Saturday, October 13, 2007

RSVP Tasting: Belle des Jacobins

Wine Jadot Couvent Des Jacobins 2004
From Burgundy, France
Price $24.99 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 13.0%
The Boss is on this one like a limpet right from sniff one: "How much is this one?!" He makes his point---this is one nice Chard for the dollars: crisp, intelligent, more old-world than new (Catherine Deneuve rather than Madonna); balanced with an aftertaste of lingering fruit. Nothing out of place; nothing huge. C'est logique ca: You merely have to get used ot the idea that bang is not what you always want for your buck.

Wine Seven Hills Riesling 2004
From Washington, USA
Price $27.83 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 12.0%
Lead taster once again articulately throws his weight around: "I like this one!" Nods from the Mosel fans scattered about the table---this goes in a more Germanic direction with some subtle sweetness up front and a lingering, fruity aftertaste. As an American immitating a German inevitably does, this one skates very close to the edge of goofyness... but pulls back from the abyss.

Wine Henschke Julius Riesling 2003
From Eden Valley, Australia
Price $37.50 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 12.5%
Sharp and angular, rather than posh like the Seven Hills above; potent but divisive---a couple of tasters find it big but generic; others admire its guts and expressiveness. A minor controversy erupts: one taster is quite over the moon in his priaise; he gains some deciples until everybody remembers that he's the rep for the brand. At that point people start to notice the price and his support crumbles like the ice on the Thompson River in February.

Wine Church & State Church Mouse Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion 2006
From Saanich, BC
Price $16.90 (MSL)
Alcohol Content 13.2%
A close look at the text on the back label leaves you prepared to taste lemon-lime grass-melon cantaloupes. Fortunatly, the label's claims are inflated---what you have is a white Bordeaux combination done up to taste mildly German. Nobody in the peanut gallery finds anything much on the nose; palate is sweet, easygoing... and faceless. A definite step up from Blue Nun, but they're chasing a pretty crowded market in that kind of field.

Wine Stag’s Hollow Simply Pink 2005
From Okanagan, BC
Price $13.91 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 12.9%
Gamay, Pinot, Cab and Merlot went into the vat; what came out was mixed with Chard. Eyebrows raised around the table: this is a Rose that actually smells like something! Skins were kept in the vat for only a day, so the palate is all fruit-driven; acid is nicely under control---tart without being sour. Feels like a Gamay, only more fun; a Rose that doesn't feel like an accident or a rabbit the winemaker pulled out of a lousy harvest hat.

Wine Staete Landt Sauvignon Blanc 2005
From New Zealand
Price $31.52 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 14.0%
Ho, hum; another New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. While the palate was thankfully free of tall grass and the like, bottle claims of passionfruit and gooseberries were not hugely in evidence to many tasters. Wears its alcohol pretty well, actually; most comments have it tasting big, pleasant and grapey; although there's some muttering about the price---especially in the face of a half-a-dozen other NZSB's with as many virtues.

No comments: