Three Winds 2009 Grenache

February 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

Three Winds GrenacheThis is a rare find (bottom shelf Everything Wine French Section). I say this with the power of hindsight as I hadn’t noticed the vintage on the bottle until after I got home and when I went looking for where it is available, I found bubkus.

It seems that a few years back it received lots of attention from the press and broad distribution in both government and private stores. However, as far as I can tell, I may have gotten one of the last bottles available in the market. I’m counting my lucky stars.

Price ~ $14

Score ~ 7.7/10 Over Delivers

The wine opens with juicy ripe raspberry, plum and blueberry fruits on the backdrop of earthy spice and licorice. Very hedonistic. The palate is soft and without angles, but still maintaining freshness despite it being 7 years old. The finish is loaded with ripe fruits, spice and is silky.

Wines at this price point are rarely this fresh after 4 years let alone 7. Typically these wines are meant for early consumption and thus this was a rare treat. I would have scored it higher if it was more widely available.

Grapes ~ 100% Grenache

Store Section ~ France

Availability ~ Everything Wine

Cheers

the Dork UnCorked

 

Picks of the Pros: Ernest Sargent- Everything Wine

December 28, 2015 § 1 Comment

What the pros would pick for themselves for New Year’s 2016. Today’s installment comes from Ernest Sargent the Vintage Room Consultant at Everything Wine in Langford.

Here’s my picks – not a Champagne among them…

Conde de HaroMuga Conde de Haro Brut Cava ~ $28

For me, as I was only allowed to pick one (close runner up is the Henriot Rosé Champagne ($80)),  it would be the Muga Conde de Haro Brut Cava. This is the best Cava I’ve tasted in a long time.  Beautiful balance between the apple, apple skin and citrus flavours with a touch of honey thrown in.  What puts this one over the top for me is the long and complex finish.  An absolute winner!!

Road 13 Sparkling Chenin BlancRoad 13 2011 Sparkling Chenin Blanc ~ $40

For my family (because they deserve the best), my favourite of the many quality sparkling wines that are now coming out of BC, the 2011 Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc.  I love the fresh fruit on this wine that pairs so nicely with the acidity and the slight touch of yeast.  A top quality wine from one of BC’s best wineries and if I give it my family, chances are I’ll get some too.

Blu Giovello ProseccoBlu Giovello Prosecco ~ $21

For my friends – the Blu Giovello Prosecco from Piera Martellozzo.  This Extra-Dry Prosecco, beautifully presented in its unforgettable blue bottle, has just a touch of fruity sweetness but carries enough acid to give it balance.  It showcases the classic peach and citrus flavours you get from the Glera grape.  A fun wine to share with fabulous friends.

Ernest Sargent

Ernest is an ISG accredited Sommelier and all round brilliant guy. For me Ernest has proven his eye for real value on a number of occasions.

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.

Chapel Hill 2013 ‘Parson’s Nose’ Shiraz

July 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Price: $17.99Chapel Hill Shiraz

I bought this wine because I was in the mood for a hedonistic fruit and baking spice explosion, and because McLaren Vale is the source of my favourite Aussie Shiraz’s.

There is a lot more finesse in this wine than what I was expecting… and that is a good thing. This wasn’t your run of the mill fruit bomb explosion so it kind of missed the mark there, however it more than made up for it with finesse.

The trick here is to let it breathe. I had this wine open on my counter for 4 days. Tasting on days 2 and 3 were far better than day 1 or 4.

The nose shows classic dark fruit, smoked meat and a little purple flower thing that I really liked. The palate is richly texture but not bomb-ish, and it was very well balanced with the alcohol (14.5%) and not boozy. Flavours of blue and blackberries with some cardamom and bergamot spice thrown in for good measure.

This is a great wine to have with grilled lamb or a pizza with prosciutto on it.

Score: 6.9 – Good Drop – Certainly an enjoyable wine, but I thought I got what I paid for, but what I am looking for is a wine that exceeds what I paid for it.

