Archive for May, 2019

Robert Parker Retires!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2019 by darmyers

 

It has been said he changed the way people taste, critique and buy wine.   He was born in Baltimore Maryland in 1947, and at the age of 71 he is retiring, but his name and his legacy will continue on.  He is considered the most influential wine critic in history.

His name is Robert Parker.

Parker in Las Vegas, 2005

Robert Parker created the 100-Point Rating System on wine, started the Wine Advocate and in 1982 cemented his name in wine history.  That year Robert Parker was still working as a lawyer and writing wine reviews in the Wine Advocate.  It is said he stood alone to hold the 1982 vintage in high regard against a wide range of naysayers.   He said prices would go up and people should buy it now while they could.  A frenzy started and since then Bordeaux has become THE luxury wine.  His 100-Point Rating also made it easy for everyone to buy good wine.  You didn’t have to be a Sommelier or  connoisseur to pick up a good bottle of wine.  At one point his nose was insured for $1 million.

Enjoy retirement Mr. Parker, and I salute you with a glass of Bordeaux.

Let’s talk about some wines from a much less famous wine critic… me!

 

I know I have written about the many great wines coming out of Errazuriz in Chile, one of Eduardo Chadwick’s vineyards, and rated one of the top 10 brands in the world for the 4th year in a row. As you can see, in 2016 it also won the distinction of Winery of the Year.  This Pinot Noir is medium-bodied with lots of flavor and structure, a nice lasting finish and a great price point at just $17 a bottle.

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I almost didn’t try this wine yesterday evening, but a lady customer at our local liquor store told me it was her absolute favourite.   This fantastic Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a great white wine for summer.   I took my first sip and said “wow the passionfruit”.   This is a vibrant Sauvignon Blanc that is not grassy and not green peppery like some, this is all about the passion fruit on the palate.   It was delicious, and it is a bit of a treat at $43 a bottle .

Which is why this particular white wine made my wine of the week

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A fantastic white wine from Northern Portugal for only $16 a bottle.   But that’s not the only reason it was my wine of the week.   On the bottle you will see the words Colheita Selecionada, which means single vineyard.   Select wines like this are usually a lot more than $16 a bottle.   Alvarinho is the white grape and boasts refreshing flavours of grapefruit and lime.

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Have a great weekend

Darlene

 

Long Weekend? Time for Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18, 2019 by darmyers

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The May long weekend here in Canada tends to be the unoffical kick-start to Summer, as people head out to their cabins and campgrounds.  Many wearing winter jackets!  Whatever your plans are this long weekend, nothing keeps you toasty warm like a nice glass of wine!  Here are a few you may want to stock up on for your long weekend.

Meritage

After a rough day this past week, I treated myself to this wine.  As you can see, I had the 2016 vintage of the Mission Hill Reserve Meritage from the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia Canada.  Meritage is the Canadian and American term for ‘Bordeaux Blend’.  It was wonderful, but the great news is, this wine has lots of aging rooms left.  It’s a true Bordeaux blend style consisting of 35% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot.  It’s a great wine for any piece of meat you throw on the grill this weekend but slow down to enjoy the silky palate and the nice lingering finish.

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I can honestly say yesterday was the first day I’ve ever tried wine from Lebanon.   This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot, and I had the 2012 vintage.  I believe this wine needed the ageing, its very dry but has lots of flavour layers.   Probably my only issue with the wine is that it’s $40 a bottle, and for an unknown wine, I don’t know if I would pay that price for a wine from a country that is not known for its wine.   It was good, but I’m not sure it was $40 good.

And now for my wine of the week…

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From Rioja Alavesa in Spain, comes this wonderful blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo Y Viura.   It has wonderful dark fruit berries, some notes of spice and its nice and dry on the palate.   And you can have this wonderful wine for $18 a bottle,  which makes it my wine of the week!

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Have a wonderful long weekend

Cheers

Darlene

World’s Largest Wine Producers

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2019 by darmyers

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In case you were curious, Italy is the worlds largest producer of wine.  #2 is France, #3 is Spain, #4 is the United States and Argentina rounds out the Top 5.   The company producing the largest amount of wine however, can be found in Modesto California and it’s Gallo.  Yes, that Gallo, Ernest and Julio Gallo, the two brothers that started a winery in California in 1933.   In addition to wine under their own label, Gallo vineyards also makes, markets, and sells wine under 60 different brand names.   I guarantee, if you are a wine drinker, you’ve had a Gallo wine.

