Thursday, January 17, 2008

RSVP Tasting: When the boss takes home what he wants

Wine Golan Heights Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
From Israel
Price 39.64 (BC Liquor Stores)
Alcohol Content 14.5%
The first of the Parker 90’s from his Israeli tasting to make it to our table; wine exhibits a new-world style leaning more towards Chile than, say, Australia. No particular nose on opening; tannic finish. The philosophical taster is impressed by everything but the price: “this is nice and balanced… nothing out of place.” The Boss is less impressed: “there’s a reedyness up front… I’m going to have to think about it…” Which means he’s seen the price too, and isn’t going to think about it much past the next wine.

Wine Estampa Malbec-Syrah 2006
From Chile
Price $13.90 (BC Liquor Stores)
Alcohol Content 14.4%
Emphatic nose draws ohhs and ahhs around the table, with people finding everything from licorice to tobacco in it. The wine shows a palate that’s fairly typical of the blend if not the country of origin; tannins are still a bit green. Much enthusiasm; lead taster is even a little over-the-top: “Incredible---this is delicious.” He puts the cork in the bottle and quietly puts it aside to take home---either the most telling complement of all, or a snapshot of the poor state of his mutual funds.

Wine Quinta da Espiga 2005
From Portugal
Price 12.99 (Spinnakers, BC)
Alcohol Content 12.5%
A peppery nose and black cherry on the palate raises eyebrows all around; lots of enthusiasm---mostly for the price. One taster finds the tannins a bit green on the finish: “there’s a sort of under-ripe banana aftertaste to this.” But for the most part, never is heard a discouraging word; and Fearless Leader puts this one aside to take home as well.

Wine Glorioso Rioja Crianza 2004
From Spain
Price 16.95 (BC Liquor Stores)
Alcohol Content 13.5%
Not your mother’s Rioja, this: sweet fruit and a mild nature lead to shrugs from some tasters; enthusiasm from others. Context says a lot; coming on the heels of the Espiga above, it’s a relative letdown---although not for the boss: “I taste strawberries; there’s good acid and good structure to this.” One more reason to favor Spain in the great scheme of things; one more bottle for him to take home.

Wine Bogle Chenin Blanc 2006
From California
Price $17.99 (BC Liquor Stores)
Alcohol Content 12.5%
A sniff, a sip, and the lead taster draws himself up to his full height: “You can quote me on this,” he says, “this is a fruity little bastard: crisp, tart… I like it a lot”. Noted, dude. Plenty of positive comment from the peanut gallery as well: sweet fruit but a tart, apple finish and decent balance even at room temperature. Pricey, perhaps, considering what you can get in BC already.

Wine Golan Heights Yarden Muscat 2005
From Israel
Price $24.77 (BC Liquor Stores)
Alcohol Content 13.9%
Sweet, aromatic, and terrific: a nose of candied pears; a complex palate with good, sweet Muscat notes; universal acclaim. The philosophical taster tries to sneak this one home and fails, settling for the Yarden Cab as a sort of consolation prize.

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