Purchased At Everything Wine

Muga 2014 Rosé

June 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

7.1/10 ~ Good Drop & I Like ItMuga Rose

Price: $15.69-$16.99

I’m a podcast junkie. In fact I almost never listen to the radio in the car anymore, unless I’m with my kids and then I get my quota of pop songs that all sound alike and have the same theme. One of my favourites is the TED Radio Hour. The theme of a recent episode was ‘Storytelling’ and it immediately grabbed my attention. For the last number of years I have been thinking about writing a book. No not another diatribe about tasting wine in fantastic places or about the vagaries of the BC liquor system. Rather a book of fiction.

Wines, unlike other things, seem to tell me a story, either about themselves or about those who also enjoy the wine. This is why this particular podcast grabbed me. Two takeaways from the podcast were ‘tell stories about what you know’ and ‘let the subject should tell a truth about you’. No I am motivated. I seem to have greater clarity as to what and how I am to write my book. What you will find in each post from now on, is I will try to put into words the story the wine is trying to tell me and hopefully, that will also tell me a truth about myself.

The Muga 2014 Rosé gives me the impression that it is the mental floss or ‘romantic comedy’ of this illustrious winery. Muga is a great producer of top quality Rioja. Although each wine is brilliant and showing enticing finesse, they are also very serious wines. You know the type. If this wine was a colleague it would be that guy that is both brilliant, fastidious, and necessary for success, but who would feel totally uncomfortable at a music festival or in a food fight. The Rosé on the other hand shows that the winery has a soft, whimsical spot, that takes the tension away and adds some softness to an otherwise stalwart exterior. In fact, as important as the brilliant, outstanding and fastidious wines are to the winery, it is the Rosé that is the love that makes all the wines a family.

Tasting Notes: This pale pink Rosé has a classic red berry/cherry nose which is repeated on the refreshing, crisp palate. Many Spanish Rosés feature an undertone of black or white pepper spice that is not really evident here, however if you slow down, taste slowly, and let the wine caress the palate in a deliberate manner, then indeed there is just a hint of pepper.

Value: I think I got good value for my money, and I was craving a Rosado, however it didn’t blow me away and I’m not sure I would ‘camp out’ on this one. I’m already thinking of what Rosé I will try next.

Added Value: This wine is really good wine for those looking to explore the whimsical side of Rioja or need a well made wine to pair with a specific dish when the Foodies come over.

Food Pairings: I had this with some light triple cream brie and it worked beautifully. I would say that if you go with young cheeses and some fresh fruit, you will have it nailed.

Service: Chill this wine down, pull the cork and serve.

Grapes: Viura, Garnacha, Tempranillo

Store Section: Spain

Appellation: Rioja

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine

Alcohol: 13.0%

Monte Antico 2010 Toscana Rosso

May 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Monte Antico 2010Score: 6.9 ~ Good Drop

Price: $14.79-$16

May is not only glorious for weather here on the West Coast of BC, but May also brings the first Grand Tour of the Pro Cycling Season – Giro d’Italia. The third week of the Giro is the toughest week as it winds its way through the hills and mountains of Tuscany. In light of this fact, and that I am serious fan, I thought I would test run a wine that has long been on the market here in BC – Monte Antico.

The Monte Antico has great, rustic, old school packaging and is, now, conveniently, under screwcap, which I really like for wines under $20.

Tasting Notes: The colour is dark crimson and the nose shows dark cherry, leather, earth, and savoury spices. The palate shows similar flavours but has added the added complexity of plum and raspberry fruit flavour, hints of dried cocoa and pepper. The palate is of mid-weight and can stand up to most comfort foods from grilled chicken dishes to steak. The finish is round and juicy leaving you with the delicate marriage of cherry, plum and spice flavours.

Value: As much as I enjoyed this wine, I found that I wanted more out of it for the price. It certainly has more complexity than the big brand names out of California, and the flavours are well honed, but I would have rated it much higher if the price was a buck or so lower.

Added Value: This wine has added value as a pairing for Comfort Foods, as a BBQ wine and for those looking to venture into the wines of Italy/Tuscany for the first time.

