Monthly Archives: December 2012

Holiday White Wines

Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaudevey 2009
France, $40
It’s funny, buying Premier Cru Chablis always seems like a big indulgence even when it’s not much more expensive than a lot of California or B.C chardonnays. This Laroche is just lovely—vibrant and zippy with just a hair of oak aging to lend the hint of heft. Make someone’s Christmas with this bottle, or better yet, three.

Road 13 Jackpot Viognier Roussanne Marsanne 2011
B.C, $29
$30 isn’t chump change, and there are definitely great B.C. wines that are cheaper, but this bottle gives you both the reliably exciting Road 13 team and some wonderful Rhone varietals we don’t get to see much grown locally. A fragrant, honeyed and rich white that will convince your New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc drinking cousin to expand his horizons.

Quinta do Ameal NV
Portual, $17
So $17 is not really a splurge, but when you consider that this is Vinho Verde, the Portuguese wine where $10 and below is the norm, you see where I’m coming from. This is the Porsche of Vinho Verde: racy, sexy, and very drinkable due to its low alcohol. It 100% Loureiro (ah the Portugeuse and there crazy grapes!), and you can be pretty sure you’ll be the only guest who shows up with a bottle of it.


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Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2011

Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2011
California, $25

California is the theme region of the upcoming Vancouver International Wine Festival and I couldn’t be more excited. Having a depth of selections from this great region allows you to really understand the stylistic differences of the area: a Napa Cabernet or Sonoma Pinot can only be appreciated when you get to taste a number of different wines from the same region and same vintage back to back. A case in point is this lauded Pinot from the Wagner family of Caymus fame. Its big brother, the Belle Glos Clark and Telephone, just made the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 for its 2010 vintage, and this little brother is regularly lauded as one of the best deal Cali Pinots there is. But it’s as unlike the Schug Pinot that we reviewed a few weeks back as you can imagine. Whereas the Schug is restrained and complex, light and tart, the Belle Glos is rich and full, with layers of lush fruit. Neither is high in alcohol, but other than that (and the common grape and state), they’re worlds apart. I like one of them better, but I’m not telling which—they’re both being poured at the Wine festival so you’ll have to try them yourself and decide for yourself.

The Wine Festival runs from Feb. 23-Mar 3, visit for more info.

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Canta Perdices 2010

Canta Perdices 2010
Spain, $16

They made wine as Spain’s Ribera de Duero for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until the mid-80’s that the world at large began to notice this up-and-coming region. Wines like Vega Sicilia, Pesquera and Emilio Moro went from secrets (admittedly not that closely-guarded in the case of Vega Sicilia) to must-haves in a relatively short span. And while the wine still retains a great reputation, its status as Spain’s hot newcomer has been eclipsed first by Priorat, and more recently Toro. But Ribera can still surprise. This 100% Tempranillo from Canta Perdices is notable for what it isn’t—expensive. On the nose and the palate it’s Spanish—spicy with ripe berry and good acid—but there’s a new world power backing it all up. This is Ribera—where classic meets new—summed up. A nice buy.

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