Comments on my notes

(46 comments on 39 notes)

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Red
2019 La Frenz Grand Total Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
6/26/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
While it’s young, received my club order and wanted to try one to see what to expect. You don’t notice the youth - very drinkable now and will only get better with a few more years on it.

Mid colour and tannin, dark fruits, bramble notes (maybe from the Cab Franc), overall a very well made and enjoyable wine that provides solid QPR.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    10/5/22, 10:22 PM - I didn’t mind the 2018 and thought both were good - but the only way I could truly solve this conundrum is to open one of each!

Red
2018 Black Widow Winery Hourglass Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
86 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - second flight - wine "C" of A to D.

Mid colour. Musty earth on the nose. No real fruit was coming through. A sour finish. Overpowering alcohol. This was my least favourite wine of the flight, although for what's its worth I didn't enjoy a single wine from the flight.

Overall, this was the most disappointing wine of the evening for me.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/22/22, 7:53 PM - 1. I'm not that patient and 2. the Grand Total and Nota Bene didn't get any special treatment either and were far more drinkable. In general, I think Nota Bene's are made more to age, whereas the Grand Total tends to be more approachable early on. The Hourglass is a wine with the social skills of someone that was home schooled.

  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/23/22, 9:18 AM - There were definitely a few bottles that didn't get finished - it's actually a fun way of seeing what people go back to after-the-fact. As you'd expect, there was lots of Open and Peller. There was also a lot of Old Vines Foch, Talon and Celestiale left. And no, we didn't finish the Hourglass.

    And I agree with you on the Grand Total - we had a 16 a week ago, and while it was delicious, don't think it has the structure to age particularly well.

  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/23/22, 9:43 AM - There is a typo on the back of the 2018 OVF label - that more or less sums up where the wine has headed in recent years - it used to be decent.

Red
2018 La Frenz Grand Total Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
92 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - third flight - wine "D" of A to D.

Mid to dark in colour. Cherry and cassis on the nose. Wonderful smooth mouthfeel, with a fantastic finish. This was easily #1 for the flight, and also my and the groups clear winner of WOTN.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/22/22, 7:48 PM - Thanks KJ - the La Frenz and Nota Bene were both the lead ponies. But either the La Frenz (and Lariana) price points are too low, or Nota Bene is too expensive. At $25 more than the La Frenz, the Nota Bene doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

    My other takeaway was that I do not enjoy cheap wine unfortunately, and that there is no point to the $30 to $40 wines as they really aren't that much better than the $15 to $25 wines.

Red
2019 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis Napa Valley
5/13/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Bait and switched at a restaurant - 2018 advertised, 2019 delivered and didn’t have energy to turn it down and start over.

The wine is simply not ready - so it’s likely unfair to judge it too much at this time. It opened as being super juicy, reminded me of Oceanspray Cran-Blackberry. The alcohol was in check, and the oak didn’t stand out in either a good or bad way. Low to mid tannin. While it slightly improved over dinner, it just made no sense to be drinking it at this stage, particularly at its price point.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/15/22, 10:07 AM - I wish!

Rosé
2021 Bartier Bros. Rosé Okanagan Valley Rosé Blend
4/7/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
After a stellar 2020 Rose, Bartier is back to another very average entry for 2021.

Mid colour. Subtle strawberry on the nose. Lacking the brightness and acidity that made the 2020 sing. The finish is rough as well. Some cheese with it may help.

Will continue the hunt for the best BC Rose of 2021 as this certainly isn’t it!
  • Vino Loco commented:

    4/24/22, 12:51 PM - Thank you Rudolph. I'll see if I can track those down!