Food Pairings: Comforts such as pizza, pasta, grilled chicken or steak, casseroles, firm cheeses, lasagne, Mac ‘N Cheese and cold cuts.

Service: Twist the cap and let breathe for 15 minutes or let it run through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a couple of times.

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Tuscany

Grapes: Sangiovese, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon

Purchased From: Metro Liquor Tuscany Village.

Also Available At: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine

ABV%: 13%

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.

Cielo 2014 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie

April 30, 2015 § 1 Comment

Score: 6.6 ~ Good Drop image

Price: $13.99

Do you know what the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio is? It’s subtle and with the explosion of Pinot Grigio on the market, the lines have been blurred. Pinot Grigio is about freshness, citrus and minerality in a light bodied wine. It is something simple and refreshing and that is its beauty. On the other hand Pinot Gris should have more body, show tree & tropical fruit flavours and be far more complex. I don’t hold one over the other as each has their place. The trick is to be in the frame of mind to truly enjoy each.

Tasting Notes: This is a simple classic Pinot Grigio. It is pale straw, flinty green in colour and shows good citrus fruits with a mineral backbone. The palate is light and straightforward, while the finish is crisp and clean with just a hint of pear on the finish.

Value: At $10.99, the sale price, this is a steal, at $13.99, regular everyday price, it is a good drop that you won’t be disappointed in.

Added Value: This wine would have added value for Girls Night Out or on Date Night.

Food Pairings: This is a great wine for simple fair. Grilled trout or chicken breast, but perhaps best with a simple plate of fresh fruit, light cheeses, baguette and some nuts.

Service: Chill down and serve.

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Veneto – The ‘delle Venezie’ region is primarily clay and volcanic soils with some health elements of limestone thrown in the mix. This and the rolling hills of the region account for the citrus and mineral flavours that come through with classic Pinot Grigio.

Grapes: Pinot Grigio

Available: Everything Wine

ABV%: 12.0%

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.

Baccolo 2013 Rosso Veneto

April 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 6.7 ~ Good Dropimage

Price: $16.99

You have heard the phrase ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’? That is how the wine growers and makers of Veneto region have been approaching wine for over two millennia. This wine is a reflection of that tradition but with a modern twist. This is a blend of Merlot & Corvina which until recently would have been unthinkable… even in the wine world, steeped in all its traditions, has rebels within it.

Tasting Notes: Nice plum, cherry and blueberry aromas and flavours. Touches of savoury herbs and licorice don the finish. The texture is very soft. Pillowy soft you might say. I liked it but like a pillow, it met my expectations and did its job well, but was rather unremarkable.

Value: The value here is for those looking to turn their brains off, and just sink into a quiet glass of wine.

Added Value: This wine would shine best for those looking to delve into the variations of Merlot. Not only will you get a great representation of Merlot grown in the Veneto, but also how Merlot works with Corvina. This is also a great wine for burgers and meats done with BBQ sauce.

Food Pairings: Burgers with all the fixins. Grilled or slow roasted meats. Medium but flavourful cheeses.

Service: Pull thercork and you are ready to go, however the wine does blossom well over time. Run it through the Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a few times and you are good to go.

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Veneto – Veneto is in North Eastern Italy and is home Bardolino, Valpolicella, Amarone and a lot of Prosecco. It is a great place to travel through as it features rolling hills, lakes, mountains and stretches to the sea and the city of Venice.

2013 vintage was fair to good as vintages go but the 2012 is the vintage you will find for most reds right now and it was a pretty damn good vintage. Best vintages in recent years have been 2010 and 2006. There are still some Amarones floating around from these vintages and they are truly outstanding.

Grapes: Corvina, Merlot

Available: Everything Wine

ABV%: 13.0%

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.

