2001 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon
Remarkably youthful for a wine that is 16 years past the vintage. Drinking wonderfully now, but there is still enough fruit and structure for another 5, maybe 10 years of good drinking. Dark fruits, cassis, blackberry and blueberry mix with subtle notes of cedar, tobacco, and herbal notes to make for a very complex Cabernet. The tannins are present but ripe and the overall texture of the wine is very smooth with just enough acidity/tannin to keep it from becoming too polished. There is a Bordeaux-like quality to the dry finish, not quite austere, but not the plushness that often comes with wines from the New World, which allows the complexity to really grab your attention. The finish goes on and on. Very sophisticated, very classy.
1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Medium red in colour with a medium to full body showing some age on the rim. This is a beautiful example of an elegant CDP at its peak. An exquisite floral nose with candied cherry, plum, earth, and spice on the palate. Tons of complexity in this wine and quite enjoyable to see what new characteristic each glass would reveal. One of the wines that made us fall in love with the region and at 19 years old, it’s certainly not breaking down but we don’t think ageing it any longer will make it better—if you’ve got it, drink it!
2003 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine continues to amaze! Classic Cabernet with pure flavours of black currant, blackberry and blueberry. There is a wonderful spice component that adds complexity. Terrific mouthfeel: full and rich with acidity on the finish that keeps things focused. Likely at peak but certainly no signs of breaking down. A Washington gem!
2014 Laxas Albariño (Rías Baixas)
We discovered Albariño on a trip to Spain a few years ago. Our only regret is not discovering this varietal sooner! It is the main grape used to make white wine in Northern Spain’s Rias Baixas region. It’s typically a refreshing white that is the perfect accompaniment to a hot, sunny afternoon and, like much of Spain’s offerings, also very good value. Bodegas As Laxas is one of the better producers that we are able to access here in Canada and this has become one of our go-to summer wines this year. Light yellow in colour with apple, melon, and lemon zest on the nose, the body has a plush texture that is superbly balanced with great acidity. If you haven’t discovered Albariño yet, this is a white wine lover’s delight!
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)