Moscato – Barefoot Cellars (Modesto, CA, USA)

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  • My Rating: B-

Moscato (NV) – Barefoot Cellars, 8.5% ABV – 750ml., (Modesto, CA, USA)

  • owned by E&J Gallo Winery since 2005, the largest winery in the world (gallo.com[I take it to mean they produce the highest volume compared to any company]
  • 2011 Class Champion in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Wine Competition USA

On the back label:

“Barefoot Moscato is a sweet wine with hints of delicious mouth-watering juicy peach and apricot flavours. Notes of lemon and orange citrus compliment a crisp refreshing finish. Barefoot Moscato is perfect with spicy Asian cuisine, light desserts, fresh fruits, and mild cheeses.”

  • Style: (Moscato) White Wine
  • Taste: Bright peach-apricot apple fruity medium sweet wine
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $10 – 750ml., sometime in 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: not quite; but good for non-drinkers

Visual: Nicely packaged with a simple yet effective label + synthetic cork. Pours clear light golden yellow with some tiny bubbles in the initial pour.

Nose: faint apple and surprisingly, minor alcohol detection (unimpressive) (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet apple fruitiness

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-fruity sweetness, alcohol bitterness, medium tangy, (MAIN) peach/apricot, pear/apple

Finish: residual fruity sugars (not cloying), light tart, fruity crisp yet short/succinct finish.

Summary: It has an extremely approachable and lively fruit orchard fruit character. Although it doesn’t have much length, carry or complexity, it’s drinkability and inexpensive price tag mean that I would recommend you to try it at least once.

Passion Fruit Wine Spritz – Pomula (Wellington, South Africa)

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  • My Rating: C-

Pomula Passion Fruit Wine Spritz, 5.5% ABV – 750ml., (Wellington, South Africa)

on the back label:

“POMULA Wine Spritz is a  blend of crisp white wine, fruit juice and yellow passion fruit flavours. This intriguing combination results in a delightfully aromatic wine with juicy citrus and tropical fruit flavours, that is perfect for any occasion”

Ingredients: wine, fruit juice, water, grape concentrate, flavours, carbon dioxide.

  • Style: (passion fruit) Flavoured White Wine
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot @ Cambie
  • How much: $10 – 750ml., January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no, it’s more for casual drinkers

Visual: The back label is almost illegible with its white font on a bright green label. Screw-top cap. Pours light golden yellow with spread out bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

Nose: A clean tropical fruit Riesling nose, with extra bright passion fruit (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: incoming dense fruitiness with some sugar

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-fruity sweetness, (MAIN) white grape, club soda, *hint* passion fruit (quickly dissipates), apple

Finish: watery-thin mouthfeel, off-dry club soda palate tingly finish.

Summary: This drinks like a cheap white wine + club soda mixed spritz with some flavouring, which it is at $10. It’s extremely drinkable at 5.5% ABV but you don’t get much in terms of depth or complexity.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay (Washington, USA)

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  • My Rating: C+

Chardonnay 2002 – Chateau Ste. Michelle (Columbia Valley), 13.5% ABV – 750ml., (Woodinville, WA, USA)

On the back label:

“Our Columbia Valley Chardonnay is rich in character with additional complexity and balance attained by barrel fermentation. Aging sur lie in French oak results in a full-bodied wine and enhances the flavors of ripe apple, pear, and citrus fruit.”

  • Style: (white wine,) Chardonnay, oak-aged
  • Taste: fruity sugars -> apple/pear -> mild-tangy/off-dry fruity finish.
  • Where I got it : ??? (likely a gift 10+ years ago…)
  • How much: ~$15-20 – 750ml., sometime in…2003?
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: nah
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: (no longer available, now they have Chardonnays from distinct vineyards)

Visual: 2002!!? A 12-year old white wine that benefited 0.1% from aging in my cellar. It wasn’t my intention to leave it for so long but I just never got around to opening it. Anyways, pours medium-light golden yellow, clear as water.

Nose: Fruity & ripe red apple and Barlett pears. (4/10-pungency)

Attack: controlled sugars, light acidity, orchard fruity aromas

Mid-palate: (3/10)-sweetness, light-tangy acidity, (MAIN) apple, pear (hint) lemon/lime

Finish: hints of saltiness, solid acidic/tang/citrus/off-dry follow through.

Summary: A decent table wine, an all-around easy sipper, chugger, and meal-wine. No highs or lows, just an easy cruise.

