Tag Archives: 2014 Carte Noir Rose

Celebrity Rant and The Rainbow Daily Slosh

13 May

Who the hell are these people?

I was sitting in the optometrist’s office this week and picked up a copy of US magazine. I don’t know if US magazine is legit or if like People is a bit of a National Enquirer under the guise of legitimacy. But, I scanned a copy and sat waiting, waiting (after all it is a waiting room). I got through two US magazines actually. The thing is I didn’t know very many of the people profiled – and there were thousands, it seemed. If truth be told, I didn’t know 10% of them. I didn’t have a clue at all. Before you say anything critical of my clue worthiness, hear me out. Were they television stars? Singers? Exploited reality television stars? Taxidermists? No clue. And their trials tribulations and designer wear wasn’t that interesting to me.

There was a time not so long ago (check that: it was a really long time ago) when I knew every person that was culturally significant. That’s an exaggeration but it’s my blog. I read Tom Wolfe, John Updike, Margaret Atwood, and Alice Munro; watched every episode of The Wire; studied Victor Frankl; knew who Jeff Beck, Yo Yo Ma, and Ginger Baker were; loved Julie Christie and Jessica Lang. And then later, because I had hip kids and nieces, I adjusted, I got to know Eminem, Paloma Faith, Lady Gaga, and Zoe Saldana (she is smoking’ hot!!). These people all did something besides just be. They are famous because they do something that people appreciate. They work in the public sphere. And, work at a level that is significant, noteworthy whether, like in the case of Eminem, you appreciate the craft or not.

kjennerBut now, even though I watch a bit of the tele, read a bunch, and I really do pay frigging attention, I don’t know the difference between one Jenner and the other (are there only two?). Hell, I didn’t know there were Jenners at all until the optometrist and they were on several pages. That’s Kylie on the left BTW – sexualized from birth. I checked out of the ubiquitous Kardashians – wait, I never checked in. I don’t know one from the other there either and can’t for the life of me understand why anyone gives a shit about them. How can anyone sell a magazine that gives so little information on so irrelevant a population? The cover above highlights a Bachelorette, or is it Bachelor, for Christ’s sake. How can that get anyone to think, “Hey, I’ve got to know about this before I read stuff that actually impacts my life…….like Duffs Wines. I better buy a copy”? If you are raging against my tone deafness to ‘today’s’ important people or you agree with me, let me know. But, before you do, ask yourself, “Why do more Canadians know all the judges on Dancing With The Stars but not who their Minister of Justice is?” Sad. Or, more relevant, why don’t more Canadians know the difference between Blancs de Blancs and Blancs de Noir? Seriously.

On to wine recos.

terra nobleWandering back home from a dinner with my niece a few months ago and stopped into The Church Key, a Richmond Row staple and a great place to eat or just sip and chat with the patrons. I ordered one of my favourite wines by the glass – 2012 Terra Noble Gran Reserve Carmenère #957050 $19.95. This is one of the better Carmenere out there that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s smoky, full-bodied, and dark. Interesting. Great intro to Carmenere. So, if you haven’t tried this grape, pick up a bottle or two of this. Or if you are one of the Carmenere hounds of Providence, a case.

carte noirLast week, I did a post on rosés. You can read it here. I wanted to talk about the 2015 Carte Noire Rosé #319384 $17.95  but it wasn’t out yet. Now, it is. I’ve loved this pink for years. My write-up went something like this, “I believe that Brigitte Bardot lived in Saint-Tropez when she was, well, really hot. Maybe as un hommage to Brigitte, you could chill a bottle of this and serve with roast endangered species, carpaccio di baby seal?” Ok, the was a bit uninformative. This wine is due Provence. Crisp, cool matched perfectly to sliced avocados with olive oil, tomatoes, and sunshine. I have a couple of bottles of this already for the cottage dock at 4:30.

zontesA few months ago, a friend heavily recommended an Australian red due to the fact that they enjoyed the wine over Christmas. The wine? Not sure but it was a Zonte’s Footsteps effort. I’ve recommended their stuff before here. But I hadn’t had the particular cuvée but found a representative select this week – 2013 Zonte’s Footsteps Lake Doctor Shiraz #072975 $17.95. The thing is these guys, despite the fact that they access grapes from different terrors, have a particular house style that is restrained. I had their Avalon Tree #353193 $17.95 just the other night (Confession: drinking it as i typed this) and it had the same thing going on – focus on fruit, subtle, but purposeful. Just plain good. This Lake Doctor is spicy – Shiraz spicy a bit hot but all expressive, fresh Shiraz.

chardWe go through a yuuuuuge bunch of Chardonnay each year at this house. The Director prefers the grape, well-done and oaked just a little bit. That means that there aren’t too many available that we haven’t had.This week, there’s a Chilean effort. Question: Do you say Chlill-ay-an or Chill-ee-an? This week – 2013 Concha y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserve Chardonnay #287995 $16.95. This is a perfect summer Chard – fresh, vein of acid, and tropical.

