The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

Negroamaro is a dark horse. It is one of those wines that tends to sit quietly on the shelf awaiting its next passerby. If you have had it before, then you likely think about buying it when you are standing in the Italian section of a wine store. If you haven’t, you uncomfortably look at it with a “side eye glance” wondering what the heck it is and shake in your boots at the thought of buying something with such a brooding name. [cue dun-dun-dun music]

…at least that is how I “experience” Negroamaro. [shrugs shoulders]

The name literally means “black bitter”,  and this wine hails from the region of Puglia in southern Italy, where it produces medium to full bodied wines with dark, black fruit and spice notes.


The Contrade Negroamaro showed itself with a rustic bitterness, dark fruit, dark chocolate, minerality, and some notes of crushed thyme. The palate was dry, with high acidity, medium bodied (think 2% milk), and was an extension of its bouquet characteristics with black tea notes in addition to cured meats and pepper. The finish was medium-long in length and hinted at black olives. A fantastic value wine! It over-delivers for the price.

I served this vino with sausage and spinach gnocchetti, and it paired really well with it! If you have not had a chance to try this red wine, I would encourage you to. For wine lovers who really enjoy Malbec, this will give you a new adventure in the dark-wine-that-is-spicy category. Then let me know what you think!

ABV: 13.5%
Grape: Negroamaro
Production: Unknown
Price: ~$20.00 CAD

Have you ever had Negroamaro? What did you think of it?

Cheers!

The Demystified Vine
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Primitivo – have you heard of it? You likely have, as its synonym is Zinfandel! Since I’m doing a wine profile, I won’t get into the history of that particular aspect at this time, however, I do want to introduce you to a wine that I think you’ll enjoy.

Luccarelli PrimitivoIf you’re the kind of wine lover who enjoys hearty Shiraz from Australia or brooding Cab Sav from California, then you should really give the Luccarelli Primitivo a try because it carries that jammy, dark fruit character that you would just adore.

This particular wine was opened at wine club this past Saturday evening, and our focus was southern Italy. Primitivo is a grape that hails from the wine region of Pulgia, which you can find at the “heel” of Italy’s boot. According to Tony Aspler in his book entitled the Wine Lover’s Companion, “Northern winemakers used to order deeply coloured, high-alcohol Puglia wines to beef up their blends, both white and red. However, modern winemaking techniques have produced local wines of more finesse and style” [p. 194]. The inference here is that even the traditionalists of the north have been seeking out the wines of this region to assist in their own winemaking practices. What it also says is that the south is a reliable source of tasty grapes!

By character, Primitivo is well known for its focus on black, ripe fruit, dried fruit, and spicy characters. So, let’s get to the nitty-gritties, shall we?

Tasted on 11 November 2017, this vintage of the Campo Marina showed a developing character with a prominent vanilla and plum character in addition to black cherry cola, cocoa, and blueberry pie notes. The palate was medium dry (the residual sugar was detectable), medium acidity, and very soft tannin. Black fruits, baking spices, and red licorice were the dominating notes on the palate.

ABV: 14%
Grape: Primitivo
Production: unknown
Price: ~$30.00 with taxes CAD

Have you tried this wine? Leave a comment below!

Cheers,

The Demsytified Vine

Adega on 45th Estate Winery, whose motto is “A nossa casa é a tua casa” meaning “Our house is your house”, has been around for a number of years now, and I have to say that I have started to enjoy their wines more in the last few years. They are located in Osoyoos, BC and are making both white and red wines. A range of wines are made at the winery including Viognier, Pinot Gris, Syrah, and Malbec.

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Malbec is doing its best down in Argentina, but I have to say that I loved the Adega on 45th Malbec enough to do a wine profile on it. Malbec wines tend to have a dark, brooding character about them, and this wine is no exception. The biggest characteristic that is known of Malbec is that it offers notes of ripe, black fruits and spiciness. Malbec wines are often full bodied and have potential to knock your socks off. No weak hearts here, please!

This particular vintage is showing very well right now. I adored its perfumed nose which spoke of black fruit, vanilla spice, and tar. It had a really nice peppery kick on the palate mid-tongue, and was balanced out with the cassis influence on the fruit side of the spectrum. Good acidity, medium bodied, and medium tannins. I’d leave it in bottle for at least a few more years, although it is drinking really well right now.

ABV: 14.7%
Grape: 100% Malbec
Production: # of cases unknown
Winery Price: $24.00/750ml CAD

Have you had this wine? Leave a comment and tell me what you thought!

