Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vancouver International Wine Festival, Part 3 ; bring on the rest of the world!

OK no need for idle chatter, let's get right to it!

Our purchases:

United States

The rest of the world


Graffigna 2015 Centenario Reserve Malbec ($14.94)

Whaaaaaaat? A Malbec? A $15 Malbec? I must be reading the wrong blog!! Dean doesn't like Malbec, and he certainly doesn't like $15 wine!!

Normally you are right, but you really never know, do you? Beautiful aromas of plum, vanilla and blackberry. Tons of intense, dark fruit with a hint of coffee on the palate. Tannins are smooth and supple. At this price, it's ridiculous value. 88.

Graffigna 2013 Grand Reserve Malbec ($20.11)

Similar nose to the above with flavors that are rich and forward, a touch jammy but not in a bad way, lots of blackberry, dark cherry and coffee flavors. Delicious and just like the one above, a completely steal at this price. 90.

Graffigna 2011 Santiago Graffigna ($41.39)

40% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz

Not much doubt we've found our new favorite Argentinian winery; not that we were experts on Argentina before this. This is a superb, robust blend which features intense blackberry aromas with a hint of minerality. Meaty, savory, woody flavors, lots of blackberry and a lovely finish. Absolutely delicious and will probably improve with another decade of careful cellaring. 93.

Bodega Renacer 2014 Enamore - 91
Bodega Renacer 2014 Reserva Malbec - 88

Bodega Renacer 2015 Punto Final Malbec ($17.24)

 Dark, brooding fruit aromas and flavors, with a touch of tobacco and herb. A bit of spice shows up on the long, lovely finish. Another really good bargain. 89.

Familia Zuccardi 2013 Zuccardi Q Tempranillo - 88
Familia Zuccardi 2013 Tito Zuccardi Red - 91

Nothing but quality from Argentina, wish we had time to taste everything. I think we are just going to have to go there sometime in the next few years!!

Alpha Box & Dice 2015 Wightmare Chardonnay - 86
Alpha Box & Dice 2014 Tarot Grenache - 88
Alpha Box & Dice 2014 Dead Winemakers Society Dolcetto - 88

Alpha Box & Dice 2014 Kit & Kaboodle ($32.19)

Unique blend of Montalpucino, Barbero and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pleasing nose of blackberry, raspberry, cherry, sweet baking spices and savoury herbs. Lots happening on the palate, beautiful black fruit with a touch of cocoa and vanilla, and just a hint of mint. Finishes long and lovely. 90.

Barossa Valley Estate 2014 Estate Shiraz - 88
Barossa Valley Estate 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon - 86
Barossa Valley Estate 2014 GSM - 88
Barossa Valley Estate 2008 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz - 93

Chapel Hill 2015 The Parson Shiraz - 89
Chapel Hill 2014 The Parson Cabernet Sauvignon - 88
Chapel Hill 2014 Bush Vine Grenache - 86
Chapel Hill 2014 McLaren Vale Shiraz - 89

Yalumba 2016 Y Series Viognier - 90
Yalumba 2014 Y Series Shiraz Viognier - 89
Yalumba 2013 The Scribbler Cabernet Shiraz - 88
Yalumba 2014 The Strapper Grenache Shiraz Mataro - 88

Montes Alpha 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon - 88

Montes Alpha 2014 Syrah ($27.36)

Dark purple colour, aromas of herbs, bell pepper, blackberry, earth and licorice. Black cherry and blackberry flavors, with just a hint of oak and black pepper on the finish. 88.


Stina 2015 Cuvee White - 88


St. Urbans-hof 2015 Urban Riesling - 87
St. Urbans-hof 2015 Old Vines Riesling - 87
St. Urbans-hof 2015 Wiltinger Alte Reben - 88
St. Urbans-hof 2015 Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling - 91

Alpha Estate 2013 Florina Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard - 87
Alpha Estate 2015 Florina Malagouzia Turtles Vineyard - 86

Bottega Vinai Gewurztraminer - 84

Cantino Tollo 2015 Pecorino Terre di Chieti - 87

Carpineto 2015 Dogajolo Toscana Rosso IGT - 86

Mondo del Vino 2015 Filarino Sangiovese Rubicone Rosato IGT - 85

Umberto Cesari 2015 Momo Bianco - 86

CVNE 2015 Cune Monopole Blanco - 87

United States of America
Artesa Vineyards & Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Carneros ($37.29)

Aromas of bright black plum and ripe black cherry, red fruit and violets. Classic pinot noir flavors of cherry and strawberry. Really nice Pinot for the price if you are looking for something to enjoy right now. 89.