Bonpas 2012 Costieres de Nimes

April 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 7.8 ~ Over DeliversBonpas Costieres de Nimes

If I had to be a French peasant during the 17th & 18th centuries, I would hope I was living in Costieres de Nimes. When I look at the label of this wine I picture a Noble Manor replete in oil paintings of Grand Dukes and Duchesses. Around the side of the castle is the stables where 10 white steeds are groomed and rode each day. The peasants who work the vineyards and make the wine must have been the happiest of their lot. I know I would be if my beverage at lunch and dinner were this wine.

Price: $15.49

Tasting Notes: The colour is dark crimson/purple and the aromas are very complex for a wine of this price. Violets and rosemary, raspberry, cherry and licorice. The palate is of medium weight and shows layers of flavours that reflect the aromas. The finish is soft, velvety and features dark red berries, lavender and pepper.

Value: I think this wine over delivers for the price, certainly more so than many others in the price point, but its real value will come to those who already enjoy the fruits of the French vine.

Added Value: This wines has added value for Foodies as it is a great pairing for grilled and roasted meats. This is also a great wine for those looking to explore the wines of the Rhone and Languedoc regions of France.

Food Pairings: I would go with pulled pork first and foremost, but classic pairings of grilled and roasted meats are also fantastic

Service: Pull the cork and let breathe for 20 minutes or so. If you have a Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
, give this wine a run through a few times.

Store Section: France

Appellation: Costieres de Nimes – this region is the southernmost in the Rhone Valley, although it was one of the first to have grapes planted by the Romans. In the 16th and 17th centuries the wines of the Costieres were the wines of choice for the Papal cellars. This is when the wine culture of region really took hold.

Mostly red grapes are planted, however some absolutely opulent and delicious white wines can be found here.

2013 is considered to be one of the best vintages from over the last 5 years.

Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre

Available: Everything Wine(Exclusive)

ABV%: 13.5%

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.

Fascino Passo 2011

April 9, 2015 § 1 Comment

Fascino Passo 2011Score: 9.3 ~ Best Buy

You know how some scents can instantaneously transport you back in time. My grandfather used to smoke White Owl cigars and when I was a kid I used to climb up onto his lap and he would tell me stories of his hockey playing days. His favourite cardigan held the subtle scent of a freshly unwrapped cigar. Some of my best and favourite memories of being with my grandfather automatically invoke the wonderful, delicate aroma of an unwrapped cigar. As I first opened this wine and put my nose to it, I was immediately transported back to my grandfather’s lap. It brought a smile both to my face and heart.

Price: $17.99

Tasting Notes: The colour is dark red with violet highlights on the edges. The aromas show red tree fruit such as cherries, ripe black plums, hints of violet and licorice and something that I absolutely adore, the scent of a freshly unwrapped cigar. The palate is velvety, juicy, well balanced and of medium to full weight. Flavours of cherries, leather, savoury spices, dried plums and pepper come alive. The finish is almost silky and juicy with a final cherry kiss at the end.

Value: This is a case buy for sure. After my first purchase I have gone back and grabbed few more bottles. If I have $18 to spend I would be hard pressed not to make this my choice if I were having lamb, beef, or just a simple platter of cheese and charcuterie.

Added Value: This wine really shines as a BBQ Wine, Comfort Food Wine and because of its sultry, velvety nature, as a Date Night Wine. I would also highly recommend this wine to anyone who is looking to explore either unique grape types or regions.

Food Pairings: As mentioned above, this wine works beautifully with roasted or grilled beef or lamb, but my favourite pairing is a simple platter of cheeses, cold cuts, olive oil and some olives.

Service: Room temperature is best and let it breathe for a good 20-30 minutes. If you have a Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
, run the wine through a couple of times and you are good to go.

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Salento – The Salento region of Italy is on the heel of the Italian boot. As you can imagine it is a very warm region which produces voluptuous red wines that are very dark in colour. Did you know that Primitivo is the Italian cousin of California’s Zinfandel. Have a little fun and try a Cali Zin beside a Salento Primitivo and sense the differences.

Grapes: Negromaro, Primitivo

Available: Everything Wine

ABV%: 13.0%

Cheers

The Dork UnCorked

PS – if you do try this wine, please let me know what you think by submitting a comment.

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