Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back from BC, too late to preview the July 24th release!

Back from BC
Ahhh the return from the annual pilgrimage to the west coast left us longing for no humidity, sunny warm days and a 2009 Pinot Grigio ( No eye rolling please!) from a delightful Vancouver Island Winery called Averill Creek. This was the first release from what was a terrific 2009 season on the Island last year and it is a super cool climate wine.
The winery is just north of Duncan and has a terrific view down the east cost of the island, overlooking part of Saltspring and down into the Saanich Inlet. They have a picnic license which means you can bring your food and they’ll provide their wines for you to enjoy with it while you soak up that west coast view!

Highlights – too many pink wines to mention, Averill Creek, N’Kmip’s Meritage, the expression of my brother’s face when he bought a 5 litre bottle of 2006 Pinot Noir from Alderlea and the joy on my Mom’s face looking down on the view and flowers at Averill Creek.

Lowlights – The BCLDB makes Ontario’s LCBO seem almost philanthropic with some of their prices and the few private stores do not seem to have had a huge impact on variety nor prices. Small price to pay to live in heaven on earth I suppose!

All this said, I missed a release and while I thought about giving my picks, it seemed anticlimactic and some were picked by a number of well respected wine journalists, so maybe I’ll just give you their top choices. Gord Stimmell liked the Pirramimma Cab Sauv, the Genesis Merlot from Hogue in Washington St. and the Walk on the Wild Side Shiraz. I’m not sure I’d have picked that one, but the Hogue will be similar to the Columbia Crest merlot that used to be a Vintages essential.

From the South of France, Beppi Crossariol in the Globe liked the two from Perrin ( but if you buy the Coudulet de Beaucastel, let this breathe for a long time – it’s close to Chateauneuf in price and style, the Vinsobres is more ready to drink immediately and a past pick), Cave de Roquebrun Roches Noires Macération 2007, and the Domaine des Aures Hautes Minervois La Livinière 2007 among others.

Happy Hunting!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vintages July 10th release

The July 10th release has a few goodies but nothing to induce self flagellation if you miss it! A couple of whites from New Zealand should be very good followed by a number of very reasonably priced reds from around the globe. Enjoy!
KIM CRAWFORD PINOT GRIS 2009 $19.95 Always terrific.

ASTROLABE VOYAGE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009 $19.95 Fresh, crisp, more fruit than some of the grassier SB’s from New Zealand. I think the points in the review are too high, but it’ll be terrific with anything that swims.

LA BASTIDE SAINT VINCENT PAVANE VACQUEYRAS 2007 $21.95 AC My pick of the release. Score: 91 (Josh Raynolds)
BODEGAS LAN CRIANZA 2005 DOCa Rioja, Spain $15.95 A food pairing wonder that is a very good value too - that pretty much says it all. A Wine & Spirits“Best Buy of 2009,” 90 points

SANTA EMA RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 $14.95 Maipo Valley – Reads like a typical Maipo profile and should be very good for a year or so. James Molesworth’s palate matches up with mine pretty well but he tried this a year and a half ago : 90 (James Molesworth )

ALAMOS MALBEC 2008 $13.95 Grill me something, quick!

IGNACIO MARIN VIÑA ANGELA GRAN RESERVA 2001 $19.95 Try this one with a Las Rocas to see how the latter might age. Remember this has almost 9 years on it, so you won’t be buying for the long term but it should be nice for a bottle or two.

LAS ROCAS GARNACHA 2008 $14.95 A good buy for Grenache lovers. Might not be quite up to last year’s Full bodied, textured with gorgeous aromas of kirsch,raspberry, pepper and licorice..” Wine Advocate, 88 points

CHÂTEAU PESQUIÉ TERRASSES 2008, $13.95 Perennially a Parker fave, should be good for the price.

BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE E-MINOR SHIRAZ 2008 $17.95 Baby brother to Black Pepper and Ebeneezer, if you like that big Barossa fruit bomb style this is a terrific buy.

ROCCA DELLE MACÌE CHIANTI RISERVA 2006 $15.00 Great vintage, terrific value

3 beaujolais – for you fans
GEORGES DUBOEUF LA TRINQUÉE JULIÉNAS 2008 AC Score: 90 (David Schildknecht,, Aug. 2009) $16.95