Red
2018 Phantom Creek Estates Carménère Small Lot, Block 1B Okanagan Valley VQA
3/24/2022 - Francois Le Mouel Likes this wine:
93 points
Deep purple in colour; very young in appearance. Nose of medium intensity, with blackberries and raspberries and notes of whites pepper; not the most complex. Much more interesting on the palate. Tannins and alcohol are quite present (slightly hot on the finish), with high intensity aromas of white pepper, notes of pyrazines and toast. In the end a very good wine, sold at the wrong price. Black Hills and Lariana are mastering the art of Carménère and at a MUCH lower price. Keep in mind that this is super young and it will certainly improve over the next few years. I'll cellar a few bottles to see how it evolves.

Ok, I don't do this often, but the wine changed dramatically after 2-3 hours in the decanter. i got an explosion of aromas on the nose and the palate. Three words if you open a bottle now...decant, decant and decant!! Increasing my score from 91 to 93 points.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    3/26/22, 5:41 PM - Great note as always Francois!

    Lariana is my favourite Carm from BC. I find the Black Hills' Carm is too green pepper forward. I also recently bought a bottle of the 2018 Carmenere from Moon Curser but haven't tried it.

    And agree with you on the price point - on all of Phantom Creek's wines. Keep the notes coming!

Red
2018 One Faith Vineyards Certitude Okanagan Valley Red Blend
3/6/2022 - Canoehead wrote:
87 points
On first pass, this is all oak and alcohol. The latter dissipates eventually but the oak dominates over sweet red fruit. Tannins are in check and there is a bit of acidity. I don’t find this balanced or complex.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    3/7/22, 8:31 AM - You peaked my curiosity - I took a look at their website, they have lowered the price of the 2016 to 2018 Grand Vin from $143 to $80, but still holding out for $143 for the 2012 to 2015 vintages, which are still readily available. They have also either rebottled or have started making private label wine for Save On.

    Phantom Creek is going to end up in the same inventory conundrum in five years if they don't lower their prices. Mission Hill is still trying to sell its 2012 to 2014 vintages for Oculus, Compendium and Quatrain through its website. Insane to think they literally have ten years of inventory of this stuff in a warehouse somewhere.

Red
2015 Le Vieux Pin Syrah Équinoxe Okanagan Valley VQA
3/4/2022 - Canoehead wrote:
88 points
Yeah, I’m not getting this premium Equinoxe Syrah product. This needed at least one hour decant to blow off the alcohol heat and stale reduction. There was a slight metallic element to the palate that persisted through a couple of glasses. The vintage rocked, the fruit had to be great quality, what happened in the winery? The ‘15 Cuvée Classique is head & shoulders above this. I may have had a bad batch of bottles.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    3/5/22, 7:56 AM - Thanks for the note Canoehead. The 13 Syrah Equinoxe also underwhelmed. Le Vieux Pin seems to have a big ego, but lack the quality to back it up. We also had a bad tasting experience there, which tends to make their wine taste worse. I prefer the offerings from their sister winery La Stella (both wine and tasting experience).

    I'm finding most (all?) BC wineries are struggling to deliver quality commensurate with the $100 plus price point:
    - Mission Hill (including Martin's Lane and Checkmate), the premium wines consistently do poorly in blind tastings.
    - One Faith's wines are worse than most $40 wines, no idea what they were thinking when they priced them.
    - Fairview's Iconoclast Cabs at $120 are an epic fail.
    - Phantom Creeks wine are "okay", but not worth $100 for the Syrah to $150 for the blend.
    - Fox Trot Pinot - good, but still tough to rationalize.
    - Maybe La Sophia from La Stella - but not sure it's as good as Lariana's Cab for $44.

    I enjoy supporting BC wineries, but they have a ways to go until they should be thinking its reasonable to price their wines like they're on par with premium Californian producers.

Red
2012 Clos des Fous Pinot Noir Arenaria Pucalán Aconcagua Valley
8/15/2021 - Gustavo Brambila Likes this wine:
92 points
Beautiful, I wish I could find more.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    3/3/22, 10:46 AM - Thanks for the note.

