Comments on my notes

(87 comments on 69 notes)

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Red
2013 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Équinoxe Okanagan Valley VQA
10/14/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
Needs 60-90 min decant. Pronounced nose of black fruits, stewed fig and touch of balsamic. Good medium plus body. The fruits carry thru on palate along with roast meat and dried herbs. Great concentration and fine tannins. Stellar wine.
  • Canoehead commented:

    10/18/19, 2:42 PM - KJ, I agree, no question the bottle price is high and has been difficult to justify for other previous vintages however this is a gorgeous bottle of wine with great balance and a little more potential in the future. As to the fig reference that is a very good thing in my books - I love a stewed black mission fig on the nose - it is showing wine development in a positive way (this is from my WSET Level 3 experience) means the fruit is starting to get those tertiary notes and is coming into its optimum aged window. Sante!

Red
2011 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Équinoxe Okanagan Valley VQA
10/3/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Still an adolescent with upside potential. Pronounced nose of black fruit, cracked pepper and smoked meat. Great weight for a lighter alcohol Syrah and pronounced acidity. Finish is medium length. Once acid settles in this could be excellent. Open another bottle in a couple of years.
  • Canoehead commented:

    10/5/19, 4:11 PM - I concur. Will be trying the ‘13 soon and seeing if that wows at the $100 level.

Red
2013 The Similkameen Collective Consensus Similkameen Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
9/13/2019 - KillerJones Likes this wine:
95 points
No words...so good!!!! Music to my taste buds. It gets so much better with each passing year!

One of my favorites - I pull out when I want to impress. Smooth...with nice fruit, that’s not too overpowering.

One of the best the offerings of the OK.
  • Canoehead commented:

    9/15/19, 5:59 PM - You said it KJ. A stunner from the Similkameen. Love to pour for our American friends. Sadly I hear the Collective series is coming to an end because the corporate buyer (Anthony Von Mandl) of Road 13 will be allocating the Blind Creek fruit for a broader portfolio of wines at Road 13 and possibly into other existing brands. We’re having a 2009 Meritage tasting at our place on the 29th if you’re on the Island that Sunday, let us know.

  • Canoehead commented:

    9/16/19, 1:06 PM - If you get a chance try the Cab Sauv & Merlot from Thirty Bench (owned by Andrew Peller); the Stratus winery always has a good stable of reds; Meglomaniac is a fun winery experience and some decent plonk; and Tawse has brilliant Chards & Pinots. A votre sante!

Red
2016 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
9/9/2019 - GQG Likes this wine:
94 points
A beautifully silky and powerful Merlot, Cabernet, and Petit Verdot Bordeaux blend that gracefully and energetically pushes the fruit across the palate with effortless drive. A full-bodied delivery with big but smooth tannins and supportive acidity make this a pleasure to drink, even though it's a bit early in the drinking window. Old world nose, with dark cherries, cassis, vanilla, and cacao, and a nicely spicy finish.

Decanted for 2 hours, but needs a few more years to reach peak. Drinking amazingly well right now, although there is a bit of grip present that will eventually unwind. If you have a few bottles, it's finessed and really delightful right now with a decant. I've held these in my cellar for more than a year and, as it turns out, could have tried one sooner.
  • Canoehead commented:

    9/10/19, 1:32 PM - Great TN. May just pull one out of the cellar to try this weekend. Will decant for 1-2 hours. Cheers.

Red
2015 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
9/9/2019 - csimm1161 wrote:
97 points
Black currant, blackberry, deep black cherry, earthy black plum skin, fresh wet dark soil/mulch, Pessac-Leognan truffle, clove, and a subtle, beautifully brooding (almost smokey) minerality that you might find at the bottom of the river Styx or some murky bog in a Game of Thrones episode.

Medium-to-full bodied, with a near-perfect mid-palate drop and a gorgeous semi-chewy mouthfeel that adds texture and concentration. A really nice execution of flavor-delivery overall for such a young wine. Finishes with an enticing earth-meets-spice note that swirls around the black core fruit. The faintest amount of red fruit darts trough the profile to further heighten complexity and provide lift.

So, I’m no Left Bank wizard, nor do I claim to know jack-in-the-box about what makes a quality Bordeaux necessarily, (especially in such juvenile states), but I’ll certainly say there is a beautifully crafted conveyance here that begs for sip after sip and continues feeding the palate old and new world satisfaction. QPR is solid in my opinion; overdelivers beyond my expectations.

There are some wines you drink, you appreciate, and you may tell a wine-friend or two about the next day. Then there are those wines you takr a sip, and then another sip... and seconds later you are already scouring the internet trying to figure out the best deal in town to pick yourself up some of that holy juice. This SHL is the latter for me, quite literally. In fact, anyone with suggestions as to where I can snatch a fistful of these wines at a song, let me know. I think I broke my Wine-Searcher app looking for deals on this! I know they are readily available, so this is obviously more of a first-world problem than anything else :)

96-97++ points. I know other CT’ers here have more conservative scores, but I’m ok being a little more risqué on this one.
  • Canoehead commented:

    9/9/19, 2:42 PM - I appreciate the great TN as well. Did you decant it for any time at all or just a pop n pour? It must have evolved for you glass after glass, no?

