Like many of you, I’ll be attending the Vancouver International Wine Festival this week, and although the smaller, more specialized seminars are heaps of fun, the main draw for me has always been the Festival Tasting on the Convention Centre floor, where so many of the world’s wineries converge to pour their particular brands of awesome sauce. To extract the most enjoyment out of any festival-style tasting, for yourself and others, it’s always helpful to remember these fun, simple tips:
DO Check out the Feature Country. You’re here to explore and discover new wines, so don’t make a beeline to the stuff you already know. This year’s feature is California, and although many of the wineries coming have good exposure in BC already, they’re likely bringing juice that you can’t get here, so be sure to check them out. Already made up your mind about California? I bet there are one or two wines on the floor that may change that (hint: it rhymes with Shmenache).
DON’T Wear Fragrances. We can all smell amazing, but everyone came to sniff good wine, not perfume/cologne/aftershave. Nothing roils a wine geek more than finding that the Petit Sirah they’ve waited for weeks to try shows notes of Axe Body Spray.
DO Spit. The spittoons are there to help. There are hundreds of wines being poured and you aren't magic. Remember that they can’t legally serve you if you’ve rendered yourself liquid, so staggering up to a booth saying “gimme moas shpensive one” won’t produce the desired result, and getting kicked out of Wine Fest isn’t classier than getting ejected from The Roxy. Or so I'm told.
DON’T Sport Spit. We’ve all seen those dudes who can hit the spittoon from 20 paces away, like a llama. Please don’t try to do that. If you fail, it’s a disaster. If you succeed, it’s still really weird. Get a new superpower.
DON’T be a Booth Hog. There are probably lots of folks behind you, so when you finally get up to your desired booth, it’s not the best time to start telling the winemaker about the time you went to this winery and it was great but there was this dog there and you like dogs but you saw almost the exact same dog earlier in the city with a white patch on the left eye instead of the right eye but come to think of it that could be because of the mirror. Get your glass filled and then step to the side to let others get theirs, and watch your karma grow and blossom into a karma flower.
DO Have a safe ride home. No jokes here, get home safe, it is literally the most important thing you’ll do during Wine Fest. Both Skytrain lines end a 5 minute walk from the Convention Centre and this weekend should be nice and clear. Find someone on the train who also has purple teeth and compare notes.
Here are some of the booths I'm stoked to visit: Altesino (IT), Carpineto (IT), Marchesi di Barolo (IT), Herdade das Servas (POR), Bodega Garzon (UR), Elk Cove (OR), Aquilini Red Mountain (WA), Coronica (Croatia), Voyager Estate (AUS), Grgich Hills (CA), Ridge Vineyards (CA), Hall/Walt (CA), Jackson Family (CA), Antinori (IT) - and many more!! If anyone makes an amazing discovery please let me know!!
With Santa’s Dandruff still sprinkled all across this chilly land, it’s time to discuss the new bonkers vintage of the wine world’s best internal Firestarter: Port. When sipped slowly, great Port warms the heart and curls smiles further upwards. When consumed with abandon, Port’s proven magical powers include:
1) Not caring if it’s cold out
2) Not caring that you don’t have a jacket on
3) Ability to create better words
Now, these newly-released Ports from the instantly-classic 2016 vintage certainly aren’t for chugging, in fact they’re not really ready for sipping yet. These are the seeds of future awesomes, brilliantly dense fortified wines to anchor your cellar (or fridge); 2016 is the best declared Port vintage since 2011, and perhaps since 1994, but only time will tell. To the juice:
2016 VINTAGE PORTS:
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2016. The flagship of the Guimaraens fleet. If David’s wines were the Justice League, Taylor Fladgate would undoubtedly be Superman. Boasting a body that could repel bullets, the muscle and power contained underneath the black-fruited licorice defies science, although it’ll be about a decade before we on earth can understand its language. Plus it can see through walls and it knows if you're lying. 100 points James Suckling, 98 points Wine Spectator, #23 Top 100 of 2018 (Wine Spectator), 98 points Wine Enthusiast. 6 full-size bottles available at $145.99 +tax, 12 half-size (375ml) bottles available at $77.99 +tax
