Jas du Lauzon 2015 Luberon

April 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

One of the my favourite things to do when in the ‘wine store’ is to scour the shelves in the 279968_jas-du-lauzon-luberon-reddark corners. Every store has them and the typical retailer places slow-moving items there.

I find that this is also where you find some great deals, and that is how I came across this weeks wonderful find.

As most of you know I have a great love for Grenache and Grenache blends, so when I saw the Jas du Lauzon languishing in a dark corner of the Cascadia Uptown store, it was a match made in heaven. It was also only $14.99 so it seemed to me that it was must try.

It pours almost black in the glass and has aromas of ripe raspberries, stewed plums, blueberry and black pepper spice.

The palate showed richness, and supple depth with a fresh fruit and spice finish.

Given that most of the time any purchase I make has to stretch across 2-3 meals, a great wine, for me, needs to be food versatile, and this one fit the bill nicely. I had this with Paella one night, chicken the next and finally homemade pizza, and in all cases the wine worked really well, and hence I grade this one as a great buy and it over delivers for the price.

Price ~ $14.99

Blend ~ Grenache, Syrah

Country of Origin ~ France

Region ~ Luberon (Southern Rhone/Provence)

Score ~ 8.2/10

Label ~ Over Delivers!

Purchased at ~ Cascadia Uptown

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Crown Royal Northern Harvest Update: Dec. 16

December 16, 2015 § 2 Comments

This just in….

1500 cases, about 18,000 bottles, arrived into the LDB warehouse yesterday & today, sparking a feeding frenzy worthy of Shark Week.

It took a collective 4.5 minutes for all 1500 cases to sell out.

Anytime you have a scarce resource that is in big demand there are winners and losers and the word on the street is that some stores will have tons of stock and others will have zero as limiting the size of orders only came into play with the last 300+ cases.

The chances are that you will start to see stock show up in some BC Liquor Stores in the coming days and private stores starting next week (Government stores get multiple deliveries from the LDB warehouse each week, whereas most private stores only receive 1 order/week from the LDB warehouse).

If it were me and absolutely needed to get a bottle or two to finish off my Christmas list, I would wait until Monday or Tuesday when the traffic is better and the stores won’t be as crowded… but that is just me.

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

Top 5 White Wines For Easter 2015

April 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

There are about 800 white wines available in BC between the price of $7 & $20. There exist no other category of white wines that is as populated as this one and yet it is the most popular range in the province. That puts a lot of pressure on the purchase to deliver. Here are my picks for Top 5 White Wines For Easter under $20.

1) Lindeman’s Bin 65 ChardonnayIMG_0658-0

It’s a big brand name and for a number of years it tasted like it, however there is a new sheriff in Lindeman’s town and he has been making a true, qualitative difference. I guess the good news about the ‘in between’ years is that it has forced Lindemans to keep their pricing almost the same as it was in 1994 when Bin 65 exploded onto the BC market. In 1994 this wine was $9.99 and now it is $10.10 (taxes included) and now it is polished, balanced, sunshine driven with wonderful spice and pastry notes. It is the whole package and if your friends think you uncool for having it, put it in a brown bag and watch their faces when you show them what they have been drinking.

Score – 9.1/10 Best Buy

Price: ~$10.99

Available in most stores.

Link to the original review: Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay

2) Aveleda Vinho Verdeimage

Can we all agree that there is no excuse for not enjoying a sunny Spring day! Aveleda Vinho Verde is Spring in a bottle and is a great addition to any table with a selection of cheeses, fruit, cold cuts and even tapenade. Serve chilled and prepare for a fresh, lively, vivacious muse to grace your Easter weekend.

Score – 8.9/10 Over Delivers

Price: ~$14.99

Available in private stores only. 

Link to original review: Aveleda 2013 Vinho Verde

3) Domaine de Grachiesimage

The French truly have it going on when it comes to finesse in their wines. Here is a wine that when you look at it you could easily walk right past. I know I did on a number of occasions, that is, until a friend of mine who has devoted thousands of hours to the exploration of French wine, told me that this is, for him, the best white wine under $20 on the market.

It shows bright tree fruit freshness and savoury herbs. It has some weight, making it a good choice with ham, but also has a crisp finish making it great with easy to find cheeses, or just a simple salad.

Score: 8.8/10 Over Delivers

Price: ~$13.99

Available in private stores only

Link to original review: Domaine de Grachies 2013

4) Lurton Pinot Grisimage

Pinot Gris for many years brought shivers to my spine. I have tasted literally thousands of Pinot Gris’s over the last number of years and I would have to say that I had come to the conclusion that the only value in Pinot Gris/Grigio lied in those showing true terroir which meant they were most often priced at $20+.