Red
2015 Blind Creek Collective Consensus Similkameen Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
8/4/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
This beauty had to follow a '02 Insignia and held up on most accounts - what it lacked in the Insignia's undeniable superb concentration and several more years of aged elegance it definitely made up for in massive depth of dark red and blue fruits combined with that Similkameen sage-like quality of dried herbs. Once the acidity falls back into the tannins and alcohol this is going to be a beauty in a few years.
  • Canoehead commented:

    8/6/19, 9:50 AM - I’m still wanting to hold a 2009 BC Meritage smackdown. I’ve got Signature, Voluptuous, Grand Vin, Fortissimo. May throw in an Old World 2009 to mix things up. Do you any other ‘09s?

Red
2016 LaStella Fortissimo Okanagan Valley VQA SuperTuscan Blend
8/3/2019 - KillerJones Likes this wine:
92 points
Brought this to my wine club for our 'Italian' evening - and it placed 2nd! (There was a well aged Pietracupa Greco di Tufo here that was just outstanding)

This wine is heavy Merlot with a good splash of Sangiovese, Cab Franc & Cab Sauv - really something special in the glass. On the nose: plums, spiced fruitcake & that typical S.Okanagan dusty notes.

The palate is a restrained brawl of black & red fruits - with the latter adding a juicy aspect. It concludes with a nutty - almost umami - medium dry finish.

Honestly...I opened this one too early and it requires a 60 min. decant to open up fully. Nonetheless - a job well done here!
  • Canoehead commented:

    8/5/19, 2:02 PM - Couldn't agree more KJ. This is one of our go-to QPR red blends. Only exception of late has been the 2015 which seems a little backward right now. But the 2016 shows so well. Great TN.

Red
2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
2/8/2019 - KillerJones Likes this wine:
93 points
This wine is a real gem - meant to impress an oenophile.

It opens with crème de cassis & blackberry tart notes over hints of menthol, incense & Christmas cake - then a waft of dark chocolate, as if you needed more.

Medium-full-bodied, the palate is equally flamboyant: rich, velvety & seductive - with a lively lift in the mid-palate and a long, spicy finish.

Does it have more life? Yes...at least three years IMHO. However, it drinks so well now.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/26/19, 10:13 AM - Alright, KJ... I was in Edm Airport yesterday between flights and the wine shop there has a great selection. The 2011 Tapestry was “on sale” @ $65/btl and I do what I usually do... look up the wine on CT and your positive review tipped me over to pick up a couple of bottles. Looking fwd to opening one this weekend. I’ll write up a TN.

  • Canoehead commented:

    7/26/19, 10:07 PM - KJ, how long did you decant for? Was a lot of residue?

  • Canoehead commented:

    7/29/19, 11:41 AM - Hi KJ, I've posted TNs for both the '11 Tapestry and the '11 Nota Bene we tasted alongside it - just to see how the two Meritages compare/contrast. I do believe there may have been a bottle condition issue w the Tapestry (bought at the Edmonton Airport wine shop). The acid was barely present and the fruit had a bit of a cooked nature therefore the oaky vanilla was at the forefront and not particularly enjoyable. I was hoping for the blackberry tart and menthol but nada. We plan to open the other Tapestry in the coming weeks and see how it shows. Thanks for the tip! Wine is an adventure.... Next time you plan to come to Victoria send me a heads up message and we'll get together with darrenv and open some gems.

Red
2010 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
7/21/2019 - NostraBacchus Likes this wine:
93 points
This was decanted for 2-3 hours. Still young but very pretty, with notes of cassis, dark cherries, crushed flowers, some graphite, smoke, also some minerality and sweet spices, as well as some cedar wood. It‘s medium-full bodied, has nice mid-palate persistence, medium-high acidity providing beautiful freshness and medium-high tannin that is very good quality. Long finish. A very pretty Bordeaux that is still pretty young, but only 2-3 away from its early drinking window. I really love the freshness here. (93+)
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/21/19, 3:50 PM - Very helpful TN. We look forward to opening our pair in 2021.

Red
2014 Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
7/12/2019 - darrenv Likes this wine:
91 points
No formal note.
Drinking beautifully. Pnp'd, took no time at all to open up, but after half an hour was great. Plummy nose and nice mellow mouthfeel. Just what I was looking for for a summer bbq with roast veggies and chicken breast.
Happy I have another bottle. Great work Rob!
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/13/19, 3:05 PM - D - great TN. We could arrange a vertical tasting. We have ‘09, ‘12, ‘13 and ‘15 of the Voluptuous.

Red
2015 Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
7/11/2019 - RARevino wrote:
I opened the wine poured and drank a glass immediately. Unbelievable wine from the black hills collection. from the first sip through to the 45 minute decant this wine was a belt high fast ball right over the plate.
It was a well rounded , mellow on the nose an smooth on the pallet. perfectly bright and subtle wine. at the same time. low alcohol content for its youthfulness.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/12/19, 5:11 PM - Agreed. Excellent analogy - right in the strike zone. Has come together beautifully.

Red
2015 Gold Hill Cabernet Merlot Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
7/6/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
90 points
Great value red from one of the hardest working wineries in the Okanagan. Very good balance for a fuller-bodied blend over-delivering on the palate. One of the faves of the 2018 wine club.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/6/19, 6:55 PM - Are you sure it was the 2015? They sold out months ago. The 2016 is everywhere but nowhere near the magic from this vintage. Yes, the SLPS is at a great price this month. Rob the neighbor just dropped off a 2012!