Dow’s Vintage Port 2016. Always the picture of elegance, this is Dow’s first declared vintage since winning Wine Of The Year (Wine Spectator) for their 2011 Vintage Port. Soft floral notes surround the expected dark fruits, and the slight minerality peeks out just before the welcome acidic lift on the finish. That brightness ties a bow on everything and holds the key to Dow’s longevity, the house style is a shade drier than most. 98 points Wine Spectator, 98 points Decanter, 5 bottles available, $120.99 +tax
Warre’s Vintage Port 2016. Every player has their card to play, and for Warre’s, the oldest British Port house, that card is Touriga Franca, the indigenous Portuguese grape variety that takes centre stage in this rustic field blend. Violets, chocolate and bramble lead to endless silken layers in the mouth and a juicy finish of anise and roses. 98 points Wine Spectator, #14 Top 100 of 2018 (Wine Spectator), 98 points Decanter, 5 bottles available, $108.99 +tax
Taylor Fladgate Single Harvest Tawny 1968. In arcane Portuguese terms, this is a Colheita (Col-hee-YIGH-tah), meaning that it’s a Tawny Port (different from the ruby Vintage Ports) from a single vintage, which is rare, as most Tawny Ports consist of many vintages blended together to an average age (10, 20, 30 etc.). This 1968 drinks like a sext, with caramel figs amongst the almonds and butterscotch. Give it a chill in the fridge for a half hour for maximum yesness. 98 points Wine Spectator, 3 bottles (each in its own wooden box) available, $279.99 +tax
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1994. This pillar of modern architecture has been described on these pages before, but I thought some of you may want an example of what the 2016 will be like in its window of glory. Still youthful, still racy, the tannins are well integrated and the fruit is finally starting to come into focus. Tastes like genius. 100 points Wine Spectator, 6 bottles available, $359.99 +tax
Stay safe, stay warm, and Happy Drinking!!
I rarely make resolutions, but this year I have decided to get weirder. Not personally (not possible), but in the selections of wines that I present to you. Although I’ve always strived to find classic wines with great ratings, I must admit to being a tad restless – there is a wide, electric-kaleidoscope of wines out there that I haven’t been featuring, simply because the region or producer is too small or too strange to submit for reviews or points.
Don’t worry, I haven’t moved into a yurt and renamed myself Treasure. These wines aren’t themselves bizarre, they’re just undiscovered and unusual. I’ll still scour the province to bring you the newest exciting, must-have wines and great points-to-price ratios, but from time to time I hope you’ll allow me to show you snapshots of the Awesome World of Wine that exists far from the main roads, somewhat unsung but no less essential and no less beautiful. To the juice:
Domaine du Cellier “Cuvée Clemence” Rousette de Savoie 2016, Savoie, France.
A pretty postcard from the French Alps. You’ve probably never tasted the white grape Roussette (also known as Altesse) but then you’ve likely never encountered a wine from Savoie (often Anglicized to Savoy) either, so here’s a great regional primer: https://winefolly.com/review/savoie-wine-guide/
. This Cuvée Clemence is a rich, oily masterpiece of quince, lavender and flowers, medium weight and dry with a touch of honey on the long finish. Acts like a Northern Rhone White (Marsanne/Roussanne) but with more aromatics. Gets nuttier and toastier with 5 years of down time but is super-yowzers now – I’m not waiting. Exclusive to EW River District. 3 6-packs available, $42.98 +tax
Suvla “Sir” 2011, Gallipoli, Turkey.
The only thing unusual about this Syrah-based blend is where it comes from: if I didn’t tell you it was from Turkey, you’d be jumping up and down with glee for finding such a great-value French wine. Two thirds Syrah with Grenache, Merlot and Cab Franc, Sir is from family-owned vineyards on the Gallipoli peninsula, the European side of Turkey, and it drinks like a southern Rhône blend from a hot year. There are many unpronounceable rustic grapes in Turkey that make wines of varying weirdness, but Sir is not one of those
. Oodles of dark berries and licorice weigh down the tongue before the spicy finish caps off with elegant acidity and astringency. Try it for yourself this Saturday at 3pm in the River District Vintage Room
, I think you’ll agree: this is the nicest Rhône wine that isn’t. 3 6-packs available, $40.98 +tax
Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon 1994, Anjou, France.
