One of these days I am actually going to catch up on everything, but for now, here are some reviews of wine recently enjoyed.
A note on the prices I've listed; as I'm sure most of you are aware, April 1st brought many changes to the BC Liquor system, and one of those changes was the removal of taxes from the shelf price of wine; so take the prices below with a grain of salt. Some of them were purchased at the "old" prices and some of them at the "new" prices.
d'Arenberg - 2013 The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne ($24.99)
Enticing aromas of pineapple and stone fruits. Luscious notes of peach, nectarine and citrus on the palate. Just a touch of spice on the finish. 89.
After my wife loved this at the WineFest, we went in search of it, and finally found it at Liberty Wines on Granville Island, where we picked up three. Not sure they will last long.
d'Arenberg - 2008 The Love Grass Shiraz ($24.99)
This was one of the first bottles I bought to put away and age. It was recommended to me by a knowledgeable clerk at Liberty Wines in Park Royal, so I bought one and put it into our offsite storage to keep for a while. At the WineFest, the d'Arenberg rep suggested that, since 2008 was a fairly cool vintage, it might be close to peaking; so we pulled it out of storage and cracked that baby open last night, enjoying it was some filet mignon.
Notes of leather, blueberry and cigar box greet the nose. A complex palate of black olive, blackberry and raspberry. Finishes very long. I can't say for sure if it has peaked, but it's tough to imagine it would improve a whole lot. 92.
d'Arenberg - 2009 The Last Ditch Viognier ($34.99)
Floral notes and minerality dominate the muted nose. Stone fruits very noticeable on the palate, with more minerality that expected and some hints of peach and apricots. 87.
Anciano - 2004 Gran Reserva Tempranillo ($17.99)
I previously reviewed the 2003 vintage and I still consider this a "best buy" at this price. Cherry, strawberry and leather on the nose and palate. Finishes beautifully. A really ridiculous price for this wine that is easy to find in any BC Liquor Store. I highly recommend picking a few of these up. I think it is even better than the '03. 89.
Cedarcreek - 2012 Shiraz Cabernet ($22.95)
Another reliable entry from a reliable winery. Some notes of cedar, cherry, pepper and herbs. Pairs beautifully with grilled meats. 87.
Cedarcreek - 2012 Meritage ($21.65)
46% Merlot, 21% Cab. Sauv., 20% Malbec, 9% Cab. Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
I don't claim to be an expert but 20% Malbec seems extraordinarily high in a blend like this. Not being a big Malbec guy I was skeptical, but I was also very, very wrong. This is delicious. Lots of black currant and blueberry on the nose. Currant and plums on the palate. Very juicy and fruit-forward. 89.
Church & State - 2012 Coyote Bowl Meritage ($34.99)
I have said before, in speaking about the 2008 and 2009 vintages, that this is the best $35 wine I have ever tasted. The 2012 is no exception. Very limited, wine-club only (I believe), so good luck finding it; but if you do, pick up a case. And call me and get me a case too!!! One bottle arrived in our recent Club Q shipment and we opened it this week. After aerating and decanting it, as it's still rather young, we found it absolutely fabulous. Strawberry and raspberry aromas and flavors explode. Just a hint of spice on the long, lovely finish. This will improve with age, but it doesn't have very far to go. 92.
Pine Ridge - 2012 Chenin Blanc/Viognier
Very similar to the 2013 vintage which I have previously reviewed. Some peach and flowers on the nose. Hints of pineapple and a touch of grapefruit on the palate. Well balanced acidity. 89.
Hartford Court - 2012 Four Hearts Vineyard Chardonnay ($60)
Wet stone, currant and citrus on the nose and palate. Air brought out some floral notes. Some nectarine and ginger flavors. Lacks the buttery notes we like in a Chardonnay and the fruit is a tad muted. It's good, but not superb like some other Hartford Chardonnays we have enjoyed. 86.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed the reviews.