Cranberry Wine – Sanduz Estate Wines (Richmond, BC, Canada) 

  • My Rating: [B]

Cranberry Wine (NV)- Sanduz Estate Winery (now named Canada Berries), 11% ABV, 750 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Cranberries from Richmond, B.C. One of the world most unique areas for growing this fruit. Harvested, then gently pressed to yield a rich colorful juice. Cool fermented to yield this wonderful sweet tart wine…”

(back)


  • Style: (Cranberry) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Big fruity balanced tangy soft cranberry light raspberry juicy
  • Where I got it : @Winery / Richmond
  • How much: $19 CAD, October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: easy fruity drinking

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Real cork, intact. Pours clear pale scarlet with barely visible suspended micro sediment.

Nose: candied cranberry juice with perfumey nuances. Quite appealing. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: tangy tart fruity

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), big tangy fruity acidity, juicy cranberry juice, controlled alcoholic tang,

Finish: hints of raspberry & cinnamon, residual tart fruit cranberry

Summary: A very, very drinkable and approachable fruit wine that is rounded enough on its own in addition to being a good meal companion. The acidity and tartness does get somewhat cloying after a glass or two, but still recommended.

Raspberry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B

Raspberry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“This raspberry dessert wine displays intoxicating aromas of fresh picked raspberries and a little plum pudding. On the palate it is richly layered with fresh picked raspberries and a little plum tart. It has just enough sweetness and acidity not to make it tiresome to the palate and the delicate fresh stays in the mouth for minutes after you sip it. Enjoy it with black forest cake, blueberry tart or just by itself.”

(back)


  • Style: (Raspberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Tangy authentic raspberry light sour tangy slight cloying
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommendable: yes
  • What made an impression: rich raspberry

Visual: (cellared for 4.5 years). Pours dirty dark magenta with runny legs.

Nose: tangy raspberry juice (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: rich fruity, zingy subdued alcohol

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), big tangy, juicy tart authentic raspberry, firm sour acidity, slight jammy cloying

Finish: raspberry juice exhale

Summary: Finally after almost 10 misses, an above average and enjoyable dessert wine from Isabella Winery that has flavourful depth and a drinkable balance.

Blueberry off-dry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: FAIL

Blueberry off-dry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“Overlooking the historic Fraser River in the heart of blueberry country, Isabella Winery balances blueberry characteristics in this off-dry dessert wine. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream” (same description as their Blueberry Dessert Wine [C+])

(back)


  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Sour tangy acidic muddled short blueberry vinegar cloying rough tannic
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: you’re joking
  • What made an impression: crap quality

Visual: (cellared for 4.5 years). Pours deep dark purple, suspended large bits of sediment.

Nose:  (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: big sour, medium acidic cloying

Mid-palate: (lvl-1-sweetness), tannic rough, tangy blueberry juice, berry vinegar,

Finish: tart rough palate, dry

Summary: It is way too sour acidic-vinegary and lacks counterbalancing sugars to make it enjoyable as a dessert wine; Total waste of time and money, not recommended at all.

(a “why would anyone drink this?” moment…)

Zombie Hopocalypse – Fuggles & Warlock (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Zombie Hopocalypse – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks + Central City Brewers collaboration, 5% ABV, 650 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“A refreshing light bodied session ale with juicy wet hops from BC Hop Co. Featuring wet Centennial & Chinook hops.”

(left)


  • Style: (wet hop) Session India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Grapefruit tangerine dry barley malt astringent grassy light tangy-sour
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $9.15 CAD (after 5% off) – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah
  • What was the impression: dull, underwhelming fresh hop influence

Visual: Pours clear pale straw orange with a large 2cm frothy head, thick lacing, clusters of active streams, suspended micro sediment.

Nose: juicy tangerine-grapefruit (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, dry citrus malt impression

Mid-palate: resiny tart, grainy barley malt, (lvl-3-sweetness), grapefruit pith and flesh, tangy tangerine, soft sour continuous tart

Finish: dry dull hop bitter

Summary: Drinks full flavoured at 14°C. Its got an okay tangerine-grapefruit hop profile but the malt base is rather weak. Also there’s an astringent grassy sourness coming from the hops that aren’t that appealing. Slightly above average, but I wouldn’t say it’s great.

Agent Orange IPA – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks (Richmond, BC, Canada)

Agent Orange IPA – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, 5.8% ABV, 650 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


on the front-left label:

“Agent Orange IPA: What happens when you combine a crisp refreshing IPA with mandarin oranges? Magic! Introducing Agent Orange IPA with fresh mandarin oranges featuring Galaxy, Citra, and Cascade hops!

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – mandarin orange) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Sour tart tangy funk dull mandarin orange lingering bitter pith
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.55 CAD – 650ml., September 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours cloudy orange, not much head, ringed retention with a spotty thin islands, several spread out singular micro streams.

Nose: mandarin orange with some tart funk. Has a floral edge. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-dull, citrus sour tart impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), tart medium sour funk, persistent tanginess, dull mandarin orange, background malt

Finish: linger citrus peel bitter, mild orange exhale

Summary: Totally not what I was expecting, and not in a good way. The sour tart funk comes across as abrasive and unpleasant when combined with the bitter profile which has major orange pith nuances – the rough kind you get when you leave a slice of lime in water for a prolonged period of time. Drinkable, but not very enjoyable. Dull, disjointed, and not much of an IPA while taking the worst parts of a mandarin orange. 4 Mile Brewing’s Mandarin IPA [B+] is much better.

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C+

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“Overlooking the historic Fraser River in the heart of blueberry country, Isabella Winery balances blueberry characteristics in this off-dry dessert wine. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream”


  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Dense sweet juicy rich blueberry-blackberry tangy firm acidic mild alcohol
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: decent if untainted

Visual: (cellared for 10 years), a bit of mold on top of the cork. Pours deep purple, a bit of sediment.

Nose: light acidic alcoholic blueberry juice (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slightly syrupy, dense sweet blueberry impression

Mid-palate: tangy firm acidity, (lvl-8-sweetness), rich blueberry-mild blackberry juiciness

Finish: residual sugars, berry exhale, trace amounts of mold in the aftertaste (from the cork I suspect)

Summary: Isabella Winery sure is hit and miss. While the majority of their products are mediocre at best, this one is actually above average. It’s a shame that there was just a touch of mold in the aftertaste. Can’t say I would but this again, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t feel ripped off. The sugars make my sensitive teeth tingle.

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: D+ (bad P:E, price:enjoyability)

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery, 13% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC icewine*)


on the back label:

“This fresh Icewine Chardonnay is buttery and smooth nectar of richness demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavors of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. A hint of oak vanilla, toasted marshmallow aromas round out the robust yet gentle mouthfeel.”


  • Style: (Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Tangy red apple apricot soft sour crisp short length basic flavour
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $71 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 7 years), real cork partially disintegrated upon uncorking. Pours apple juice yellow with a slight orange shade, crystal clear.

Nose: apple juice, Welch’s white grape, light sweet acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet juicy tangy

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), red apple, almost salty, tangy alcohol, very mild heat, apricot, watery viscosity

Finish: soft sour, residual medium tangy apricot-grape

Summary: Lol this is what you call impulse spending on liquor – buy the whole 20+ bottle lineup, review them all for blog, and check the bill later. In any case, another DNB, waste of money dessert wine from Isabella. Way too thin and basic apple flavour straight out of the fridge; Luckily the acidity kicks in as it warms and you get more tangy apricot in the backend. Still, a turd is a turd even if you cellar for 7 years it. Drinkable, but after feeling swindled.