Founded in 1787 overlooking the middle section of the Loire River, the 8 generations of winemakers at Moulin Touchais have all followed a curious business model: they only make the dessert wine they’re most famous for in the years where the intermittent fog brings botrytis (Noble Rot, same process as Sauternes) to their Chenin Blanc vineyards – and that happens almost never
. Since every late harvest is wildly different (especially when you let the indigenous yeast just do its thing), every sparse vintage of their Coteaux du Layon is varied in sweetness, and this 1994 is on the drier side
– think more like an oily, ripe Auslese than an Icewine – with wildly vibrant acidity. Heather and honeysuckle drive the floral nose, clean, juicy and fresh on palate, finishes with sweet lemon curd and a touch of brioche. Gorgeous. 2 6-packs available, $50.98 +tax
Chateau d’Epire Savennieres 2016, Anjou, France.
Just across the river from Coteaux du Layon is Savennieres, home to some of the richest, most concentrated dry Chenin Blanc this side of South Africa. The schist-grown Chenin (known as Pineau de Loire, locally) is lees-aged in neutral wood, and the extra junk in the trunk, alongside Chenin’s natural acidity, is a recipe for a long cellar journey – although the absence of tannins makes it quite crushable, presently. Drinking is winning and holding is winning, here, and the Bizard family has spent 6 generations getting the syncopated, drawn-out harvest just right so that you have enough acidity and enough glycerine to do both. That bumping sound you hear is your patio asking you to get some of this for summer. 3 6-packs available, $58.98 +tax
Fasoli Gino “Sande” Pinot Nero Veronese 2008, Veneto, Italy.
Telling you that this is the best 10-year-old Amarone made from Pinot Noir you’ll ever drink is a) absolutely true and b) not helpful, because no one else does anything close to this. The Pinot, grown north of Verona, is harvested early, around the end of August to preserve essential acidity, then laid to dry on straw mats (like Amarone) before crush, followed by a 4-year residency in French oak. Sande is to Pinot as Hulk is to Dr. Banner, but perhaps not in the way you might think. Unlike Amarone, Sande is not opaque (Pinot isn’t that
pigmented, even when in near-raisin form) and the wine isn’t sweet at all, the aromatics and mid-palate, however, burn with the rage of a dying star. Intense and focused, more elegant than hulks usually are, and also a bit of a cult item back home. 12 bottles available, $85.98 +tax
Until next time, Happy Drinking!!
I hope that your 2019 is off to a fantastic start so far! My condolences to all those who practice Dry-nuary, in the spirit of solidarity I’ve been doing my own dry month: whilst on my way to drink amazing wines I use umbrellas and parkas and I don’t roll down my car windows during a rainfall. Dry as dust. Nailed it.
Over the last few weeks, a number of wines that were supposed to arrive in November finally showed up in the store, I’ll be thematically grouping them and informing you over the next while, let’s call it Christmas in January/February/...March? Not sure how long it’ll take but there are tons of yums to bear witness to, and we begin with some long-awaited 2015 stunners from Washington State. To the juice:
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Columbia Valley. One vintage removed from the internet-breaking 2014, we find our hero in fighting form, drawing fruit from Champoux, Wallula and Palengat vineyards (Quilceda has never really been terroir-driven, it’s more of an elite cull, like Grange). Inarguably Washington’s most famous wine, matching the Columbia Valley’s rigid frame with inexplicable Mediterranean notes and blush-inducing decadence. Wines this tall and thick from Napa cost twice as much. 99 points Jeb Dunnuck*, 96 points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $337.49 +tax
Avennia Sestina 2015, Columbia Valley. An instant classic. This wine took 3 months to get here after it landed and based on the number of times I was asked for it in December, it won’t last long. Chris Peterson, former winemaker at hallowed De Lille, has ignited spontaneous mania over his potentially timeless Syrahs and Cab Blends. This Margaux-ish Sestina is 70% Cab, with Merlot and Franc as wingmen, showing graphite and chocolate over jet-black fruit. Brooding and inscrutable currently, will hit the sweet spot in about 3 years. Stone and floral notes around the fringe. Avennia is one to watch – it’s pretty much sold out everywhere in the US and available for the first time in BC – if the buzz sustains it could be the new Cayuse, stay tuned. (95-97) points Jeb Dunnuck, 96 points Robert Parker, 12 bottles available, $104.49 +tax
