Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lots of great wine to report on, including one wine that is older than I am!

OK I'm sure you all know that isn't true, it wasn't as old as me. But it was old. How old?

Old enough to fly to Vegas, win a couple bucks at the Roulette table, have a nice steak dinner..... and drink itself.

The question is: would it enjoy itself when it drank itself?

Yes, I believe it would.

Marchese de Frescobaldi 1995 Luce Della Vita ($79.99 USD)

Cassis and black plum aromas jump from the bottle upon opening, but they quickly give way to notes of forest floor, light mushroom, and muted notes of cedar. The palate is delicate and features the flavors you might expect from a 22 year old wine; leather, cigar box, and cedar. Although there is plenty of fruit left, it has almost certainly started it's decline; if you have one, time to break it open! 92.

This wine, along with it's 1996 counterpart, is still available to buy on as of this writing.

Church & State 2013 Trebella ($20.00)

Marsanne (52%), Roussanne (43%), Viognier (5%)

White flowers, orchard fruits and a hint of vanilla on the nose. Some herbal notes, some honey, some fruit, even a slight yeasty quality on the palate. Very nice. 88.

Culmina 2014 Decora ($24.95)

100% Riesling.

Pretty white flowers highlight the nose, which also features some stone fruit, grapefruit and just a hint of spice at the end. Peach and nectarine on the palate, which gives way to pleasing minerality and citrus flavors. So good. 91.

La Stella 2015 Vivace Pinot Grigio ($22.99)

Intense nose of citrus, sage, rosemary and pear. Citrus dominates the palate, but you'll also notice some orchard fruit, pear and orange rind. An absolutely perfect pairing for oysters or mussels. 88.

La Stella 2015 Moscato d'Osoyoos ($19.99 for 375ml bottle)

Beautiful aromas of rose petals greet you, followed closely with notes of orange blossom, nectarine, peach and a tinge of honeydew melon. So good as an apertif, a dessert wine, or just drink-it-because-you-have-it wine. 91.

Quails' Gate 2015 Gewurztraminer ($17.35)

Typical aromas of this varietal; lychee, guava, papaya and a hint of spice. Slightly off-dry but far from sweet, this beauty features flavors of tropical fruits, lychee and ginger. 91.

Quails' Gate 2007 Dry Riesling ($25.00)

BC Riesling ages so well, my friends. So well. Beautiful, strong minerality, with notes of petrol and citrus. Viscous and unctuous and delicious. Really peaking now, if you can get your hands on some, I would highly recommend it. 91.

Quails' Gate 2010 Pinot Noir ($29.99)

Aromas of red fruit and spice. The aging is really bringing out the leather and tobacco notes, but still tons of cherry and strawberry. A hint of mocha comes to join the party on the lovely finish. 90.

Quails' Gate 2015 Rosé ($16.99)

Made in the style of the Provence region of France. Lots of red fruit on the nose, with a touch of black pepper hiding in there if you give it a chance to show itself. Strawberry, raspberry and a bit of cranberry on the palate. My favorite Rosé from this producer to date. 89.

Carpineto 2014 Dogajolo ($24.99)

Aromas of leather, spice and cherry. Cherry, leather with some earthiness on the palate. Very dry. We bought this on the recommendation of a worker at Liberty Wines in Granville Island and thought it was nothing special. 85.

Rust en Vrede 2014 Chardonnay Reserve Moederkerk ($29.99)

This was a recommendation from the same place as the above, as we were looking for our favorite Stellenbosh Chardonnay and they were sold out (in fact, at the time, they didn't think they'd ever get any more - that proved to be untrue). Citrus, fresh pineapple and other tropical fruits on the nose. The citrus and pineapple follow through to the palate, with a hint of guava coming along for the ride. Well-balanced acidity. Not bad, but not up to the standards we have expected from this lovely region of South Africa. 87.

Quady 2013 Essensia Orange Muscat ($14.99 for 375 ml)

Aromas and flavors of grape, orange ice cream and violet. Very sweet and decadent. If you are a fan of very sweet dessert wine, and orange is your thing, you will love this. 87.

Sterling Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99)

An always-solid value for this price in a Napa Cab. Notes of chocolate, blackberry, cassis and violets. This would undoubtedly be a good candidate for cellaring, but it's so approachable now, it seems like a good choice to enjoy now while some of it's bigger cousins get their rest. 90.

If you visit my "cellar" page, you may notice I am in the process of tinkering with the California section, with my goal to make it easier to understand. So far, I think I took it in the wrong direction! Trying to list all the AVA's, appellations, sub AVA's, sub-appellations, etc, is giving me a headache. California starts with just 6 AVA's, but those are broken down and broken down and broken down, sometimes so far it's almost laughable. For example, at the WineFest we tasted a lovely Pinot from Etude. To break down this one's heritage would look like this:

Central Coast --
                          Santa Barbara County --
                                                                  Santa Ynez Valley --
                                                                                                    Sta. Rita Hills

Four levels before you get to the wine. You want to know what's more confusing?

It may or may not be correct!!

Some websites suggest that Sta. Rita Hills is an AVA unto itself, not as part of the Santa Ynez Valley. But many websites suggest otherwise.

That's about how I feel about it. Anyway, I'm going to continue to tweak but basically leave it as it is, to give the best picture of where the wine comes from. I was quite intrigued how much Napa Valley wine is simply "Napa Valley", and not part of any of the many sub-AVA's in that region. It goes to show you how many great wineries make their wine from multiple vineyard sites (therefore, the grapes come from multiple AVA's and can't be sub-classed).

Anyway that's enough for today, hope you enjoyed the read and I'll be back soon with some more updates.                      

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