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.


Cambremer Cider de Tradition Pays d’Auge AOP – Manoir de Grandouet (France)

Cambremer Cider de Tradition Pays d’Auge AOP – Manoir de Grandouet, 4.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Grandouet, France)

-Médaille d’Or Cambremer 2012 – Concours du festival des AOC/AOP

info from

Les pommes utilisées pour l’élaboration de ce cidre AOP Pays d’Auge proviennent de nos vergers installés sur des sols argilo-calcaire. Le subtil assemblage de plusieurs variétés de pommes, parmi les plus traditionnelles et typiques du Pays d’Auge, assure à ce cidre un bon équilibre entre sucre, acidité et amertume.

Après pressage, le moût obtenu, 100% pur jus, fermente lentement sous l’action des levures naturellement présentes sur les pommes. Il faut environ 3 mois de fermentation pour obtenir un cidre demi-sec (4,5° vol. d’alcool). Le cidre est alors mis en bouteille où les levures vont prolonger la fermentation pour assurer la prise de mousse. Il faut environ 3 mois après la mise en bouteille pour obtenir un cidre à la mousse fine et pétillante.

The apples used to make this cider AOP Pays d’Auge come from our orchards on clayey-limestone soils. The subtle blend of several varieties of apples, among the most traditional and typical of the Pays d’Auge, ensures this cider a good balance between sugar, acidity and bitterness.

(translated by google)

After pressing, the wort obtained, 100% pure juice, ferments slowly under the action of the yeasts naturally present on the apples. It takes about 3 months of fermentation to obtain a semi-dry cider (4,5 ° vol. Of alcohol). The cider is then bottled where the yeasts will prolong the fermentation to ensure the intake of foam. It takes about 3 months after bottling to obtain a cider with fine and sparkling foam.

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Supremely clean balanced fruity light woody tangy apple juice
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $12 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., October 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Real cork with steel cap top. Pours deep yellow-orange with a fizzy dissipating soda head, not much other than some micro bubbles along the perimeter, occasional bubble surfacing.

Nose: rich apple juice, woody acidity, light yeasty funk (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, bright fruity apple

Mid-palate: micro-tingly-fizzy, (lvl-3-sweetness), fruity tangy soft acidic, woody unfiltered apple juice

Finish: hint of alcoholic tang, mild tart, residual purity of apple flavour

Summary: Extremely natural and clean tasting apple cider with just a touch of woody funk and enough sweetness to satisfy the palate. Gold medals well deserved.

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.

Cidre Fermier Brut – Manoir de Grandouet (Grandouet, France)

Cidre Fermier Brut (NV) – Manoir de Grandouet (Stéphanie & Lucile GRANDVAL), 5% ABV, 75 cl., (Grandouet, France)

  • Style: Apple Cider
  • Taste: Cedar woody pear apple juice tangy white grape slightly rough
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off) – 75 cl., October 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, good woody

Visual: Real cork, twisty steel cap. Pours translucent deep dirty yellow with a dissipating soda head, suspended micro sediment, singular fast streams.

Nose: very woody, farty-mild funk’d, tangy apple juice. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: tingly-soft fizzy

Mid-palate: pear juice, wet cedar woodiness, bright short (lvl-5-sweetness), white grape, light tangy

Finish: residual apple juice sugars, mild woody exhale, off-dry slightly palate rough finish.

Summary: This has a very aromatic cedar woodiness, along with a pleasantly fruity pear-apple-white grape taste going on. Quite interesting and just the type of cider I like, although the finish is slightly palate rough.

Domaine de Terrebrune Bonnezeaux 2006 (Late Harvest) (France)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Domaine de Terrebrune Bonnezeaux 2006, 13% ABV, 500 ml., (Notre-Dame-d’Allençon, France)

from the Domaine de Terrebrune website:

“Famous desert wine, the colour is gilded with green reflections. The nose is fine and subtle, in mouth it expresses the acacia, fern, and citrus fruits. In age the flavours change : honey, lime and stone taste with rifle. Serve it in medium temperature : 12 °C, taste it in apéritif, with a foie gras, white meats, strong cheeses, blue cheeses. A young Bonnezeaux can be serve with shellfish (lobster). The Bonnezeaux is a high-class wine of guard, sometime centenary but ten years is good enough. This wine represents the Chenin from the Loire, an outstanding wine, something very rare.”

-actually, I prefer it at room temperature, around 21°C, so that it becomes slightly more viscous and you get more deep warmth.

  • Style: (Bonnezeaux – Chenin Blanc) Late Harvest Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Tangy sweet light sour acidic apple lime honey nectarine short length
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines, Granville Island
  • How much: $38 CAD, (after 10% off) – 500ml., August 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: nah
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: not worth the $$$

Visual: (2006 Vintage, cellared for 10 years). Pours clear light golden orange.

Nose: tangy citrusy sweet apple-pear. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: chilled=thin viscosity, warm=slightly thick, incoming sugars

Mid-palate: sweet-sour acidic tang, dense (lvl-7-sweetness) sugar hit, medium body, apple, lime, honey, alcohol zingy

Finish: nectarine exhale, woody throat warmth, short flavour finish

Summary: Not particularly memorable since I had a fantastic Donnafugata Ben Ryé Passito yesterday [A-]. Somewhat lacking in full bodyness and length, the flavours are simplistically good but over too quickly.

3 Monts Grande Réserve – Brasserie de St. Sylvestre (France)


Monts Grande Réserve – Brasserie de St. Sylvestre, 10% ABV, 750ml, (St. Sylvestre-Cappel, France )

  • Style: (strong) Amber Ale
  • Taste: Alcoholic brown sugar cinnamon toffee sweet barley malt
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek (Main St.)
  • How much: $11 (after 10% off) – 750ml., January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Hefty bottle, corked and plastic sealed. Pours dull copper brown with a small dissipating creamy head, half sticky lacing, a few clusters of steady micro streams.

Nose: light alcoholic, liquid toffee sweet barley malts. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming alcoholic malts

Mid-palate:  background alcohol, sustained micro-fizzy & creamy CO2, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) brown sugar, cinnamon, toffee barley malt, zingy alcohol

Finish: woody barley, alcohol numbness, residual malty finish.

Summary: Good rounded bubbly CO2 texture to help carry the sweet and alcoholic body to the finish. It could use a bit more complexity.

Jaillance Sparkling Muscat (Die, France)


  • 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.”


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.