K Vintners “The Beautiful” Syrah 2015, Walla Walla Valley. Charles Smith isn’t fooling anyone by hiding behind the name “K Vintners”, one look at the bottle and one whiff of the wine and we know who the father is. Concentration is his currency, and he spends it large on this meaty Syrah (with 3% Viognier, presumably as a chaperone) from the Powerline vineyard in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. A savoury, contrarian nose of sausage and olives, the blackberry core doesn’t really reveal itself until the palate, but then it doesn’t go away, ever. Drinkable but rather hair-blowing right now, the future is brighter, I’d say. 98 points Robert Parker, 97 points Jeb Dunnuck, 4 6-packs available, $93.99 +tax
K Vintners “The Cattle King” Syrah 2015, Snipes Mountain. One could well bury this 2015 Cattle King deep into the earth, so that future alien anthropologists realize how awesome Washington Syrah is/was (and also so they start digging all over the place looking for more. Ha! Silly aliens…). Pretty much perfecting the Iron Fist / Velvet Glove trope, the intensely persuasive fruit-laced nose (no kidding, it’s gorgeous) gives zero warning of the falling anvil that awaits those who dare to drink it. While I can wholeheartedly recommend this for cellaring it is not a Jedi yet, so if you decide to drink it now….. well, Yoda told you there’d be lasers. 100 points Jeb Dunnuck, 95 points Robert Parker, 6 bottles available, $106.49 +tax
The Two Kings Of Spain, Thursday, January 31st, River District Classroom, 6:30pm, seats $35
A historical and analytic look at the two hearts of Tempranillo: Rioja and Ribera del Duero, with snacks. We will consume:
Faustino Rioja Gran Reserva 1994 $82.99
Senorio de Cuzcurrita Rioja 2011 $48.99
Sierra Cantabria El Puntido Rioja 2003 $78.99
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2015 $43.49
Vega Sicilia Valbuena Ribera del Duero 2006 $269.99
Aalto Ribera del Duero 2013 $82.49
First Growth Bordeaux 2009 Horizontal Tasing, Thursday February 7th, Morgan Crossing Classroom (South Surrey), 6:30pm, seats $375.00
Important to emphasize that I’m not holding this tasting, but I am attending it and you should too. Ten years out from the legendary one/two punch of the 2009/2010 Bordeaux vintages, this is an audacious, comprehensive look at ALL FIVE OF THE FIRST GROWTHS from 2009 (Mouton, Margaux, Lafite, Latour and Haut Brion). My colleague Si Man Lee will host this night – seriously guys, you will not find this kind of tasting anywhere else – in our South Surrey store. Call him at 604-542-2480, I believe there are a few seats left.
Until next time, Happy Drinking!!
December can be correlated with one word: overload
. Holiday party overload, shopping overload and in-laws overload. In December you attend one too many holiday parties, overuse the term “so how have things been with you”, decide that chocolate and Christmas cookies don’t have calories for the whimsical 31 days, and most likely reach for the same bold red and bubbly prosecco on each special occasion. January, on the other hand, is correlated with a much different word: new
. New year, new you, new beginnings - we’ve all heard it and probably said one of these phrases at least once by now. If you are someone looking to dive into the world in new
in 2019, why not start with wine! Instead of reaching for that same Pinot Grigio or Cab Sauv, why not try a new varietal that you may have never even heard of? We understand, trying new things can be scary, especially when it comes to changing your beloved house red or white, so to make this easier, we've created a list of new varietals that have similar flavour profiles to the wines you love.
If you like Cab Sauv, try:
- Petit Verdot
- Touriga Nacional
If you like Pinot Noir, try:
If you like Chardonnay, try:
- Chenin Blanc
If you like Sauvignon Blanc, try:
Have a different varietal you love and are looking for a new alternative? let us know in the comments below, and we'll give you an expert recommendation!
