October Wine Events at BC Liquor Stores

Check out these wine, whisky, and spirits events happening around Vancouver.  Bordeaux release is this month.  Wines of Bodega Garzon in Uruguay should not be missed. Enjoy!

39th & CAMBIE

MAKE YOUR OWN CAESAR WITH TITO’S VODKA
Thursday, October 5
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Create your own Caesar with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Mott’s Clamato! A gift with purchase of Mott’s Clamato will be available for every Tito’s Handmade Vodka purchase.

BRUICHLADDICH SINGLE MALT WHISKY
Friday, October 6
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Walk through the Isles. From the non-peated Laddie to the heavily peated Port Charlotte, Bruichladdich is anything but the typical whisky.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

DISCOVER AWARD WINNING WINES FROM URUGUAY
Saturday, October 7
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Discover wines from the world’s most exciting new wine region, Uruguay! Sample the award-winning wines made by internationally renowned consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini at Bodega Garzon.

BORDEAUX 2014 RELEASE
Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m.

Join us at select BC Liquor Stores across the province for the much-awaited release of the 2014 vintage of Bordeaux! This is the day that wine lovers and avid collectors will line up to secure their purchases of 2014’s most desirable wines. So come and visit BC Liquor Stores to stake your claim on the rarest wines of the year.

DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASE SINGLE MALT WHISKIES
Wednesday, October 18
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Come join Stuart Brown, Whisky Consultant for Diageo’s preeminent release as he guides you through some of Scotland’s most exceptional expressions of Scotch whisky including the Dalwhinnie, Caol Ila, and the Oban. Learn about some rare, old, and unusual bottlings from famous and closed distilleries. The tutored tasting will present the small, annual series of Special Release Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from Diageo, all limited edition and usually bottled at cask strength.
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, October 19
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

WINES OF SPAIN – A TASTING EXPERIENCE
Saturday, October 21
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Spanish wines are fabulous for any occasion! Try the wide range of grape varieties and the many styles of Spanish wines – Albariño, Verdejo, Garnacha, Mencia and Tempranillo along with delicious rosados, cavas, and even the unique wine of Jerez!

CANCELLED EVENT – DOUGLAS LAING PREMIUM SPIRIT RELEASE TASTING
Friday, October 27
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join us in a special sit down tasting featuring a few Spirit Release whiskies from Independent Bottler, Douglas Laing. Taste the rare 25-Year-Old Ardbeg plus two other single grain whiskies, the Cameronbridge 25-Year-Old, and the Cambus 25-Year-Old (one from a closed distillery).
Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.
*Unfortunately, this event is cancelled. If you have purchased a ticket, please go to BC Liquor Stores to get your refund.

CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN WITH DIABOLICA
Saturday, October 28
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join Diabolica for some spooky treats paired with a selection of their delicious wines including the new Diabolica Reincarnation. Glow in the dark silicone glasses will be given away with every purchase.

PARK ROYAL

ENJOY A NOTORIOUSLY GOOD COMBINATION: SLEEMAN AND MCSWEENEY’S JERKY
Thursday, October 5
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Taste the perfect pairing of Sleeman Original Draught and McSweeney’s Jerky! This month’s featured jerky flavour is Canadian Maple Pork Jerky.

DISCOVER AWARD WINNING WINES FROM URUGUAY
Friday, October 6
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Discover wines from the world’s most exciting new wine region, Uruguay! Sample the award-winning wines made by internationally renowned consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini at Bodega Garzon.

WINES OF SPAIN – A TASTING EXPERIENCE
Saturday, October 7
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Spanish wines are fabulous for any occasion! Try the wide range of grape varieties and the many styles of Spanish wines – Albariño, Verdejo, Garnacha, Mencia and Tempranillo along with delicious rosados, cavas, and even the unique wine of Jerez!

INTRODUCING 1000 STORIES BOURBON BARREL AGED ZINFANDEL
Thursday, October 12
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Taste the newest and most unique wine, the 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel! Discover their story and find out what makes this wine so special.

BORDEAUX 2014 RELEASE
Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m.

Join us at select BC Liquor Stores across the province for the much-awaited release of the 2014 vintage of Bordeaux! This is the day that wine lovers and avid collectors will line up to secure their purchases of 2014’s most desirable wines. So come and visit BC Liquor Stores to stake your claim on the rarest wines of the year.

DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASE SINGLE MALT WHISKIES
Tuesday, October 17
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Come join Stuart Brown, Whisky Consultant for Diageo’s preeminent release as he guides you through some of Scotland’s most exceptional expressions of Scotch whisky including the Dalwhinnie, Caol Ila, and the Oban. Learn about some rare, old, and unusual bottlings from famous and closed distilleries. The tutored tasting will present the small, annual series of Special Release Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from Diageo, all limited edition and usually bottled at cask strength.
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES WITH CITY MARKET
Thursday, October 19
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

This Halloween season, wow your guests with a unique selection of products to serve with food pairing ideas from neighbouring City Market. Try a delectable red, a mouth-watering white, an exceptional whisky, and a delightful Prosecco exclusive to BC Liquor Stores. City Market will in store to provide spooky Halloween food ideas you can easily prepare at home.

SOLD OUT EVENT – TAKE A TRIP TO NAPA WITH O’SHAUGHNESSY WINES
Friday, October 20
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Luke Russ, Commercial Director of O’Shaughnessy Winery in Napa Valley is coming to Vancouver. Join him in an exclusive sit down educational tasting featuring a selection of outstanding premium California wines including the O’Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

HALLOWINE WITH CASILLERO DEL DIABLO
Friday, October 27
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Do you dare taste the wines from the Devil’s Cellar? Celebrate Halloween with Casillero del Diablo and receive a light up devil’s horns headband with every purchase.

CANCELLED EVENT – DOUGLAS LAING PREMIUM SPIRIT RELEASE TASTING
Saturday, October 28
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join us in a special sit down tasting featuring a few Spirit Release whiskies from Independent Bottler, Douglas Laing. Taste the rare 25-Year-Old Ardbeg plus two other single grain whiskies, the Cameronbridge 25-Year-Old, and the Cambus 25-Year-Old (one from a closed distillery).
Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.
*Unfortunately, this event is cancelled. If you have purchased a ticket, please go to BC Liquor Stores to get your refund.

ABBOTSFORD

CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING WITH SUMAC RIDGE
Friday, October 6
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a special Sumac Ridge Estate Winery cheese and wine pairing with a special gift with purchase – buy 2 bottles and receive a premium Italian 500ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil – perfect for Thanksgiving!

OTHER STORES

BORDEAUX 2014 RELEASE
Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m.

Join us at select BC Liquor Stores across the province for the much-awaited release of the 2014 vintage of Bordeaux! This is the day that wine lovers and avid collectors will line up to secure their purchases of 2014’s most desirable wines. So come and visit BC Liquor Stores to stake your claim on the rarest wines of the year.

This event will take place at the following BC Liquor Stores at the time specified above:
39th & Cambie
Alberni & Bute
Park Royal
Brighouse
Dunbar
Westwood Centre
Langley
SOLO
Peninsula Village
Fort Street
Kamloops Columbia Place
Kelowna Orchard Park
Prince George Pine Centre

*Please visit www.bcliquorstores.com for updates regarding 2014 Bordeaux.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, October 19

*Time of tasting varies per store. Please check the announcement board at each BC Liquor Store location for the most up to date schedule.
Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

This event will be at the following BC Liquor Stores at these times:
8th & Cambie – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
39th & Cambie – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Abbotsford – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Alberni & Bute – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Dunbar – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Fleetwood – 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Fort Street – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Highgate Village – 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kamloops Columbia Place – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kelowna Mission Park – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Kelowna Orchard Park – 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Langley – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Nicola Station – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Nordel Crossing – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Northgate – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Park Royal –  5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Peninsula Village – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Penticton Plaza – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Prince George Pine Centre – 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Richmond Brighouse – 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Richmond Ironwood – 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
SOLO – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Vernon – 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Victoria Westshore – 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Westwood Centre – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Save the date…On Saturday, November 4th at 9:30 a.m. the 2017 Premium Spirit Release collection will be available for purchase in 30 stores across the province. Information about the release will be posted on www.bcliquorstores.comsoon.

Get a chance to purchase a bottle of the coveted Pappy Van Winkle bourbon! Click here for more details on how to enter.

A sneak peak of November…

39th & CAMBIE

THE NORTHERN BORDER COLLECTION MASTER CLASS WITH DAVE MITTON
Wednesday, November 1
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join the Global Canadian Whisky Ambassador Dave Mitton, as he talks about the rich history of Canadian Whisky in a special sit down master class. He will take you through the premium Northern Border Collection Rare Range – a limited edition release showcasing the depth and uniqueness of Canadian Whisky. Don’t miss out on this rare chance to learn and taste the best in Canadian Whisky!
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

THE MACALLAN AND HIGHLAND PARK PREVIEW TASTING
Thursday, November 2
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Join Dan Volway, Scotch Ambassador, in a special stand up preview tasting featuring Macallan’s and Highland Park’s finest releases for the 2017 Premium Spirit Release. Learn about the brand and the unique taste profiles of each of these high end whiskies in a social relaxed environment while engaging in conversations with individuals that share the same interest in scotch whisky.
Note: This event is a standing room reception style tasting.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

PARK ROYAL

THE NORTHERN BORDER COLLECTION MASTER CLASS WITH DAVE MITTON
Friday, November 3
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join the Global Canadian Whisky Ambassador Dave Mitton, as he talks about the rich history of Canadian Whisky in a special sit down master class. He will take you through the premium Northern Border Collection Rare Range – a limited edition release showcasing the depth and uniqueness of Canadian Whisky. Don’t miss out on this rare chance to learn and taste the best in Canadian Whisky!
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

Advertisements

Liberty WIne Merchants Has 2009 Bordeaux In Stock

Bordeaux 2009Unquestionably the greatest Bordeaux vintage I have ever tasted… In short, 2009 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in Bordeaux since 1982, of which it is a modern-day version, but greatly improved.” – Robert Parker

