Tasting Notes for Vino Loco

(388 notes on 307 wines)

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Red
2014 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/23/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Definitely better than the 16 we had last night - but still lacking that “wow” factor from other vintages like the 13 and 15, and more recently the 17. It doesn’t have the greenness of the 16, which is a good thing, but it also doesn’t have any character or complexity to it that differentiates it from other (cheaper) BC wines.
Red
2016 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
9/23/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
There is a greenness to this wine that is just not going away. It hasn’t come together the way I would imagine the winemaker would have likely hoped - either a fruit issue or a technical winemaking issue as the weather in 2016 should have resulted in a full and vibrant Nota Bene.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
9/12/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
88 points
Some surprisingly high scores on CT - I didn’t like it. It tasted like they left the stems on the grapes, and poured some dirt into the barrels. More Cab Franc than Sangiovese. It had no depth of flavour or finish.

I had the Talenti Brunello a few days earlier, which was significantly better.
Red
9/17/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
Exudes Italian - colour, nose and taste. It’s quite sour and the wood is overbearing. There are better Italian wines available at this price point or below.
Red
9/9/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Still very youthful. Prominent oak and dark fruits - chewy mouthfeel. Medium finish. This needs at least another 3 to 5 years. It’s a nice enough wine, but not great QPR.
Rosé
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a blind tasting with 6 Rosés.

Best nose of the flight. Lower acidity, nice balance but a tad flabby. Orange/citrus notes. A well made wine in a challenging year. Corcelettes is one of the most consistent Rose makers in the Okanagan if you like a lighter style Rose.

10 tasters - ranked 1 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
86 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a blind Rosé tasting.

Zingy/spritzy, smoky, with a super funky nose. A complete miss - close to being undrinkable. Obviously 2021 was a big fire year in Osoyoos/Oliver, but the 2021 La Stella and Le Vieux Pin Roses were both extra not good.

10 tasters - Ranked 5 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2021 Tantalus Vineyards Rosé Okanagan Valley VQA Pinot Blend, Pinot Noir (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a blind Rosé tasting.

Cotton candy, strawberry, nice acidity, but spritzy.

10 tasters - ranked 3 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2021 Unsworth Vineyards Rosé Vancouver Island Rosé Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a six Rosé blind tasting.

Watery, tad skunky, nice acid/balance, good potential under the water.

10 tasters - Ranked 4 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Lariana Cellars Eighteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" vertical (I didn't have the foresight to keep any "Twelve").

Smelled and tasted like a Carmenere – dominated by green pepper - I want a DNA test! It's a tad sour still and needs at least another two to three years in the bottle. Potential was very tough to judge at this time.

10 tasters - ranked 6 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2017 Lariana Cellars Seventeen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
89 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" vertical (I didn't have the foresight to keep any "Twelve").

Benign nose and flavours – maybe in a bit of a “dumb” phase. It's not bad, it's just not as impressive as the other earlier years, yet.

10 tasters - ranked 5 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Lariana Cellars Sixteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
92 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" vertical (I didn't have the foresight to keep any "Twelve").

Nicest nose, best overall balance and finish. Dark fruits, pyrazines nicely in check versus other years.

10 tasters - ranked 1 of 6 (by a solid margin).
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2015 Lariana Cellars fifteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
89 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" vertical (I didn't have the foresight to keep any "Twelve").

Nicest colour – deep dark red. Hint of green pepper notes. Big alcohol. Similar in style to an Orin Swift wine. A solid wine, but the alcohol overwhelms and not as complex a finish as the Sixteen or Thirteen.

10 tasters - Ranked 4 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Lariana Cellars Fourteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
89 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" vertical (I didn't have the foresight to keep any "Twelve").

More right bank than left bank in style, nicely balanced but not a lot of depth to it. Benign nose. Hints of blackberry. Tasty, but a tad thin/flat.

Group rank - 3 of 6.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Lariana Cellars Thirteen Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
8/27/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Lariana "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" Vertical, and some BC Rosés: Had as part of a "Thirteen" to "Eighteen" vertical (I didn't have the foresight to keep any "Twelve").

Nose is fading – a bit of a port quality. Stewed cherries and plums, coffee. Mid length finish.

It has a few more years in it, but is ready to be enjoyed unless you're trying to keep a future vertical intact.

