Episode 6: Terroir, Screwcaps & Aussie Shiraz

November 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 6 – Link to Podcast

Segment 1 ~ Terroir

Terroir is the concept that tells us why a wine made of the same grape, on the same street, can be unique. It is one word that suggests that a number of influences including soil, sun, water make a difference in the flavour of a wine.

A great example of this is found right here in BC. Every region seems to excel with a grape or two. In Argentina it is Malbec, Burgundy it is Pinot Noir, but here in BC I believe that grape to be Cabernet Franc.

Although not as commercially popular, I find that Cabernet Franc is more expressive and consistently delicious than is Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. My first wow experience was with the 1998 Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc, and that experience has been matched every year since.

Trick of the Trade ~ Most BC Cabernet – Merlot blends are made of mostly Cabernet Franc with, obviously Merlot, and perhaps some Cabernet Sauvignon

Suggested Wines ~ Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc $23-25, Hester Creek Cabernet-Merlot $17, Bartier Bros. Illegal Curve $20 (private & VQA stores only).

Segment 2 ~ Screw Caps

Although looked down upon as the symbol of a cheap, ‘hobo’ wine for many years, the public image of a screw cap has done a 180. It is now often preferred for everyday consumption to that of a cork.

Pioneered by the Australian Wine industry as a cost reduction measure as the cost of replacing a faulty wine due to cork taint was 2-3x more than it was for European and North American wineries.

For every day wines the screw cap is a better closure than is cork or synthetic cork and the wine stays fresher longer.

Screw caps are no longer simply for wines priced from $10-$20, many $30, $40 and $50 wines are now available in screw cap.

Segment 3 ~ Aussie Shiraz

Shiraz is to Australia, what Malbec is to Argentina or Cabernet Franc is to BC (do you like how I threw that in there), and is another example of the concept of Terroir.

Shiraz and Syrah are genetically the same, but the flavour of Aussie Shiraz is world’s apart from that of BC Syrah or the wines of Cornas in the Rhone Valley of France.

So why the different name after all Syrah/Shiraz immigrated to Australia from parts of the world that called the grape Syrah?

Naming the Australian expression of Syrah Shiraz is actually quite brilliant actually. In one word they told us the Australian story of terroir and linked the wines back to their ancient roots (pun intended).

The story goes that Alexander the Great fell in the love with the wines of a particular region of Persia that is now called Iran. So to did the Roman Emperor Probus. In fact Probus is credited with bringing the original clippings from Persia, up the Rhone river where the ships ran aground and instead of tossing the clippings, the industrious citizens of southern Gaul (now France), planted the clippings. The name given to the vines spoke of where the vines originated and, with time, became Franglecized to Syrah. The original name – Shiraz.

Suggested Wines ~ Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz – wonderfully balanced and graceful – $26-$28 (private stores only), Skulls Shiraz – big and boozy – $18-$20, McLarens on the Shiraz – delightful and full flavoured – $13-$14.

Segment 4 ~ Best Buy of the Week

Penfolds Koonunga Hill 2012 Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon

The current vintage available is 2014, and is very similar to the 2012. The only difference is that there is an added layer of complexity and flavour. An enjoyable hint of smoky-ness is present that wasn’t showing in the 2012.

Let us know what you think or make a suggestion for a show by dropping us a line ~ dorkuncorked@gmail.com

Episode 5 – In The Shadow of Stardom, Beaujolais Nouveau, Carmenere

November 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Episode 5 – Link to Podcast

Show Notes

Segment 1: Beaujolais Nouveau

The first wine of the vaunted 2015 vintage. Critics are saying that 2015 is the vintage of a century no matter if the wine is from BC, California, or Europe. This years Beaujolais Nouveau is a harbinger of the wines to follow.

Beaujolais is a region in France and is the southernmost area of the famous Burgundy Appellation. All the red wines from the region must be made of 100%  Gamay Noir and all the grapes must be hand harvested.

Recommended Wine: Georges DuBoeuf Paper Label ~ $18.49

Segment 2: In the Shadow of Stardom

It’s really about basic economics of supply and demand. Those regions that are world famous only produce so many bottles but have huge demand. Regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Napa Valley have no trouble in selling their wines at top dollar each and every year. However there are many more regions and wines around the world that exist in the shadows of stardom.

Recommended Regions for Value:

Italy – Umbria, Sicily, Marche, Puglia, d’Abruzzo

France – Languedoc, Provence

Other Europe – Portugal, Croatia, Hungary, Greece

California – Lodi, Paso Robles

Other World – South Africa, Chile, Argentina

Other BC – Similkameen, Kamloops

Specific Wines Mentioned – Periquita (Portugal), Painted World (South Africa), Masia F (Spain)

Segment 3 – Carmenere

Thought to have vanished from the world after phylloxera destroyed thousands of acres of vineyard in the Europe in the 1860’s, and one of the original 6 Bordeaux grapes, Carmenere was only recently rediscovered as being alive and well in Chile.

In the late’s 90’s Alvaro Espinoza noticed that certain vines in the blocks of Merlot were consistently ripening later each year. He had the DNA analyzed and it was found that the mystery vines were indeed Carmenere.

Recommended Wines – Falernia Carmenere ($17.99), Concha Y Toro Terrunyo Block 12 Carmenere ($34.99), Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah ($9.99-$10.99)

Segment 4 – Best Buy of the Week

Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah

Episode 3 – The Wonderfully Colourful History of Liquor Laws in B.C. Part 1 – Show Notes

November 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

There has been lots of talk about the recent changes in Liquor retailing and laws in B.C. Have you ever wondered how we got here? It is a very colourful history and beautifully told in two parts by storyteller Chris Mathieson. Here are the show notes for Part 1.

Link to podcastThe Wonderfully Colourful History of Liquor Laws in BC Part 1

How to get a hold of Chris…

Facebook – Chris Mathieson

Twitter – @cogno

Website: Old Grist Mill & Gardens

Best Buy of the Week: Borsao Garnacha 

Coming up next week – Part II

DYK (Did You Know) that Australian Shiraz is the same as Syrah? The terroir & climate insure that the Australian expression is unique in the world of Syrah, as such it didn’t seem right to call it Syrah, so the powers that be in Australia decided to call their expression Shiraz after the name of the town in Iran where the initial clippings of Syrah were found.

Thanks for being a part of the Dork UnCorked, see you again next week.

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