To place an order contact Tyler Dawson:
(604) 925-3663 or tythewineguy@gmail.com

The Chateaux For You to Choose

La Gorce 2009(½) Médoc $15.99
La Goutere 2009 Bordeaux $17.99
Donjon de Bruignac 2009 Bordeaux $19.99 – Special Offer
Les Charmes De Goubau 2009 Côtes De Castillon $23.99
Costes Du Féret-Lambert 2009 Bordeaux $24.99
Bernadotte 2009 Haut-Médoc $29.00 – Limited
Clos Mansio 2009 1er Côtes De Blaye $29.99
Breuil Renaissance 2009 Médoc $27.99
Cailleteau Bergeron 2009 Barrique $29.99
Le Bourdieu 2009 Médoc $29.99
Rousselle 2009 Tradition $29.99
La Croix Chaigneau 2009 Lalande Pomerol $34.99
Bolaire 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur $37.99
Marjosse 2009 Bordeaux $37.99
Fleur Saint Antoine 2009 Bordeaux $37.99
Prieuré-Canteloup 2009 Côtes de Bordeaux $39.99
Croix Mouton 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur $39.99
Féret-Lambert 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur $39.99
Château De Carles 2009 Fronsac $39.99
Beaumont 2009 Haut-Médoc $39.99
Larrivaux 2009 Haut-Médoc $39.99
Dutruch Grand Poujeaux 2009 Moulis-Me $44.99
Caronne Ste.Gemme 2009 Haut-Médoc $47.99
Lanessan 2009 Haut-Médoc $49.99
Carlmagnus 2009 Fronsac $49.99
Cantenac 2009 Saint-Émilion $49.99
Faizeau 2009 V.V. Montange Saint-Émilion $49.99
Chasse-Spleen 2009 Moulis $50.00
Charmail 2009 Haut-Médoc $53.99
La Tour De Bessan 2009 Margaux $53.99
La Garde 2009 Pessac-Léognan $59.99
Côte Montpezat 2009 Côtes de Bordeaux $59.99
Château Du Glana 2009 Saint-Julien $59.99
Poujeaux 2009 Moulis $60.00
Le Baron De Brane 2009 Margaux $63.99
Potensac 2009 Médoc $67.99
La Tour De Mons 2009 Médoc $69.99
Chevalier De Lascombes 2009 Margaux $69.99
Latour-Martillac 2009 Pessac-Léognan $77.99
Quintault L’Enclos 2009 Saint-Émilion $77.99
d’Armailhac 2009 Pauillac $78.00
Berliquet 2009 Saint-Émilion $79.99
Larrivet Haut-Brion 2009 $79.99
Vieux Maillet 2009 Pomerol $87.99
La Fleur De Boüard 2009 Lalande Pomerol $89.99
La Fleur Cardinale 2009 Saint-Émilion $94.99
Gloria 2009 Saint-Julien $94.99
Haut-Bages Libéral 2009 Pauillac $94.99
La Tour Du Pin 2009 Saint-Émilion Cru $111.99
Rouget 2009 Pomerol $111.99
Prieuré-Lichine 2009 Margaux $114.99
Lafon-Rochet 2009 Saint-Estephe $119.99
Giscours 2009 Margaux $139.99
Malescot Saint-Exupéry 2009 Margaux $249.99
Pape Clément 2009 Pessac Léognan $319.99
Pichon Baron 2009 Pauillac $324.99
Pontet Canet 2009 Pauillac $388.00
Pavie 2009 Saint-Émilion $688.99

Liberty Wine Merchants Bordeaux Tasting Coming Soon

Do you like Bordeaux wines?  Robert Parker has stated that the 2009 Bordeaux May Be Best Vintage in Decades.  So why not try some with Liberty Wine Merchants?  Their tasting is coming up on June 22, 2012.  Info about the tasting, the wines, and tickets are as follows.

~~~

10 New Bordeaux to taste!

Vins de Bordeaux
Exclusive 2009 Tasting
la Deuixieme Partie

  • Château Marjosse Bordeaux
  • Château Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Supérieur
  • Château Larrivaux Haut-Médoc
  • Château Caronne Ste. Gemme Haut-Médoc
  • Château de Carlmagnus Fronsac
  • Château Cantenac St. Emilion
  • Château Saintem St. Emilion
  • Château Lanessan Haut-Médoc
  • Château Senejac Haut-Médoc
  • Château la Tour de Bessan Margaux

Date, Location, and Tickets

June 22, 2012 | 5:00 – 7:00pm
Liberty Tasting Room: 100-291 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets $24.99 at these Liberty Locations:
Point Grey, Park Royal, Granville Island and Commercial Drive

Limited tickets available!

2009 Bordeaux Release Now Available at Liberty Wine Merchants

Merlot grapes (complements Wikipedia)

This announcement by Liberty Wine Merchants in Vancouver just came through my email.  If you are a Bordeaux fan, you may want to pick up some of the 2009 vintage.  From a quick look I notice that all are primarily Merlot with lesser amounts of the other Bordeaux varieties.

~~~

2009 Bordeaux In Stock

Bordeaux 2009 is a brilliant vintage in which Chateaux have crafted truly exceptional wines!

