September 9, 2015 § 2 Comments
Score: 8.8 ~ Over Delivers
There is a great deal of animosity and distrust between private liquor retailers and the government run, BC Liquor Stores, so it isn’t very often that I get a tip on a great buy from a private retailer about a wine than can only be had at BC Liquor Stores.
Based on the recommendation by my colleague I rushed over to the nearest BC Liquor Store that I knew carried the Simple Life Pinot Noir and grabbed a bottle. Man was I happy that I did.
The nose shows cherry, pomegranate, a hint of cola and white pepper, while the palate if richly textured and full of flavour. That said there are a number of Pinot’s under $20 that can produce similar olfactory and taste enjoyment, but to me, the real test comes in the finish. If it shows the silky, seductive finish of top quality Burgundy, New Zealand, BC, Oregon and California Pinot Noir, then deserves high praise indeed.
Although not as pronounced as its brethren in the $25-$45 price range, this Pinot has a wonderful silky finish that puts it, in my opinion, well above other Pinot Noir under and over $20 in terms of value. If I were you I would be buying this wine by the case now so that you have it on hand at Thanksgiving, my Wife’s 40th birthday (yes you are all invited, but you have to bring a bottle of Simple Life Pinot), and Christmas, as I don’t imagine there will be much of it around in a few months.
Purchased From: BC Liquor Stores
Section: California and/or Exclusives
Food: Have this with roasted poultry, mild cheeses like gouda, soups, duck.
September 1, 2015 § Leave a comment
There are many food pairings for this wine, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that this wine is best paired with a specific mood. I recently found myself in a place where I was at once excited about the possibilities of the future but at the same feeling a little apprehensive, pensive and perhaps dark. This wine has a ton of things going on in it and it expresses a number of emotions as a result.
I first gravitated to it because I met the people responsible for this wine in Argentina and we had a lengthy conversation about Corvina and how it could do in Argentina, and what wonderful things could come of a blend with Malbec.
Once you pull the cork you get the sense of a brooding dark wine, but once it washes over your palate you a brightened and refreshed. I think everyone has gone through, or is going through some dark times, and it is a testament to human creativity that most of the time we emerge in a happier place. This is what this wine tastes like.
Fruit flavours of dark plum, leather, red cherry and hints of blueberry. A dark almost dusty mid palate finishes bright and refreshing.
Granted this wine will not be for everyone and that is why I didn’t give it the highest of rankings, however if you are in the mood to see a brighter future, or at least taste it, this might just become your favourite wine.
Purchased At: BC Liquor Stores
Foods: Roasted chicken and lean red meats. Cheeses, hearty breads, also excellent with a simple grilled cheese.
Grapes: Malbec, Corvina
January 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Score: 8.6 – Over Delivers
About the Wine: Pinot Noir is a tough one to measure on the same scale as say a Shiraz or Chardonnay. The low-end, in terms of price for Pinot Noir is about $14.99. Pinot Noir is a very fickle grape and very difficult to make into great wine and very easy to make into terrible wine. Having said all that we are blessed here in BC to have the quality that we do right around the corner from us. This wine shows dense red and black cherry, hints of cassis, savoury spices and leather. Very complex for a wine at $14.99 and extremely complex for a $14.99 Pinot Noir.
The palate is lush and layered showing a classic silky texture expected by those who love Pinot Noir (we call them Pinot-philes). The finish is of medium length and features fruit, spice and silk all the way through to the end.
Value: Pinot Noirs, including this one are more cerebral than hedonistic, and thus one who is willing to let the aromas and flavours wash over them will enjoy it more than those looking for a big blast of fruit and alcohol. When I’m in a pensive, calm mood I would trade up in price from $13 wines for this wine every time. In relation to California Pinot Noirs that average $20 and up, I would grab the Red Barn over them during the week, but on the weekend, with a special meal, I would stick with the $20 range.
Added Value: This is a great wine for when the ‘Foodies’ are coming over or if you want to introduce yourself and friends to the potential of the Pinot Noir grape.
More To The Story: Each year one of the world’s most prestigious wine magazines, Decanter, has its world wine awards. Each year Master’s of Wine, Master Sommeliers, Media and Sommeliers blind taste through thousands of wines to come up with the best in each class and the best overall. In 2013 Martin’s Lane 2011 Pinot Noir made by my friends at Mission Hill in the Okanagan, won World’s Best Pinot Noir. That is no small feat when you consider the pedigree of Burgundy. The Red Barn Pinot Noir comes from the same vineyard as the Martin’s Lane Pinot Noir. Maybe get a case.
Service: Serve at room temperature and if it is a hot day, chill it down in the fridge for a few minutes. As for food my preference is a simple roasted chicken, but local wild salmon will work as well.
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Store Section: VQA
Available: Cascadia Liquor Stores, Legacy Liquor Store, Beverly Corners Liquor Store, Hillside Liquor Store
Buy Online: Legacy Liquor Store.
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