the Dork UnCorked
December 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
As we are coming to the end of 2015 I took a few moments to look back at my posts. It dawned on me that I haven’t done much on white wines at all. With this happy justification in my pocket I trundled off to the liquor store.
So where to start looking for white wine? I walked down the BC aisle and saw lots of options. Then it dawned on me that the best place to find something white lurking in shadows of stardom was in the New Zealand category.
Sauvignon Blanc makes up the vast majority of sales of New Zealand wine here in BC. Of Sauvignon Blanc sales the overwhelming leaders are Kim Crawford and Oyster Bay. Both great wines, but I kind of look at them as the baseline of quality and price by which competitors should be gauged. To that end I looked through a number of offerings, and narrowed my choices down to a couple that I know are small producers not owned by big conglomerates. I selected the Sileni Estate 2014 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Price ~ $15.99
Score ~ 8.6/10 Over Delivers
The nose is brimming with vibrant gooseberry and grass. I say vibrant as if, it were possible, the aromas were vibrating with energy, just waiting to get out of the glass.
The palate is crisp and alive leaving your mouth feeling refreshed and great. I’m sure that I smiled shortly after my first taste.
Given that both Oyster Bay and Kim Crawford are normally a couple of bucks more per bottle, this wine way over delivered.
Grapes ~ 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Store Section ~ New Zealand
Availability ~ Both private and government stores.
Food Pairing ~ White fish, fresh oysters, pasta with creamy sauces, fish tacos.
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If there is a wine you would like reviewed please let me know.
the Dork UnCorked.
December 17, 2015 § Leave a comment
There are loads of wine choices on the shelf, the hard part is actually deciding which one is the right one.
What are some ‘pairings’ based on the personality you are buying for. I hope this helps and Merry Christmas.
Gentle, quiet, pensive
Must be soft, but not to soft. Quiet in its unfolding of it personality and much more to it if you let it wash over you.
R Wolf Blass Grey Label 2012 McLaren Vale Shiraz ~$30 (Australia)
W Cameron Hughes Arroyo Secco Chardonnay ~$25 (California)
Doesn’t hold back in terms of fashion, or desire for flavour. Seeks out and loves to stroll down the path less travelled.
R Seven Deadly Zins ~$23 (California)
W Tahbilk Marsanne ~$19 (Australia)
Always a smile and loves to dance.
R Ca’Montebello Barbera ~$17 (Italy – private stores only)
W Aveleda Vinho Verde ~$15 (Portugal – private stores only)
Brooding and Reserved
A little stormy, angst, a classic brooding artist struggling to find their voice.
R Apollonio Squinzano ~ $22 (Italy- private stores only)
W Lurton Les Fumees Blanches ~$13 (France)
Strong Silent Type
Person of few words but those few words, and resulting actions convey calm strength in the face of adversity.
R Fabre Montmayou Malbec Reserve ~$24 (Argentina – private stores only)
W Guigal Crozes Hermitage Blanc ~$28 (France)
Witty, funny great with one liners and can be counted on to add comedic levity to any situation.
R Borsao Garnacha ~$12-$13 (Spain)
W Sileni Sauvignon Blanc ~16 (New Zealand)
Methodical, Reserved, Sophisticated
Stylish, quiet, worldly and never, ever quits.
R Chateau Pey La Tour ~$17-$19 (France)
W Chateau La Gravelle Muscadet ~$16 (France)
An Old Soul
Seems to have wisdom beyond their years.
R Lopez de Haro Rioja Crianza ~$20 (Spain – private stores only)
W Charton Et Trebuchet Bourgogne Chardonnay ~$22 (France)
Inspiring Through Action
Doesn’t really need to say too much, leads by example.
R Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc ~$23 (BC, VQA)
W Blue Grouse Gamay 2014 Rosé ~ $15-$17 (Vancouver Island)
Doesn’t really walk, kind of glides. Confident and has a gentle, silky voice.
R Bodega Atamisque Pinot Noir ~$30 (Argentina- private stores only)
W Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay ~ $18-$20 (BC, VQA)
If there is someone that I haven’t really covered please let me know either through the comments or via e-mail at email@example.com
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December 11, 2015 § 1 Comment
It’s coming up on Turkey season and I have penchant for wine styles that are not your run of the mill, so I thought I would give this Vancouver Island made wine a run for its money… and am I glad I did.
Gamay Noir is one of my guilty pleasures. Most famously it is the grape of Beaujolais, but in general I prefer the expressions found right here in BC. Sultry cherry, and smokey grape with layers of spice and a usually a silky spice driven finish. But here in front of me in the middle of a nasty wind storm was a rosé of Gamay.
Rosé is a favourite pairing for Turkey and the truth be told I like the idea of pairing my local raised Turkey, locally sourced veggies and locally sourced family, with a locally grown and crafted wine.
The nose is filled with ripe cranberry and strawberry and the palate is crisp and alive. The finish is refreshing, juicy and offers a kiss of spice, which makes Mom’s gravy and my wife’s stuffing sing.
Price ~ $14.99-$16.99
Score ~ 8.2 Over Delivers
Assuming I have time I will be making the drive to the Winery to grab some or you can find it in your local private liquor store.
Store Section: BC Wines, Vancouver Island Wines
Grapes: 100% Gamay Noir
November 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
What makes some people incredible accountants, lawyers, plumbers and entertainers? I don’t have the answer, but I do know that everyone who is fantastic at their jobs brings a special quality. Let’s face it every task can be broken down and learned, but some people just inject a little bit of
inspiration and magic in each step. In the wine world one of the great entertainers was Wolf Blass.
If could be argued Wolf Blass is introduced the beauties and simplicity of wine to more people than anyone else. First he crafted very easy to enjoy wine. Then he made himself available to anyone who wanted to learn more. Finally he tirelessly entertained consumers around the world and made wine approachable to everyone.
When I saw this wine I read the back label and found that it is an homage to Wolf Blass himself and so I jumped at the opportunity to try it.
Hopefully it entertains the palate as much as he entertained the world.
Notes: The wine pours into the glass a dark purple with cherry red hues. The nose betrays the juicy, fruit forward, hedonistic wine this turned out to be. Aromas of juicy red and black berries, pastry and hints of smoky
pepper join a rich, textured palate to make a very enjoyable glass.
I would highly suggest this wine for a romantic comedy movie night or when you have friends over for light and enjoyable evening. It speaks well to fun loving nature of Wolf himself.
Score: 7.5/10 ~ Over Delivers
It pairs really well with mild cheeses, hot dogs, grilled chicken and
mashed potatoes, and plenty of comfort foods.
If you have the opportunity to try this wine, please let me know your thoughts.