Tasting Notes for Canoehead

(232 notes on 176 wines)

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Red
5/29/2019 - Canoehead Does not like this wine:
85 points
Too much oak and not enough stuffing to support it. Not well-balanced. Heavy on the MLF as well, very rounded with low acid. Too much intervention in the winery with what was probably underneath a basic field blend. In the future I recommend a name change from Hands of Time to "Hands Off This Time!"
Red
5/26/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
A fine example of both the vintage potential and the winemaker skill. Pronounced bouquet of sweet dark red fruit, cedar, menthol and spice. Depth of fruit carries thru on the palate plus a good integration of fine tannins and sustained acidity. Not a long cellaring candidate. Would consume in next 2-4 years. A delight.
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Red
5/4/2019 - Canoehead wrote:
90 points
PnP’d - deep purple-black. Stewed blueberries & cherries on the nose with a sweet vanilla waft. Continues thru on the palate. Good weight, medium finish. Not a fruit bomb as expected but lacks the complexity expected at this price point (in B.C., equivalent to USD58 after taxes).
Red
2015 Burrowing Owl Meritage Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/25/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Part of a four bottle blind tasting of 2015 BC Meritage blends. Several folks picked up on the Cab Franc component's bright greenness (in a good way) which paired well with some roasted lamb chops on offer. Very well made wine but was in the shadow of the evening's champ, Black Widow Hourglass. Other wines decanted and poured - Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage and CedarCreek Desert Ridge Meritage. All very good representations of a stellar vintage in the Valley.
Red
2015 Black Widow Winery Hourglass Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/25/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
Group favourite at a blind tasting of four 2015 BC Meritage blends. Pronounced nose of dark red fruits, vanilla spice and a slight waft of heat. Massive mouth filling waves of rich ripe fruit and fine, sturdy tannins. Layers of dried herbs, cedar and cocoa. Good long finish. Well-balanced and concentrated. Other '15 wines tasted and in order of preference - Noble Ridge Reserve Meritage, Burrowing Owl Meritage and CedarCreek Desert Ridge Meritage. All the wines were decanted for two hours and rated VG to Excellent but the Hourglass was the winner.
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Red
4/22/2019 - Canoehead wrote:
90 points
Hmmm, I was expecting something more compelling and complex. Wine is a bright ruby leaning towards garnet. Still primary red fruits and a little spice on the nose. Great mouthfeel and body but couldn't get past the residual sweetness. Almost cloying and masked the fruit and any depth or nuance. Not impressive.
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Red
2013 Orofino Vineyards Red Bridge Red Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/17/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Drank over three days. Really a delight. This has the stuffing to last another 4-5 years easy. Acidity, alcohol and tannins all in great balance. Layers of tertiary fruit and sweet spice. Very good value.
Red
4/17/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Decanted for one hour. Dark, extracted purple. Sweet, dark red fruits on the nose with a touch of spice and a bit of mint. Medium-plus body with lush fruit, cocoa, vanilla spice and some dried herbs. Very good balance with fine, ripe tannins. Medium+ finish. Well done.
Red
4/10/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Agree with Grape Ape TNs. This is a richer Bolgheri than most at this typically lower, more affordable price range. Terrific balance of both dark red and blue fruits. Lots of savoury elements in play; leather, tobacco, dried herbs and black licorice. Very good value.
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Red
4/8/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
PnP but should have decanted for an hour. Needed some air, has some alcohol heat and a tannic bite. But really smoothed out in the next couple of pours. Lots of vanilla spice and baked cherry (clafoutis?) but all in balance.
Red
4/3/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Simply a delight. Massive nose of blue & black fruits, pancetta and dried herbs. Big & lush mouthfeel. Yes, there’s acid, thank god, we don’t need a treaclely sweet finish. Great stuff.
Red
3/29/2019 - Canoehead wrote:
88 points
I had expected a more complex and concentrated Syrah at this more premium price and packaging. Nose is a bit muted. The mid-palate is a bit thin. Better with food.
Red
3/27/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Really showing well now. Dark leathery fruit, peppery balsamic mouthfeel. A bit of cured meats and dried herbs. Terrific on its own but lifted by a good charcuterie plattter.
Red
3/15/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
VG effort from Nk'Mip. PnP'd. Medum-plus bodied, great balance of ripe blue and black fruit, pepper, cured meat. Perfectly fine on its own but paired well with grilled rare steak, roasted fennel and crimini mushrooms. Has enough structure for 3-5 yrs more.
