Moet & Chandon White Star (France) 

  • My Rating: [D], old wine gone bad

Moet & Chandon White Star (discontinued since 2009), 12.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Épernay, France)

Happy 2018 everyone! 7 years of liquor bloggin’ and still going strong. Today managed to dig up a very old, discontinued bottle of M&C White Star (now replaced by the drier Brut Imperial). Is it still good? Let’s find out.



Visual: (cellared for 12+ years). Pours pale honey orange with large bubbles hugging the glass, steady loose big bubbles along with a few clustered streams. Certainly much less activity than a fresh bottle of Imperial.

Nose: musky apple juice, pear, hints of stonefruit. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: light crisp, major loss of CO2 – dull/flat

Mid-palate: red apple juice, (lvl-1-sweetness), big tangy-medium sour

Finish: off-dry stale white wine exhale

Summary: Drink your champagne! This bottle was stored both upright and horizontally in cellar temperatures, resulting in at least a 60% loss in carbonation as well as an over-concentration of acidity. There’s also a noticeable staleness that kicks in the from the late mids to the finish. Although still drinkable, if you still have a bottle of this lying around, best drink it asap. I still dig the Imperial [A-] though.

 

Starry Night (Sparkling Wine) – River’s Bend Winery (Surrey, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C-]

Starry Night – River’s Bend Winery (permanently CLOSED), 12.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay this sparkling wine is made in the classic Champagne method with aromas of fresh-baked bread, walnuts, citrus and violets.”

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  • (permanently CLOSED)
  • Style: (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, champagne method) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Dull buttery off-dry generic white wine curd soft tangy sour
  • Where I got it : Kensington VQA (perma Closed) / Burnaby
  • How much: $28 CAD – 750ml., December 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: not at all

Visual: (cellared for 4 years). Resealable plastic cork, twisty steel top cap, foil cover. Pours medium apple juice yellow with lots of fizzy activity, clusters of steady streams (< champagne), large bubbles hugging the glass.

Nose: buttery sweet baked bread, “DIY ehrenfelser” I did way ages ago (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: tingly-fizzy, soft-sour crisp acidity

Mid-palate: butter, (lvl-1-sweetness), generic dull white wine, curd, continued medium short sourness

Finish: hints of sprite, almost salty-savoury nut finish.

Summary: Definitely a starter to a meal wine, with a drier mouthfeel and sourish disposition to help open up the palate. It went pretty well with my mushroom burger, but pretty meh on its own. The effervescence disappears after a couple of hours even after re-corking.

 

Pippin 2011 – Rustic Roots Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Pippin 2011 – Rustic Roots Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


description from the Rustic Roots website, and a photo of a cox orange pippin apple:pippin-apple

“This Crisp, Clean White Sparkling Wine made with 100% Similkameen Valley Fruit, contains 70% Pippin Apple and 30% Organic Nectarine.  This wine has beautiful Aromatics with a clean, light and crisp palate, displaying aromas and flavors of green apple, floral, a touch of nectarine skin on the finish and creamy bubbles.”


  • Style: (frizzante, Iced Orin apple) Sparkling Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Crisp refreshing dry tangy light sour green apple light nectarine exhale
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $29 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: 1x is okay

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Quality frosted hefty bottle & sturdy cap. Pours clear bright apple juice yellow with lots of soda-like activity, big bubbles hugging the glass, champagne-like streams.

Nose: very faint nectarine candy. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-crisp, fruity

Mid-palate: tingly, dry (lvl-1-sweetness), light green apple, light apple wine, tangy-sour-acidity

Finish: soft tart, light nectarine exhale

Summary: Lots of fizzy activity in this one along with a dry-tangy acidic backbone to keep things going. Not a ton of apple nor nectarine flavour, thus not leaving much of an impact. Goes down easy and hits pretty stealth, but ultimately forgettable.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve 2008 Champagne (Reims, France)

  • My Rating: [B+]

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve 2008 Champagne, 12% ABV – 750ml., (Reims, France)


-Happy 2017! Another year, another 365 days of tasting to look forward to. May this year be even more prosperous and joyous than the last!


  • Style: (Champagne) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Dry nutty dense white grape-pear slight lemon curd
  • How much: $70 – 750ml, BC Liquor Stores
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to champagne aficionados: sure

Visual: 2008 Vintage. Pours clear golden yellow with the typical torrent of large bubbly clustered streams. Lively and gorgeous.