10 tasters - this was #2!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
8/21/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
92 points
Thoroughly enjoyable for a youthful Brunello. Light in texture yet rich in flavour. Velvety mouthfeel. Dark cherries, a hint of earth. Reasonable enough finish. Loads of potential, could happily add this to my wine diet.
Red
8/20/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
86 points
A tad thin yet syrupy. Coffee and smoke notes. The alcohol is simply too much. Overall, a disappointing bottle from one of my go to Washington wineries.
Red
8/9/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
86 points
You get what you pay for! A tad sweet with a lacklustre finish.
Red
7/21/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Like hitting a 5 iron off a par 5, basic cali cab - well made and solid QPR, but nothing you’ll tell your grandkids about. The finish is a tad short, the tannins have mellowed nicely and acidity is in check. Mid bodied. In its drinking window.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
7/3/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
88 points
Past its prime. Drink up.
Rosé
7/2/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
84 points
A miss from the fine folks at LaStella. I enjoy most of their reds, but this Rose tasted skunky and smelled as though someone farted in the bottle. Lacked fruit notes and acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 La Frenz Grand Total Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
Red
6/19/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
Nice colour, in its drinking window. Cherry and green pepper notes. It has a short finish, and found it hits you with alcohol. For the price point, it lacks depth of flavour. Is it better than J’Lohr, absolutely. Is it 3 or 4 times better than J’Lohr, absolutely not.
Red
6/13/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Solid mid priced cab. Pleasant notes of dark fruits, velvety mouthfeel. A tad too much alcohol and a short to mid finish holding this back from being a true wow. Overall, an enjoyable wine that i would gladly drink again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/11/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Not sure it’s quite a “meh” wine - but it does have pretty darn low QPR. It’s a straight forward Cali-Cab, not overly extracted. Okay finish. There’s just not anything special about it.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2021 Tantalus Vineyards Rosé Okanagan Valley VQA Pinot Blend, Pinot Noir (view label images)
6/6/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
89 points
An excellent vintage of Rose from Tantalus. La Frenz is still the grand champion Rose maker, if/when they make it, but Tantalus seems to put in a consistent showing each year as well.

Mid to dark salmon in colour. Strawberries and citrus. Nice acidity with a pleasant finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
6/6/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
85 points
Another disappointing vintage from the new owners at Sea Star :(

This wine used to be a staple in my wine diet. It's a complete miss and it breaks my heart to see what they have done to these wines. The 2021 BDN is very watery, there is next to no fruit in the wine, it has no balance and the acidity is a complete miss.

I could write notes on how bad the 2021 Ortega and Stella Maris also were, but what's the point. I was hoping last year's undrinkable wines were going to be an anomaly, but unfortunately seems to be the new norm.

I want to end on a positive - the Tantalus 2021 Rose was excellent!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/6/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
94 points
Decanted 2 plus hours. Dark ruby in colour. When you pop the cork the most amazing smells hit you. Cassis and stewed cherries. Velvety mouthfeel. Fine tannins and a lingering finish.

Had blind with a 2016 Blind Creek CS from BC, and a 2016 Col Solare CS from Washington. The Beringer Private Reserve was unanimous favourite - nose, taste, finish. The QPR will be a question mark depending on how the wine evolves over the next 5 to 10 years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Col Solare Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
6/6/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
92 points
Decanted two plus hours. Medium ruby in colour. Somewhat of a muted nose. Very restrained on how the fruit comes through. Mid finish, well integrated oak and the alcohol was kept it check nicely. it came across as a wine where the winemaker engineered it to be boring.

Had blind with a 16 BC Cabernet from "Blind Creek", and a 16 Beringer Private Reserve CS. The Col Solare has no real character, safe down the middle of the fairway type of wine. It won't offend anyone, but also isn't going to wow you or make anyone exclaim how amazing it is. The Beringer Private Reserve was unanimous favourite and in a different league.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/6/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
91 points
Decanted for 2 plus hours. Medium to deep garnet in colour. Vibrant nose of dark berry compote. It's enjoyable on the entry as you experience some of the fruits that come through on the nose, but it has a relatively short finish - and is definitely running hot!

Had blind along with a 16 Col Solare CS (Washington) a 16 Beringer Private Reserve CS. All wines were excellent. The Beringer was the unanimous favourite. The Blind Creek held its own.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/4/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Nose of yogurt. Very berry forward - strawberry, blackberry, blueberry. Well integrated oak. Low to mid tannin, and relatively limited finish. It’s a decent wine but not worth the $$$.
Red
2007 Burrowing Owl Meritage Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/1/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
91 points
Interesting cork, no colour, waxed? Bricking is prevolant. Muted nose. But wow, when you slosh this around in your mouth - giddy up! Van cherries, a bit of a sweet note to it, and what a fantastic finish. Lingers in a good way, but is clearly a few years past its prime.

The Burrowing Owl Meritage rarely shows well young, and this wine has stood the test of time and was very enjoyable demonstrating the benefits of cellaring that frankly haven’t materialized for me on other BC Bordeauxs/Meritages.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/23/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
86 points
When I first started buying wine to cellar about 10 years ago, this was one of the first bottles I purchased. I paid $90 of my hard earned dollars for it, which for me at the time was a lot of money. I thought if I invested wisely, it would pay dividends down the road. Much like Bre-X or Nortel, this investment didn't work out as planned.