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Red
3/14/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Similar impact as previous TN. Still very young in its potential arc. Lots of rustic fruit and smoked meat. This will synthesize. The tannin, acidity & alcohol are in in good form. Open next bottle in 2020.
Red
3/13/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
90 points
Inky purple black. Tarry, tertiary fruit nose. Dried and stewed dark fruits on the palate plus a touch of balsamic and vanilla. Acid is hanging in there but probably not for long. Drink up now. Worked well with braised and basted baby back ribs with medium heat.
Red
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.
Red
2013 Chappellet Mountain Cuvée Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
3/5/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Definitely peaking. Has moved into tertiary mode - nose reminded us of a Zinfandel dessert wine we recently sampled. Stewed and dried dark red fruits. Still some tannic structure and tangible acidity. Good length and some complexity. Drink up.
Red
2015 Noble Ridge Meritage Reserve Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
Red
2009 Church & State Wines Quintessential Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/24/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Part of three-bottle vertical of Church & State Quintessential (07/08/09). 2009 is just shaking off its training wheels. Junior version of the 2007. All the elements are there, it just to needs to progress more for the alcohol, chewy tannins and acidity to seamlessly integrate. Give this one a solid one hour, aggressive decant. Paired with grilled rare tomahawk steaks.
Red
2008 Church & State Wines Quintessential Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/24/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
90 points
Part of three-bottle vertical of Church & State Quintessential (07/08/09). 2008 is still young with more forward tannins and reserved fruit. Medium-plus body with darker red fruits and some vanilla spice. Colour is a bit tawny (brown-orange on the rim) and really coats the glass. A bit out of balance on its own but benefitted materially with proteins and fat. Paired with grilled rare tomahawk steaks.
Red
2007 Church & State Wines Quintessential Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
2/24/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
95 points
Part of three-bottle vertical of Church & State Quintessential (07/08/09). 2007 is at its perfect peak. Gorgeous medium-plus body with great complexity of tertiary flavours of dried cherry and plum, leather, spice and fine tannins and long finish. Well-balanced, good concentration and velvety mouthfeel. Paired with grilled rare tomahawk steaks. Top bottle for everyone at the tasting.
Red
2/21/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Similar TN as last summer. Very good value. Well-balanced and terrific with duck confit and Asian salad greens.
Red
2014 Denner Sacred Burro Paso Robles Willow Creek District Carignan (view label images)
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.
Red
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.
Red
1/18/2019 - Canoehead Does not like this wine:
80 points
Similar experience as previous TN. We waited several months to open this next bottle. This wine just never came around. Had a closed off nose and lacked fruit and acid. It began to sour within the second hour. Hard to determine the exact fault here but a consistently unenjoyable wine.
Red
2012 Vik Milla Cala Cachapoal Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/14/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
89 points
No question this wine is enjoyable but once you apply the local price it is not a compelling value buy. Up here in Canuckistan, it’s the equivalent of USD47. It’s well-made, it was more enjoyable the next day but I fear it doesn’t have the legs for long life. This is made with a lot of oak and a melange of grapes. If you can find this closer to USD30 than it is pretty good. The hunt continues for very good Chilean QPR. At least up here in the quasi-monopoly liquor retail zone.
Red
2014 Burrowing Owl Meritage Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
1/7/2019 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
88 points
Hmmm, not as exciting as it was at a tasting a few months prior. Seems a bit closed off in the fruit dept and therefore the oak is quite dominant. OK with some ageing potential but so much better value is out there from BC like the Fifth Element from Road 13 or the Hourglass from Black Widow.
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Red
2013 Black Widow Winery Hourglass Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/30/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Very elegant Bordeaux blend. Tasted alongside the 2015 Hourglass over a roast prime rib dinner. Where the 2015 was fuller-bodied, fruit-forward and still a bit tannic the 2013 was medium-plus in body but fine integrated tannins in balance with evolving tertiary fruit. A delight.
Red
12/28/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Last bottle. Great value. Similar to previous TNs.
Red
12/25/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Big hit with Roast Turkey dinner. Great balance of fruit, good tannic structure and pleasant acidity.
Red
12/9/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
Once again, 30+ min decant and this is a mouthfeel monster. Yes, there is alcohol on the nose, cured meat, ground pepper and the sagey herbs of the South Okanagan filling the bouquet. However, on the palate there are layers of rich black fruit, licorice, almost a Demi-glacé richness. Oh yeah, and the pepper. Paired with a rich pot roast w caramelized cipollini onions. The 2016 is even better.