Nose: peanutty-kinako 黄粉 (roasted soybean) – unique. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp, tart, bright acidity

Mid-palate: soft sour, ultra firm crisp acidic bite, (lvl-1-sweetness), asian pear, lemon curd, dense non-sweet white grape juice

Finish: residual tartness,

Summary: The Charles Heidsieck certainly has a unique pronounced peanut buttery-kinako presence that is both delicious and interesting. Lots of dryness backup up by the lively fruitness and firm acidity. There’s nothing quite like Champagne and rightly so.

Fizziotherapy 2011 – Therapy Vineyards (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

Fizziotherapy 2011 – Therapy Vineyards, 11.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Make sure to stretch your jaw muscles with this deliciously off-dry and frothy wine. Intense aromas of tangerines, peaches and apples, match with the light zingy acid of this wine.

A blend of Riesling, Orange-Muscat and Viognier, this fun fusion is the perfect aperitif or enjoyed with fresh Okanagan fruits and summer sun. Produced slightly off-dry, frizzante style.”

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  • Style: (riesling, orange-muscat, viognier blend) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Off-dry crisp tangy medium white wine acidic apple sticky gums
  • Where I got it :Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off), September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Bottle cap top. Pours clear medium golden yellow with quickly dissipating small bubbles, a couple singular slow streams.

Nose: apple, mild peachy, a touch of minerals. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: crisp off-dry sour bite, slight fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), fruity apple, hints of peach, medium tangy firm acidity,

Finish: residual tart sticky gums,

Summary: This off-dry wine does a good job of opening up the palate – a nice aperitif, as advertised. Solid apple-white grape flavour, certainly better than their rosé rendition [C]. Not quite a Champagne, but decent.

Iced Orin Frizzante – Rustic Roots Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Iced Orin Frizzante (NV) – Rustic Roots Winery, 11.0% ABV, 375 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


Notes about the Orin Appleorin-apple

  • originated from Japan, phonetically the same: 王林 = “Ou-rin”
  • a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Indo (印度)
  • high sweetness and low tartness despite it’s Granny smith green appearance

-description from the Rustic Roots website:

“Western Canada’s First Sparkling Iced Apple Wine!  This wine is made with the rare Organic Sweet Orin Apple and displays amazing apple concentration with a rich palate.  There is a beautiful balance on this wine with a sweet front of the palate with rich intense apple.  The finish has a ton of granny smith apple notes combined with soft creamy bubbles, leaving this wine very clean on the palate without the cloying richness of most iced wines.   This is the perfect wine for a very special occasion.”


  • Style: (frizzante, Iced Orin apple) Sparkling Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Rich tangy dense rich lengthy red apple
  • Where I got it : West Coast Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $31 CAD, January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: YES
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Pours deep golden yellow with a very small dissipating head, bubbly ringed retention, active single and clustered streams.

Nose: tangy sweet clean filtered apple juice. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense tangy-sugars

Mid-palate: gentle-fizzy-zingy, fruity (lvl-8-sweetness), icewine-like richness, a bit of woodiness, pleasant tangy alcohol

Finish: Granny smith apple exhale, lingering rich red apple exhale

Summary: Immediately approachable and easily finished. No longer sold according to their website (12/2016), but they are taking pre-orders. Overall it has a superbly clean tangy apple flavour with bits of interesting nuances to tickle your palate.

Fizziotherapy Rosée 2011 – Therapy Vineyards (Naramata, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C]

Fizziotherapy Rosé 2011 – Therapy Vineyards, 14.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Naramata, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Make sure to stretch your jaw muscles with this deliciously off-dry and frothy wine. Intense aromas of strawberries, red flowers and cherry play nicely with the fruity, full bodied rosé.

Packed with bubbles and strawberry flavour this Pinot Noir and Merlot Rosé is the perfect aperitif or enjoyed with fresh Okanagan fruits and summer sun. Produced slightly off-dry frizzante style.”

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  • Style: (rosé) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Alcoholic muddly strawberry off-dry tart non-refreshing
  • Where I got it :Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 (after 10% off), September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: no

Visual: (cellard for 5 years). Bottle cap top. Pours clear blush pink with bubbles hugging the glass. Drank almost flat after cellaring for so long so I injected it with some CO2.