Red
2016 The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvée Mt. Veeder Red Blend
7/4/2019 - EMAZurich wrote:
92 points
Puh, bombastisch. Voll, dicht - aber auch tragende Säure und forsches Tannin. Vanille, Brombeere. Weiss noch nicht was ich damit anfangen soll, könnte wirklich gross werden aber im Moment eher überdrüber. Trotzdem grosses Potenzial, dichte, reine Frucht und tolle Balance.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/4/19, 6:38 PM - Grosses Potenzial in der Tat! We’ll hold ours for a couple of years. Salut!

Red
2016 Phantom Creek Estates Syrah Phantom creek vineyards Okanagan Valley
3/12/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
Decanted for initial 90 mins. This is a powerful potent Syrah that is still in blocks. Alcohol on the nose and a bit of a burn on the finish. Dark blue and black fruits are present but restrained. Tannins are fine and drying. Acidity is under the surface but not acidic. Three hours later this is reminiscent of Pax and Saxum better efforts. There is also a polish to this wine, no doubt from the oak. Well made. Will be buying more.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/4/19, 9:29 AM - Francois: Relatively speaking to very good quality, mid-tier Cali cabs & syrahs - Phantom Creek reds are probably decent value where one is now paying 100USD for well-structured, complex and concentrated wines. I like a little acidity in my reds - I'm tired of these big plush reds that subsequently tire my palate after a glass or two. I still prefer a WA State Red Mountain Cab or Walla Walla / Rocks Syrah. WA is probably the better regional comparison and the Phantom Creek lineup will be competitively/fully priced. That being said, we have some of the Becker & Phantom Creek Cabs lying down and are waiting for it to come around. The Syrah was very good and we look forward to trying a couple more bottles of it in the winter. The folks at WineAlign just assessed the current releases and came away generally positive (although they appear to be taking advtg $ from the winery). Next tasting will be the Merlot... stay tuned.

Red
2007 Church & State Wines Quintessential Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
4/30/2016 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
95 points
We participated a blind tasting of elegant “Q” red wines (we're running out of ideas for wine dinner themes) last night over some beef tenderloin and all the trimmings. I brought the ’07 C&S Quintessential and it was poured alongside a 2007 Quintessa from Napa (>$ 150) and a rare 2004 Quintarelli Alzero (>$300 – if you can even find it anywhere). The unanimous favourite (save for one Alzero stalwart) was the Quintessential! It paired beautifully with the beef and had a great long finish. One more bottle left!
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/4/19, 9:15 AM - you're a lucky man!

Red
2009 Fairview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The Wrath Okanagan Valley VQA
6/30/2019 - darrenv Likes this wine:
92 points
I say 92 only because in the big picture, I need to reign in my ratings and 92 is a good rating. Unfortunately, Francois maybe had an affected bottle, but this was fantastic. Canoehead brought a 2010 Sassacaia and we double decanted each of these and brought them to a local restaurant and drank them with medium rare prime rib. The Wrath had a beautifully fragrant nose of blackberry and cassis, it showed some age on the colour, but was very vibrant and still had some velvety tannins to attack the beef and some nice acidity. I can't say enough about this wine and Bill's masterful winemaking. I think Canoehead will concur that this actually outshone the Sassacaia, which verges on blasphemy. I would enjoy this now as it's at its peak. Don't wait. Decant though or let it have plenty of air.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/2/19, 3:33 PM - I concur The Wrath outshone the '10 Sassicaia. Bill has made another fabulous premium Cab Sauv. Really a delight. I think this is a 92-93 no question. Agreed that it is probably not going to improve in the bottle any more but has great structure & complexity right now. Drink up!

Red
2010 Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia Sassicaia Red Bordeaux Blend
6/30/2019 - darrenv Likes this wine:
90 points
It's difficult to reconcile the recent notes here to what I experienced tonight. A friend brought this, (double decanted) to a restaurant and had it up against a BC Cab Sav of all things, with prime rib.
The nose was quite muted, at least for some time and the mouthfeel was good with juicy acidity and bright red fruit, like barely ripe cherry. I was thinking it would be something quite different and although it was actually getting better, which makes me think it either wasn't ready to drink, or didn't have nearly enough air, it didn't measure up to the cab sav. I'm tempted to say this probably wasn't fair and that had we tried this again tomorrow or the next day, it may have been a beauty. I've had sublime Super Tuscans and I can't help but think something's amiss here. When I see a date like 2033, I think this might have been in a dumb phase.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/2/19, 10:42 AM - It was my pleasure to BYO the Sassicaia and believe me I was expecting much more as well. When I had decanted it at home it had a lovely not-too-intense perfumed nose of flowers, dusty herbs and sweet cassis. It was a bit shut down on the palate though so I left it for a couple of hours and re-bottled it for the dinner out. I had expected an elegant, medium-plus body with great balance and some complexity. Nope. It gave hints to some power and potential but just never came around. I can vouch for the peerless provenance. The OWC was sealed and I had to break it open. All bottles individually wrapped in the classic dark blue wrapping. I agree it must have been a dumb bottle. Will try another in a year or so. The BC Cab, ‘09 Wrath, was a absolute delight and perfect w the roast prime rib. And a 1/3 of the price of the Sassicaia.