Artesa Vineyards & Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Carneros ($37.94)

Beautiful aromas of white flowers, citrus and coconut. Stone fruits, citrus, coconut and just a hint of buttery goodness on the palate. Ditto the above, a nicely priced Chardonnay that is already drinking well, 89.

They also featured reserve versions of the above which were also excellent, but we decided the quality-to-price ratio was just as good with the "cheap" ones and we picked up one of each.

Artesa Vineyards & Winery 2013 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir - 90
Artesa Vineyards & Winery 2013 Estate Reserve Chardonnay - 89

Ca' Momi 2014 Rosso di Napa - 87
Ca' Momi 2015 Bianco di Napa - 85
Ca' Momi 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon - 88
Ca' Momi 2015 Chardonnay - 90

Etude 2014 Carneros Chardonnay - 88
Etude 2014 Carneros Pinot Noir - 92 (would have bought this but not available)

Etude 2014 Lyric by Etude Santa Barbara Pinot Noir ($33.34)

Aromas of ripe red cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Red berries, cherry cola and a touch of cinnamon on the palate. A real nice, easy drinking, California Pinot. 88.

Etude 2013 Fiddlestix Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills ($89.69)

Complex and intense with touches of pomegranate, raspberry, black cherry, earth, savoury herbs, cardamom, cinnamon and leather. Beautiful now and I can only imagine how much better it will be a a couple of years. 92-94.

Hope Family Wines NV Troublemaker Blend 9 - 86
Hope Family Wines NV Candor Zinfandel Lot 7 - 88
Hope Family Wines 2013 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon - 89

Hope Family Wines 2014 Treana Red ($50.59)

Aromas are intense and lovely, with cassis and blackberry jam being prominent. Those aromas carry through to the palate, joined by some dark chocolate, cinnamon and smoke. 92.

Kenwood Vineyards 2013 Sonoma Series Cabernet Sauvignon - 88
Kenwood Vineyards 2014 Six Ridges Pinot Noir - 86

Kenwood Vineyards 2015 Chardonnay ($23.56)

Talk about a bargain. 2/3 of this fruit comes from the Russian River Valley. Some green apple, honey and vanilla on the nose. Slight notes of butterscotch. Hints of white flowers, red apple, with a touch of minerality and well-balanced acidity. 90.

Kenwood Vineyards 2013 Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon ($45.99)

Sourced from a single vineyard where noted American novelist Jack London lived and wrote. Black cherry, cassis, cedar, mint, and a touch of spice on the nose. Full-bodied, delicious, well structured and a long finish. Top-notch California Cabernet at a reasonable price. 92.

Madrone Vineyards 2013 Lake Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc - 88
Madrone Vineyards 2013 Lake Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay - 89

Robert Mondavi 2013 Napa Valley Pinot Noir - 89
Robert Mondavi 2013 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon - 91

Robert Mondavi 2013 Maestro Red Blend - 93

59% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec

Delicious aromas of black fruit and mocha. Beautiful and rich mouthfeel, with red and black cherry flavors framing some notes of dark chocolate and oak. 93.

Robert Mondavi 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir ($68.99)

Beautiful fragrant aromas of black cherry, forest floor, earth and wet stone.  Black cherry, earth and baking spice on the juicy palate. Absolutely terrific. 93.

Signorello Estate 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon - 92

Bodega Garzon 2016 Sauvignon Blanc - 86
Bodega Garzon 2015 Albarino - 86
Bodega Garzon 2016 Viognier - 84

Well, folks, that's all she wrote. Two night of crazy wine tasting and we still missed SOOOO many wines. Next year, we are going to have to find a way to take in 3 tastings.

Next year, there is no host country....there are TWO!

Portugal and Spain! Very exciting!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. Already looking forward to next year.

Next up in the wine blog, the next entry in our "theme nights" series, from last weekend. Viva Italia at our place. 7 courses, and some absolutely fabulous wine (including one that is going to make it to the "Best of the Best" page).

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