Archive for the '$10 – 15' Category

Wine – 2004 Fusero, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon

Hi folks! Long time no post. I’ve been off holidaying and doing other summer-like activities. There were beaches, water, swimsuits and wine… oh yes, there was wine – lots and lots of wine. I’ll write a catch-up post on that later.

This post has something I don’t often do – negatively review a wine. Most of the time, I take a relatively educated guess and come up pretty darn happy. Sometimes though, I take a recommendation and don’t really find it up to snuff… like this one.

It’s 100% Tempranillo that tastes like it was stewed with a lot of grape stems and oak chips (no barrels here, I’m thinkin’). It’s lightly fruity with an unsatisfying, bitter edge and a short finish. It’s OK for the money, but there are others I’d go to before buying this again in a pinch.

All in all, I’d give it a pass.

$14 in private wine shops in Vancouver.

2.5 stars

1 comment

Wine – 2006 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Rosado

08012007.jpgI had this last week on a visit to my Mom’s place with my good friend, Mike. We picked it up at a LDB store for a thrifty $14.99. With my summer fixation on rosés still in a healthy place, I figured that at that price I had to give it a go.

It’s a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenache from the vineyards of the Rioja Alta that is fermented in stainless steel tanks. This helps the wine keep its crisp and fruity, yet dry style. It’s a fantastic summer wine.

The nose shows light cherry, strawberry and cranberry fruit, with a light floral edge… and that’s what the wine serves up in its flavours as well.

In an upcoming issue, the Wine Dictator gives it a healthy 87 points. They got it right – I really liked this wine. I’ll definitely be grabbing it again sometime soon.

$14.99 in LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars

1 comment

Wine – Gazela Vinho Verde NV

07302007.jpgOK, so I was in the Alberni LDB store with my friend Ryan when he told me I had to pick up a bottle of this… for $10 he said he’d give me the money if I didn’t like it.

Well, Ryan can keep his money. I can’t believe I like a $10 bottle of wine, but this is a great summer sipper. Despite its regularly-shaped white wine style bottle, it’s a lot like a Prosecco – effervescent, light and lightly citrus-fruity. I’m sitting here on a patio sipping it right now and I’m thinking that when it’s warm, this is almost the perfect aperitif (or liquid appetizer as I like to call it).

It’s not going to blow you away, but it more than delivers for the price. It would even pair pretty darned well with light fish or Thai dishes.

Seriously, I’m telling you – you can’t go wrong. Grab a bottle, go outside and sip it while relaxing. You’ll be glad you did.

$9.99 at BC LDB stores.

3 1/2 stars

No comments

Wine – 2006 Domaine D’Uby Colombard Sauvignon, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne

07252007.jpgI picked this one up on my dinner break last week at Kits Wine Cellar. It was a recommendation to replace the Brumont Gros Manseng-Sauvigon. At $13.99 I figured it was worth a go.

I was pleasantly surprised by this wine. The blend is Colombard (used in making Cognac and Armagnac) and Sauvignon Blanc and the result is a quite interesting mix. Apparently the winery also blends a Colombard and Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano).

This is a perfect summer wine. The nose is full of grapefruit with some sweet blossom overtones. Good start. Intense citrus fills the mouth with some really nice acidity. This wine has a really nice mix from beginning to end, as the finish is crisp and floral with some nice acidity. A hot night on the patio calls out to this one. Another great value find.

$13.99 at private wine shops.

3 1/2 stars

No comments

Wine – 2004 Casa Viva Pinot Noir

Sean’s been on a Pinot roll of late, so I thought I’d add to the mix with one that can only be described as surprising.

We first tasted this one during out WSET II course and all but two of the twenty-four in the room picked this one over a $60 Domain Drouhin Pinot in a blind tasting. This is one of those wines that temporarily makes you questions your palate for a second before jumping up and rushing to the store to buy all they have.

Plain and simple, this is a delicious glass of wine with absolutely astonishing value. The first swirl is full of ripe cherry and strawberry with a bit of green stalk. As soon as it hits your tongue, you get more cherry, some earth minerality and great light acidity and toasty pepper through the finish. In general this wine is nicely balanced straightforward and just darn tasty.

Get past the rather purple sparkly 80’s styling on the label and the fact that Chile isn’t a Pinot grower of renown and grab some of this. Summer beckons.