So many Cabs have snuck up on me in the Vintage Room that I have to tell you about all of them at once, apologies. We begin:
Colgin IX Estate Proprietary Red 2015, Napa. One of the most polite cult wines in Napa, Colgin has risen to the top of the heap without ever raising its voice or breaking a sweat. With her husband Joe, Ann Colgin has, over 25 years, made bottomless Cab-based wines (and great Syrahs) of quiet power and regal elegance. This 2015 IX Estate (named after the vineyard parcel) is two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one third Magic. Meaty blackberry with shorn pencils baking on a new road – it’s a little pro-tannin right now, the window opens in about 5 years and it closes… man, I don’t know, when the robots take over, I guess. 4 3-packs entered the province, I got one of them. 100 points Robert Parker, 100 points Jeb Dunnuck, 1 wooden 3-pack available, $873.99 +tax
Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 One-Liters, Napa. Holiday-sized Caymus in a brand new vintage, just in time. I haven’t tried it (just arrived) and there aren’t any major reviews yet, but here is my prediction: Delicious, round, thick Cab in a bottle size that will make you feel slightly smaller. 3 9-packs available, $120.99 +tax
Bond Quella 2014, Napa. The Quella vineyard sits in the hills, as all Bond vineyards do, with southwest exposure and steep angles. While it’s a tad bougie to call your vineyards “Grand Crus” (1. That’s not how it works and 2. Wow, and they’re all YOUR vineyards? What luck!), their output is simply undeniable. Bill Harlan’s terroir-driven cult winery has become one of the hardest unicorns to capture – I can’t tell you what I had to do to get this 3-pack, but the Centaur I defeated can’t tell anyone anything now. An infinite number of berries baked into an infinite chocolate cake. Intense minerality, drinking now despite the considerable tannins – the fruit is that intense. 97 points James Suckling, 96 points Robert Parker, 96 points Vinous, 1 wooden 3-pack available, $949.99 +tax
Raymond Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa. Great bang-for-buck in this top-line Napa Cab, I mean it’s a big buck, but an even bigger bang. The Raymond family dates back in Napa to 1933 and the winery was founded in 1970, but it has seen a bit of a renaissance since its acquisition by French Winery Collector Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of Bouchard, Monmessin and Louis Bernard, among many others. The change injected energy and innovation into the quiet family winery, expanding their range and depth, and it seems to have also injected a not-insignificant dose of hallucinogens – visiting the winery is like stepping into Moulin Rouge on Mars. In full disclosure I don’t love everything they do, but I WAY love this. The Generations Cab – a tribute to the 5 generations of the Raymond family, puts the Class in Classic: winemaker Stephanie Putnam – formerly of Far Niente – has made a tribute to the Napa styles of old. This wine lets Cab be Cab – it’s full bodied, naturally, but still contains all the rough edges of a ripe Medoc and is bone dry, not round. Gorgeously angular. This is the style that made those French judges in the ‘70s think they were drinking good Bordeaux. 97 points Robert Parker, 2 cases available, $139.99 +tax
Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa. Another “classic” style from the grounds of the former Silverado Equestrian Center (hence the name) in the Oak Knoll district. Herbed cherries and cassis precede a lovely, graceful body that’s full but not fat, towards a bright but balanced finish, gulpable but far from facile. Far more graceful and complex than most contemporaries in its price point. About that: I often rant about my inability to find a good $50 Napa Cab…. Thanks Santa!! On sale until Christmas, 92 points Wine Enthusiast, 6 cases available, Reg price $54.99, Sale price $49.99 +tax
Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015, Napa. Another Napa legend that is having something of a moment in 2015, Insignia drinks like a coiled snake, currently, but will get itself elected President Of Your Cellar, in time. Berries and stones and pencils and flowers are all holding magnifying glasses, concentrating their beams on your face, the power on the nose can almost be seen. Wears its new oak like Cruella DeVille wears Dalmatians: proudly and impervious to opinions – the fruit is that intense. Tight right now but will blossom into a balanced, beautiful hand grenade. One of the greats. (97-100) points Robert Parker, 1 wooden 6-packs available, $409.99 +tax
Dominus 2014, Napa. What can I tell you about Dominus, the Petrus of Napa, that I’ve not yet uttered? The Mouiex family’s Napa venture is now safely baked into that region’s story, although the valley’s general style has, writ large, veered away from this austere, Bordeaux-ish Cellar Star. Dominus’ soul mate is Opus One (more on that below), they are two wines that eschew ripeness in favour of forever. That said, this 2014 will open its doors rather sooner than most other issues, in keeping with the sheer drinkability of the vintage. Not for the impatient soul but man, these guys know how to build a wine. Blackberry, cigar and baking spice on the nose. 97 points Robert Parker, 2 wooden 6-packs available, $399.99 +tax
Opus One 2010, Napa. Given the international frenzy surrounding this original collab between Mouton-Rothschild and Robert Mondavi that evolved into its own sentient being, I maybe should have opened this email with “I have Opus One 2010”? Still drawing from the best valley floor vineyards in Napa (a good portion of To Kalon goes in here), Opus One is titanic in many ways beyond its own legend: aromatic potpourri blends with herbs and black fruits – the nose is more generous that Dominus but the frame is just as bulletproof. This vintage is already a classic and yes, I have the original wooden box (although I did open it). 97 points Vinous, 96 points Robert Parker, 1 wooden 6-pack available, $849.49 +tax
Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa. The same vintage I’ve offered previously, but when Peter came for our Collectors Tasting we were sold out, and everyone was sad. Be not sad, for it has returned. 2 wooden 6-packs available, $199.99 +tax
Until next time, Happy Drinking!