Red
2007 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red Bordeaux Blend
6/22/2019 - hoservin wrote:
93 points
Decanted for one hour. Nose of black cherry, blackberry, currants, dried herbs and forest floor. Black and red fruit, coffee, tobacco, dried herbs and fine tannins on the palate. Long finish. Full bodied with good depth. True Bordeaux character in this Cali wine. Served with grilled strip steak, shrimp and béarnaise.
  • Canoehead commented:

    6/30/19, 2:38 PM - Great TN. Did you fine 1hr satisfactory to open the wine up it’s fullest potential? We’ve got two of these stowed away and would love to optimize the best time to open. Cheers

Red
2013 LaStella Fortissimo Okanagan Valley VQA SuperTuscan Blend
6/22/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
90 points
Starting to drop off in the mid-palate and the finish is much shorter than previous bottles. Time to drink up.
  • Canoehead commented:

    6/23/19, 1:23 PM - Salute! If there's any charcuterie or antipasti nearby that would be a great accompaniment. Enjoy. We have three more to go...

Red
2013 Road 13 Fifth Element Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend
6/22/2019 - darrenv Likes this wine:
92 points
Same as prior note, but I'd say decant this for an hour at least. It seemed more tannic this time, which makes me think it could go longer and last time I thought it wouldn't. It's drinking fabulously right now and can go four years more anyway. This time I was getting a dose of kirsch or marzipan on the nose. So full bodied! At SuperStore it was $48 TOTAL! What a bargain.
  • Canoehead commented:

    6/23/19, 1:21 PM - All '13s we've opened so far have been ready to go after decanting off the residue. Interesting to hear about the tannic bottle this time. Marzipan is a good catch. There is this savoury creaminess to 5th. Pretty healthy MLF. Looking forward to prime rib at HRB soon!

Red
2013 Painted Rock Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
6/15/2019 - darrenv Likes this wine:
92 points
Fantastic nose of dark cherry, tarry-leathery-anise notes. Very full mouthfeel and nice finish. A friend who is a California Zinfandel/Aussie Shiraz aficionado loved it. I wish I had more.
  • Canoehead commented:

    6/17/19, 6:49 PM - Good review DV, we have a couple of bottles of the ‘13 PR. Maybe Prime Rib BYO @ Heron Rock?

Red
2014 Township 7 Black Dog Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend
A very decent and balanced red blend based, I think, on cabernet, but the community price shown here is surprising. Tasted more like $25 than almost $40.
  • Canoehead commented:

    6/6/19, 7:50 AM - It’s probably $40 Canadian on the Cellartracker site. Many Canadian users of CT don’t convert their price paid into USD. Which is about $32 US. Lots of oak exposure on this one. Try the 2015 if you can. Very good effort.

Red
2014 John Anthony Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
4/19/2019 - jfaulk Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a great QPR cab I found recently at $52. Double decanted and poured...Upfront you catch a whiff of cherry and tobacco. Taste of luscious cassis & berry followed by mellow oak. Slightly acidic & tangy. The structure is there. A unique and well made Cabernet. Great weekend or dinner find!
  • Canoehead commented:

    4/20/19, 6:08 PM - Your TN seems very positive on the wine but you rate it “flawed”. Is there something we’re missing in your assessment?

Red
2013 Road 13 Fifth Element Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend
3/9/2019 - darrenv Likes this wine:
92 points
Beautiful. Big dose of plummy merlot. Fruity, but notes of tobacco, cedar, leather. I'm not sure about hanging onto this too long. It's drinking very well right now. Like a Nota Bene in the bargain bin.
  • Canoehead commented:

    3/11/19, 11:49 AM - I agree that this is definitely in its peak form and should be consumed sooner than later. Two more bottles in my world!

Red
2014 Burrowing Owl Meritage Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
black fruit and leather and some nutmeg.
we aired with an electronic aerator. so drank right away. seemed to need a bit more air and as the hour progressed we saw a nice change and maturity.
  • Canoehead commented:

    3/8/19, 4:33 PM - Spot on tasting note. Definitely needs a couple of hours in the decanter or a couple of years more in the cellar!

Red
2015 Noble Ridge Meritage Reserve Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
3/3/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
PNP, dark ruby in the glass. Aromatic spice and fruit. Definitely a little vanilla and tannic bite on the palate but the depth of dark red fruit and touch of herbaceousness are dominant. Really a delight. Med+ finish with a tad alcoholic heat but good concentration and complexity. Well done for CAD40.
  • Canoehead commented:

    3/5/19, 9:25 AM - Nota Bene, albeit the 2016, was in the same blind tasting in Nov. it did not impress or even suggest potential. This NR Rsv Meritage is the real deal and you have one in your six-pack!

Red
2014 Poggio al Tesoro Bolgheri Superiore il seggio Red Bordeaux Blend
2/14/2019 - Grape_ape wrote:
couldn't keep my hands off these.. wish I bought more
  • Canoehead commented:

    2/14/19, 5:20 PM - Can you share more specifics? We're about to crack our first six-pack and want to know estimated decant time - one to two hours, maybe? Did you pair yours with anything ideal?

  • Canoehead commented:

    2/27/19, 10:45 AM - Thank you. Very helpful follow up. Will definitely decant for a couple of hours and report on the outcome.

Red
2014 Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
2/20/2019 - RARevino wrote:
okanagan cherry, very nicely developed body with a hint of tobacco, rich soil, good balanced tannins from front to back
  • Canoehead commented:

    2/21/19, 10:43 AM - I echo your tasting note. The '14 BH Syrah is a delight.