Nose: strawberry, tangy-sour acidity. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: crisp-alcoholic bitter

Mid-palate: tart, persistent alcohol presence, (lvl-2-sweetness), strawberry, slightly salty

Finish: cherry exhale, off-dry sticky gums, residual fruity

Summary: The alcoholic appears right from the start, causing the berry flavours to become muddled and disoriented. Didn’t enjoy the therapy and won’t be coming back for a second session.

Serenity Cidre Blanco – Howling Moon Craft Cider (Oliver, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B-]

Serenity Cidre Blanco – Howling Moon Craft Cider, 9.5% ABV, 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)


the description from their website:

“Made with a blend of 50% Swiss sharp cider apples and 50% late-harvest old-growth Pinot Blanc grapes, this lightly effervescent sparkling cider exhibits notes of melon and apricot. With a beautiful bouquet and a long lasting finish, this well balanced sparkling cider, goes great with shellfish, other seafoods as well as other light salads and main courses.”


  • Style: (flavoured – pinot blanc) Apple Cider
  • Taste: White wine acidic crisp tart sour green apple off dry hint melon stealth alcholic
  • Where I got it : Libations / Vancouver
  • How much: $21.85 CAD (after 5% off) – 750ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, an interesting hybrid

Visual: Quality hefty bottle. Pours clear very pale light sunshine yellow with some fizzy activity, no head.

Nose: white wine musky, light red apple juice. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: bright white wine richness

Mid-palate: tingly CO2, green apple, background sour, tart crisp-airy acidic, (lvl-2-sweetness), alcoholic bitter

Finish: light notes of melon, residual white wine acidity

Summary: Lots of big textural mouthfeel in this one – crisp/sour/tart/acidic/alcoholic, coupled with a structured body – this one drinks fuller than your typical ‘made with apples only’ cider. The acidity compounds with each sip so this is better with a meal. Super stealth alcohol hit as well, be careful.

Valencia Moscato – The Tapas Wine Collection (Spain)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Valencia Moscato 2013 – The Tapas Wine Collection, 5% ABV, 650ml, (Cheste, Spain)

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  • Taste: Medium cloying fruity apple-pear-muscat
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $14 – 750ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: more for casual drinkers

Visual: Pours very light beige with tight clusters in the center, small bubbles.

Nose: sweet apple pear peach muscat grape. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: medium acidic, dense sugars, light fizzy

Mid-palate: medium cloying stickiness, (lvl-6)-sweetness, (MAIN) red apple, pear, muscat grape

Finish: light-bodied, sour-tangy, residual sweet finish.

Summary: Inviting and playful flavours accompanied by a bubbly crisp mouthfeel, decent. Somewhat cloying and repetitive by itself, best with some appies. Beware of the heartburn on an empty stomach.

Jaillance Sparkling Muscat (Die, France)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Muscat (sparkling) – Jaillance, 7% ABV – 750ml, (Die, France)

on the back label:

“Jaillance has been involved in organic farming for over 20 years, respecting nature to extract the best from its soils. The AB quality label guarantees total compliance with organic agricultural regulations, such as not using any man-made chemical products. The flavors of fresh fruit found in this cuvée make it a very pleasant wine for pre-dinner drinks. It is also very well suited for accompanying desserts.”

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A little about Clairette de Die AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) wines from wiki:

  • from Rhône Valley region
  • made from Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (75% min) and Clairette (25% max) varietals
  • Style: (Muscat) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste: Sweet cloying fizzy apple peach acidic tangy sour
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor (W.Van)
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off) – 750ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: sure, if you’ve not yet tried a Clairette de Die before

Visual: Real cork, twisty metal cap, foil sealed. Pours clear light yellow with clustered small sized, fast CO2 activity.

Nose: fruity peach & apple, minor pear. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense sugars, fizzy-tingly

Mid-palate: big CO2 bubbles, cloying, (lvl-8)-sweetness, medium acidity-tangy/sour, (MAIN) red apple, peach, light apricot, pear.

Finish: lingering sugars & acidity, fruity sweet apple finish.

Summary: Quite fruity but also overly sticky sugars on the palate. It might work as an aperitif but a little too aggressive for me. Flavours are not bad, but unfortunately I’m comparing this to the Champagne I had on NYE.