I am, as you are all aware, never ever
prone to hyperbole, strange allegory or even sarcasm, but I do believe I’ve found the Wine That Saved Christmas.
Deep in the hills of Piedmont, Barbera has always played Robin to Nebbiolo’s Batman, relegated to the slopes deemed unworthy of its nobler half-brother. Indeed, there’s Barbera planted all over the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco, but a wine made from that grape in those villages can never be called by those village names
for the same reason Jon Snow could never be a Stark. In many iterations Barbera owns
that sidecar, when grown as an afterthought it can be jammy and juicy, shallow and weak, not something you’d age or talk about, except for…
The hills of Nizza Monferrato
in Asti (a UNESCO site) are the upside-down kingdom where Barbera rules the world and makes bold, legendary wines. Here, Barbera
gets the best vineyards, like Tenuta Aluffi in the south that lays on deep sand and gives concentrated fruit in minuscule quantities. In the middle of that estate sits the world’s best Cru for Barbera
, producing wines that match or surpass the arc, intensity and frame of many Barolos: La Court.
Michele Chiarlo’s 2015 La Court Barbera Riserva
is fireworks in a bottle, Barbera’s natural zing is tempered by fruit weight and the silky layers that years in spicy Slovenian casks can bring. Black cherries, violets and dark chocolate on the nose, a full, dense body in the mouth but the finish is weightless, electric and persistent. This can go a decade standing on its head but is in glorious balance now, an assertion you can confirm when we open it on Saturday at 3pm in the River District Vintage Room.
How does this wine “Save Christmas”? Two reasons: First, I was exaggerating. Second, La Court has the perfect mix of attributes to roll with the culinary punches that the Holiday season can throw. It’s bold and full without being heavy or lugubrious, it can duet with appies, steaks, chestnuts, cheeses, fondues and even those little quiches that have no legitimate reason to exist. It has the structure to handle proteins but not enough to drink all fuzzy without them. It has the acidity to match most foods but not so much that food is necessary: it pairs with itself
nicely. It has a great rating (for those guests who clandestinely Vivino your wine while you’re preoccupied – you know
who they are) without the price tag to match. Having La Court on hand is like dating a party planner: you are ready for anything.
I shoulda bought more of it.
Michele Chiarlo "La Court" Nizza Riserva DOCG 2015. 95 points Wine Enthusiast, 10 6-packs available, $64.99 +tax
Back in a couple days with brand new, exclusive Oregon Pinots!! Until then,
The holidays are just around the corner, and with the holidays comes dinner parties, gifts and a whole lot of small talk. If you're looking for a bottle to impress a new boss, the in-laws or just a fantastic and tasty treat to share with family and friends, our Vintage Room Expert Quinot has the perfect bottles for you!
Looking for a bottle that's smooth on the inside and outside? Look no further than the Raymond Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015! Rated 95 points by Decanter World Wine Awards, this bottle is sure to impress during the holidays!
Watch the video
to find out why he recommends this stunning bottle or read the transcript below!
Hi, my name is Quinot and I am the Vintage Room Consultant at Everything Wine Langley, today we are going to feature a fantastic holiday pick from Napa Valley, The 2015 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This is made by the Philippe Marcus team, who is one of the best winemakers in the world and is helping the winemaking team at Raymond with this exclusive Cabernet Sauvignon! it's a beautiful bottle with a velvet label so it's smooth on the inside and outside! This wine will go really well with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and even a charcuterie board!