Red
2014 Denner Sacred Burro Paso Robles Willow Creek District Carignan
2/18/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
95 points
This is wine. This is very good wine. It’s not trying to be something from elsewhere. It’s not trying to be defined by its vinification. It’s not Oak and it’s not Jam. It represents where it comes from. What it’s made of rather than how it’s made. It’s components are in balance. It has fruit, tannins, acid, and alcohol and all seamlessly integrated. A delight to drink, savour and pair with simple fare. Tonight lamb stew from scratch. This is very good wine. Sacred? Maybe Ethereal. Burro? More like vigilant and persistent. This is wine.
  • Canoehead commented:

    2/18/19, 12:03 PM - Bought at the winery in Paso Robles during our 2017 road trip. Stellar stuff. We also purchased their Mother of Exiles Bordeaux blend and will wait another year or two before opening that monster. I'll open it for one of our future tastings.

Red
2012 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique Okanagan Valley VQA
2/17/2019 - ajbergren wrote:
92 points
Rich ruby red with very high optical density and medium specular reflectivity. Aromas mixed dark and red fruits with a wet gravel infused floral lift. Some forest floor and savory notes under the fruit, with a strong sea-side iodine aroma with spicy black pepper lingering underneath. Really mouthwatering nose, lots of appeal. The palate is medium to full bodied with medium plus acidity and some tannic bite on the back end. The texture ends up being a porous-grained but even nature, with good density and concentration, but some rustic notes in the details. Flavours of mixed berries on the attack, with some forest meadow and a savory kick of spice. The midpalate brings in more, with stone and some oak flavours contributing on top of the fruit. The flavours are intense and there is decent complexity. Less primary thought, showing the fruit as an even contributor to the spices and other notes. The finish is medium in length, with a dry character and light flavours of raw meat and charred leather.

Really nice, enjoyable wine here. Not completely knit together, I suspect this will improve in the cellar, but still quite delicious at this time. A great experience with depth and character driving the wine. Made in a very old-world style, this is like Northern Rhone in Canada! Well balanced and showing classic varietal characteristics, this is great Syrah!
  • Canoehead commented:

    2/17/19, 5:28 PM - I agree with KJ, this is a terrific TN. This is a fantastic wine and has great potential for another 5-7 years. Great structure and complexity. One of our fave BC Syrahs.

  • Canoehead commented:

    2/18/19, 12:17 AM - KJ - I recommend Van Westen on Naramata Bench & Orofino in Similkameen. Both portfolios, red & white are stellar for quality & price. I’m waiting to see whether Peller leaves Black Hills autonomous or not.

Red
2015 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
2/10/2019 - Francois Le Mouel Likes this wine:
92 points
Atypical for a Nota Bene, more aromatic than other vintages with geranium notes that I don't usually get (not sure how much I like that). Soft tannins, balanced and fresh. Enjoy now or cellar for 8-10+ years.
  • Canoehead commented:

    2/11/19, 4:29 PM - Have any of you tried the Black Hills Pinot Noir? We haven't yet but curious. Just got back from the Anderson Valley in Northern California. Witching Stick & Lichen Estate are two wonderful producers of USD40-50 Pinots. I haven't figured out the hype surrounding Martin's Lane ever since it won some International Pinot competition a few years back... And yes, the '15 Nota Bene is going to have a number of years ahead of it. The 2011 has been terrific lately and that was a challenging year..

  • Canoehead commented:

    2/11/19, 7:25 PM - Y, the ML 2011 Pinot Noir won a bizarre award at the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards competition in London for Best Pinot under £15 but the wine was never available directly to the public - only MH club members and select restaurants. Even members complained that the wine was never offered below CA$30 after discounts & pre-tax.

  • Canoehead commented:

    2/11/19, 7:29 PM - There are always new exciting reds in the province. We just opened one of our 2013 Blind Creek Consensus for wine friends in Silicon Valley and they were blown away by its quality and then I told them the price in USD - <35 and they wanted to know where they could buy it. Sorry, kids, all sold out but we have four more in the cellar. The 2015 shows similar potential.

  • Canoehead commented:

    2/11/19, 10:53 PM - Darren, just doing my part as a proud BC wine enthusiast and sharing the good drop with anyone I can.

Red
2015 Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
1/22/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Same initial off-putting nose that darrenv cites in his TN. Took a little while for the fruit, meat & pepper to surface. Still a youngun’ with good potential. Perfect with brisket and beans.
  • Canoehead commented:

    1/24/19, 9:13 PM - Sadly, I haven’t had any of the amphora wines from LS. We should put the Syrah in the next tasting of that variety.

Red
2015 Descendientes de José Palacios Bierzo Pétalos Mencía
1/6/2019 - sshayfin wrote:
88 points
appearance: med ruby
nose: med + intense aromas of: blackberry, black currant, ripe redberries, ripe red cherry, lavander, chocolate, coffee, smoke, tobacco, tar, earth, leather, nutmeg, eucalyptus.
developing
palate:
dry
med + acidity
high alcohol
med + tannins
med + body
med finish
med + intense flavors of blackberry, black currant, cedar, eucalyptus, tobbaco, tar, flint, meaty.
quality: outstanding
readiness for drinking: can drink now, but has potential for further aging
  • Canoehead commented:

    1/6/19, 11:11 AM - Very good TN detail however your Quality assessment of "outstanding" and your rating of 88 seems to be a bit of a disconnect. All due respect, but what elements were lacking for this wine not to achieve a mid-90s rating if the quality is outstanding?