Chateau la Pierrere
2009 Cotes du Bordeaux
60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc
Pleasing aromas of blackcurrant and raspberry. Very ripe fruit on the palate backed by silky, mellow tannins. A superb expression of balance, harmony and smoothness.
$19.99

Chateau Feret-Lambert
2009 Bordeaux Superieur
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes of black raspberries, liquorice, graphite, and cassis, wonderful intensity, purity, richness, and overall balance, and a stunning finish.
$24.99

Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron
2009 Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec
An elegant wine, smooth and rounded. Fruit-forward with plum, cherry and black fruits, complimented by toast, vanilla and tobacco.
$29.99

Chateau Clos Mansio
2009 Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
75% Merlot, 25% Malbec
Floral notes combine with black fruit, vanilla, white pepper and a touch of licorice. Strong, yet smooth highlighted by ripe blackberry.
$29.99

Chateau Rousselle
2009 Cotes du Bourg
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec
A spicy, peppery nose of plum, blackberry confit and minerals.  The palate is fresh and well defined with mouth-filling cassis and chocolate with liquorice, mocha and vanilla spice.
$29.99

Chateau Feret-Lambert
2009 Bordeaux Superieur
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes of black raspberries, liquorice, graphite, and cassis, wonderful intensity, purity, richness, and overall balance, and a stunning finish.
$39.99

Coming In July!

Chateau la Goutere
2009 Bordeaux
77% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc
Enticing aromas of ripe berries, backed by a hint of vanilla. Lovely notes of earth and fresh herbs enhance the fruit-forward palate, and merge with round, soft tannins on the finish.
$17.99

Château Le Breuil Renaissance
2009 Médoc
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
This great value red delivers heaps of black cherry, currant and plum flavors, with tobacco, chocolate and toast. The firm tannins are well-integrated, and the finish is smoky and fresh.
$27.99

Chateau Segonzac
2009 Bordeaux
70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep colour and pure aromas of blackcurrant and raspberry, overlain with vanilla and spice notes from the oak maturation. A soft-textured wine, with sufficient tannins.
$31.99

Stock varies by location. Please consult your Liberty store to ensure availability.

The Magnum Party at Taste of Tulalip – Totally Awesome

I waited on pins and needles for the Magnum Party at the Taste of Tulalip. The line up of wines was outstanding. In case you didn’t see my earlier blog article, here is the lineup.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2003 – Magnum
  • Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet 3 liter
  • Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2003 & 2008
  • ZD Abacus XII
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2005
  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Magnum
  • Betz Family La Serenne Syrah,
  • Pere de Famille Cabernet – Magnum
  • Molly Dooker ‘Velvet Glove’ Shiraz
  • Gaja Barbaresco ‘Sori Tilden’
  • Louis Roederer Cristal- Magnum
  • Levy & Mcclellan Cabernet

The event was held in the mPulse Lounge.  Sheik furniture, amazing wines, and food to enjoy the wines with.  What else could you ask for?  I didn’t take any detailed notes; it was just not possible.  It was a time to just live in the moment and experience these wines.  So enjoy the following few pictures and the tidbits of notes by me.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2005

Chateau Mouton Rothschild is an iconic wine maker from Bordeaux.  And 2005 was a great year for wine in Bordeaux (and Burgundy BTW).

Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2008

If you are a Burgundy lover, here is one for you, Batard Montrachet Grand Cru.

Penfolds Grange 2003 Magnum

Penfolds Grange 2003; One of my favourite wines at the Magnum Party.  An iconic Shiraz from Australia.  Velvety smooth and full bodied. Did you notice it is in a numbered bottle?

Shafer Hillside Select 2007 Magnum

Shafer Hillside Select is a big Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the 25th vintage from the Stags Leap District. “… one of the New World’s most profound Cabernet Sauvignons …” – Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

Molly Dooker Velvet Glove Shiraz

The Molly Dooker “Velvet Glove” Shiraz was also exceptional.  Great ripe fruit flavours.  This is the wine you may have heard about having a palette accident in Australia, destroying many of the bottles that were on route around the world.

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Magnum

The Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is from Washington State.  This was another big Cab.  Napa doesn’t have big Cabs cornered in the USA.  Give this wine a try.  It’s very high quality.

Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

If you like Pinot Noir, the Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009, is full bodied, silky with black cherry and spice.

I hope you enjoyed these wines vicariously and hope you have a chance to try them in person some day as I did. Enjoy!

My Latest IVSA Wine Highlights and Recommendations

Today was the first Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) Product Salon since before summer. I was looking forward to see what range of new wines have come in over the summer, and I can tell you about, so you can enjoy some great wines with the fall and winter coming upon us. As usual there was too many wines to try in too little time, so hopefully I found a few gems to pass along to you.

Overall Gems

Dante Robino Bonarda 2009

These two wines have a great price point, and taste great too.  One is from Italy and the other from Argentina.

  • Bodega Dante Robino Bonarda, 2009, Argentina ($17.99). Bonarda is an Italian grape. It was brought to Argentina where it flourishes,but it is not so well known to the North American palate.  This wine was very deep ruby in the glass.  Wow, a very interesting nose with cloves up front and black fruit supporting from behind. Medium plus in body with a round mouthfeel.  Cloves, vanilla and black fruit with a spicy finish.  Long length. This wine has the backbone and fruit to stand up to a heavy meal.
  • Tenuta Maggiore Amphorae, 2009, Italy ($14.95). This Italian red is made from Croatina, Barbera and Shiraz grapes. Lighter ruby red in the glass. Some violets, blackberries on the nose.  Light mouthfeel, bright flavours of cherries and violets.  Quite dry.  A really different, and really nice wine!

A Tale of Two Chenins

The Winery of Good Hope and Domaine de Vaugondy Chenin Blancs

Have you heard of Vouvray, or the Loire Valley in France?  This is classic Chenin Blanc. Have you heard of Steen?  That’s the name of Chenin Blanc from South Africa.  I enjoyed a comparison of these 2 Chenins, which are both sub $20.

