Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Bitch of a Wine

Vixen and the kiddies came by for a little BBQ and alfresco dining. Vancouver City Hall has decided to close off a portion of Commercial Drive to car traffic every Sunday for the summer, so we took a little wander down the Drive to see what was shaking. What I found out was that the girls have interesting fashion senses and can be veritable pains - to put it mildly. Teenagers, arrrgh!

I don't know about Vixen, but upon the return home, I needed a drink.

101. N/V Broadbent Vinho Verde (DOC Vinho Verde - Portugal)

This was another of the wines I picked up at this year's Vancouver Playhouse Festival. Just a little something nice and refreshing for the patio and warm weather.

The winery owner, Bartholomew Broadbent, attended this March as well and the Festival Program refers to him as one of the world's most foremost authorities on Port and Madeira - to the extent that Decanter Magazine named him one of the fifty most influential people in the world of wine.

Vinho Verde is about as far away from Port as you can get. The most popular white wine in Portugal, the "Verde" (or green) in the name refers to the fact that the wine is made to be drunk young and fresh - that and the fact that many will advise that there is a faint, lime green colour to the wine. An injection of CO2 into the wine also gives it a light spritz, adding to the allure as a heat quencher. The low alcohol content also helps it to go down that much easier.

If you need a wine to challenge your exposure to grape varietals, this is one for you as well. The primary varietals used by Broadbent are Loureiro, Trajadura and Pederna. If you can identify them, you're way ahead of me.

VV (as it can be called) doesn't have that prominent of a presence in Vancouver. In fact, this Broadbent isn't a wine carried by the provincial stores - although they do have four or five listings to try. While looking the wine up on the net, a number of comments were made that it's a perfect accompaniment to Caesar salad. I may just have to give that a go next time. Vixen and the kids had to settle for potato salad.

102. 2007 R Wines Bitch Grenache (South Australia)

Now, anyone that knows my sister, knows that this wine was made with her in mind. In a good way, naturally. To prove the point, as soon as she walked in the door and saw it sitting on the table she exclaimed "You've got my wine!" Having picked it up specifically with her in mind, you have to know that the provocative name (at least for wine) had to have its market so pre-determined that it was destined to succeed so long as the contents were even somewhat palatable.

The funny thing is that we quite liked it. I generally find Grenache-based wines to be very enjoyable and this one carried on the tradition. I was rather surprised, after the fact, to find out that the wine is actually rather well-reviewed by no less an authority than Robert Parker himself. I doubt he stooped to the point of calling it "bitchin'," but he has labeled it a good buy on more than one occasion.

Sourced from grapes in South Eastern Australia, including the Barossa, this is a 100% Grenache wine which I don't think is all that common for Oz. I generally see it blended in a Rhone-style wine with Shiraz and Mourvedre (the ubiquitous GSM - or any combination those letters).

In spite of a bit of an over the top marketing play, R Wines will be worth looking into down the road. The Aussies may have changed the face of wine marketing with the critter wines. One can only imagine what's next.

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