Red
2014 Mission Hill Oculus Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
Very impressive as well (drank it with Le Vieux Pin Cabernet Franc 2015). The Oculus tasted more like a very high quality Napa Valley Cab than an Okanagan wine. Super young, vigorous, rich and deep...with a sweet oaky finish. The acidity is doing a great job at keeping the wine fresh and not heavy. A great treat that will age very well over the next 15 years.
  • Canoehead commented:

    1/2/19, 4:38 PM - Bonne Année, Francois! two terrific tasting notes to kick off the new year. I'm not surprised at your takeaways and rating of the '14 Oculus. We tasted (& judged) it blind at the Annual BC Iconic Reds Competition held this past November in Vancouver alongside 19 other premium BC reds. When the labels were revealed to coincide with the bottles poured - the Oculus ended up being my No. 2 wine of the evening after a very impressive CedarCreek 2014 The Last Word. Other impressive wines from that evening were the Blind Creek Collective 2015 Consensus and the Road 13 2016 Fifth Element. You should really try to make out this way in mid-November for the next Icon Red Competition. Its a blast!

    à votre santé,

    John

  • Canoehead commented:

    1/2/19, 6:19 PM - I agree, Darren. The competition was blind to price and label but I would definitely buy higher end Italians such as Oreno or WA state big red blends. The Last Word from CC and the Blind Creek Consensus are rock stars.

  • Canoehead commented:

    1/6/19, 10:33 AM - Francois et Darren,
    Apologies fellow wine friends, we have house guests this weekend and I was offline & out-of-my-mind! So here are a collective number of responses & comments:
    BC Iconic Red Competition is open to the public but maxxes out at 108 people who are willing to pony up $89/pp (with a $20 purchase credit towards any of the wines in the competition - case discounts of 5% are also offered). It is held usually in the second week of November at the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver and is sponsored by Sutton Place Wine Merchants. It is a double blind tasting, only Simon Wosk, the organizer knows which wines are in which "numbered" bottles. There is an appy break in the middle and a little bubbly on offer to refresh the palate. It is both professionally rigourous and a communal blast to taste, albeit quite young, some of BC's best premium reds. I get an email notification from Simon in early October and will definitely give both of you a heads up because tickets sell out fast!

  • Canoehead commented:

    1/6/19, 10:47 AM - CedarCreek 2014 The Last Word
    Francois, I stand by my recommendation on this wine. It is has big bones and terrific depth and very promising ageing potential. Opening a bottle now will require a solid 2+ hour decant with some big aggressive swirls for aeration (do not put thru an aerator - show this wine some respect). The magnums will last 12-15 years easy but you'll be tempted to open with good friends over rare standing rib roast and all the trimmings, including Yorkshire Pudding (just had this whole spread last weekend - with two vintages of the Blind Creek Consensus - But I digress!). Feel confident that The Last Word was a solid buy.

  • Canoehead commented:

    1/6/19, 10:50 AM - Totally support the Go Fund Francois campaign. Anything to get him back out here to help make a dent in the cellar. I will see if I can get my hands on some of the LVP Cab Franc....

Red
2015 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT Sangiovese
12/13/2018 - maxima wrote:
95 points
Bu ce midi en succ dans le back store avec les conseillers et
3 autres clients 4 vins de l’arrivage Italiens.
Antinori Guado al Tasso 2015, Marchesi Antinori Tignanello 2015,
Flaccianello della Pieve Fontodi Colli Toscana 2015 et
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri 2015.
Les 4 vins étaient en carafe depuis le matin donc un bon 3 heures.
4 très beaux vins, ça c’est certain,
Tous ont eu une légère préférence pour le Tignanelllo sauf moi,
le Flaccianelli ma soufflé. Guado al Tasso 3ième et ensuite Sassicaia trop ouvert et amère en ce moment.
Quel beau vin complet et complexe.
Beaucoup de fruits mais une belle structure et des tannins fins et bien enrobés. C'est long et c'est bon.
Finale tout en douceur sur des relents de minéraux.
Excellent. Mon préféré donc 3 pour la cave!
  • Canoehead commented:

    12/13/18, 3:18 PM - Maxima, what a terrific side-by-side tasting of some young, muscular supertuscans! I like how the Sassicaia, WS's Top Wine in 2018, is in the bottom rung for this round. I will warn you that Flaccianellos are notorious for showing off early and then "shutting down" for a few years until they come back around. Our 2008's are just waking up from their cellar nap... Next time definitely include Sette Ponti's Oreno in the tasting mix!

Red
2015 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert Syrah
11/6/2018 - maxima wrote:
93 points
Bu en succ.
Un vin immense, un aubaine à ce prix!
Un autre example de la grandeur de 2015 en Rhone Nord...6 bouteilles en cave et je me retiens!
Le vin était en carafe depuis le matin, donc un bon 4 heures.
Un nez dense et pure sur les cerises et les mures avec
de la sauge et de la fumée avec un brin d'olive et de viande.
En bouche, de la soie et fort complexe.
Des mures, du bacon, du lard et un peu de tapenade sur un fond florale.
Aucune lourdeur, une belle impression de fraicheur et de minéraux.
Les tannins sont fins t la finale hyper
longue et veloutée, rien n'accroche.
Un vin qui démontre une belle tension et un bel équilibre.
Superbe en ce moment et jusqu'ou il ira...on pourra le suivre!
PS: You heard it here first...AGAIN!
  • Canoehead commented:

    12/6/18, 10:10 AM - Maxima, excellente note de dégustation. certainement du bacon, du saindoux et de la tapenade
    I can’t wait to open our first bottle this holiday season - a long decant, I trust.

