Petaluma 2006 Adelaide Hills Shiraz

Clear, medium ruby red appearance. Wonderful clean, medium intensity nose of sweet spices, mint, blackberry, and wood. Dry, medium acidity, easy tannins, and a light-plus body. The palate is dominated by blackberry and black and red cherry with tasteful oak. Medium length with a nice finish of evolving ripe fruits: there’s 4% Viognier here but I’m not sure I can detect it; there is a slight sweetness in the finish that could be attributed to the grape. 13.5% alcohol. A lovely drink; recommended.

$32.50 at Crosstown. See Petaluma Wines.

Petaluma 2006 Shiraz

Winderlea Pinot Noir 2007

Clear, medium ruby with a tawny rim. Clean, medium intensity nose was initially more suggestive of a white, hard to place but I lost that as it opened up into appealing cherry and spices. Dry, medium acid and low tannins; light body. Straightforward but appealing red fruits in the mouth, mostly cherry and plum and perhaps a bit of strawberry. Medium length but not a great finish. 14% alcohol but not that noticeable.

The notes on CellarTracker are intriguing for this one: apparently widely drunk, there are wildly varying opinions. My bottle is fine and my opinion is middle of the road: overall good, but I was hoping for something more along the lines of the 2008 Crowley.

USD$50 at 12th and Olive in Seattle, a nice little shop with great service. See Winderlea Vineyard and Winery and their notes on this vintage.

Winderlea 2007 Pinot Noir

Villalta Vendemmia 2009 Ripasso Valpolicella

Clear, medium ruby-red in the glass. Clean, medium intensity nose of sweet and dried cherries, oak and spice. Dry, medium acidity and tannins, and a light body. Dried red fruits, cherry and plum in particular, with a bit of appealing sweetness. Medium length. 13.5% alcohol. Overall good: light and drinkable, would be a good summer wine. This is my first Valpolicella since my tasting course, though, so more exploration is required. This one was a gift from my father, and was about $23 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar.

Villalta Vendemmia 2009 Ripasso Valpolicella

M. Chapoutier 2008 Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers

Clear, pale ruby in the glass. Clean, medium intensity nose with a mix of red and black fruit, spice and earth. Dry, medium acidity and tannins and a light-ish body. Black fruits and pepper in the mouth with the latter working with the tannins to produce a real sharpness, receding to a medium length finish of spice and leaning back towards a bit of a raspberry character. Overall good; appealing but will have to try more French Syrahs for comparison. 13% alcohol. Apparently has Braille on the label! $32.50 at Crosstown. See M. Chapoutier.

M. Chapoutier 2008 Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers

2010 Sottano Reserva Mendoza Malbec

Clear, deep ruby-purple appearance. Clean, medium intensity plum and pepper with earthy blackberry aromas. Dry, medium acidity and mild tannins, with a medium body. Ripe dark fruits dominate, with a sweet spiciness and hints of oak and leather. Medium length. Overall good; I haven’t tried many Malbecs but this is an enjoyable drink, unusual in its softness, and I will search out others.

$28 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar. See Bodega Sottano.

2010 Sottano Malbec

Joie Farm “A Noble Blend” 2011

In the glass this is clear, pale gold with a hint of green. Nose is clean, medium-plus intensity mix of floral, grapefruit, pear, and a distinctive Okanagan grassy-sage aroma (I grew up in south central BC). Dry with a hint of residual sugar—one can discern Joie’s Riesling grapes fighting through—but dominated by citrus—lemon, grapefruit, and lime—with distinctive spicy/floral Gewürztraminer notes as well. Obviously a real mix (see post tags) but it balances nicely; the complexity that comes through in the long-ish finish is captivating. Definitely more tart than the 2010; another good vintage. 12.7% alcohol. Recommended. $28.50 at Crosstown. See Joie Farm (warning: Flash site).

Joie Farm "A Noble Blend" 2011

Vereinigten Hospitien 2007 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett

Clear, light-to-medium gold in the glass. Nose is clean, medium intensity stone fruit, slate-mineral, and apple-spice. Off-dry to medium sweet; high acidity; medium body. Very nicely balanced minerality, agave nectar, and ripe fruits. Good length. 10% alcohol. Very enjoyable; I recommend this one.

$42 at Liberty Wine Merchants. See Weingüter der Vereinigten Hospitien Trier.

Vereinigten Hospitien 2007 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett

Drinking this with Whole-Grain Mustard and Cornmeal Crusted Seitan, along with the excellent chipotle chile-based barbecue sauce, both from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry.

Cloudline Oregon Pinot Noir 2009

Clear, medium ruby red with a garnet rim. Clean, medium intensity red cherry and strawberry, with a bit of earthiness. Dry, medium acidity, and light tannins with a light-plus body. A bit of astringency and unwanted vegetal qualities in the mouth, overshadowing a straightforward blend of red fruit flavours. Not a strong finish, and overall nothing to get excited about. 13.5% alcohol. $30—decidedly overpriced—at Crosstown. See Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.

Cloudline 2009 Pinot Noir

Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz-Mourvèdre 2009

Clear, dark ruby red in the glass. Clean, medium intensity aromas of blackberry and spice. Dry, medium acidity and easy tannins; medium-plus body. Straightforward but appealing slightly sweet blackberry, with hints of black pepper and liquorice. 14.5% alcohol but doesn’t show it as much as might be expected. Overall good.

A gift from my (Aussie) father: $29 at Kits Wine. See Penfolds.

Penfolds Shiraz 2009

Drinking this with Tempeh “Steaks” from Big Vegan.

Ata Rangi Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Clear, pale gold-green-grey appearance. Clean, medium intensity ripe tropical fruits—banana, in particular—and slight vegetal aromas. Dry, high acidity, medium body. Palate is dominated by lemon with the ripe fruits relegated to the background; a slight floral bent as well and a hint of green pepper. Medium length. 14% alcohol. $26.50 at Crosstown; see Ata Rangi.

Ata Rangi 2010 Sauv Blan