$13.56 at local liquor stores (imagine this would be $5-$6 in the US)

4 stars

No comments

Wine – 2005 Mezzo Giorno Nero D’Avola Shiraz

05142007b.jpgOK, value wine time. My friend David brought a bottle of this over a while ago and it caught me completely off guard. $14?! A Sicilian Shiraz?! Good?! Well, that’s just fantastic.

This is an unusual bottle of wine and for the price?.. Well, it’s unusually good. It has a nose that shows spicy cherry laced with licorice and pepper. Its flavours are all ripe dark, juicy cherries with a big lash from a licorice stick… and a tasty finish that verges on dark cherry syrup.

A great value.

$14.99 here in BC at LDB stores.

3 1/2 stars

1 comment

2004 Terramater, Maipo Valley Zinfandel Shiraz

02162007.jpgChilean Zinfandel – now that’s a little different. However given the great wines coming from Chile of late, I thought: “let’s try it.”

The wine is a blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Shiraz. It’s deep and dark in colour with a tobacco leaf and briar nose. Nice start. From there the wine was interesting, yet not overwhelming. A body of plum, blueberry and a bit of date in the mouth which reflected the influence of both grapes. As the evening went on, the finish remained a little boozy with some raisin and soft oak, but brief.

Not bad on the whole. In general the fruit was pleasant, with the short finish being really the only slight drawback. This is another nice value.

$14.99 at Liberty Wine Merchants

3 1/2 stars

No comments

Wine – 2004 Flor de Crasto – Douro Vinho Tinto Tinta Roriz

02082007.jpgOver the years I’ve come to love the Quinta do Crasto Douro, as well as their superb ports, so when I saw this I had to give it a try.

Given the fact the price of their Douro has gotten a little steep, this is a nice value option for something a little different.

It is has dry, floral nose with some strawberry and bit of the nice earthiness of a standard douro. This was great afternoon sipper while transcribing the Zap notes and preparing dinner.

If you‘re in the mood for a light and approachable wine this is a really nice option in terms of value and variety.

$13.99 at BC Liquor Stores

4 stars

1 comment

Wine – 2003 Château La Gorce, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc

12282006.jpgI picked this one up at the main LDB store last week. I saw a case full of 2003 Bordeaux half-bottles and thought it was worth a shot. A great vintage, good price and a classic Bordeaux-styled label made me do it. I’m a sucker for classic labels.

It’s a “Cru Bourgeois” from the Médoc area of Bordeaux. From Wikipedia: “The Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the high quality wines from the Bordeaux region of France that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Classed Growths, or “Grand Crus Classés”.”

A typical Médoc blend is usually about 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, with the remaining 3% composed of Petit Verdot and Malbec. I’m not sure about the blend that went into this wine.

So, what’s it like? Well, to start, the colour is a dark, dark red with a nose of tea, leather, bitter dark chocolate and some dark, bitter fruit… Hmmm… that last note isn’t too promising.

A sip is certainly not bursting with fruit, but that’s what I’d expect from an Old World styled wine… There is the tea there, as well as some licorice spice. There is also bright cherry and what, to me, tastes like some pomegranate.

The body was slim, to say the least… not a lot of “mouth-feel” on this wine.

All in all, I didn’t love it, or hate it… It’s OK, but not really my cup of tea (no pun intended).

$14 for a 375ml bottle here in BC.

3 1/2 stars

No comments

Wine – 2004 Château Haut Perthus

11102006a.jpgI picked this up the other night on the recommendation of a clerk in a local LDB outlet. I figured for $13, it was worth a try. See what I tend to do? I go on a splurge-fest with a bunch of pricier wines and then have to find some values to balance it out. 🙂

It’s from the Bergerac region of France and is primarily a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc rounding it out. The percentages vary from year to year and I wasn’t able to find the exact blend for this vintage.

It’s got a great nose… all coffee and dark fruit. The taste is a bit of a let-down in comparison. There is some of the fruit the nose teases you with, but not much – there’s dark cherry, coffee and black olive with some decent tannins rounding it out. It lacks body. It feels very light-weight in the mouth.

Overall, it’s good for the moolah, but not something I’d really buy again – there are a lot of wines to explore in this price range.

3 1/2 stars
(3 1/2stars for value)

No comments

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