Red
2013 Church & State Wines Quintessential Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
12/1/2018 - darrenv Likes this wine:
90 points
Nice nose, fragrant, I could tell there was more Petit Verdot. Decent mouthfeel, lots of dark fruit and even after an hour still tannic. I think in three more years this will be great.
  • Canoehead commented:

    12/4/18, 11:29 AM - we definitely have to have a Quintessential vertical. I have singles of 07, 08 & 09

Red
2015 Township 7 Reserve 7 Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
11/26/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Decanted 30 mins ahead of a tasting party. Good complexity to the nose - dark red fruits and some spice. Medium+ body. Tannins still a tad grippy but wonderful with charcuterie and cheese board. VG value.
  • Canoehead commented:

    11/27/18, 9:59 AM - One of our friends is a member and I split an order with her earlier this year. The Reserve 7 was so well received we’re gonna put it in the premium six-pack once I get the other allocations.

Red
2012 Thirty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Small Lot Thirty Bench Vineyard Beamsville Bench VQA
11/23/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Last bottle and the best yet. This is really coming into its own; so well-balanced and good complexity. Tasted alongside a 2013 Allegrini Amarone and this was preferred by the whole group. Good depth of fruit that is starting to move into tertiary with some dried dark red fruits and fig. Fine tannins. Really delightful. Definitely in its window now.
  • Canoehead commented:

    11/27/18, 9:57 AM - I couldn’t be more serious. The Allegrini was a bit atypical. It did not have either the unctuous weight or the classic depth of raisins and balsamic that Amarone tends to be. Also the 30 Bench was spot on!

Red
2005 Torbreck RunRig Barossa Valley Shiraz Blend, Syrah
11/10/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
98 points
Standout of a Syrah blind tasting evening. Drinking beautifully right now. Massive nose of dried and stewed dark red fruits along with cedar, pepper and licorice. Lots of depth and complexity on the palate. Briliant med+ body. Fine tannins and surprising freshness for a 14 yr old wine. No jammy or flabbiness here. Closing in on perfect and a fraction of the price vs. Grange or Hill of Grace.
  • Canoehead commented:

    11/12/18, 10:53 AM - You're correct, we had the 2004. It appears I entered my two bottles under 2005 because they have been wrapped ever since purchase at the cellar door in Barossa. We had also purchased two bottles of the 2005 Descendant at the time (unwrapped). Then when I joined CT and entered my inventory I must have thought the Runrigs were 2005 as well. I've now corrected that in CT.

Red
2012 Van Westen Vineyards V Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
6/4/2018 - jwmarkvoort Likes this wine:
92 points
Wonderful smooth PN.
  • Canoehead commented:

    10/23/18, 4:20 PM - The Van Westen V is a Bordeaux-style red blend (Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Malbec & Petit Verdot). Maybe you're referring to the "VD" Pinot Noir that Rob collaborated with Tom DiBello on?

Red
2015 Patterson Cellars BDX Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/20/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Ready to please meritage. Dark red fruits, spice and vanilla on both nose and palate. Ripe fine tannins, alcohol and acidity all in balance. Just never enters the complexity zone. But a perfect weeknight red. Good value.
  • Canoehead commented:

    10/23/18, 4:00 PM - Hey D - was that the event at Vessel? Did he have any favourite wines of late?

Red
2013 Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
9/10/2018 - Canoehead Does not like this wine:
87 points
I would expect more from a CC Riserva from a pretty good vintage. Old world style, muted dried fruit on the nose and the palate. Brick red with traces of a orange rim. Acid is dropping out ahead of the tannin and the fruit. Did wake up a bit with food - parm-regg, olives, marinara pasta. Otherwise, quite underwhelming. May be braising with the last bottle.
  • Canoehead commented:

    10/3/18, 2:19 PM - Maybe I've taken a break in writing about wine but definitely not stopping the consumption of the juice! Have just returned from France trip and there was plenty to sample at really affordable prices - grocery shelf Crozes Hermitage (2016) for just 9 euros and it was terrific! I'll get back on the TN horse very soon! I really want to hear about the Francois tasting...

Red
2015 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina Red Rhone Blend
11/3/2017 - shadow wrote:
97 points
Nose is a rich decadent vapor that teases my taste buds in anticipation.
First sip, like a briney stew of meat seared over an coal fire.
Second sip, still black and brisk, the tannin holds a touch of acid in check while saliva washes my palate free.
Watery like a thin Burg, intense like a single malt.
This is not panty remover, this is sit by the fire and listen to some Pink F with the lights down low to allow the music and wine fight it out.
  • Canoehead commented:

    9/28/18, 8:27 AM - VG TN! Just got our first case and will dig out the PF this coming winter. A votre sante!