Cheers!
The Demsytified Vine

The leaves are starting to change colour. Greens are turning to oranges, reds, and yellows, and we all know that this means the cooler breezes and chilly nights are on the way. And if we are going to be honest with each other, snow has already fallen on the mountain passes between the bustling city of Vancouver and the more remote towns of the interior.

But not a mere four to five hours away from Vantopia, viticulturalists and viniculturalists are hard at work alongside their picking crews trying to put the new vintage wines together for bottle and aging.

Furthermore, as fall approaches, winelovers everywhere are making that switch from crisp white wines to deeper, more warming reds.

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Culmina Family Estate Winery

Personally, I’m still hanging on to the last rays of sunshine, and am still sipping Rieslings and rosé, but that’s just me.

As fall digs deeper into the ground, I want to let you know about some of the reds that you can find which might not only solidify your understanding of what British Columbia wines are, but also about a time and place in the Golden Mile Bench – British Columbia’s first sub-geographical indication (sub-GI).

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Demystified Vine taking tasting notes for the 2014 Merlot by Culmina Family Estate Winery

I have written about Culmina Family Estate winery on my blog before. You can read more about their winery here and here. Today, however, I’m going to talk about their red wines, as we have many cozy nights to look forward to either in front of the fire with a book in our hands or snuggling up to our loved one on the couch. Oh, and, well, there are also a number of holiday parties that will start to fill our calendars in short order. So, make sure you’re making good choices with what you bring to sip and savour, winelover!

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Dearest Cab Sauv fans, this developing wine is keeping it real with notes of Lapin Cherry, hints of very ripe raspberry, dark chocolate, Ribena, and leather. It is a dry, red wine with high acidity and fair tannin structure. (Think chewy tannin.) It is lusher than Merlot, and worked very well with Kalamata olives and Cambozola. A perfect holiday gift for a colleague.
$39.00/750ml btl

Photo © Demystified Vine

2014 Cabernet Franc by Culmina Family Estate Winery

2014 Cabernet Franc

Woooo! Cab Franc lovers, you are in for a treat! This medium intensity wine was filled with cherry cola candy, dark chocolate, prune, mixed peppercorn, cherry, and fruit leather notes. It was a spice bomb, and true to its spicy character, was quite complementary to the toasted notes from the oaking program. The perfect cheese pairing for this beaut was Irish Porter Cheddar. Savour this one for yourself. <wink>
$38.00/750ml btl

2014 Merlot

This Merlot reminded me of Blaye — a region in Bordeaux which works with this style/intensity of the grape. It was on the lighter side of the spectrum for body, but still intrigued me with its blueberry, sweet vanilla, mocha, and hint of nutmeg. Plum and dark cherry notes were also available to me. The palate is quite oak driven, with some good tannin structure, and loads of blackberry fruit. The Merlot paired excellently with Raincoast crisps and Cambozola as well, and if you’re a fan of Merlot and cheese, this is a good opportunity for you.
$35.00/750ml btl

For more information, please check out their website. A kind thank you to Culmina for providing me with the samples to try some of these expressive wines.

Cheers!

The Demsytified Vine

 

Hello wine lovers!

Here’s the ‘quick and dirty’ on a recent wine I tried – the 2016 Wild Goose Vineyards “Mystic River Vineyard” Gewurztraminer – that I was definitely “wowed” with.

If you can get your hands on a bottle of this award-winning wine, do so. It recently received Okanagan Wine Festival’s “Wine of the Year 2017”. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of off-dry white wines, this is worth a shot. Try it with some spicy Pad Thai or a Daal curry. You won’t be disappointed nor able to tell it is off-dry, to be honest.

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What you’ll experience is a well-balanced white wine in both acidity and sugar levels. It doesn’t seem as sweet because the acidity is high enough. This particular “Gew” is very old-world styled, and is complex to boot. Furthermore, now that I think about it, what you’ll have with this wine is an experience.

Made from 100% estate grapes from the Mystic River Vineyard, the bouquet and palate notes are ‘fruitful’; you’ll likely find some kind of combination of stone and citrus fruits, in addition to ripe tropical fruit characteristics.

What I found? Fuzzy peach, lychee, nectarine, lemon, juicy mango, honey, white pepper, hints of apricot, a smidgen of fresh grape, and some stoniness.

ABV: 13.6%
Grape: 100% Gewurztraminer
Production: 200 cases
Winery price: $20 a bottle.

Cheers!

The Demystified Vine

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