  • The Winery of Good Hope, Chenin Blanc, 2010, South Africa ($13.99). Fairly deep lemon coloured. Light lemony nose.  High acid right up front.  Citrus and pairs on the palate with a vanilla finish and long length.  Medium body.  Something a bit different from a chardonnay if you like a little more acidity.
  • Domaine de Vaugondy, Vouvray, 2010, France ($19.99). Pale lemon with a green tinge. A nice flowery, stone fruit nose. Really high acidity with green flavours. Really needs to be sipped along with food, or let this one age a few years and then try again.  Chenin Blancs can stand aging and get better with time.

A Few Nice French Reds

These next 3 wines range across from the West, South, and East parts of France.  All different grapes with one sure to please you.

  • Henry Fessy “St. Amour”, 2009, France ($24.99). This is a Beaujolais from the eastern part of France (south of Burgundy), made from the Gamay grape.  Pale ruby in colour.  Cherry bon bon nose. Light body and lower tannins.  Cherry flavour. Lighter in body than a Bordeaux, similar in weight to a lighter Pinot Noir. Chilled a bit and served with a cornish hen, a light curry, or some Camembert cheese.
  • Chateau Belles-Graves, 2004, Bordeaux, France ($46.58). If you want to splurge on a red wine, this one would fit the bill. Very elegant, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, coming from the right bank, in the Lalande-de-Pomerol AOC. Pale garnet in colour. Nice aromas of flowers and cherries. Light body with cherry and apple flavours up front, violets showing up mid-palate, and a bit of spice on the finish. Medium tannins with a soft finish.
  • Domaine de Fontsainte, Corbieres Rouge, 2007, France ($22.31). This is a blended wine from southern France.  Corbieres being straight east of Carcassone. The blend of grapes are Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah. Medium garnet in the glass. Stony, smoky, strawberries on the nose. Medium body, dry with cherries, raspberries and some smokiness/flintiness mid-palate. Medium acidity with softer tanning.  Long length some some black pepper on the finish.  A very well-structured wine.

Anything But Chardonnay

Neudorf Pinot Gris 2010

I know that some people really do not like Chardonnay. So if you belong in this club, OR if you want to try some exciting white wines, try these out.

Domaine Gayda Three Winds Viognier, 2010, France ($13.99). Viognier is an aromatic grape coming out of the Rhone Valley. This wine had nice flowers and peach aromas in the glass.  Spicy cinnamon and peach flavours.  Round with medium acidity. Very enjoyable with a herbal finish.

Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris, 2010, New Zealand ($29.99). Pale lemon in colour.  Stone fruit along with a nutty/oaky nose. Light bodied, off dry with medium acidity.  Citrus and a bit of spiciness and honey flavours. Elegant.

Canepa Novisimo Sauvignon Blanc, 2o10, Chile ($11.99). This is an unreal price. The Canepa winery was named the Chilean Producer of the Year at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2010. New to the Vancouver market. This wine has a nice nose of kiwi fruit, citrus, and a hint of oranges. Medium acidity with herbal and asparagus flavours. Light body. Make it your fun to drink, house white wine.

Juicy Red Wines

To finish off this blog article, here are 2 full fruited red wines.

Lange Twins Winery, Zinfandel, 2009, California ($23.99). The zinfandel grapes for this wine come from certified sustainable Lodi Rules, in Lodi, California. Light ruby in colour.  Ripe raspberry aromas. Lots of vanilla, raspberries and cassis on the palate. Medium body, round mouthfeel, with medium acidity makes this jammy zin easy and ready to drink now.

Santa Julia Magna, 2009, Argentina ($15.99). This wine is made by the Zuccardi family.  I’ve spoken about their “Q” series many times.  Their Santa Julia Magna is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Malbec, and 10% Syrah. Almost opaque budy in colour. Really ripe black fruit, plums, cherries and vanilla aromas. Smooth, full body with cherries and vanilla. Drink now.

Try out one or more of these wines, and comment on this post.  Let me know what you think.  And I’ll keep you posted on the next IVSA. Enjoy!

Enjoy the Ultra-Premium Wines from Long Shadows Vintners

Have you heard of Long Shadows Vintners? It might not be a well-known name here in Vancouver, but this Washington State winery has made it’s name in it’s home state and I hope expand it across the States and Canada. For most wineries, you have a single wine maker to guide the wine making process. Long Shadows is different. For each wine, it has it’s own wine maker. And beyond that, a super-star wine maker from somewhere around the world.

Washington State has some wonderful grape producing regions.  The grapes for the Long Shadows wines comes from the Columbia Valley.  Within the Columbia Valley you have individual vineyards, with their unique terroir. The winery is located in Walla Walla, which is located in the southeast corner of Washington state.

How did Long Shadows decide to work with international wine makers for their wines? That vision comes from the founder, Allen Shoup.  Allen was the CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.  With his time there, he brought over Piero Antinori to produce the Tuscan-inspired wine, Col Solare.  He then brought over Dr. Ernst Loosen to produce their Eroica riesling. So when he started Long Shadows, Allen again contacted well-regarded wine makers from around the world to produce his wines.