JoieFarm Riesling – Okanagan Valley (Naramata, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – JoieFarm Winery,11.9% ABV – 750ml, (Naramata, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Riesling, at its best, balances mouthwatering acidity, a  touch of sweetness and moderate alcohol levels in support of aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit, flowers and spice. The greatest examples we know of originate in Germany and it was Germans who brought the first Riesling to the Okanagan Valley.”

  • Style: (Vintage) Riesling
  • Taste: acidic sugars -> sweet-sour/green apple/pear/lime -> cloying/tart/tangy-tart finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $25 (after 10%) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine imbibers: yes

Visual: Aluminum screw cap top, Pours clear light golden yellow, with a few bubbles on the bottom.

Nose: Tangy-sour red/green apple, white table grapes, hints of peach. (4)-aromatic nose.

Attack: acidity/dense sugars

Mid-palate: (6)-sweetness, (7)-sourness (MAIN) (7)-green apple, pear, lime

Finish: (4)-cloying sugars, medium tartness, lingering sour-tangy finish.

Summary: Truly a delicate balance of sweet-sour-tangy-fruit-alcohol, and body as advertised on the front label.   (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

No.99 Wayne Gretzky Estates Riesling (Ontario, Canada)

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  • My Rating: D

Riesling 2008 – No.99 Wayne Gretzky Estates, 11.3% ABV, 750ml, (Vineland, Ontario, Canada)

on the back label:

“No.99 Riesling from the 2008 vintage is a refreshing presentation of one of Niagara’s most prized aromatic white varieties. Bright citrus fruit lemon-lilme acidity, creating a crisp, alluring wine with a fruit-forward nose and long, lush palate structure. Drinking well now, and will evolve further in bottle over the next 3-5 years.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: super sour -> cloying acidity/lemon/lime/minerality -> tart/tangy/acidic finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $20 (after 10% off) / ($14 online direct) – 750ml, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine drinkers: no

Visual: Wayne Gretzky, the legend! How about this wine? Professional fancy label, complete with Wayne’s signature for you learn to forge on all his memorabilia. Pours light golden yellow with some tiny bubbles in the glass.

Nose: lemon-lime acidity

Attack: extreme citrus (10)-sourness

Mid-palate: (4)-sweetness, (9)-cloying acidity, (MAIN) lemon oil, lime, green apple (HINT) minerality

Finish: (7)-tart, tangy, acidic, cloying finish.

Summary: This is a wine that definitely must accompany a meal. It’s way to sour on it’s own and becomes even more so as it warms up. I’m a fan of Gretzky but not this wine. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Orofino Riesling (Cawston, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C-

Riesling 2010 – Orofino Vineyards, 12.3% ABV, 750ml, (Cawston, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Typical Orofino Riesling full of complex tropical fruit, lime and minerality. Dry with bright acidity.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: sourness -> green apple/lime/pineapple/papaya -> tart acidity/puckery off-dry finish.
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off) – 750ml, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine drinkers: no, average

Visual: Raised font printed paper label, screw-top cap. Pours light yellow with a few small bubbles.

Nose: green apple, pineapple, lime, lots of acidity and brightness. (7)-aromatic strength.

Attack: intense sourness

Mid-palate: (2)-sweetness, continued sourness, (MAIN) green apple, lime, pineapple, papaya

Finish: lingering tartness-acidity-sourness, puckery off-dry fruity finish.

Summary:  Decent body and structure, but I find the acidic sourness too overbearing. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Hillside Muscat Ottonel (Pentiction, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: D+

Muscat Ottonel 2011 – Hillside Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750ml, (Pentiction, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Made from 100% Muscat Ottonel from mature vines grown on our estate, this wine has developed a cult following. Moderate summer temperatures and a long season produced grapes of true varietal expression. This wine has lovely floral aromas and hints of spice that pair beautifully with Asian food, picnics and fresh air! 781 cases.”

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  • Style: (white wine) Muscat Ottonel (wiki)
  • Taste Profile: acidic/sour -> sour apple/lemon/lime -> alcohol/tart/dry fruity sour finish.
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $23 – 750ml (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: It’s my first time this varietal, which I’m hoping I will like since it is part of the Muscat family which I love so dearly. Aluminum screw-cap top. Pours very light golden yellow, clear as water.