One thing that we all probably do is wash, rinse, repeat. In wine, that means, we pop, drink and repeat with the same wines all the time. “There’s nothing wrong with that”, he says, as he proceeds to discuss what is wrong with that. It’s just that we enjoy different cuisines and foods. Who wants chicken every night? So, I’m going to break out of the norm with this week’s offerings. Let’s start with a Basilicata. I’ve checked and this is the very first time in seven years that I’ve recommended a wine from there. Where is ‘there’? Well, where Puglia is the heel of the boot of Italy, Basilicata is the arch and toe (minus Sicily).

sacraviteWe stopped in to Basilicata when we ventured to Matera several years ago. Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s eerie, haunting, unbelievable, yet fantastic (picture below). Caves and a history of poverty and another way of life that’s inconceivable. You can read the wiki piece on Matera here. This week, there’s the 2013 d’Angelo Sacravite #440834 $15.95. This is made from Anglianico yet is soft and accessible. I say ‘yet’ because Anglianico can be a bit edgy and dense. This isn’t either. A perfect, yet, atypical introduction to the reds of Basilicata. Have with BBQ.

Some more wines to try that are out of the ordinary?

2014 Barone Montalto Viognier #435479 $15.95 – Floral, yet clean, crisp sipping white. I dare you. A Viognier form Sicily. Chill it, sip it, repeat.

2013 Ilocki Podium Traminac #435412 $14.95 – Traminac is Gewürztraminer in these parts. A Croatian wine with history and richness.



Have a great weekend.




Rosés For The Dock 2015!

26 Jun

I spent far too long watching these “Playing For Change” renditions. What a cool concept.

I’ve discovered something. I like rosé. I guess it isn’t a shocking discovery. I am a wine agnostic. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not picky. That would make me a wine slut. That’s something different entirely..

I came to this discovery the other night. I popped a cork on a pretty bottle of Côtes du Provence. You know, one of those bottles that’s all curvy and cool. It was a warm night. The kind of early evening humidity and pending storm that we experience here in Southern Ontario almost every summer evening it seems. And as I sat and sipped on the patio, I thought, “This stuff is good” (note: censoring in Italics).

Most importantly, the wine matched the moment, the mood, the feeling that I was trying to achieve. I know it can sound wine snobby when someone says that they’re matching wine with the mood, the place, the people. But listen, would you scoff at ‘comfort food’ as a snobby concept held only by foodies? No. We all get it. Some foods fulfill the role of comforting us. Well, some wines fill a need too; get used to it, it’s just true ’cause I read it on the internet – right here on this blog, BTW. The night in question, I needed some wine that recognized the sun from earlier in the day, the heat, and yet provided some amount of chill, too. Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, rosés. Like them a lot.

In an effort to provide helpful advice, I’ve been killing rosés over the past month. Here are some of my impressions of the ones that made the cut.

We were in Rhode Island last week and I picked up a rosé from one of my favourite wine stores in Providence (ENO – 225 Westminster Street) – 2013 Chateau de Trinquevedel Tavel. It’s a Kermit Lynch offering south of the border and that usually means good Rhone stuff. It’s a label that I’ve liked in past vintages and you’ve heard me wax on Tavels in general – I like ’em a lot. Well, this one surprised me. It was less expressive than I’m used to for Tavels. KInd of dumb, if that makes sense. It was more strawberry than darker fruits. A little disappointing despite past success of this label. I was looking for more substance – it just seemed flat. That leads me to believe that the moment wasn’t right (are you kidding? In my hotel room sitting on the side of the bed?) or I wasn’t really paying attention. Could be both, actually. When it arrives in our market, I’ll try it again and get back to you.

