Wine Of The Week
G.S.M. The Strapper Yalumba Barossa Valley, 2015, Australia
The Barossa Valley was formed by the North Para River and was named by Colonel William Light in 1837. The area of Barossa Valley, often referred to as the valley floor, is approximately 13 km long and 14 km wide and stretches from Williamstown in the south almost to Kapunda and Truro in the north. It averages less than 400 metres above sea level. Within Barossa Valley, there are numerous unofficial sub-regions: from north, south, east and west they include Gomersal, Williamstown, Lyndoch, Rowland Flat, Barossa foothills, Vine Vale, Light Pass, northern Barossa Valley, Greenock, Seppeltsfield and Marananga. The red brown soils in Barossa Valley are more fertile than Eden Valley, rainfall is up to 50% less and temperatures are up to 2 % warmer.
Yalumba is a winery located near the town of Angaston, South Australia in the Barossa Valley wine region. It was founded by a British brewer, Samuel Smith, who emigrated to Australia with his family from Wareham, Dorset in August 1847 aboard the ship ‘China’. Upon arriving in Australia in December, Smith built a small house on the banks of the River Torrens. He lived there less than a year before moving north to Angaston where he purchased a 30-acre (120,000 m2) block of land on the settlement’s south eastern boundary. He named his property “Yalumba” after an indigenous Australian word for “all the land around”. In 1849 Samuel Smith, along with his son Sidney, planted Yalumba’s first vineyards, beginning the Yalumba dynasty. Today Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. (via wikipidia)
The GSM Strapper blend is a stalwart of the Barossa. The three red varieties have been planted in the region for nearly 170 years, and in the past were commonly blended to make fortified ‘tawny port’ style wines. After World War II the same blend started to become popular in table wines. ‘Grenache Shiraz Mataro’ is a bit of a mouthful – hence the birth of the colloquial ‘GSM’.Garnet red in colour, this wine leaps from the glass with strawberry compote, potpourri, nutmeg and fennel seed. The palate has juicy raspberry, ironstone and a long savoury line that finishes with talc like tannins.
Seek & Sip!
Shelf price $23.99 +tax SKU# 354050 – LTO of $4 at BC liquor store until July 27th.
Available at BC liquor Stores and private stores.
Kuei Hua Chen Chiew – Feng Shou – Chinese Happy Wine
Happy Wine – Dessert Wine
A wine lover is not satisfied with drinking the same wine every day, no matter how expensive and precious it is. Variety is the spice of life! I am a wine explorer, I like to sample products that are not main stream and that I never heard of, and sometimes you can find some unusual, surprising, and enjoyable wines… Kuei Hua Chen Chiew Feng Shou – Chinese Happy Wine. It is a dessert wine infused with the Osmanthus flowers. It is made from the indigenous Longyan grape variety grown in the Zhuolu County in China. It has an interesting light, bright orangy/pinkish colour. The nose is fragrant with sweet apricot, peach, and a hint of flowery Jasmine from the Osmanthus flowers with some minerally notes. On the palate, it offers a mix of sweet and bitterness mouthfeel, ripe dried apricot flavours with good acidity. It is simple, unique, enjoyable, and fun! Enjoy it chilled after the end of a nice meal. This wine is well-suited as an apéritif cocktail such as a ‘Happy Spritzer’. Recipe: fill a wine glass halfway with ice cubes, pour 3oz of Happy Wine and top-up with 4oz of soda water, et voilà!
SKU #897397 – $10.99 + tax – Available at BC Liquor stores and selected private stores.
It is a late ripening variety. Its firm pulps and steady stems mean that berries won’t fall off that easily during storage. Due to this reason, in ancient China, when the storage conditions of fresh fruits were not as satisfactory as today, Longyan was favoured by producers and consumers. Similar to Gewurztraminer, when Longyan grape matures, its skin turns a shade of red. The average weight of each berry is 7 to 8 grams (5 times heavier than that of Cabernet Sauvignon) with a good sugar and acid balance that gives Longyan grape a pleasant taste as a table grape. This variety is widely planted and easy to source, in 1979, China Great Wall Wine (which belongs to COFCO) chose Longyan to produce the very first dry wine in China, the ‘Great Wall Dry White’. The wine was produced in Huailai, Hebei Province, which is an important producing region for the grape. Excerpt from China Decanter emag. For more information visit ChinaDecanterMag page.
China has emerged on to the global wine scene with unprecedented speed in recent years, both in terms of production and consumption. Currently, it is one of the top 10 wine-producing countries in the world, both in terms of area under vine and of volume produced. It is a good time to explore and discover the wide range of Chinese alcoholic beverages.
Wine Of The Month
Pasquera Crianza, Ribera Del Duoro, Spain
In the mid-eighties, few people outside Ribera Del Duero had ever heard of the viña Pesquera wines of Alejandro Fernandez. Enter an American merchant and some influential American wine writers, one of whom compared viña Pesquera to a fine Bordeaux, ‘…and the rest, as they say, is history.’ Today, it has become one of the most prestigious bodegas in Spain, and is appreciated worldwide. Tinto Pesquera crianza is made of Tempranillo grapes. It is a dark ruby-coloured that exhibits fragrant plummy-tobaccoey, violet, cherry, and spice on the nose and palate with excellent concentration and length.
Spain’s best native red grape is grown widely over the northern and central parts of the country. Tempranillo (also known as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinta del Pais and several other synonyms) is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines. Tempranillo is an official variety of the DO of Ribera del Duero. Tempranillo grapes are very low in the enzymes that help to cause oxidation (browning and spoiling of juice) so the grapes are easy to handle at harvest time. The wines also keep well, and are very suitable for ageing in oak barrel.
Price: $32.99 + tax.
Find this wine at BC govt liquor stores, and selected private stores
Wine Of The Month
1000 Stories Zinfandel Mendocino, California
1000 Stories is made – like craft spirits and beer – in small lots, each unique and expressive of Winemaker Bob Blue’s interpretation of the fruit, vineyards and barrels whose singular qualities came together to create something new. Each batch offers an opportunity for discovery. Maturing 1000 Stories in new and used bourbon barrels from some of America’s finest bourbon distilleries lends nuance and enhances Zinfandel’s signature red fruit and spice notes. Zinfandel ultimately is a hearty red grape whose structure and flavors successfully stand up to – and riff on – the intensity of bourbon barrels. For 1000 Stories, fruit from heritage Mendocino Zinfandel vines dating to the 1880s is enhanced in the blend by Zinfandel from some of California’s most exciting emerging AVAs for the variety.
A harmonious balance of aromatic red fruit scents, and complex dark fruit flavours. A touch of Petite Syrah adds bold black and white pepper spice. Rounded out with a pleasing layer of smokiness derived from the bourbon barrel aging. Pair with pork sausage or grilled meat. It is a ‘Love At First Sip‘ kind of wine.
SKU#149636 – Shelf price $29.99 + tax ( $2 off until March 3 )
Available at BC Liquor stores, EverythingWine stores, and selected private stores.