Sunday, September 28, 2014

Desert Hills Gamay Noir

1758.  2009 Desert Hills Gamay (Okanagan Valley VQA)

A big, deep Gamay with plenty of fruit. I don't see headlines too often about BC Gamay. It isn't one of the biggest varietal wines made. But I'm quite a fan for Gamay in the Okanagan and this has long been a fave.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gaaaaarrrrnacha Day?

Just as I didn't know we were drinking #1700 awhile back, I had no idea (at the time) that I was hitting the seven-eighths mark of this Odyssey when I pulled the cork on this bottle.

Had I known, it might have merited a bit of fanfare.

Oh well, good thing it was International Grenache Day and I'd decided to open a one-of-a-kind bottle (at least for me) that I'd had in the cellar for a bit. Not only that, it was also International Talk Like a Pirate Day - one of my favourite days of the year. So, I rather combined the two into International G'arrrrrrrrnacha Day. What, with Garnacha being the Spanish name for Grenache, it was the perfect way to incorporate "arrrrrrrrrgh" into the evening's wine.

1750.  2005 The Colonial Estate - Alexander Laing Single Vineyard Old Vine Grenache (Barossa Valley - Australia)

Lucky for us, this turned out to be a hidden treasure from the cellar. I couldn't recall where or when I'd picked up the bottle because The Colonial Estate is not a winery that I've seen in our market. It was always possible that the winery had made a one-off appearance at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, but I found a note that this was a wine that Boo and I had picked up a couple of years back when we were visiting his Mom and brother in North Carolina. Considering we can only bring two bottles each back over the border with us (WTF? I know), there must have been something in the wine shop that caught my eye about this one. I see that it did get big points (94) from Parker but I'm not normally a point chaser.

In any event, whatever caught my eye worked because we were greeted by a lovely, boisterous nose that was matched by all sorts of dark, complex fruit on the palate. There was enough going for this wine that it could tempt a pirate to give up his rum.

The Colonial Estate website doesn't give a whole lot of information about the background or heritage of the winery, but the descriptive page for the Alexander Laing Grenache did say that it "owes its existence to the blocks of weather beaten bush vines that survived the vine pull out at the end of the last century." Weather beaten bush vines, sounds rather appropriate for a pirate.

Maybe next year, if the two "international days" co-incide again, I'll look to promote it as International Drink Like a Pirate Day. That could be telling.

In the meantime, with only 250 bottles to go (okay, 251), I may have completed my Odyssey by this time next year AND I may have given up drinking altogether. Then again, it's just as likely that I could be made to walk the plank off the coast of Somalia before then. I certainly hope to still be drinking after I've "concluded" the blog's task. Just let me run into a little more Colonial Estate. Please.