The Wines I Tasted

Long Shadows Poet's Leap Riesling

Poet’s Leap Riesling 2010. This wine was crafted by Armin Diel, one of Germany highly acclaimed riesling producer.  The Diel family owns and operates Schlossgut Diel estate in Germany. The grapes for this wine were hand harvested and sorted, whole cluster pressed and fermented at cool temperature in stainless steel tanks. The wine was pale lemon coloured in the glass.  Nice nose.  Very fragrant with flowers, citrus, orange and honeysuckle. Medium body, round, off-dry.  Flowers and citrus flavours with sweet spices showing up mid-palate. Long length.  I loved this wine.

Pirouette 2005. This is a Bordeaux style red blend, primarily made with Cabernet Sauvignon with lesser amounts of Petit Verdot and Merlot. This wine is made by wine makers Philippe Melka and Augustin Huneeus, Sr. Philippe Melka originall from Bordeaux has worked around the world at J. P. Moueix in France, Chittering Estate in Western Australia, Badia a Coltibuono in Italy, and Dominus in California. Augustin Huneeus, Sr. is a native Chilean who has worked at Veramonte (Primus) and Concha y Toro of Chile, and Franciscan Oakville Estate, Mount Veeder, Estancia and Quintessa in California. This wine was light garnet in colour. Vanilla, cedar and ripe cherry aromas.  Medium plus body. Very smooth with medium tannins and acidity.  Cedar, cherries and other black fruit flavours. Long length.

Chester-Kidder 2oo4. This wine is listed as a New World blend, as it has grapes from different Old World wine regions.  In this case you have Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot (which are Bordeaux grapes), Syrah (which is a Rhone Valley grape), and Cabernet Franc (which is in both Bordeaux and in the Loire Valley). This wine was produced by Gilles Nicault and Allen Shoup.  Gilles Nicault graduated from the University of Avignon in southern France and worked at wineries across Cote Du Rhone, Provence and Champagne. He then moved to the United States to Woodward Canyon and the Hogue Winery (If you haven’t tried Woodward Canyon, you should.  Wonderful wines.).This wine is aged for 30 months in French oak, and a small amount of Hungarian oak. The Cabernet grapes coming from the Red Mountain and Candy Mountain regions of Columbia Valley, and Syrah from their estate Benches Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills. Translucent garnet in the glass.  Restrained nose with light vanilla and sausage aromas.  Very flavorful with ripe berries and vanilla.  Smooth with medium tannins and acidity.  A bit of pepper mid to late palate.  Long length.

Saggi 2007. A Super-Tuscan inspired blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah produced by father and son wine makers, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari. Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari operate Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute, producing primarily Tuscan “grand crus,” in Tuscany. Prior to launching A. & G. Folonari Tenute, Ambrogio was the president of Ruffino, which was originally purchased in 1912 by Ambrogio’s grandfather. Saggi was aged in new and used small French oak barrels for an average of 18 months. The Sangiovese grapes comes from vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills, the Benches and Alder Ridge.  The Syrah from the Boushey Vineyard. This wine was medium ruby coloured with a light cherry nose. Full body with round mouthfeel.  Heavy weight in your mouth. Medium minus tannins with vanilla, red cherries, oak and peppery flavours.

Feather 2006. Feather is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, with grapes from several vineyards across the Columbia Valley AVA.  The wine is crafted by Napa Valley vintner Randy Dunn, who is well known for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The grapes are hand harvested, fermented in small lots for an average of 22 months in new French oak barrels. The wine was light garnet in colour.  A whiff of capsicum on the nose, along with vanilla and light cherry aromas.  Dry with firm tannins. Flavours of ripe red fruit, cherry, vanilla with some pepperiness and tarriness. A very nice wine.

Sequel Syrah 2006. This wine is created by John Duval, former wine maker of Australia’s Penfold’s Grange wine, which is a Syrah-based wine.  So Sequel is aptly named as the follow up for John in Washington State.  The grapes for this wine come from The Benches, Alder Ridge (for dark fruit falvour), Red Mountain (for structure) and Boushey Vineyard (for elegance) according to John. Deep garnet in the glass. Gamey, smokey sausage with vanilla and cherry aromas. Medium body, round mouthfeel with medium acidity.  Ripe cherries, oak, almonds, and vanilla flavours with a long dry finish.

Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot

Pedestal Merlot 2006. This wine is crafted by one of the world’s most famous wine makers, Mr. Michel Rolland, an enologist from Pomerol in Bordeaux, France. Hand harvested grapes were then whole-berry fermented to provide softer tannins and to preserve the grapes’ aromatics.  The wines then spent an average of 22 months of aging in French oak barrels. This wine was medium garnet in colour.  Light nose with red fruit, plums and vanilla.  Very flavourful.  Medium body with cherries and vanilla, and soft tannins with kick in the mid to end palate. Long finish.  Another of my favorite wines of this tasting.

There were also three collaborative wines, named Nine Hats. These wines come from individual wines produced by the wine makers, that are then blended to form the Nine Hats series of wines.

Nine Hats Sangiovese 2008. Light garnet in colour.  Light red fruit and oak aromas.  Light body. Dry with low tannins.  Clove, red cherry and vanilla flavours.  An elegant wine.

Nine Hats Bordeaux Blend 2008.  Deep ruby in colour with a light red fruit nose.  Dry, with firm tannins.  Vanilla, red apples, plums, bon bon and vanilla (mid palate). Long length. Another one of my favourite wines.

