On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

British Columbia Wine Roundup - May 2018

11 May 2018

I like to wait till I get enough British Columbia wines to release them as their own “report” – here I have 36 BC wines that really are worth picking up ... click on wine name for full review

Bella Wines 2016 Gamay Noir, Ancestrale
Bella Wines 2017 Gamay Sparkling, Mariani Vineyard, Clone 509

Black Sage Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Franc
Black Sage Vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Black Sage Vineyard 2015 Shiraz

Blue Mountain 2015 Pinot Noir
Blue Mountain 2016 Pinot Gris
Blue Mountain 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

Burrowing Owl 2013 Merlot

The Hatch 2013 Gamay Noir, Secrest Mountain Vineyard
Haywire 2016 Gamay Noir

Joie Farm 2015 Chardonnay Reserve, En Famille
Joie Farm 2015 Gamay
Joie Farm 2015 Gewurztraminer, En Famille
Joie Farm 2015 PTG
Joie Farm 2015 Pinot Noir
Joie Farm 2015 Pinot Noir Reserve, En Famille
Joie Farm 2015 Riesling, En Famille
Joie Farm 2016 Muscat
Joie Farm 2016 Rosé
Joie Farm 2017 Muscat Reserve, En Famille
Joie Farm 2017 Noble Blend

Quails’ Gate 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Quails’ Gate 2015 Foch, Old Vine Reserve
Quails’ Gate 2015 Merlot
Quails’ Gate 2016 Chardonnay
Quails’ Gate 2017 Rosé

Robin Ridge 2015 Gamay
See Ya Later Ranch 2016 Chardonnay
St. Hubertus 2014 Foch, Oak Bay
St. Hubertus 2016 Gamay Noir, Oak Bay

Sumac Ridge 2015 Cabernet-Merlot, Private Reserve
Sumac Ridge 2015 Merlot, Private Reserve
Sumac Ridge 2016 Gewurztraminer, Private Reserve
Sumac Ridge 2016 Sauvignon Blanc




Montes: Like Father Like Son (Chile / Argentina)

07 May 2018

February 28, 2018 … A tasting of 13 wines (including 4 with lunch) from Kaiken (Argentina) and Montes (Chile) owned and operated by Father & Son:  Aurelio Montes Sr. and Aurelio Montes Jr. The wines ran from the simple to the more complex … but all the wines really put on display of what Chile and Argentina are all about and what can be accomplished with a singular focus of quality.

The best wines we tried …

Montes 2015 Alpha Malbec …
Blue and black fruit with silky mouthfeel and a hint of spice on the finish.  (*** ½+)

Kaiken 2015 Ultra Malbec …
Soft violet aromas with black cherry and blackberry; easy drinking with good acidity and gentle spice.  (*** ½)

Montes 2015 Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon …
Aromas of mint, blackberry and black cherry with a rich spicy palate that shows big dark fruit, more mint and pleasant minerality; there are some aggressive tannins on the finish, but give it 3-5 years and try it again – can’t wait? Get yourself a big Bordeaux glass and an evening to enjoy it.  (****+)

Kaiken 2015 Ultra Cabernet Sauvignon …
A smooth and richly fruited Cabernet that is juicy with blackberry, cassis, black cherry and mocha.  (*** ½+)

Montes 2016 Outer Limits Red …
A blend of 50% Carignan, 30% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre; simple yet quite tasty: soft plum and black cherry with hints of vanilla and spice followed up with a plummy, juicy finish.  (***+)

Kaiken 2015 Obertura …
A wine made from 100% Cabernet Franc from the Valle de Uco; starts with a nice juicy cherry and tobacco aroma, follows on the palate with hints of plum and smoky undertones; finishes with silky tannins – beautiful drinkability here.  (****)

Montes 2015 Purple Angel …
Mainly Carmenere goes into this wine with 8% Petit Verdot to add complexity, colour and texture, aged 18 months in 80% new French oak. The nose is very pretty with mint, violet, blackberry and mocha, which lures you into your first sip, from there your tongue takes over and wants more – the mint carries over followed by black cherry, blueberry, gentle spice and a long finish.  (**** ½)

Kaiken 2013 Mai …
Mai is a single vineyard wine made from 110 year old vines, mostly Malbec, as there is 3% of “other” grapes co-fermented into the wine – but from the same vineyard. Great depth here with hints of chocolate on the finish, in the middle you’ll find black and blue fruits, mocha, vanilla, gentle spice and silky tannins to compliment that chocolate on the finish.  (****+)



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