However this story is the exact reason why I love wine. There are no absolutes. The moment you think you have it nailed, that you can pronounce a fact about a wine or region, something comes about to radically change your mind and give you hope and desire.

That is what the Lurton Pinot Gris did for me. Here you will find a truly authentic Pinot Gris and seems bereft of the desire to pander to the marketing divisions focus group results. As far as Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio goes, I can honestly say there are not many under $20 that show the finesse, class and authenticity as this wine does.

Score: 8.7/10 Over Delivers

Price: ~$14.99

Available in most stores.

Link to the original review: Lurton 2013 Pinot Gris

5) Lurton fumees blanches Sauvignon Blancimage

I struggle with the inclusion of a second Lurton in this list, but my purpose here is to let the quality of the wine for the price, speak for itself, and I would be remiss if I did not include this wine in this Top 5 list.

There is so much pleasure packed into this one bottle of wine. One the one hand it is what you expect from a Sauvignon Blanc -fresh, herbal tree fruit, crisp, and yet there is another level that is floral, bright and brimming with highlights. Then just as you are about to put the glass down there is a parting kiss of tropical fruit. Man o’ man there is a lot going on here and all of it provides a wonderful wine experience.

Score: 8.6/10 Over Delivers

Price: ~$15.99

Available in most stores

Link to the original review: Lurton fumess blanches 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

I hope that you have enjoyed this list and from me and my family have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Cheers

Dork UnCorked

Gandia 2012 Finca del Mar Cabernet Sauvignon

February 17, 2015 § 1 Comment

imagePrice: ~$17.99

What happens when you come across a wine that you really enjoy but can’t seem to find anywhere. This is such a wine. It was given to me by someone who knows I have a passion for weeding through the thousands of skus on the under $20 market, to find remarkable wines for the money. They thought that this wine would get a pretty good rating and, yes it will. The quality of the wine is not the problem. The value for money is not the problem. The problem is that I can’t seem to find a store that carries it. If you are reading this, have a favourite local store, please ask them to bring the Gandia 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon in, then let me know and I will go down and buy some.

Tasting Notes Sipping: Deep crimson in colour with very complex aromas for the price. Red berries, cassis, dark chocolate, savoury spices, and just a kiss of licorice root. The palate is of mid-weight and the texture is round and velvety. The flavours echoed the nose yet the dark chocolate morphed into more of a mocha sensation. This finish shows polish and is of medium length. The tannins are soft and sweet which makes this an awesome sipping Cab.

Tasting Notes with Food: Typically Cabernet Sauvignon screams out steak or roasted red meat. This wine shows a little more softness and restraint so it is a better match for Pork Tenderloin, Pork Chop or Grilled chicken or Turkey. I had this with chicken thighs roasted in the oven with simple spices of salt and pepper and it worked beautifully. Anything heavier and it might have gotten lost.

Value: Again this is not your run of the mill competitor for a big California or Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. It represents great value for the money and I think you will really enjoy it, however of you are a lover of the Cabernets mentioned above this is likely an Exploration purchase. If on the other hand, you typically drink red blends of Southern France or Central Italy, this would be a great trade… at least to check it out.

Added Value: This wine shows added value for a Date Night, Movie Night and even for the Foodies.

More To The Story: Wine from this area of Spain (Utiel-Requena) has been enjoyed since the 7th century BC and has escaped Moorish prohibition and the scourge of phyloxxera which devastated most of the rest of Europe in the decades following 1868. Nestled just inland from Valencia Spain this D.O. has a broad range of grapes grown and shares a very similar climate to that of eastern Washington State and parts of northern California (long, dry hot summers, cold winters), which accounts for the finesse of the wine.

Score: 8.6 – Over Delivers (could have scored higher, however I’m estimating the price. If the retail price turns out to be $16.99 it would have gotten a higher score. If $15.99 then a Best Buy.)

Service: Pull the cork and let breathe for 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a couple of times.

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: Spain

Appellation: Utiel-Requena

Available: In very limited distribution. Check with smaller specialty private stores.

Alcohol: 12.5%

Vina Maipo Carmenere – Cabernet Sauvignon

January 21, 2015 § 1 Comment

Score: 8.7 – Over Delivers2015/01/img_0712.png

Price: $10.99

About the Wine: This wine is not available in BC Liquor Stores so check out your favourite private store. Hailing from Chile, this wine is priced to compete with ‘everyday’ wines like Copper Moon etc.