Nine Hats Syrah 2008. Medium purple in the glass. Red fruit and sausage aromas.  Medium body, smooth with good acidity. Vanilla, red cherries, spice and a bit of sausage flavours. Long length.

The Sequel, Chester Kidder, Pedestal, Pirouette and Feather wines will have new, lower pricing here in Vancouver starting approximately August 1.  Check out for Long Shadows wines at private wine shops, or email adoyle@markanthony.com to find out which shops near you have their wines.

If you would like to learn more about Long Shadows Vintners, I provided this link.

My Best French Meal, Sans Rival!

Le Petit Acacia Restaurant

I thought that my Loire Valley meals were the best that I have ever had in France, but I was wrong. My last day here in Paris, I went for dinner to Le Petit Acacia on 58, rue de Acacias. The owners are from Aveyron, in Southern France, which I have read has very good food. So lucky for me!

What did I order? Coq au vin d’Auvergne. Coq au vin of course originally from Burgundy, but the chef put a Auvergne style to it. The Coq au vin arrived in an enameled serving dish straight from the oven. Chicken so tender, dark coloured from the red wine it was slowly cooked in.  Potatoes, onions and I believe some chopped mushrooms as well.  The chicken was extremely tender and full of flavour.  It went well with the chewy baguette that I dipped in the sauce.  And also paired nicely with my glass of Bordeaux red wine that I had ordered with it.  I cannot say which Chateau this wine was from as the wine was poured to my glass and the bottle taken away.

Coq au vin served with a glass of Bordeaux wine

The wine was from the 2006 vintage.  Deep garnet coloured. Low tannins and full of red cherry fruit flavour.   Although it appeared to be a small dish when it arrived, it took all I could muster to finish it off.  No dessert tonight.

This dish has inspired me to make coq au vin when the weather starts to chill this fall.  If you are planning a trip to Paris, plan to visit Le Petit Acacia.  Here is the website link to Le Petit Acacia. Enjoy.

My Favorites From the South World Wine Society’s Five Nations Cup 2011

Wednesday, Jan 19 was the South World Wine Society’s 6th Annual Five Nations Cup.  This is a blind wine tasting and humbles everyone in attendance. Five white wines and five red wines were presented to us.

We first went through the white wines, and were told that there were a Chenin Blanc, a Pinot Gris, a Chardonnay, and 2 Sauvignon Blanc.  One of the sauvignon blanc would be young (a recent vintage), while the other sauvignon blanc would be aged (2003 in this case).  The wines would be from Australia, Chile, New Zealand, or South Africa.  We were missing a white wine from Argentina for this half of the tasting.  Our host for the evening, Mr. Paul Watkin, is past SWWS cellar master and is a manager at Icon Fine Wine and Spirits in Vancouver.   Paul let us all know some of the characteristic aromas and flavours of each of these white grapes, as well as some hints as to style of white wines produced by each of these countries.  After sipping and debating each other at our table, we all stood up and slowly each started to sit down as each wine was revealed but did not match our guess.

The first wine was the Mount Riley Pinot Gris (2008 I think) from New Zealand.  I marked this wine as pale lemon colour. Herbal, lemon a bit of lime and some lychee on the nose.  Medium body, medium acidity, grapefruit and spice flavours with a long finish.  I guessed correctly.

The second wine was the Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc (2008) from Chile. Pale but bright lemon colour in the glass. Vanilla, waxy, lemon, grassy, and gooseberry aromas. Medium body.  Citrus, slightly vegetal and slightly spicy with medium acidity.  Another correct guess!

The third wine was the Montes Alpha Chardonnay (2006) from Chile.  This one was the easiest to guess.  The fullest body, most deep lemony coloured, lots of vanilla and apple aromas and flavours.  Nice spice too.  It went really well with a smoked scalloped that was served with the wines.  3 for 3 so far.

The fourth wine was the Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc (2003) from Australia. The aged sauvignon blanc!  This wine was medium minus golden colour. Big legs on the sides of the glass.  Honeysuckle, honey, and apricot aromas. Medium minus body, smooth, lower in acidity with a dry finish.  I guessed this one was the Chenin Blanc.

The last white wine was the Graham Beck Gameskeeper Reserve Chenin Blanc (2008) from South Africa . Light lemon colour.  Smokey, apple, spice, oak, vanilla, and some earthiness on the nose. Bright fruit flavours, but also some smokiness, apple and oak.  Medium length. I originally thought this one could be the aged sauvignon blanc with some oak aging (e.g. a Fume Blanc).

So from the white wine review, I ended up in 2nd place.  Not bad considering how difficult the whites were to identify.  Hopefully the red wines would be easier.

No such luck.  Paul was going to give us 5 different Bordeaux blends.  That is much more difficult than trying to guess if a wine is a Malbec or a Merlot.  The first red was the Man O’ War Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec blend (2008) from New Zealand. I had marked it as medium red with a purple tint (from the Malbec). Cassis, red cherry, leather, mint and tomato aromas. Juicy red fruit flavour, with vanilla, spice, high acidity and medium tannins.  I guessed correctly.  I thought the high acidity would be from a cooler climate, and New Zealand would be the coolest of the 5 countries.