While we’re on Tavel, let me remind you of my review of the Famille Perrin Tavel here. I like that wine a lot. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it an A+.

carte noirAnother regular in our aisles this time of year is 2014 Carte Noir #319384 $17.95. I’ve reviewed this the past couple years at least. You can read the review of the 2011 and 2012 vintages here. This is a rosé from Côtes du Provence. There may be no other wine that best describes your experience of the place it comes from as clearly as a rosé from here. The bottle even says, “I’m cool, curvy just like Brigitte.” If you’ve sat at a café by the Mediterranean watching boats lazily rising and falling with the gentle sea, you know what this wine feels like. This is from Saint-Tropez, which conjures up images of fashion, Fiats, sunglasses, and the sun. It’s light, refreshing with cherries and a hint of herbs. Great summer wine – it’s going to the cottage next week. And, I managed to recommend this wine without a picture of Brigitte Bardot. But, I do still love her. Just checked her birth date. SHE’S 81! So, I’ve decided that I don’t really still love her in the same way that I used to and adjusted my fantasies significantly.

citraIn my research, I bought a rosé that I’d never tried before. The wine – 2014 Citra Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo #404541 $8.45 – yes it’s $8.45 and perhaps is the lowest priced wine to grace these pages. Having never had a rosé from Abruzzo, I did a little research. This wine is made in the Cerasuolo, a fairly new DOC in Central Italy. The red wines from here carry a lighter colour than their Montepulciano grape cousins – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I can’t find a single thing about the rosés. I’m assuming they are made from the Montepulciano grape as well. So, what does $8.45 get you? I have to say that it gets you a really nice wine. Just thinking – that’s another good thing about pinks – they don’t cost an arm and a leg. This has a tarriness to it among the cherries. I like that – tarriness. Almost copper coloured – it would look great on your patio with some substantial apps. It reminds me of the Tavels – bigger bodied but still dry, crisp and refreshing. A nice surprise at $8.45.

charlesetcharlesCloser to home – at least I think it’s closer – is the Washington State – 2014 Charles & Charles Rosé #406603 $15.95 is a watermelon coloured (or since it’s from the US should I say colored?) beauty. This is the perfect summer party rosé for me – there’s a populist feel to it – any guest that objects to its gentle, dry, lip-smacking-ness should be expelled from the deck! At the lake, the offender would be tossed from the dock. Plus, there’s a finish that has something going on that I can’t quite describe. That’s a good thing in wine – mystery. Please buy this and let me know what you think. My goal on this blog is to serve. Hey, just had a glass of this as I’m finalizing the post and it is good stuff.

gassierHave you ever sniffed, sipped, gurgled, and swallowed a wine trying to figure out what you were going to say in your blog? I know you have. Well, the 2014 Gassier Sables d’Azur Rosé #33621 $15.95 was one of those wines. Yes, it’s the cool shapely Provence bottle too. What to say about my experience? Well, I still get the Côtes du Provence outward feel – clean, fresh, and screaming, “Please, please, chill me!” But, it didn’t resonate with me. Always wanted to say that about a wine. What I mean is that compared to the Carte Noir above, or the Tour l’Eveque below, it just seemed less convincing. Does that make sense? I was looking for that Provence soul and it didn’t quite deliver. But, what did it do? Well, it was crisp, fresh, and dry. It needs a big chill and seafood stuff to munch. To be fair that might bring it to life.

levequeOK, let’s stay there – in Provence that is. I’ve reviewed this label before here – the 2014 Château la Tour de l’Eveque #319392 $18.95 is the one wine that I’m reviewing here that has a distinct floral thing going on. It is made using both red and white grapes which is counter to what I expect from traditional Old World rosés. It’s more common than I imagine, I bet. I just think of rosés as red grapes bleeding whitish juice. This would be wicked with an arugula salad. It has almost a spritz to it – maybe a bite that gives that spritzy feeling that would match the pepper of the arugula. Some white tree fruit – peaches coming through on the finish. This is full value. The most serious one from Provence.

Last but certainly not least are my two local favs. First let’s get the ladybug out of the way. The 2014 Malivoire Ladybug Rosé #559088 $15.95 is a frequent flyer here. It’s just a consistently yummy rosé. No need to say any more – pick up a bottle. It’s an Vintages Essentials product, so should be in about any LCBO. If you must, this is my last review of that label here..

sketchesThe 2014 Tawse Sketches of Niagara #172643 $15.95 holds some greenness on the sniff that isn’t present in the mouth – cabernet something or other used, I’m guessing. It is strawberry juice coloured and maybe that’s why you can’t shake the strawberry flavours. It might be the sweetest of the rosés reviewed here. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s sweet just sweeter, is all. And that gives it a bit bulkier feel too if that makes sense. I like just about anything that comes from these guys and this is no exception.

There you have it. Rosés to stock up on for the summer ahead. If you haven’t had one in a while, give them another try. Don’t be an anti-rosite. It just might transport you to Saint-Tropez and there’s lots of worse things that can happen than that.


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