Red
2014 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
2/13/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Mid to dark colour, starting to show some age. Dried cherry, fermented strawberries, green pepper, maybe some licorice or something else savoury.

Very drinkable, but a short finish and lacks complexity. That said, so much better than earlier bottles - optimal drinking window?

I apparently have 11 bottles left, but I trust my inventory tracking as much as I would trust a salad from China.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    2/14/22, 12:32 PM - It was definitely better than the Portfolio - maybe I’m a point or two light. I’m keen to do a vertical of the 13 to 19. I had a vertical of the 2015 and earlier vintages in 2020, which was great fun.

Red
2014 Laughing Stock Vineyards Portfolio Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
2/11/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Solid dark colour, showing some age. The alcohol overpowers the fruit, both on the nose and palate. Notes of table grapes, dehydrated raisin. It needs at least a 2 hour decant. Fruits don’t come through until the finish. The complexity is not where it needs to be for what this cost, or the immense patience I demonstrated by not opening it until 2022.

I’m going to start charging my wine rent for sitting in my cellar!
  • Vino Loco commented:

    2/13/22, 7:09 PM - If you don’t like a wine young, you probably won’t like it with age on it. I have failed to taste my wines before buying them in quantity and committed to change that up for 2022!

White
2019 8th Generation Vineyard Riesling Classic Okanagan Valley
1/21/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
86 points
Neon yellow colour. Hints of citrus, but not much in the way of pear or granny smith apple that I enjoy in some other BC Rieslings. Off dry style, not sweet. There's an effervescence that I didn't care for, and it doesn't have any of the depth of flavours that you get from Riesling's like Tantalus or Phantom Creek.

It tastes like a wine that was made with a chemistry set as opposed to quality fruit.

Drinkable, but not buying again.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/21/22, 7:04 PM - It is a nice looking label, but I’d rather have some delicious wine!

Red
2016 Mt. Boucherie Summit British Columbia VQA Red Blend
1/14/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
Light to mid colour for a Bordeaux blend. Graphite on the nose - likely HB 2. Very closed at first - this wine needs to be decanted for at least an hour. It also really benefited from food - without food it was stand-offish - kind of like the girl at the bar that thinks she’s hot, but isn’t. Next to no finish - like the Canucks, but Jyrki Lumme would probably like it.

I struggled to pick out any varietals in it - turns out it is 51% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 3% Syrah. My mom gave me a trophy for knowing it was red.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/18/22, 2:54 PM - @DarrenV - pretty sure I tasted the Gold Hill Syrah at the winery, but don't remember it specifically so will see if I can pick up a bottle. The Summit is decent enough, it's just not going to wow your socks off but could see it doing okay in a blind tasting as it is relatively easy to drink versus some of the other BC wines out there.

Red
2018 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
1/3/2022 - Canoehead wrote:
88 points
Solid garnet with a purple core. Primary nose of ripe red and dk red fruits. Macerated raspberries with vanilla. Bit disjointed in the mouth. Soft tannins but not enough depth of fruit and the acid seems low. Short finish. Not a compelling QPR. I'd buy up a case of Louis Martini Napa Cab before I'd buy another bottle of this.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/5/22, 4:36 PM - Disappointing to hear - Clos du Val normally punches above its weight class. The Louis Martini Napa Cab is a great recommendation at the $40 price point.

Red
2015 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Knights Valley
12/25/2021 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Fantastic nose of dark cherry and cocoa. Big dark fruits on the palate - cherry, cassis. If you’re being picky, it’s a bit astringent and there was a bitterness on the finish. Not much in the finish or complexity departments.

We had it with a non-reserve Knights Valley 2015 - and while the nose on the KV reserve was superior, it is not worth the extra cost, at least for me.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    12/26/21, 6:37 PM - Saving that one for you… and possibly because COVID sucks and shrunk our dinner down to a small number of Apothic drinkers.

