Saturday, February 28, 2009

2005 Okanagan

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I've never tasted a wine from British Columbia before, so this tasting was a great surprise. LCBO released one of the top wines from Okanagan Valley, a joint venture between Vincor and Groupe Taillan of Bordeaux.

2005 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin, VQA Okanagan Valley.

Bayview Village hosted a tasting of this wine today. I've always been intrigued by this wine, so I made sure I was there. All the 5 Bordelais varietals, with an emphasis on merlot. Given that this wine sells for $45, I had high expectations.

I don't like these tastings where they literally pour you a drop, and then rattle on and on with a corporate mandated spiel on how the wine tastes and how great it is. Please don't try to tell me what I'm tasting. I think I can make up my own mind.

Being the fantastic snob I am, let me give you my impressions.

Deep red colour, good saturation with clarity. This isn't a dark wine. The nose is balanced and complex, but I feel there's an over-reliance on oak. It's a bit too oaky to me, without the density or concentration to support it. The fruit just isn't ripe enough. Acidity is a bit un-balanced, and the tannins are very soft. Long finish, quite nice in fact. But I wouldn't (and didn't) buy this wine, not for $45. I believe, strongly, that if it wasn't these big companies getting behind these wines, it should retail for no more than $25. Overoaked, without the power to back it up. Unfortunately, the wine doesn't live up to its reputation.

Maybe its the vintage, maybe it needs to settle in the bottle for a few years to come together. Just didn't show well today. Just felt unfocussed. I don't understand how someone like Marynissen can produce wines of great depth and concentration for $15, while a supposedly terroir driven wine like Osoyoos Larose falls flat. Money can't buy you happiness, and clearly, can't grow ripe grapes for you either.

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Finished last night's bottle of 2006 Domaine Faillenc Saint Marie, AC Corbieres. Brett isn't as obvious as yesterday, and mingles with the fruit to give off the most beautiful aroma. Such a wild, rustic wine, perfect with hearty dishes in the winter. Absolutely delicious, and proves that sometimes patience is required for a wine to really come together. Don't judge a wine by region or by price, because you never know. As a matter of fact, don't judge, period.

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