Thursday 11 November 2010

November Acquisitions – Part I

The first week of every month usually means a bit of a shopping spree for me, as my self-imposed wine budget is reset, and I have a shortlist of collectibles burning a hole in my pocket. This month I added eight excellent wines to the cellar, including some valuable past vintages I was excited to find. I’ll discuss them two at a time over the remainder of the month, in the order I purchased them; enjoy!
Painted Rock’s very first release of Cabernet Sauvignon last year (the 2007 vintage) won a Lt. Governor’s Award. Not only was this a very impressive way to enter the BC wine scene, but Painted Rock took home a second Award for their Red Icon blend! Sadly, although I managed to acquire the 2007 Red Icon (and the 2007 Merlot) I missed my chance in adding the Cabernet Sauvignon to my cellar. Fortunately I was ready to buy this year as soon as I saw the 2008 vintage appear on store shelves. Other consumers should be equally better off this year because Painted Rock surprisingly did not use any of their Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2008 Red Icon, leaving quite a bit more for the single varietal release. You may have to conduct a bit of sleuthing however, as it is unlikely to show up in VQA stores; I picked mine up from Brewery Creek, after seeing it first at Crosstown Liquor Store. Keep your eyes peeled for the 2008 Red Icon in the New Year, as it has received some extremely positive early press, and will surely be a valuable addition to any BC wine collection.
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!

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