  • Vino Loco commented:

    12/27/21, 9:05 AM - 2016. We get a lot of Open and think Peller is selling something for $6.99 that is ending up some tables here.

Red
2016 Ex Nihilo Vineyards Night Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
12/18/2021 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
87 points
Light to medium colour for a left bank Bordeaux blend. VA, barnyard and pencil shavings on the nose - possibly from the cab franc. For a cab dominant blend, it tastes like a merlot - very limited fruit. It’s thin with a short lived finish. If it was under $30, it would be an okay wine - unfortunately it’s not under $30.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    12/21/21, 8:25 AM - Think I have one 2015 Night left - will hold onto it!

Red
2016 Vanessa Vineyard Syrah Similkameen Valley
12/19/2021 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
I don’t mean for this tasting note to sound too simplistic, but it tastes like a run of the mill BC Syrah.

Day 2 - yup, it’s still a Syrah - velvety mouthfeel. Oak. It’s decent enough - likely more of a sign that I’m not as interested in Syrah’s these days.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    12/21/21, 8:20 AM - I didn't get to try the 2015. At the winery, the 16 Syrah was my favourite of everything they were tasting. The 16 is fine, it's just at that price point I think I'd rather drink a bottle of La Frenz Grand Total, Lariana etc.

Red
2016 Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
11/12/2021 - JAP55 Does not like this wine:
80 points
It doesn’t have the characteristics of being corked but there is definitely something off here. My initial take was that it came off more like a cab franc but I quite like cab franc so I would have suggested that it would have been off even if I missed the varietal all together. Unfortunately, this is one of the mandatory shipments for their wine club which, coupled with being able to find the Nota Bene for 15% cheaper elsewhere, caused me to leave that club even though the Carmenere is one of the most special wines in the valley. Choices do have to be made however.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    11/13/21, 8:40 AM - The 16 and 17 BH Syrah’s were not good. The 18 is a bit better, but at $40 it is overpriced by ~$10 for the quality, or lack thereof. The wine club lets you switch out the Syrah for whatever more expensive inventory they have left in the fall, how kind. Or you can just buy it at Save On for 10% off plus $12 off per mix and match case.

    I find BH Carm’s to be too green, the 19 was less green but no wow. You have not needed to be a wine club member to get it in recent years, and I tend to enjoy Ipso Facto and Per Se more.

    I agree with all of you on wine clubs, and actually cancelled my BH and Phantom Creek after my fall shipments this year. $150 now for the Phantom Creek blend - no thanks and will leave it on the shelf next to Oculus. I am down to Lariana and La Frenz - both are family owned and operated, and make excellent wines.

  • Vino Loco commented:

    11/13/21, 5:16 PM - La Stella's Espressivo is decent. I had bought some 2016 from the winery for $50, then found it for $40 at a wine shop and bought some more - not sure I need 12 bottles a year from them though.

    I prefer Lariana's more recent vintages (2016 onwards) of Carmenere to Black Hills. Happy to share a bottle at some point, I also apparently have 6 bottles of BH 2016 Syrah somewhere in the cellar that I'd be happy to share too.

Red
2018 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
8/24/2021 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
My first bottle of the 18 - and can save you wasting a bottle, it is not close to being ready yet.

The nose is fine, but still quite a bit of greenness, and tasted bitter to me on the finish. The fruits have not rounded out - not getting any of the luciousness or mouthfeel you’d expect from a wine at this price point.

In short, be patient!
  • Vino Loco commented:

    8/24/21, 6:26 PM - We recently had the 2019 NB at the winery and weren’t as enthralled with it as others seem to be. We really enjoyed the Per Se, Ipso Facto, and Addendum - in that order - all were 18’s. Their 18 Syrah was also a significant improvement over the 17, which can politely be referred to as a miss.

