Tinhorn Creek 2014 Gewurztraminer

May 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

Tinhorn GewurzI had a long chat with a fellow veteran of the liquor industry and put me in a nostalgic mood.

Back in the late 90’s VQA and BC Wines were still on fringe of wine culture, and most of the brands that we take for granted today were start-ups.

This was the case for Tinhorn Creek. In 1998 the agency I was running became the sales agent for Tinhorn Creek. Previous to that Kenn and Sandy were selling their wine out of the back of their car. The labels were a sea foam green 3/4 wrap that feature a metallic burgundy creek running down the middle. The whites showed biting acidity and it wasn’t unusual to find ‘wine diamonds’ at the bottom of the bottles. With all that said, it wasn’t hard to see the quality and potential of the winery.

Another reality of the time was that every BC winery had a Gewurztraminer and most of them were off-dry to sweet, but Tinhorn’s was drier and the wine brought out loads of flavours.

Price ~ $16 (almost exactly what it was in 1998)

Score ~ 8.2 Over Delivers

The nose is brimming with spices, melon, pear and generous lychee nut. The palate is alive refreshing with a finish that gives a spicy, lychee, pear kiss to the taster.

The get the most out of this wine just chill it down a few degrees so that the bottle is cool to touch (should take about 1 hour in a normal fridge), then serve with either seafood including prawns, anything curried,  salads (especially those with fruits in them), and grilled chicken.

Grapes ~ Gewurztraminer

Store Section ~ BC/VQA

Availability ~ In both private and public stores

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

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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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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Campogrande Orvieto

February 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

I was chattiSanta Cristina Campograndeng with a colleague in Vancouver, and inevitably the conversation turns to the weather. We have enjoyed a beautiful week and as my colleague said “the sun comes
out and people are nice, happy and greet you on the street.” This conversation inspired me to go a pick up a bottle of one of my all time fave ‘happy and greet you on the street’ type of wines, the Campogrande Orvieto.

The Campogrande Orvieto is a white wine which comes out of the Orvieto region of Umbria in Central Italy. It is a blend of Grechetto (Gre – ketto) and Trebbiano. Strangely if we were to turn the clock back 5 -10 years not only would I be able to bound up the stairs, but 90% of all the Italian white wines on the shelf would have been either a Trebbiano or a Trebbiano blend, like Orvieto.

Orvieto, like Trebbiano and Gavi have mostly been pushed out of the market in favour of a plethora of lifeless Pinot Grigios. Don’t get me wrong, there are a number of great Pinot Grigio’s on the shelf, but there are just too many wines capitalizing on the popularity of PG and are pushing out truly awesome wines like those of the Orvieto.

Price ~ $16-$17

Score ~ 8.1 Over Delivers

The Campogrande, actually Santa Cristina Campogrande, should be served just chilled, not cold, to showcase the wonderful melon, bartlett pear, hints of citrus and minerality. The nose is a little shy at first and that is how you will know that the wine is too cold. If you don’t get the generous aromas, then it is too cold.

The palate is crisp and refreshing and just feels good in the mouth. So good that it might be difficult to only have one glass. The finish shows more of the minerality and just a kiss of melon.

Pair this wine with light pastas, caprese salad with Arugula, and simply grilled prawns or scallops, this is also an awesome choice with a classic Ceviche.

Grapes ~ Grechetto, Trebbiano

Store Section ~ Italy

Availability ~ Private stores only.

If you do get the opportunity to try this wine, please let me know what you think.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

Santa Cristina 2014 Pinot Grigio

February 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

Santa Cristina Pinot GrigioThere was a time when I craved Pinot Grigio. I loved it citrus, mineral flavouring and the freshness with which it greeted my palate. Then came along a tsunami of Pinot Grigio’s trying capitalize on the grapes global popularity and I quickly lost interest.

A couple of week’s ago I was tasting a number of wines to pair with the cheeses that we have in the fridge. I tasted the next glass and recognized it as a classic Pinot Grigio and wouldn’t you know it, it comes from Italy.

The Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio is a true delight that over delivers for the price.

Price ~ $14.99

Score ~ 7.2/10 Over Delivers

Aromas of citrus, melon and ripe pear that are matched on the palate with some lovely minerality near and through the finish.

Chill this wine, but if it comes out of the fridge with some condensation, let if warm up a bit for best results.

I had this with some Gouda, Swiss, Parmesan and Saint André (it was on sale), and the Santa Cristina worked beautifully with the Saint André as well as the Parmesan (I’m sure there is no surprise there). I also had it with some Mac N’ Cheese, and then some chicken wings and it over delivered on both occasions.

Grapes ~ Pinot Grigio

Store Section ~ Italy

Availability ~ Both public and private stores

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

Farnese Primitivo

January 9, 2016 § 1 Comment

Farnese PrimitivoPrimitivo 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.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

Tune into CFAX 1070 Saturday afternoons starting at 2pm for the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour.

 

 

 

Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay

December 24, 2015 § 3 Comments

Truth be told I am a bubble head (as if you didn’t know that already), and I firmlImage result for perseus sparkling winey believe that the world would be a better place if everyone enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine a day.

I was in a bit of a funk the other day and my spirits needed lifting so I endeavoured to find a sparkling wine that would put a smile on and in my mouth and a skip in my step. Enter Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay.

Price ~ $21-$22

Score ~ 8.6/10 Over Delivers

The packaging isn’t all fancy and it comes with a classic beer cap instead of a big cork with a cage around it. Simply pop the cap off and immediately your spirits will lift.

The aromas (scent) is brimming with fresh apples, bartlett pears and hints of citrus. Isn’t this the combination aromatherapy uses to bring one’s energy up… I see a trend here, alas I digress.

The mousse (the head if you are a beer drinker) is made up of thousands of tiny bubbles that dance upon the palate while also making the texture a little softer and creamier. The juicy, citrus flavours come alive and heighten the senses.

As you can tell I truly loved this wine and will be making a regular around the house.

Grapes ~ 100% Chardonnay

Store Section ~ Sparkling Wine

Availability ~ Limited, Private Stores including Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Spinnakers, Cork & Barrel and Caddy Bay Liquor.

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

Tune in Saturday’s from 2-3pm on CFAX 1070 for the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour.

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