Tasting Notes Sipping: This wine, for the price, is a very good sipper. It is well balanced, offers good fruit, some spice and the tannins are soft and supple making the wine smooth. Aromas of crushed plum and berry are highlighted with black pepper and violets, while the palate shows similar flavours with the addition of a hint of mocha.

Tasting Notes With Food: The complexity of this wine avails itself to simple foods like pizza, tomato based pasta dishes, or straight up meat and potatoes. I had this with a meat lovers pizza and it worked great. The berry fruit flavours and spice tones become more pronounced and the structure was up to the task of refreshing my palate.

Value: Definitely worth the trade up in price from Naked Grape, Copper Moon et al. I would also look at saving myself a few bucks on the likes of entry level BC or California straight Cabs or Merlots.

Added Value: This wine shines as an everyday wine and thus is great when you are serving a big group (Crowd Pleaser, Wedding Wine), or when you are having Comfort Foods.

More To The Story: I have spent the last number of years tasting thousands of wines each year and I have come a ‘generalization’. The best red wine values that are priced under $12 are most often blends. There is an assumption that a single varietal ‘New World’ wine is worth more than a blend, and once you are above $15/bottle that seems to be true. However for red wines under $15 blends are the way to go, and here is why.

Each varietal has its strengths. Cabernet Sauvignon is known for bringing structure and boldness to a wine, Cabernet Franc aromatics. Merlot and Carmenere are often used for their fruit and texture. So where you are making a wine for the ‘value’ market you are usually using grapes that are not the best and thus have some glaring weaknesses. Blending complimentary grapes makes a better wine.

Service: Twist off the cap and let if flow.

Grapes: Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: Chile

Appellation: Central Valley

Available: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Tuscany Village, Legacy Liquor Store, Liquor Express

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

Alcohol: 13.1%

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2015/01/img_0712-0.png

Garland Crest Chardonnay

January 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 6.7 – Good Drop2015/01/img_0683.jpg

Price: $9.99

About the Wine: This wine gets a good drop rating because for the price it does offer better value than many of the other $9.99 and under wines on the market. It’s a well made value Chardonnay that offers simple fruit flavours of apple and melon on a balanced, yet not too complex, palate. The finish is short and clean.

Value: If I only had $9.99 to spend I would choose this Chardonnay over the likes of Naked Grape, Copper Moon & Barefoot. This is a truer wine, simple straight forward and decent. I wouldn’t, however trade down from the likes of Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay. I would trade up to Lindeman’s everyday.

Added Value: This is a Comfort Food wine as it is great with a simple brothy soup or stir fry. This is also a good one for Weddings where budget is key.

More To The Story: Although it is not apparent on the nose or palate, this wine comes from a wine co-op in the La Mancha region of Spain. Like most co-ops they will bottle the same wine under multiple labels. This can mean that the same wine is under a different name at the chain down the street. That is the case here. You can find the exact same wine at Everything Wine but it is called Belle Grove Chardonnay.

Service: Chill it down. If it is too warm it will lose its balance, if too cold the fruit flavours become muted.

Grapes: Chardonnay

Store Section: Spain

Appellation: Castillo La Mancha

Available: Private Liquor Stores only

Alcohol: 11.5 %

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Apothic Red

January 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 5.7 – Dead Average/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4dc/16438419/files/2015/01/img_0646.png

Price: $16.99

About the Wine: A total juice bomb. It is the quintessential hedonistic wine and it was designed to be. So popular that it has become the standard by which an ocean of also-rans are measured. The nose is blackberry, black plums and vanilla, with some significant oak underpinnings. The palate is round, soft, juicy and filled with sweet fruits and pie pastry. The finish is sweet and juicy and that is about it. This wine sacrifices complexity for sweetness and there are many wines on the market that show ripe juicy fruit and offer complexity for the same or better price, therefore this wine is dead average… at best.

Value: The real value in this wine is its social value. Its popularity attracts more to the crowd with each passing year.

Added Value: Where this wine shines is as a crowd pleaser. Its simple straightforward juice bomb nature makes it an easy quaffer whiles its popularity means easy acceptance.

Service: Nothing too complicated here, just twist the cap and start to pour. For food I would suggest milk chocolate or big thick steak with potatoes.

Grapes: Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: California

Appellation: California

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Cascadia Liquor Stores, Hillside Liquor Store, Liquor Planet, Private Liquor Stores, Liquor Express, Metro Liquor, Beverly Corners Liquor Store

Buy Online/Deliver To Your Door: Everything WineMetro Liquor

Alcohol: 13.1%

 

 

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