The second red was the Miguel Torres Cordillera (2001) from Chile. A deep core of garnet in the glass.  Some capsicum aroma, along with vanilla, dark plum and milk chocolate.  On the palate it was full bodied.  Vanilla, purple fruit and savory flavours. Medium acidity and tannins. Another correct guess.  The capsicum was my hint that it was Chilean.

The third red was the Glen Carlou Grand Classique (2005) from South Africa.  Deep garnet in colour.  Iodine and earthy aromas. Mineral, leather and firm tannins.  Quite different from all the other reds.  I guessed that one correctly too.

The fourth red wine was the Luigi Bosca Gala 2 (2005) from Argentina.  I had guessed New Zealand, then changed my mind to Australia, but in the end I found out it was Argentina.  Really hard to guess the origin of this wine.  It was medium garnet coloured.  Sweet vanilla, chocolate and dark fruit aromas.  Not overly aromatic. Medium body and medium tannins with grippy black fruit flavour.

The fifth red wine was the d’Arenberg Galvo Garage (2005) from Australia. Very dark garnet in colour.  Some capsicum, dry not overly fruity nose with some earthiness.  Vanilla, capsicum and very fruity flavours.  Firm tannins.  I guessed this one was the wine from Argentina.

I ended up in 2nd place for the red wines.  I don’t feel too bad getting 2nd place for both the red and white wines.

How did I rate these wines?

White wines in my rank of preference:

  1. Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc (2003) Australia
  2. Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc (2008) Chile
  3. Mt. Riley Pinot Gris (2008) New Zealand
  4. Montes Alpha Chardonnay (2006) Chile
  5. Graham Beck Gameskeeper Reserve Chenin Blanc (2008) South Africa

Red wines in my rank of preference:

  1. Miguel Torres Cordillera (2001) Chile
  2. Man O’ War Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec blend (2008) New Zealand
  3. Luigi Bosca Gala 2 (2005) Argentina
  4. d’Arenberg Galvo Garage (2005) Australia
  5. Glen Carlou Grand Classique (2005) South Africa

One thing that you may notice is that my first choice in both the red and white wines were the OLDEST wines.  Don’t think that you have to drink a wine as soon as you buy it.  Especially true for red wines, and some white wines.  Many of these wines will be available only in private wine shops.  Hope you can get a chance to try some of them. Enjoy!

Where is Rioja and What Wines Can I Taste?

SPAIN WINE MAP FROM http://picsicio.eu/keyword/spanish%20wine%20region/Rioja is a Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.C. Qualified designation of origin) wine region named after La Rioja, in Spain.  The Rioja DOC is inland in the northern part of Spain and has a very warm continental climate.  The area is sometimes known as the Bordeaux of Spain. Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado).  The most common red grape variety for Rioja is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo.  You can get a single varietal Tempranillo wine, or blends with Tempranillo.  Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word, “temprano”, which means early.  This is an early ripening grape and works well in cooler climates. (thanks to Wikipaedia for this background info.)

Tempranillo has flavours and aromas of plum and strawberries to tobacco, cedar, vanilla, leather and herbs.  It also can have a bit of a rustic edge to it.  It produces a medium bodied wine with medium tannins, and pairs well with stews and grilled meat.

Garnacha, in France it is known as Grenache, is another popular red grape.  It has fruity flavours, predominantly strawberry, coupled with a fiery spiciness. Sometimes you get a butterscotch flavour from garnacha.

On the white wine side, Viura is the prominent grape (aka Macabeo) and is normally blended with some Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca.

It has been common for some bodegas to age their red wines for more years than other countries (e.g. 15-20) years or even more before their release.  There are different levels of aging/quality for Rioja wines:

  • Rioja, is the youngest, spending less than a year in an oak aging barrel.
  • Crianza is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak.
  • Rioja Reserva is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak.
  • Rioja Gran Reserva wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle.

Reserva and Gran Reserva wines are not necessarily produced each year.

Doing a quick check at the www.everythingwine.ca website, I located the following Rioja wines:

  • J.G. Carrion Rioja Tempranillo 750 mL
  • Remirez de Ganuza Rioja Reserva 2001 750 mL
  • Palacios Remondo La Vendimia Rioja 750 mL
  • Faustino V Reserva Rioja 750ml
  • Vina Tondonia Rioja Reserva 750 mL
  • Marques de Vitoria Ecco organic Rioja 750ml
  • Muga Rioja Reserva Tempranillo 750 mL
  • Montebuena Rioja Tempranillo 750 mL
  • Muga Torre Rioja 2004 750ml
  • Roda Rioja Red Blend 750 mL
  • Marques de Caceres Rose Rioja (maybe the most popular winery)
  • Ostatu Crianza Rioja Tempranillo 750 mL
  • Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva Rioja 750 mL
  • Ramon Bilbao Crianza Cruz de Alba Tempranillo 750ml
  • Artadi Pagos Viejos Tempranillo 750 mL

and many more.  There were 29 in total.  The above wines range in price from $13 to $113 (the first wine in the list is the least expensive and the last in the list is the most expensive. Increasing price as you go down the list).

I really enjoy Spanish wines and I can find them at quite good price points.  Try a tempranillo if you have not enjoyed wine from this grape before.  Also, Muga makes an excellent Rose if you can find it.

There are other wine regions to discover in Spain.  In future blog articles I will be covering Jerez (sherry region), Ribera del Duero and other areas in Spain.  Salud!