Saturday, April 17, 2010

Les Playoffs et La Frenz

It seemed to take forever, but the NHL playoffs are finally upon us - and there's both a vibrant hope (and trepidation, at least in this household) that the Canucks can give VanCity a long and exciting ride. General consensus in the media is that the Stanley Cup is truly up for grabs this year, with any number of teams having a legitimate chance. It might be a kiss of death, but the Canucks have even been mentioned as possibly making it out of the western Conference. There's a lot of hockey to be won before a parade route needs to be determined - 16 wins to be exact - but, with Olympic memories still beating strong, a string of wins would set the city afire.

I digress. This is supposedly a wine blog, so I'll leave hockey commentary - like can Luongo get his mojo back or will the injuries to the defence corps be too much to overcome - to the sports pages and jock-talk shows. Like last year, however, I'm going to nominate a BC winery to champion each series that the Canucks play in and we'll open a different wine for each of the games.

Some of BC's best to bring out the best in our boys.

Last year, I opened the playoffs with Golden Mile/Road 13 for round one and followed that up with Burrowing Owl for the conference semi-finals. Had the Canucks beat Chicago, La Frenz was going to get the nod for the Western finals. Hated those upstart Blackhawks for depriving us of both more hockey and the La Frenz. So, I'll think we'll just pick up from where we left off a year ago.

My biggest hurdle to overcome in choosing La Frenz for this series is that I've already added seven of their wines to The List. That means that I'm going to have to be careful that I don't grab a bottle that I've previously blogged (like I mistakenly did last week). La Frenz is one of our favourites, so we have a bit of their wine cellared but it's not an endless supply should the series get dragged out.

410. 2005 La Frenz Montage (Naramata Bench - Okanagan Valley)

Boo and I were first introduced to La Frenz when we ordered a bottle of Montage a number of years back while vacationing in the Okanagan. We've been fans of Jeff and Niva Martin ever since.

I generally think of the Montage as an introductory red blend for the winery. The varietals involved have changed over the years and I haven't seen any report as to how each vintage's grapes and percentages are chosen, but the 2005 is a blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet (although the breakdown wasn't shown on the bottle). It's not what I'd a common mix and more recent vintages appear to have replaced the Pinot with Shiraz.

Especially since this is just the start of a new series, I kinda hate to say that this wasn't my favourite La Frenz wine. To be fair though, I don't think you can expect a winemaker's every wine from every vintage to knock your socks off. My guess is that this year's blend featured a majority of Pinot. The acidity and body just didn't say Merlot or Cab to me and I don't know that the purpose behind this blend met with my tastes.

In the same vein, I can't say that the hockey team delivered a stellar performance either. At least the Canucks managed to eke out an overtime win though. Here's hoping that a few more games and a few more wines will return my sense of balance to the universe. Strong Canuck wins and yummy La Frenz wines.

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