Thanks so much for watching, I hope to see you in our Vintage Room in the near future!
Find the bottle here.
If white wine is more your vino of choice for the holidays, we have a fantastic choice from Secret Indulgence! It's a 92-point Chardonnay that goes great with holiday fare! Learn more about this wine by watching this video
, or check out the full transcript below!
Hi, my name is Quinot and I'm the Vintage Room Consultant at Everything Wine Langley. Today I'm going to be talking about a fantastic holiday wine, the 2015 Chardonnay by Evoluna. This featured 2015 Evoluna by Secret Indulgence is a fantastic Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast in St Helena. This wine has notes of pear and dried apricot and vanilla bean. This fantastic Chardonnay is perfect for the holidays, and pairs with classic holiday favoutires like turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, fish with lemon sauce, or a simple popcorn and a movie! Thanks for watching today, our Vintage Rooms have many wines just like this for the holidays and you can find this in all our Vintage Rooms. This one is $59.99 and 92 points!
Find the bottle here.
I’m back home after a whirlwind tour of Italy with my mother and brother; we went to Montalcino, San Gimignano, Panzano in Chianti, Florence and Rome, eating and drinking the whole way. It was resplendent in many shades of awesome. I’ll have some tales to tell down the road, but today I’m writing about an amazing wine from a Tuscan village I didn’t quite make it to on this trip: Montepulciano.
I have to stop referring to specific small Tuscan villages as “walled, hilltop towns” as if that’s a distinguishing characteristic. They all
are. After spending a week in the Tuscan countryside, I can testify that I never spent any time in a valley, either driving or visiting, because the towns and roads are all in the hills. If you told me that Tuscan vampires came out at night but only in the valleys, I’d believe you because everything is built to avoid those vampires.
That said, Montepulciano is
a walled hilltop town, surrounded by vineyards that grow a particular clone of Sangiovese called Prugnolo Gentile
(there is a Southern Italian grape that’s actually called
“Montepulciano” but it’s confusingly never
Montepulciano – I had a dream where I brought the grape to the town and created a wormhole). In contrast to Brunello’s Sangiovese Grosso
and Chianti’s Sangiovese Piccolo
, Prugnolo Gentile
(meaning “plummy and soft”, kinda) is richer and generally less acidic, and the building block for one of Italy’s great wines: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
. Nobiles often nose like Chianti Classicos but drink like Brunellos, large and long-lived, but their lesser lore makes them far more affordable for wine drinkers, especially compared to Brunellos.
has been quietly producing wines from all over Tuscany for over 50 years, it’s their Vino Nobiles that have always captured my attention – structured like linebackers but still graceful and gorgeous, and the stars aligned for this amazing 2013 Riserva
. Simply put, it’s the best points-to-price ratio I’ve seen in years
. If this wine doesn’t place highly on the WS Top 100 this year… I’ll be wrong.
Behold this handsome beast: richly layered and tightly strung with black fruits and slow, deliberate deployment, some mineral notes. Drinks like twice the price, lovely mix of masculine and feminine on the nose with violet and cedar, the tannins are firm but don’t poke out past the ample body. Aged a year longer than the DOCG requires, drinking now but could go a decade standing on its head. Whatever you buy of this, you’ll wish you bought more (I do). If there’s any left by Saturday we’ll pour it at 3pm in the River District Vintage Room.
Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2013. 95 points Wine Spectator, 15 6-packs available, $40.49 +tax
Start your engines, and Happy Drinking!
Our Vintage Room Expert picks continue with our Victoria Vintage Room Expert, Nick Blewett! Read the full transcript of the video below, or check out the video on our YouTube channel!
You can find Nick's pick here.
I'm Nick, Vintage Room Expert from Everything Wine in Victoria. I'd like to talk to you today about a 91-point wine from Secret Indulgence in St. Helena, California! It's a 2015 American Vintage red blend. It contains 65% Zinfandel and 35% Petite Syrah, most of which is sourced from Sonoma County, but some as well from Livermore in the central coast.
The body is big and dark and bold with dark flavours black cherry, blackberry, as well as some spices and mineral notes. Both Jeb Dunnuck as well as Robert Parker's Wine Advocate have scored this bottle 91 points! I would pair this with smoky BBQ ribs or a nice rib-eye steak!