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Everything from Apothic Red

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To the Gallo Family branded wine

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It also includes some high-end brands like this beautiful Mac Murray Pinot Noir.   Take a trip on their website, and check out the many brands that come under the Gallo distribution name.

It’s only been in the past few years that Argentina has made the top 5, and now Chili is #6.   Argentina and Chile are making fantastic wines at affordable prices and deserve to be in the Top 10.  I’ve recently had a great Malbec from Argentina.

 

Trapiche  is one of the biggest vineyards in Argentina, and probably the biggest exporter of Argentinian wines.  As you can see by the label on the left, they’ve been awarded one of the most admired brands.  Wine critic James Suckling gave the 2015 vintage 91 points, but if you can find a 2016 vintage he gave that year 95 points.  I would really be interested in trying that wine.  This 2015 vintage was delicious, a great Argentinian Malbec with dark red berries, hints of chocolate and flavours of toasted coconut from the new French oak barrels it was aged in.

And now for my wine of the week….

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I may have written about this Pinot noir in the past, but I’m featuring it as my wine of the week again, because of the newly discounted price.   This wonderful MeIomi Pinot Noir is now under $25.   It’s one of my favourite Pinot noir wines because this one is not light or medium bodied, it is full on body!   Chuck Wagner makes this wine, also famously known for Caymus vineyards.  This wine is made from grapes growing in three different counties, Monterey, Santa Barbara and world renown  Sonoma County in the Napa Valley.  It’s rich, flavorful, and a great full-bodied  food friendly Pinot Noir.

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Have a great weekend everyone

Darlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bordeaux on a Budget

Posted in Uncategorized on May 4, 2019 by darmyers

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This past week our local NSLC celebrated Bordeaux week.  Now the Bordeaux wine region of France can be intimidating.  Before I started my wine studies I stayed away from the French aisle at the liquor store, because honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was buying.  France tends to label their wines by region, not by the grape.  It wasn’t until I started studying wine that I learned what grapes are dominant in each part of France.

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I love Bordeaux wines, and would love to visit the region one day.  Bordeaux wines are always blends.  The dominant white grape is either Sauvignon Blanc or Semillion, or a blend of both,  and the dominant red grape is either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.   And whether your wine comes from the Right bank or Left bank of Bordeaux, it tends to contain both Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the dominant grape is determined by region.  But again the reds are always blends.  Looking through the Bordeaux region in a wine store can be an eye-opener as well as some of these wines are in the hundreds of dollars, even thousands of dollars.  But Bordeaux has had to come to the party if they wanted to compete with great tasting wines that all of us can afford.

I’d like to share some of them with you this week.

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I loved this white wine   And I promised my white wine loving friends that I would share a white Bordeaux wine.   This is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle that offers great acidity and a wonderful fruity  mouth feel.   It’s a steal of a deal at $22 a bottle

I tried a couple of beautiful reds from Bordeaux as well

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The Les Charmes de Medoc is from the Left Bank of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon being the dominant grape.  Barton & Guestier had been making wine in Bordeaux since 1725.  I had the 2015 vintage, and honestly it could age a year or two, utwas a little dry on the palate.  Great value though for $23 a bottle.

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Now this selection was over the moon fantastic.   Chateau Faizeau Montagne Saint Emilion is Merlot dominant from the Right Bank of Bordeaux.   I could sit and enjoy this wine sip by sip all evening long.  The grapes are hand harvested and Remontage takes place,  which means the wine is pumped over the skins again to get full colour and full flavour.  This is one of my favourite wines from Bordeaux and it is a really good price at $38 a bottle.

My wine of the week is a 2013 beauty

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Château Cantenac  won the honour of Wine of the week, not because it’s a couple of dollars cheaper than the one above, but because it is so mature and so good tasting.  It is silky and full-bodied on the palate, rich ripe fruit and in my opinion the perfect wine for steak, grilled meats and hearty stews.  Totally worth the $36 price tag.

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Have a great weekend and till next week, Cheers

Darlene