Red
12/4/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
90 points
Typically, this is the Fairview red one consumes while waiting for Bill’s other reds to “come around”. This Madcap however is much more substantial than previous vintages. Higher alcohol (15.5) is balanced against ripe dark fruit and generous fine tannins. Good acidity keeps the palate refreshed. Well done for a weeknight red.
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Red
2015 Township 7 Reserve 7 Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
Red
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.
Red
2004 Torbreck RunRig Barossa Valley Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
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.
Red
11/10/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Deep, opaque purple black. Full-bodied with layers of fresh and dried fruit and persistent pepper and black olive components. Brought to Syrah blind tasting. Score reflects a higher price relative to some BC Syrahs (Le Vieux Pin and Painted Rock) that knocked it out of the park at half the cost. Thanks RR for bringing it over!
Red
11/10/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
TN for non-Reserve 2010 Silverback Syrah. This beautiful brute was brought to Syrah blind tasting. Licorice and Fleshy Fruit on the nose. Elegant mouthfeel, nice complexity and lingering finish. Great with sweet n spicy lamb chops.
Red
11/10/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
93 points
Absolute drinking delight. Great balance of ripe dark red fruit, tannin and acidity. A little alcohol heat in the background but a great treat at a Syrah blind tasting. Terrific value. Thanks DV!
Red
2013 The Similkameen Collective Syrah - Viognier Similkameen Valley VQA Syrah Blend, Syrah (view label images)
11/10/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
This bottle was hibernating relative to previous openings. The pronounced nose and juicy palate was now closed off and firm tannins dominate. Definitely lifted when paired with spicy Asian lamb chops. Try another bottle next year to see if the brightness returns.
Red
11/10/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
94 points
The surprise Syrah for me among a Syrah focused blind tasting of six different producers. Pronounced nose with gorgeous black fruit and black pepper. Great mouthfeel and long finish. Again, massive rich fruit of blackberry and blueberry, great spice and pepper, even a bit of mint. Truly a delight to share. Paired well with Mongolian lamb chops.
Red
2005 Torbreck RunRig Barossa Valley Shiraz Blend, Syrah (view label images)
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.
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Red
10/23/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Decanted for 30 min. Glistening, dark purple. Pronounced blackberry compote on the nose with baking spice and pepper. Lush full-bodied mouthfeel. The rich black fruit carries through with pepper and a bit of dried herbs. Acidity is fighting to stay relevant with massive fruit, some alcohol heat and fine ripe tannins. Very elegant structure - the 5% Viognier co-ferment is responsible. I’d be worried that the acid drops out and this becomes flabby in a few years. I’d drink over next 2-3 years.
Red
2015 Patterson Cellars BDX Columbia Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
Red
10/17/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
92 points
Our last bottle of the vintage. Decanted off the residual sediment. Bright, brick garnet. Nose took a few moments to reveal dried red and black fruits with spice and tobacco. Fruits carry thru on palate. More cocoa, olive and leather than tobacco on the palate. Alcohol, acidity and tannins are seamless right now with very good balance but not overwhelming complex only a medium+ finish.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese (view label images)
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.
Red
8/29/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted for at least one hour, secondary and tertiary red fruit on the nose - dried, candied cherries and currants. Delightful spice, dried herbs and fine tannic backbone. However, there was a muted finish and lack of complexity we have come to expect from HM, particularly the Reservas. I would buy more Crianza at half the price.
Red
2015 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
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?
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Red
7/18/2018 - Canoehead Does not like this wine:
85 points
Probably a case of loving it in the tasting room but sweet berry syrup when we opened this bottle. Maybe flawed but this seems to be more a case of flabby and low acid.
Red
2015 Ex Nihilo Vineyards Night Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
7/15/2018 - Canoehead Likes this wine:
91 points
Definitely crafted to PnP and please right out of the gate. One would be hard-pressed to find a Napa blend of this quality at this price point ~30USD. Primarily dark red fruits on the nose and some sweet spice, particularly vanilla from the oak treatment. Fruits are more of the black realm on the palate. There is also a bit of leather and tobacco which is probably the slight grip of tannins. Acid is still present which makes the wine refreshing and not flabby at 14.7% alcohol. Good quality fruit. Fine on its own if you don't mind a slight tannic bite but just a simple grilled steak is all this needs to smooth out the tannins.
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