Archive for the '$16 – 20' Category

2007 Township 7 Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay

02172009Brad Cooper dropped by my office last week and left me some wine to taste for the site. This is the first to hit my glass.

I’ve always been a fan of the Township 7 wines. Unlike many BC wineries these days, they tend to offer real value for your money. Their wines compete dollar for dollar with pretty much any others in their price range – from anywhere in the world.

The 2007 Chardonnay, which is aged in French and American oak barrels, offers up a beautiful nose of roasted hazelnut, pineapple-tinged tropical fruit and a crisp citrus edge. The flavours are very Burgundian – the lightly nutty tropical fruit is backed up by a very crisp green apple and lemony flinty mineral-edged finish. It’s definitely a food-friendly Chardonnay.

This is a very nice wine for the money. I’d actually go so far as to say it’s currently my favourite under-$20 Chardonnay.

$19.99 from the winery.

4 stars


2007 Barber Cellars “Mr. Beast” Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

01302009Well, it’s ZAP time folks. Graham and I are down in San Francisco to do our thing at the big Zinfandel Tasting at the Fort Mason Center tomorrow. We’ve got our rental car and have done a tour of familiar spots in town. One of them was K & L Wine Merchants… one  my favourite wine shops in town.

While we were there, we picked up a couple of bottles to pop open tonight to get things going. Of course one of them was a Zinfandel – a small-production wine from Barber Cellars. There were only 200 cases of this blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Sangiovese made.

God, I love finding cool little wines… it just makes me all warm and fuzzy. This won’t knock you out with it’s size or jamminess, but you will have a little “Wow” moment when the dark chocolate coated maraschino cherry finish builds and lingers in your mouth. That follows a nose of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate and licorice. Before that tasty finish, there’s a crushed juice bit of blackberry and cracked pepper… then that “Wow.”

It’s a good deal down here. So search it out if you can.

$18 USD at K & L Wines.

4 stars


2006 Golden Mile Cellars Chardonnay, Luckhurst Family Vineyards

OK, so I went up to the Okanagan the weekend before last with the intention of writing up the trip… and I will. I’ve just been so damned busy that I haven’t gotten around to it. What I have done is drink some of the wine I brought back, especially some of the case I picked up at Wild Goose.

Tonight I’m sipping a 2006 Chardonnay from Golden Mile Cellars, which is located between Oliver and Osoyoos… and you know what? This is tasty stuff.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I love the New World slutty Chardonnays… all tropical pineapple and citrus fruit with almond and caramel on both the nose and the flavours. Well, this is the best example of that type of Chardonnay I’ve tasted from BC to this point… and at $19.99. It’s tasty. I really like it.

I had this tonight with some grilled salmon and it went swimmingly (swimmingly… get it? cheesy). Seriously though folks… I’ll be here all week. Drive safe, try the salmon and buy this wine if you can find it

$19.99 at the winery.

4 stars

No comments

2007 Damilano Langhe Arneis

Well now… I think I under-rated this a bit when I tried it at the winery back in April, though I was spot-on when I said it would be a good wine with fish. I cracked one open tonight with some grilled halibut and a quinoa/mint/tomato salad and it was a perfect match. That’s dinner and the wine in the photo. I know… I had the label turned to the side. Bite me.

Anyhoo, back to the wine. It really is meant for food like the fish I had tonight. It’s crisp, with lemon and grapefruit on the nose and in its flavours and finishes with a nice mineral edge to go along with its food-friendly acidity. Tasty, tasty stuff.

If you’ve never had an Arneis, I’d really suggest that you go grab one, fire up the grill and grab some of that tasty halibut that is fresh in the stores right now.  You won’t regret it.

$19.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars

1 comment

2006 Wild Goose Pinot Blanc, Mystic River Vineyard

One of the grand frustrations I find of late in BC is that many of the local wines are reaching to astronomical levels in pricing. I realize that “charge what the traffic will bear” is an old business adage, however the quality-value ratio must be upheld in the competitive world of wine.

Fortunately a winery like Wild Goose, making some of the best white wines in the province, let alone Canada, has not followed the over-pricing trend. I have always enjoyed their tasty wines along with their personable, family approach to their customers.

This Pinot Blanc is exactly what I love about their wines – crisp, with prominent fruit and a nice acidity to finish. The nose on this is honeydew melon with a bit of kiwi hiding in there. A few swishes produce some nice tart pear and more melon with nice tart green apple acidity on the finish – just plain tasty on a warm summer’s eve.

