Posts Tagged ‘australia’

Yabby Yabby at the Playhouse Wine Festival

April 12, 2011

Had these two Chardonnay before the Playhouse Wine Festival, like a year ago, tasting courtesy of Renassaince Wine Merchants’ Alice Walcott. Liked them both then and liked them again a few days ago at the fest. The first of the pair (to the right) is the Yabby Lake Chardonnay, a brilliantly executed wine. Flavorful, crisp and unremittingly Australian in its boldness, self-confidence and flavors. The Cooralook, its little brother (or sister, depending of what you think of Chardonnay’s sexual inclinations) is full, very crisp. I believe the latter to be in the vicinity of 20 bucks and the Yabby Lake Chardonnay around 35. Good stuff.

Buller Shiraz Limited Release 2004 Rutherglen

April 3, 2010

If you are one of those rabid fans of the big, impetuous, tanned, vociferous and unabashedly Australian Shiraz, the Buller 2004 Limited Release Rutherglen is the one for you. I would say this is the cheapest trip down under ever. It takes you there. Starting with the color, it makes you drool. Beautifully developed crimson tones. A   whole lot of jammy yummy spicy Shiraz with extraordinary presence on the palate, at entry, during tasting and after. It’s almost like good sex. No. It’s better.  The Australian authority says “Drink with pork or ribs”. I say, drink on its own and enjoy every bit of it. If you are going to spend 32 dollars on a bottle of wine this weekend, buy this one.

Budget Fall Wines

October 20, 2009

In good and bad times it is always nice to find good quality, inexpensive vino. Customers are always looking for a bargain, aka “bang for your buck” and I have tasted innumerable cheapies to separate the grain from the chaff. Prices vary greatly in Metro Vancouver, so be sure to buy your wines in stores where you will get the lower tags.

Starting with whites, I recently found two wonderful Chardonnays. The first one hails from Southern France louislatour_chardand is produced by world known winehouseLouis LaTour. The 2007 Ardeche Chardonnay is a delightful unoaked version, which has been allowed to go through malolactic fermentation. Light, slightly creamy, with touches of tropical fruit, I enjoyed this one a lot and since I posted a shelf talker many a customer has become a fan. It sells for 13.99 at Everything Wine (North Vancouver) and LDB stores (check website for branches that carry it. Some cold beer and wine stores sell this product for up to 23.99 so beware.

From Southern Italy, in the Puglia region, we have the Tormaresca Chardonnay (2006, 2007). Light and 3348-tormaresca-chardonnay-500minerally this wine offers great value. I think this one to be unoaked or only slightly oaked. At 15.99, it has become one of my favorite whites.

Puglia also brings us an excellent red, perhaps on the top ten under ten dollars. The Paiara blend of paiara Cabernet Sauvignon and Negroamaro grapes is round, balanced and persistent, surprisingly so for a wine so inexpensive. LDB stores and Everything Wine sell the product for 9.99 and once you taste it you will probably make it a staple for weekdays. My woman recently made a delicious Tortilla de Patatas (potato omelette, Spanish style. Click link for recipe) for brunch and this medium-light red was the perfect companion.

From the land of Kangaroos, Koalas, venomous critters and man-eating sharks, the 2006 Rock Art Cabernet Merlot is sensational for the price. Everything wine carries the product for 12.99 but it had it as special during the Thanksgiving long weekend, selling scores of cases at 8.99, an absolute steal. Even at 12.99 this little wine is serious and convincing, with a solid fruit front, balance and a bit of structure that suggests that the 3 years spent in bottle added a little quality.

To finish this ripasso, let’s go to Patagonia, Argentina, and taste the 2007 Diego Murillo Merlot. Organic, diegomurillovelvety and full flavored, this wine is perfect for the nostalgic, sweet emotions that only the season of falling leaves can arouse. Dark and deep, this little jewel by Humberto Canale winery is well worth the 10.99 you pay for it at LDB and Everything Wine.

Enjoy the rest of the season and brace yourselves for overwhelming, rainy, grey November.

Sex by the Glass. Chapter I: The Shiraz Wine Rep

September 29, 2009

SEX BY THE GLASSsexy_wine[1]
Eight Short Stories of Wine und Sex
By Ivan Loyola

“Let me introduce you to the world of Shiraz”. The woman standing in front of me was tall, prepossessing, self confident to the point of being aggressive and definitely red, both in hair and personality, fiery and determined, voluptuous and with an unlikely touch of spice showing through the mischievous glint of her tea-green eyes. Her accent was thick as the wine she poured for me in the long-stemmed chalice she held in a hand that had less of a hand than of an eagle’s claw. It fashioned a gold band around one of its fingers, which made me think she was married, which she was, although, as I would understand later, in her own words, “it didn’t matter”.

