2011 Lauren Ashton Syrah
Medium red in colour, the nose revealed red fruits, earth and herbs. The complexity of this wine really showed through on the palate with blueberry, pepper and hints of coffee. A smooth mouthfeel with a long finish, it really opened up over the course of the evening and was a perfect accompaniment to barbecued ribs.
2011 Casajus Antiguous Vinedos
Made from 100% tempranillo grown from 50 year old vines on estate vineyards in Ribera del Duero. Dark red, almost black in colour. Aromas of black cherry, raspberry and a hint of menthol on the nose. The palate is firm and full and has good texture that indicates its ability to age. Blackberry, raspberry with notes of spice cake dominate the intense flavor profile and bring a gentle candied note. The warm vintage shows through, giving it a slightly New World character. The long finish is dominated by brown spices and a slight minerality. Raised in American and French oak barrels for 14 months. Still on the way up, this is a delicious wine. Drink now, or watch it develop over the next 10 years. (This could be classified as a Reserva; odd that they do not).
Excellent (CDN $37 incl tax at BC Liquor Stores *good value)
2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit Blanc de Tablas
Made up of 75% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc & 5% Picpoul Blanc, this wine is the quintessential example of balance. Rich, smooth, and creamy yet not overdone in any way. Butter, cream, and honey notes in perfect harmony with stone fruit and mineral. Drinking beautifully now, it demonstrates an enormous amount of complexity so it will definitely age well.
2007 Talisman Red Dog Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Red Dog Vineyard sits above the Bennett Valley, just outside of Glen Ellen, in Sonoma County. Made from 100% Dijon clones. At age 10 this has attained full maturity. The age has given it a lovely texture; a soft, silky mouthfeel to its medium body. Red cherry fruit gets back up from spice notes of clove, pepper and allspice. There is a hint of minerality on the finish. The oak is perfectly integrated, adding some texture and just a hint of vanilla. At peak now. Delicious.
2005 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance
Dark red in colour, this wine is big and full bodied but very nicely in balance. A terrific blend of both black and red fruits backed up with secondary notes of earth, spice and a hint of leather. Great acidity and showing enough tannin to make us think this still has lots of time. Drinking very well now and will only get better with more time in the cellar.
2006 Bergstrom Vineyard Pinot Noir
Dark red in colour and showing some slight age on the rim. Wonderful floral aromatics combined with black cherry and cranberry on the nose. The palate also revealed dark fruits and kirsch along secondary notes of baking spice and earth. A lovely velvety mouthfeel, with an equally lovely long finish, this wine is in perfect balance and drinking at its peak. A wonderful example of why Oregon Pinot Noir is among the world’s best.