This is a great bottle of local white, something you can say about pretty much anything produced by Wild Goose.

$17.99 at the winery (and some VQA stores) here in BC.

3 1/2 stars

1 comment

2007 See Saw Wine Company See Saw Semillon – Sauvignon

To be shamelessly cliché, when I found this wine I thought the old Reese’s peanut butter cup commercial where the guy with the peanut butter rounds the corner and collides with the guy eating the chocolate. Bliss ensues. This wine combines two of my favourite things in the world of white wine: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Australian Semillon. How could this possibly fail?

Well the meeting is a positive one as the wine highlights the best traits of both wines. An 85 / 15 split, the first few sniffs are full of grass and lime, followed up by tasty tropical fruit, some guava and a bit of passion fruit/grapefruit on the tongue. The finish has mineral and more of the Semillon’s grassy goodness.

I had this with some light cheese and veg, and also on its own and either way this is a good value find. As it’s in the price range of the Kim Crawford, it’s a reasonable choice if you want a little less “power” on the Sauv Blanc traits and a little more on the green end of things.

4 stars

$19.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

No comments

2006 Laroche Viognier, Vin de Pays d’Oc

I just finished moving (mostly) and it’s nice to have a spare minute to sit and write about a bottle of wine. 🙂

I recently bought a new BBQ (Weber Q 220 – I’d highly recommend it) and am pretty much eating nothing that hasn’t touched its grill… and tonight I cooked up some fresh salmon.

I’m always looking for wines that match foods I love and, personally I love both BBQ salmon and the Viognier grape. Well, like the Bastide Viognier I loved with sushi, this wine hit the sweet spot with the meal tonight.

This, folks, is a fantastic wine for the moolah. The nose is a textbook example of what a peach/apricot juice dribbled over flinty stone would produce. The flavours are a long-lasting mix of that peach and apricot fruit, some almond and a crisp mineral-laced finish. This is bloody tasty stuff with the acidity to stand up to a nice fatty grilled fish like salmon. Yum.

I’ll be buying this again.

$20 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars.

4 stars

No comments

Villa Teresa Frizzanti Prosecco Veneto – NV

OK, the taste of the Zonin got my brain fully into the spring warmth and the want of Prosecco. After a nice day at Eat Vancouver and Yaletown Brew Pub, it was time to return to the patio with a nice taste of Prosecco.

In the Vancouver market, the Villa Teresa seems to be the most readily available Prosecco, and it’s organic status doesn’t hurt sales, I am sure. It has a nice straw yellow color with small beckoning bubbles after you pop the cool trigger closure. The nose is a nice lemon and mineral followed with some tasty melon on the palate. This and some sunshine = bliss. Light and refreshing, there’s more citrus and a crisp finish – you could drink this any time of the day. Good stuff.

Great value too.

$15.95 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars

1 comment

2007 Donnafugata Anthìlia

“Donnafugata” – (kinda fun to say) apparently means “lady fugitive” having to do with a Queen of Naples who spent some exile time in Sicily. A cool story, and this is a cool wine to boot, it’s composed of 50% Ansonica and 50% Catarratto, which are native Sicilian varietals, and has summer written all over it.

The nose is full of crisp peach and a hint of lemon. Once on the patio, a few tasty sips brought really nice peach-apricot flavours with a crisp and tart finish that reminded me a of a Granny Smith apple – a perfect accompaniment to some light cheese and bread on the patio.

In a word – Sunshine.

$17.99 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars


2006 Bastide de Garille Cuvée de Fruitée Viognier, Vin de Pays d’Oc

You may not know Viognier (think VEE-OHN-YAY), but dammit, you should. It’s a grape from France’s Rhone Valley but has started to find its way around the world with some success in the last bunch of years – notably in California and Australia.

I’ve had many Viogniers over the years that I’ve loved… most carrying a price tag higher than this one. What this wine represent is a serious bar-goon. For 18 bones, what you get when you buy this wine is a bunch of tasty Viognier purity without the astringent edge you get with some (*cough Chilean *cough) Viogniers in the under-$20 range.

This has a nose that is all lemony peach with a bunch of mineral… the flavours are a juicy bunch of full-bodied peach/apricot fruit dosed with lemon and a flinty mineral edge. Tasty, tasty stuff for the money.

One thing to note – this is not a wine that drinks well when really cold. Like Chardonnay, Viognier is best when it’s on the warm side of chilled. That’s when you really get the gist of the varietal. Oh… and it goes really well with sushi. 🙂

$18 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars here in Vancouver.

4 stars

1 comment

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