I had met her a month earlier, at a wine tasting to which I, a firm believer in European lager when times were good and local piss when cash -strapped, was dragged by a friend whose girlfriend had left him a few days earlier. “The bitch” he growled “went for this young uneducated buck who struck it rich working in construction”. He paused and looking distant he mumbled “the damn Olympic Games.” Hmm…. I thought my friend might’ve been a bit jealous. I knew he had applied –without luck- for a couple of jobs in the booming construction industry of Vancouver’s first decade of the third millennium. “Wine tasting? Forget that”, I said, with a resolve that only a Neocon willing to launch a bombing campaign on a Muslim nation could boast. “I’m not drinking that stuff, it gives me headaches”, I added, thinking myself out of the hook. “Sorry man” he said, with a confidence that reminded me of the monies I owed him. “Tomorrow you’re supposed to pay back the interest. I could forgo it if you come”. I didn’t have a bargaining chip. “Ok”, I said. “With the condition that we will go and drink ourselves silly with beer before hitting the snob crowds”. “No problem”, he grinned. As it usually happens in my life, I had let somebody else decide for me.

The great 1998 Australian Shiraz wine tasting. That is where I met Jennifer Audrey Sarah Wilkinson, the potent red beauty that kept looking at me with piercing eyes while I sipped the mesmerizing, ruby red liquid. The Convention Centre at Canada place gleamed like a jewel under the twilight of that wondrous summer night. I looked at the reddish stuff, feeling like a sacrificial lamb. I took a deep breath and lifting the glass, I tried to detach from myself, in the way prostitutes are instructed to do while exercising the trade of the flesh. “Wait!” She said, with a commanding energy in her voice that would have been impossible not to obey. Her hand grabbed my forearm and removed the glass from my hand, with the simultaneous determination and gentleness that only the daughters of Aphrodite can wield, either as a weapon or a charm, depending on the situation. Tall enough to lean over the table she pulled me toward her, putting her mouth a few inches from my ear. A whiff of eucalyptus came off her hair, a scent that –I would find later- was the hallmark of her favorite Australian shampoo brand. “First you have to swirl it” she whispered, or I thought she did, half drunk as I was. “Yeah, just like that, give it a few good swirls”. Her voice was now soft and velvety, her eyes followed the circular motion of her hand holding the glass. One would have said she was enamored with the whole ritual. She looked at me with all the intensity of her eyes, the green tea tone of her irises highlighted by the dark mascara she had artfully applied. This I learned later, when dating a Mediterranean woman who, in spite of her rather paltry beauty, made herself into a radiant female through the masterful use of make up. I tried the swirling myself, clumsily, my hand going back and forth in a choppy fashion. Then something incredible happened. “Hold on” she said, and her hand landed on mine, and holding the glass together she showed me what she meant. “See, it’s easy if you just do it gently, from one side to the other, in wide open circles, just like that”. As she said this I felt the warm pressure of her hand on my knuckles, the dexterity of her wrist bending mine back and forth as we swirled, together. In that moment I knew this woman who insisted to be called by all three given names would teach me much more than just wine tasting. Or at least, that is what I thought. What do you see? She asked me. I looked up and saw her healthy, beautifully layered hair. Red and thick? I ventured. She stared at me approvingly. “A quick learner, aren’t you?”. She was talking not about wine, I figured, but about herself, and so was I. Soon I would learn the joys and sorrows of drinking Australian Shiraz….

stay tuned….

Drinking Shiraz Down Annie’s Lane

June 16, 2009

Another delicious Shiraz from the annies laneland of kangaroos, venomous spiders and beer swilling crowds. Deep ruby red garment and a pronounced, sweet nose with vanilla, black pepper and blackberry. Full bodied, rich and with a somewhat medicinal –eucalyptus- streak. Good acidity and soft tannins in the tasty finish, which is smooth and long, packed with red fruit and spice.

Product: Copper Trail Shiraz

Variety: Shiraz

Vintage:2002

Winery: Annie’s Lane

Origin: Clare Valley, Australia

Alcohol: 15.0%

Price: 29.99 (Everything Wine)

Petit Verdot from Barossa

May 12, 2009

The 2004 version (Home Block) by the 1847 Winery of the Barossa Valley, is a big wine that deserves drinking it again and again. 1185284116_1847-2004-home-block-petit-verdotIntense and chromatic on the nose, it displays tones of dark red fruit, liquorice, raisin, pepper and cinammon. A full bodied wine with abundance of dark cherry and pepper, which is lifted up by vibrant acidity. The finish is expansive, with fine and polished tannins within an exuberance of spice and fruit.
Winery: 1847
Origin: Home Block. Barossa Valley, Australia
Price: 47.99 Cdn
Alcohol: 13.8%