Last weekend was the second iteration of our friendly little wine and food club. As my wife and I were hosts last time the dessert duty was passed to us this month, as the previous dessert chefs moved to the appetizer course, and the entree and hosting duties were taken up by the previous appetizer chefs. Our new appetizer chefs W & D had just recently taken up home cheese making and so we were treated to a delicious homemade eggplant and paneer curry paired with the highly-awarded Pentâge Gewurztraminer 2009. Having just received a Lt. Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wines plus a Gold Medal in the 2010 All Canadian Wine Championships, this Gewurztraminer did not disappoint in the flavour department. Not only did delectable aromas of oranges and lychee fill the air above our glasses, but the flavour was a perfect complement to the curry dish. We were all very impressed with Pentage and I’ll have to keep a close eye on them in the future: they have a very large repertoire of wines so it may take me some time to work my way through them!
Tuesday 30 November 2010
Sunday 21 November 2010
Two "archive" wines were my third set of acquisitions in November, obtained from perusing the shelves of private stores in downtown Vancouver. I'm often surprised by what I find on store shelves when I least expect it, and in this case I got the rare opportunity to add some back vintages to my collection.
Osoyoos Larose: Le Grand Vin (2005)
Osoyoos Larose: Le Grand Vin (2005)
Mission Hill: Select Lot Collection Syrah (2006)
Wednesday 17 November 2010
Mission Hill has one of the largest portfolio’s in the BC wine industry, with four fully differentiated tiers of wine under their home label (not to mention their many semi-independent sub-brands). Within the Mission Hill label there sits the Five Vineyards wines, the Reserve tier, the Select Lot Collection, and finally the Legacy Series, home of giants such as the Bordeaux-style blend Oculus. Within their three different levels of “reserve” wines the Selection Lot Collection Chardonnay sits comfortably in the middle. Although the Reserve Chardonnay – at a very reasonably-priced $19 – racks up regular medals at the Chardonnay du Monde competition, this 2007 SLC wine has received a great many accolades itself, and continues Mission Hill’s aggressive pricing structure at only $22. In particular the 2007 SLC Chardonnay was named Best of Category at the 2009 All Canadian Wine Championships, and also received the Regional Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Buttery, baked apple flavours are often associated with this wine; just listen to Daenna Van Mulligen’s glowing review: “...oozes ripe pear and melon aromas, exotic citrus and praline with warm pie crust, baking spices and vanilla.” If that doesn’t make your mouth start watering I don’t know what will!
Thursday 11 November 2010
A was afforded the rare and precious opportunity to visit Blackwood Lane’s winery in Langley, and couldn’t pass up the chance to pick up a bottle of the red blend Icon Wines awarded their Wine of the Year label in 2009. Even better, I was able to taste a nicely decanted sample during my visit, an opportunity often lacking for many of the wines I collect on faith (and lots of detailed research!). Although a $60 wine at the winery (and significantly higher-priced in private stores), Alliance is actually the baby brother to Blackwood Lane’s “The Reference”, a 95-point Bordeaux-style blend that retails for more than $100 in stores. Having decided that I’m willing to “settle” for 94 points, I opted for the Alliance, and my decision was cemented when I smelled the incredible aromas coming out of my glass in the tasting room. I was not ashamed to admit out loud that I wanted to stay and smell that glass all day long. My purchase was guaranteed without even needing a taste, but a couple of sips of that incredibly balanced, smoothly-textured delight and I was hooked. With bottle in hand I grudgingly left, already wondering if I could afford a second one to open immediately – I sadly have to wait until 2013 to taste it again if I follow my own cellaring strategy. Of course it should be even better by then, and hopefully will be followed by subsequent vintages: I’m told the 2007 is just as amazing, and awaiting bottling – I think Blackwood Lane may become an annual pilgrimage!