Nose: Light apple juice, sweet minerality, a bit of peach and melon in there. (4)-aromatic strength.

Attack: intrusive sourness

Mid-palate: (8)-strong acidity, (4)-salty (MAIN) green apple, (HINT) lemon, lime

Finish: alcohol detection (vodka-like), (8)-very tart, almost dry fruity sour-tart finish

Summary:  It has body and carry, but I don’t like the powerful acidity, alcohol detection, and lack of sweetness. Average at best, but the more I drink the less I like it. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Intrigue Riesling 2010 (Lake Country, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Intrigue Riesling 2010, 12.5% ABV, 750ml, (Lake Country, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“The RIESLING was grown in beautiful Lake Country on a west facing slope. The light crop load and intense summer heat allowed the aromas and flavours to concentrate in the berries. This wine has a very prominent CITRUS AROMA balanced with GRANNY SMITH APPLES and notes of classic PETROL. The fruit forward flavours are balanced with the bright acidity that will excite your palate. The richness that follows will leave your mouth watering.”

  • Style: Riesling
  • Taste Profile: super sour -> sweet/sour green apple/pear/sour & tart -> tangy/acidic sour/
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $19 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no

Visual: Pours clear light golden yellow with watery legs.

Nose: green apple, minerality, mild tart/tangy apple juice, mild peach (5-aromatic strength)

Attack: overwhelming sourness(10)

Mid-palate: dense apple sweetness(6), medium tartness, (MAIN) green apple, (HINT) pear, petrol bitterness (!, really), apricot

Finish: persistent tanginess(7), acidic sourness(9), thickened saliva(5), lingering sour-tangy apple finish.

Summary: First initial sips are unbalanced and out of whack; The sourness is way too aggressive at first but you gradually get used to it. Decent flavour and body follow once you accept its extroverted nature. It’s not something I’d recommend but I’m glad I tried it anyway.(Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Silver Sage Gewurztraminer 2008 (Oliver, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: B-

Silver Sage Gewurztraminer 2008, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“A very distinct mild-gold color wine, with a unique TROPICAL FRUIT aroma and an elegant wild rose fragrance to balance this peachy summer supper or seafood and white meat companion.”

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  • Style: (gewurztraminer) White wine
  • Taste Profile: medium bright sweetness -> chocolate orange/pineapple/sour peach -> warmth/tang/acidic finish.
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $18, Spring 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: yes, interesting flavour profile

Visual: (I picked this up during an Okanagan winery tour in the Springtime of 2009; Finally I’m getting around to trying it again, including the tasting at the winery. And after the first sip, I remember why I bought it…) Pours light-medium golden yellow, clear as water.

Nose: chocolate orange (you read that right), and red apple

Attack: medium-dense 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: (MAIN) chocolate orange (candied variety), pineapple, medium sourness, (HINT) sour peach

Finish: mild alcohol warmth, medium tang, medium-sharp acidic crisp finish

Summary: Chocolate orange and pineapple; this is the most interesting Gewurztraminer I’ve had to date. Nicely balanced though I wish it were more complex and had a bit more depth.

Ruby Blues Winery – Riesling (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Riesling 2010 – Ruby Blues Winery, 12.0% ABV – 750ml, (Penticton, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“’Goodbye Ruby Tuesday… catch your dreams before they slip away…’ The shoes represent the dreams we all have…This wonderful painting was created by our friend and brilliant artist Jennifer Grant. The grapes for this Riesling are exclusively from the Naramata Bench. Handpicked Oct.26/2010. This Riesling shows GREEN APPLES, CITRUS and MINERAL FLAVOURS. A wonderful compliment to chicken and various cheeses.”

  • Style: (white wine) Riesling
  • Taste Profile: medium sweet apple -> green apple/tart/lime/mineral -> sour/tangy/semi-sweet cloying apple finish
  • Where I got it: Legacy
  • How much: $23 (after 10% off), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: no, not outstanding enough

Visual: I like the colour matching of the dark red screwcap and blood-red background on the label. Pours standard white wine light yellow, with what appear to be micro-sized bubbles at the bottom of the glass – cool.

Nose: tangy green apple with medium acidity and a hint of lemon/lime

Attack: escalating 7/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: green apple + tartness, hints of lime, minerality

Finish: medium acidic sourness, tangy, semi-sweet light cloying apple finish.

Summary: Decent body and drinkability, though not particularly complex or remarkable.