Red
2003 Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend
Slightly more interesting than my last bottle. You can tell it comes from a very hot vintage, the acidity level is rather low. All in all this is an excellent Bordeaux, but perhaps not very typical of Pessac-Leognan. Drink or hold, but not sure this will improve more.
  • Canoehead commented:

    7/8/18, 1:19 PM - Coincidentally, last night we had a 2003 Bordeaux as well. We opened (BYO'd to local Keg that has a serious sommelier on staff!) a 2003 Ducru Beaucaillou and while we found the wine a true delight now it is definitely at its peak and the acidity was low to begin with and with all the tertiary fruit we felt it may begin to disintegrate in a few years. It was a damn hot year... hopefully you're staying cool in stifling Quebec!

  • Canoehead commented:

    7/8/18, 4:40 PM - Do you know your Sep dates yet for Victoria? We have a trip tentatively booked for NYC in the middle of the month so hopefully we don’t miss you.

  • Canoehead commented:

    7/8/18, 6:10 PM - Very good. We should be back by the 19th. Would love to host you and Darren for a tasting evening one of those nights. Let us know when your dates are firmed up.

  • Canoehead commented:

    9/12/18, 5:56 PM - Francois, I’m really sad that I will miss the opportunity to share wines with you and DV. I will be dropping off a bottle for you to pop&pour in my absence. I’ll be there in spirit and definitely want to meet next time you’re on the Island or I’m in Old Hochelaga! A votre sante et a bientot! - John

Red
2015 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel
9/2/2018 - Canoehead wrote:
89 points
This Zin-dominant field blend has been our go-to Zin for years. However, the price point has become disconnected from what use to be good QPR in the bottle. No question this is a well-made blend that has good balance between the elegant fruit, acidity, alcohol and tannins (thanks to Petite Sirah?). In most years, the Lytton red has had cellaring potential. The winery is partially responsible for the price increase these past few years but sadly in B.C. our liquor board has continued to raise the price. The 2015 retails for just over 80CAD after-tax which is about 61USD. That’s almost twice the average price in US! It’s time we research alternatives to the Lytton. Any suggestions?
  • Canoehead commented:

    9/5/18, 11:36 PM - It’s not whether the currency is weak. I’ve normalized the currency difference. The fact is that the duties and the taxes are prohibitively higher in this province which starts to make Ridge, and Turley for that matter (2015 versions of Juveniles and Old Vine are approx 45USD up here) over-priced for what’s in the bottle.

Red
2013 Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
Ripe nose - with intriguing meaty aromas.

Round & richly textured, with intense blue & blackberry flavors.

Fresh notes of licorice & eucalyptus with a long finish.
  • Canoehead commented:

    8/22/18, 10:59 PM - KJ, why only 86 when your TN seems relatively positive? Is it because it’s too new world for a typically old world Chianti producer?

Red
2015 Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
7/28/2018 - darrenv Likes this wine:
91 points
Gave it an hour, something on the nose was a bit weird, but it blew off after a while. Nice and fruity, nice peppery finish. Decent syrah that might get better with a year or two, but good to drink now. $48 with tax makes me think more of some $28 BC syrah (Orofino Scout Vineyard)...
  • Canoehead commented:

    8/3/18, 9:43 AM - Agreed, D. This '15 Syrah will be lovely in a couple of years. In the meantime source and drink as much Orofino Syrah for 2/3 the price!

  • Canoehead commented:

    8/4/18, 10:22 AM - The Strath had the ‘15 Daydreamer Syrah. Maybe they’ll bring in the ‘16 vintage.

Red
2013 Marchesi Mazzei Chianti Classico Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
Italian Tasting (San Diego Wine Co.): 92% Sangiovese, 8% Malvasia Nera and Colorino (vines 12-30 yrs old) from 50 different estate parcels with Alberese & Galestro (limestone) soils @ 722 - 1,804 ft above sea level; Fermented @ 26-28° C for 15-18 days, then aged 20 mos in small FR oak barrels (225 & 500 lt / 60% new); Bottled June 2016, released March 2017.

N: LM body; LOVELY frt met by a puckerish astringency that NEVER loses touch with the initial frt as it slowly, SEAMLESSLY morphs into a very LONG, BALANCED finish with a tangy/swtness & OCCASIONAL notes of bitterness to the very, VERY fine tannins. Needs/DESERVES through '19, then EASILY making its 10th & _ more. SUPERBLY done! 13.7% ABV; My EXC. 95 pts, Platinum, & Best Red Chianti @ '17 Decanter World Wine Awards, 95 pts WS, 94 WA, 92 Suckling, 91 ea Falstaff Magazine, WE, Vinous, & ErGentili, and 90 Luca Gardini! [This vendor's $39.99 is (uncharacteristically) in the bottom half of some fairly wide-ranging wine-searcher listings.]
  • Canoehead commented:

    8/3/18, 9:26 AM - Very helpful review SRH. We've been waiting for this vintage to be released in the BC market and the price up here will be close to USD50. As for the wide price range on WineSearcher, I suspect some retailers are entering the entry-level Chianti Classico under the Gran Selezione title and even loading the image from that mass-produced bottle.

Red
2006 Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon Okanagan Valley VQA
7/28/2018 - RARevino wrote:
very nice wine. at its peak. JP told me so.
  • Canoehead commented:

    8/3/18, 9:17 AM - This is definitely in its drinking window. This is from a production period where BOV over-delivered on price. RR was generous enough to offer me a glass. Thank you!

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