    Happy to play the tasting by ear - looks like masks are back…

  • Vino Loco commented:

    8/26/21, 3:00 PM - Yes, it’s a good way to experience their wines and an opportunity to try something different than Nota Bene such as Per Se, Ipso Facto and Addendum, which are all fantastic. I don’t care for their Carmenere or Tempranillo. I also attended a 20 year NB vertical in 2020 before the world shut down. It was very insightful in terms of how the wines change with age, along with the potential variation by vintage - highly recommend it if you have a chance!

  • Vino Loco commented:

    8/27/21, 8:29 AM - No, but that sounds like it was a terrific "investment". I only started to get into wine around ten years ago. I also wasn't part of BH's wine club until recently as they now let you modify, where they used to require you take their Carmenere, which isn't a wine of theirs that I enjoy (I like Carmenere, just not BH's).

Red
2011 Fairview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Iconoclast Okanagan Valley VQA
6/26/2021 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
Very green on the nose and palette. Reminded me of some of the Black Hills’ wines, mainly with the green pepper notes. It is drinkable, but is absurdly priced at $120 - just stupid. The only thing dumber in BC is Oculus - both wines are worth $40 to $50 max. I have a 2012, if anyone wants to buy it let me know.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    8/25/21, 10:54 PM - We were very disappointed with the quality for how much the wine cost, and not sure whether time is capable of curing its shortfalls. If you’re short for cellar space, I would just drink it and make room for something else that had more upside.

Red
2013 Lariana Cellars Thirteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend
6/26/2021 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
91 points
Sweet notes on the nose, dark fruits, tannins, lots of good stuff like cherries, blackberries, and cassis. At $40 the QPR is exceptional. If you have any left, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    8/25/21, 10:52 PM - No hurry - think it has several more years in its drinking window. Had a Fifteen tonight that was fantastic as well!

Red
2018 The Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Allomi Napa Valley
With all due respect to anyone that rated this wine over 90 points, you need to drink some different wines.

Sugar, sugar, and more sugar. You can’t taste the fruit, may as well have taken a package of grape juice powder and added some water to it. No thank you.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    8/14/21, 12:23 PM - Thanks for the note Gruner40 - that's what makes wine fun, we all like different things.

    J'Lohr or Josh give you the same experience for significantly less money. I generally don't care for wines that are overly engineered - pumped full of mega purple and sugar, or fake oak - but appreciate the style is very popular with others. If you enjoy it - drink it!

Red
2013 Black Hills Estate Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
5/30/2021 - nanoose wrote:
Opened beautifully over an hour or so. Cherries smoke and sage tones. Smooth tannins. Delightful finish with peppery touch. Lovely wine, my last of this vintage.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/31/21, 8:47 AM - Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Looking forward to being able to get together to share some wine soon.

  • Vino Loco commented:

    6/1/21, 9:49 AM - I haven't had the 2010, but have had newer vintages. I would think 2 to 3 hours, and then see how it evolves over the evening from there!

Red
2018 Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon Okanagan Valley VQA
10/23/2020 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Dark fruit - super young but think this is going to be an amazing wine in 5 + years. Buy some and set it aside.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    5/23/21, 2:59 PM - Yes - the 12 and 13 cabs are both great wines. I drank them too early. I didn’t like them at first so started drinking through them and only left a few to age, oops. They have great library wines available at the restaurant as well if you’re ever looking to experience their older wines. I tried an older Athene there that was fantastic. Enjoy!

Red
2017 La Frenz Grand Total Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
4/2/2021 - KillerJones Likes this wine:
91 points
This is that red wine people enjoy after a couple of glasses of something else…you know what I mean?

To be popular it must be immediately pronounced, approachable & somehow meet the expectations of the hardline Cab Sauv types next to the softer Merlot elitists.

 This blend checks every box. (Still such a young wine here, this iteration has time on its side)

It has some funky Cab Franc notes on the nose, the oak is pronounced but not ‘in your face’, …& the 50% Merlot gives it a velvet tongue finish with a few complex wet earth notes that linger deliciously.

