Gayda 2012 ‘Flying Man’ Grenache

April 30, 2016 § Leave a comment

GAyda Flying ManSteak was on the menu for Friday. I had started marinating the steak in some balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, lime juice, red wine and pesto at about 3 in the afternoon (I have done it with frozen steak where I make the marinade – about 5 minutes – and plop the frozen steak in the marinade while it thaws. By the time everyone gets home at night, everything is good to go). As you can surmise and good steak needs a good wine and I was in the mood to continue my exploration of Grenache.

As I have said before I really think that Grenache as a wine grape is on the cusp of rising to the top of the heap in terms of popularity and volume. Why? Because the flavour profile is perfectly in line the North American palate, there is a ton of it made each year, it is made in most growing regions around the world, and it’s quality is rarely in doubt (just ask the producers in Chateauneuf du Pape & Priorat).

With all this in mind, and because one of my favourite stages to watch in the Tour de France is the summit finish on Mount Ventoux, I went looking in the French section and found the Gayda 2012 ‘Flying Man’ Grenache.

Price ~ $15

Score ~ 7.4 Over Delivers

The wine is dark in the glass and the nose shows deep blackberry, plum and ripe raspberry. The palate is richly textured with good structure (meaning it feels good in the mouth and it could stand up to a big steak), and a medium-long finish. The flavours match the nose with the added bonus of savoury spices like Rosemary, Thyme, black pepper and just for good measure, a kiss of lavender.

There is some depth to this wine and I suspect that although this wine is already 4 years old (3 in the bottle), it improve with another year or so under its belt. I suspect that if I returned to this in one years time the score would be in the 9’s or Best Buy range.

In addition to steak, this would work well with lamb or pork chops, roasted turkey or turkey kebabs with savoury spices. This strikes me as a great wine for some Manchego cheese or an aged Gouda.

Grapes ~ 100% Grenache

Store Section ~ France

Availability ~ private and public stores.


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L’Ostal Cazes 2015 Rosé Pays D’Oc

April 7, 2016 § 1 Comment

L'Ostal Cazes RoséI was so excited to taste this wine. Not only is rosé a perfect fit for recent stretch of weather, but it is one of the first 2015 Rosés to hit the shelves.

Price ~ $15

Score ~ 7.5/10 Over Delivers

The colour is a pale pink rose and the aromas are of fresh strawberries, cherries and a dash of spring flowers. The palate is lively and vibrant with the finish showing how finely balanced this wine is.

I couldn’t help but feel optimistic about what the summer will hold when tasting this wine. It just puts a smile on your face and if you have it in the backyard it will transport you to a seaside picnic in the south of France.

As for food, I had this with a simply grilled chicken that was marinated for a number of hours in lemon, lime and orange juice, white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, tarragon and rosemary harvested from the backyard…. and it was perfect.

Grapes: 50% Grenache 50% Syrah

Store Section: France

Availability: Exclusive to Government Stores 


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PS- below is a link to the Wine Folly book on Amazon. Yes this is an affiliate program and it helps us keep the blog going, having said that I highly recommend this book and use it myself. It is colourful easy to read book that you can have a resource. Enjoy.

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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


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Paul Mas 2014 Grenache Noir

February 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

Paul Mas Grenache NoirGrenache can be so freakin’ delightful. Brimming with fresh raspberries, cherries and spice, and if from Europe, an earthy-spicy undercurrent that is both seductive and luxurious. The other thing about Grenache is that is usually used as a blending grape to tame the wild boldness of Syrah. To this end wines that feature Grenache are often under priced for the value they deliver. The Paul Mas Grenache Noir is just such a wine.

Price ~ $11.29

Score ~ 7.2 Over Delivers

The Paul Mas Grenache Noir has a wild side. Under the flavours of ripe raspberry, blackberry and cherry is some delightful earthy, leather and black pepper spices.

When sipping this wine on its own it lacks a little depth which I am willing to forgive for the price but is easily made up when having with a nibble of cheese (Cheddar) or a creamy pasta, roasted or grilled chicken. When paired with food the flavour sing to the heavens, and that makes me smile.

Grapes ~ 100% Grenache

Store Section ~ France

Availability ~ Both government and private stores.


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Plantation 1905

February 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Price: $14.99Plantation 1905

I had never heard of this wine before, but when I heard its story the cork dork in me got so excited that I had to buy it. Turns out this wine is a blend of 23 different grapes all found in the same vineyard, most of which were planted in 1905. Of the 23 different grapes, as many as 8 can only be found in this vineyard. It is also reported that most of the vines found in the Languedoc region originate from the this vineyard. This is the kind of stuff that makes the hair on my arms stand up. As much as I didn’t have the budget for it, I absolutely had to buy this wine, and I was hoping that my experience was going to more than just a taste experience. I was hoping for a wonderful hedonistic and cerebral experience… I’m very happy to say that the wine not only delivered on its cerebral promise, but also on a hedonistic level. Best Buy at $14.99.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is a bright and deep purple. The nose is incredibly expressive. First and foremost are the red berries, dark plum and black pepper spices, but lurking in the background are wonderfully earthy tones along with fresh purple flowers. Given the number and nature of the grapes involved I was expecting a gamey awkward wine that only serious vinophiles would enjoy. The palate was both complex and full of fresh fruit and richly textured. Flavours of dark fruits, anise, pepper and spices, purple flowers; for $15 this wine way over delivered.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this with a Carbonera style pasta (no cream, just olive oil some butter, peas, chicken and bacon), and it was wonderful. The fresh fruit flavours were incredibly expressive. The marriage of spices from the wine and the sauce worked beautifully. The wine and the food worked together in a way that made them better than the sum of their respective parts.

Value: The the value of this wine is in its uniqueness. At this price I think it provides great value but likely more so to those that are familiar with French wines and the wines of the Minervois-Languedoc region in particular. I would definitely trade up from entry level French, Italian and Spanish wines for this wine. Having said that if you are in the mood to explore a bit, by all means grab this wine.

Added Value: Clearly this has a lot of added value to Foodies, but this is all a great wine for the BBQ and Comfort Foods.

More To The Story: The vineyard and the winery associated was taken over by Marie-Claude and Jean Louis Poudou and we are the better for it. The vineyard had fallen into disrepair but this enterprising couple decided to bring it back to standard and make a wine that celebrates the whole vineyard and its history. There is only a few cases of this remaining in the province, so if you find it buy it.

Score: 9.0  – Best Buy

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

Grapes: Aspiran, Auburn (virtually extinct in France), Alicante Bouschet (Grenache & Aramon hybrid), Aramon (virtually extinct in France), Varousset, Clairette (white), Morrastel Bouschet (Graciano & Cab Franc hybrid), Petit Bouschet, Carignan, Grenache, Cinsault, Terret Black (relic of the ancient world), Lladoner Pellut, Bourblanc (white), Cardinal, Alphonse Lavallee, Italia, Muscat de Hambourg, Terret Grey, Unknown No. 1, Unknown No. 2, Unknown No. 3, Unknown No. 4

Store Section: France

Appellation: Minervois – Languedoc

Available: Spinnaker’s Vic West

Alcohol: 13.0%

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