Once you crack through the ridiculous wax that makes a mess on your floor and counter, you're greeted by a cork that shattered into pieces (this wine was cellar stored at 58 f). The positive - the wine has a beautiful colour and a nose of vanilla with a hint of smoke. And that's where the happy story ends. The wine is so sour it is borderline undrinkable. It has no body or structure. And for a wine with sub 14% abv, it exudes alcohol. I had a bottle of someone's homemade wine a few weeks ago that was surprisingly similar.

Cassini Cellars has entered the penalty box and probably won't make its way out anytime soon.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
85 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - third flight - wine "C" of A to D.

Light to mid colour. A bit of used car smell on the nose. Sugar. Easily my least favourite of the flight.
Red
2018 Nk'mip Cellars Talon Okanagan Valley VQA Red Blend (view label images)
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
87 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - third flight - wine "B" of A to D.

Mid colour. Overpowering alcohol on the nose, and incredibly tannic - hard to chew through the fruits at that point. I didn't like it.
Red
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - third flight - wine "A" of A to D.

Mid colour. Benign nose. Super fruity, juicy. Kind of a blah wine, but drinkable. This was my 2nd favourite wine of the flight.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 La Frenz Grand Total Reserve Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - second flight - wine "B" of A to D.

Mid colour. Pleasant enough nose, but nothing memorable. It tasted like, wine, with some oak notes. Decent enough finish. Picked as my favourite wine of what by far the worst flight we had. Exceptional QPR, but still not a good wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - second flight - wine "A" of A to D.

Mid to dark colour. Cherry and booze on the nose. Peppery, sour. This was my 3rd favourite wine of the flight.

The quality of the wine is commensurate with the proof reading on the back label.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 LaStella Fortissimo Okanagan Valley VQA SuperTuscan Blend (view label images)
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - second flight - wine "D" of A to D.

Mid colour. Earth and leather on the nose - it was quite different from the other wines (which I also didn't particularly care for). Sour and tannic. This was my 2nd favourite wine of the flight, but barely.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Black Widow Winery Hourglass Okanagan Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
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.
2 people found this helpful Comments (6)
Red
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco Does not like this wine:
85 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - first flight - wine "C" of A to D.

Lightest colour. Musty and what I can best describe as fake oak on the nose - it's a distinguishable smell, but not a good smell. Watery, koolaid with a thin and lackluster taste. Easily my least favourite wine of the flight.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Clos du Soleil Celestiale Similkameen Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - first flight - wine "C" of A to D.

Light to Mid colour. Minerality and a bit of alcohol on the nose. Some fruits are starting to develop, but not where it needs to be yet. A tad sweet. "Okay" finish. This was clearly my 2nd favourite wine of the flight.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 River Stone Estate Winery Stones Throw Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
87 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - first flight - wine "B" of A to D.

Mid colour. A bit of funk on the nose. The fruit is not shining through at this point. Sour/bitter, and a short and disappointing finish. This was my 3rd favourite wine of the flight.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Black Hills Estate Nota Bene Okanagan Valley VQA Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/21/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
The BC $10 - $20 - $30 - $40 Challenge (T&F's on Blueback): Had blind - first flight - wine "D" of A to D.

Darkest in colour. Nose of cherry and earth. Had the best mouthfeel of the flight. This was easily my favourite wine of the flight.

This wine was the clear #2 to the La Frenz Grand Total for all of the wines.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/18/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
"I'm not drinking another f...ing merlot" sums it up nicely. It has lovely texture, velvety. Low acidity and tannin. Raspberry compote notes. But it's just too darn sweet for me able to put a star on its star chart and try to tell someone on the Merlot fence that this will change their minds.
White
5/18/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Petrol on the nose. Citrus on the palate. Bright acidity and made in an off dry style, which I enjoy. While this was decent, it was not as good as the 18 OV which had a longer finish - and it’s also pretty darn expensive.
White
5/18/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
88 points
Interesting take on a Chardonnay - it has a Viogner texture with hints of citrus found in Rieslings. The oak and butter notes are there but not overly pronounced. It’s light to mid weight as Chardonnays tend to go.

Would I drink it if it was served to me, sure. Would I buy it again, no.
Red
5/17/2022 - Vino Loco wrote:
89 points
Surprisingly youthful, but green, almost herbaceous. The green bell pepper reminds you of a carmenere - you don’t get the Napa Cabernet notes you’d expect.
Red
5/17/2022 - Vino Loco Likes this wine:
90 points
Big brooding wine, still a baby and needs more time but became more approachable throughout the evening. Dark fruits, but not extracted or sweet. Low to mid tannin, and a tad high on the alcohol. An interesting wine that grows on you.
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