For the Okanagan, & at the price & availability, something of a minor miracle.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    4/2/21, 7:22 PM - The 2015 Grand Total is probably in the top 5 of wines I’ve ever had, including the various obnoxious Napa and French wines I’ve been fortunate enough to try over the years. The 2017 is a bit greener than the 15 but think it has great potential. It’s a great wine to sneak into blind tastings!

Red
2012 Mission Hill Compendium Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
3/30/2021 - nanoose wrote:
Over three days. This is a good wine, but there are better Okanagan wines available at better price. Wont buy again.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    3/31/21, 7:43 AM - Totally agree. And likely why they are still trying to sell wines from 2014 and 2015.

Red
2010 Burrowing Owl Meritage Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
2/26/2021 - nanoose wrote:
Two hour decant, perhaps could’ve use a bit more as was at its best abt 4hrs. Nose of cherries and cassis. Rich mouth with leather and the last sip was chocolate covered cherries. Excellent wine.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    2/26/21, 7:51 PM - Looking forward to sharing a bottle soon!

Red
2016 La Frenz Grand Total Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/24/2021 - darrenv Likes this wine:
92 points
Fantastic. Big nose of black fruit, stewed prunes, leather, tar. Full bodied, jammy (after an hour decant), but one fault is maybe do not decant. Two hours later it faded and was not delivering the punch it did at one hour. I'd say this is drinking great right now, but just pop and pour. I would not hold this for more than a couple of years.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/24/21, 9:49 PM - Great TN! Haven’t had a lot of the 2016 but the 2015 Grand Total is one of my favourite wines.

Red
2014 Clos du Soleil Signature British Columbia VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
1/5/2021 - deBare Likes this wine:
93 points
I can't really add much to KFrench150's detailed review below (with which I agree). It's truly a great wine that pairs well with many different dishes. In fact, at a BC Wine Institute VQA tasting a couple of years back, deKerf and I determined that this wine was the clear winner among at least 80 other wineries at the event. It wasn't even 'Clos' - groan 😉 .

A bit of trivia: Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC's Provincial Health Officer, is a co-owner of the Clos du Soleil Winery - located in the Keremeos-Similkameen region of southern British Columbia. This valley is coming into its own as the new 'hottest' spot for wine-growing - competing well with the long-established Okanagan.

Sadly the 2014 bottles appear to be gone from local wine stores. I haven't tried the 2015 vintage yet but am looking forward to drinking one soon.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/17/21, 10:02 PM - Found a few more bottles of the 2014 - happy to share if our overlords ever let us.

Red
2018 Black Widow Winery Hourglass Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
1/15/2021 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
89 points
Obviously quite young. Closed at the beginning and was quite tannic. With time some vanilla and fruit came through. Not a lot of complexity to it, but it’s a decent wine - particularly given how merlot dominate it is (as I’m not a huge merlot fan). Buy a few and lay them down for 3 to 5 and see what happens!
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/17/21, 7:54 AM - Looking forward to it.

Red
2013 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
1/10/2021 - vertex663 Likes this wine:
92 points
Still some dark berries on the nose with secondary notes of chocolate / mocha and leather. Medium to long finish with softening tannins and balanced acidity. Great bottle of wine.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    1/11/21, 7:21 AM - Great TN!

    Before the world shut down, last February I was fortunate to take part in a NB vertical with Glenn Fawcett and Ross Wise hosting. The 2013 and 2009 were the clear favourites of the room - the 2013 was my favourite. The earlier vintages are breaking down and the newer vintages are quite green still. The variation between vintages is noticeable.

Red
2016 Burrowing Owl Meritage Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
12/31/2020 - MS86 Likes this wine:
90 points
Another winner from Burrowing Owl. Deep ruby in the glass.

The nose is dominated by heavy cassis and dried blueberry notes with a background of thyme, oregano and dark chocolate.

Surprisingly refined and modest tannins, beautifully balanced acidity and integrated alcohol.

There is a strong olive flavour that some will dislike. After time in a decanter a sweet black plum flavour develops with dark chocolate covered almonds and graphite.

I wonder if this has the stuffing to age?

Drink 2020-2024
  • Vino Loco commented:

    12/31/20, 6:32 PM - Just had in a blind tasting - tasting notes to follow, but yes, this needs at least 5 years! HNY all.

Red
2016 Lariana Cellars Sixteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend
10/30/2020 - KillerJones Likes this wine:
93 points
Terrific way to begin the weekend! I enjoyed this more than the fifteen, and wonder how big a monster this will be with a few more years?

45-minute decant delivers cedar on the nose alongside rich notes of plum & black licorice. (…why does anyone like red licorice, anyway? 😊)

The palate will blow you away! Decadent layers of fig, plum, coffee & chocolate … with nuanced leather starting to come on.

I should have bought more...
  • Vino Loco commented:

    11/9/20, 9:47 PM - Interesting. I definitely preferred the Fifteen (and Thirteen is legendary). Wine would be boring if we all liked the same ones. Lariana has to be one of the most underrated red producers in BC.

Red
2017 Black Hills Estate Ipso facto Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend
11/9/2020 - KillerJones Likes this wine:
92 points
This wine is definitely built for the long haul...easily reach the 30's. Had to pop one from Vino Loco's review...

Such a seductive nose; blackberry, Italian plums, espresso, licorice, fine white pepper & baking spices - it is one of those wines you just want to smell, you know?

Wonderfully vibrant on the palate, fine woven tannic grain with bittersweet chocolate trailing across the finish. Very complex as it evolved over the evening.

Note: decant for at least 60 min.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    11/9/20, 9:27 PM - Great review! Yes, it is some good vino - just bought a few more bottles to cellar.

Red
2018 The Hatch Screaming Frenzy Meritage Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
10/23/2020 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
85 points
A tough wine to drink. Not much fruit and very harsh finish.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    10/23/20, 7:49 PM - I could have done without that Journey... and took one for the team to finish it.

Rosé
2019 Phantom Creek Estates Rosé Naramata Bench Rosé Blend
10/23/2020 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
A sip is enjoyable, a glass not so much. Strawberry with a very flat finish. Could use more acidity.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    10/23/20, 7:48 PM - Both the Becker and Phantom Cuvee’s from 2016 are excellent - although low QPR on the Phantom vineyard wines...

Red
2013 LaStella Merlot Maestoso "Solo" Okanagan Valley VQA
8/26/2020 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Nice structure and mellowing nicely. Enjoyed it more than the 13 Checkmate End Game (which was fruitier), but don’t think the price is warranted for either of these BC merlots.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    9/2/20, 6:48 PM - I think the market speaks for itself - Mission Hill is still trying to sell 2012 and 2013 wines through BCLQ (and selling through BCLQ is analogous to a BC winery admitting defeat). Oculus is the most ridiculously overpriced - but Compendium, Quatrain and all their Checkmate wines aren’t far behind. Nobody is buying One Faith wines (because they aren’t good). If you want to be at that price point, California is significantly better quality. Will be interesting to see how Phantom Creek does.

Red
2017 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles
4/10/2020 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
Too much vanilla and alcohol. Not as good as the 2015 or 2016.
  • Vino Loco commented:

    7/31/20, 7:33 PM - Not yet, I think 2017 was a tough vintage for a lot of wineries. Looking forward to trying it!

Red
2015 Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
10/13/2019 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
A bit harsh and lacking brightness. Drank side by side with a Cali cab, and significantly preferred the Cali cab (cliff lede 2014).
  • Vino Loco commented:

    10/13/19, 9:15 PM - Thank you for the idea Mark - will do. I’m a self admitted wine hack, but starting to think Italian and French are either overrated or just not my thing...

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