2021 Roses, Part III! Full reviews and scores from all the wines enjoyed in my last vlog!

If you missed my last YouTube video (check it out here), I tasted through a bunch more 2021 roses; several from France, and a bunch from BC. Some were really good, some were not. Below are the full reviews and scores.

And I’ll finish this off with two that should NEVER have been released to the public, IMO.

That’s it for today! Hope you go out and try one of these that you might not be familiar with (uh, the good ones, obviously!).

Next up! Lots more good stuff we’ve been drinking recently to report on, and the fourth and final installment of my 2021 roses vlog and blog will come in the not-too-distant-future. Stay tuned!

My series “Various Varietals” Volume 4 is up, and here are the reviews! You may have heard of the grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Of course you’ve heard of it, it’s the most widely planted grape in the world. Last week, I tasted through NINE different examples from all over the world, and you can check out the video here, if you have not already. Here are the scores, including a real doozy at the end!

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That was quite a tasting! Not a bad wine in the bunch, and that Quilceda Creek is one I am going to remember for a lonnnnnnnnng time!

Up next: Episode three of my annual 2021 Rose reviews! Stay tuned!

Random update of some great stuff AND I AM FINALLY COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP!!!

Well, who knew there would be such an advantage to being up at 5 AM on a Sunday? Time to hop into a nice, long soak in the tub and bring along my notes and my computer and finally get caught up on everything I had not yet got around to reviewing. Here they are!

Let’s start here, in BC, with some real treasures and a couple that perhaps didn’t live up to expectations.

And here’s a very tasty, very reasonably priced gem from Bordeaux!

Now let’s hop down the coast to California, for some really great stuff, as usual!

And, to finish up today’s big update, a somewhat rare varietal from Washington State!

That’s it for today! Finally all my notes have been exhausted, and I can keep up with reviews of wines as we drink ’em!

Up next: I have two vlogs underway; the third installment of my 2021 rosé reviews, and Episode 4 of my “Various Varietals” series where I talk about, and taste a bunch of, a varietal you might have heard of: Cabernet Sauvignon.

As for the blog, those reviews will show up here as well after the vlogs are posted, and of course, everything else we drink this summer that doesn’t necessarily make the YouTube channel will appear here as well. We are hoping it’s going to be a great summer of wine! Stay tuned!

In the Fraser Valley we ask the age-old question: If a horse whispers in the woods, does it make good wine??

If I am not mistaken, the first time I heard there was an Estate winery in Chilliwack (technically in Yarrow, which is a little town just a few minutes West of Chilliwack), my reaction was something along the lines of “good luck with that”. That was probably 5-6 years ago. But, a couple of years ago, a fellow wine enthusiast whose palate I respect mentioned on a Facebook wine group that she had been to this winery, and the wines were good. At that point, I moved it from “good luck with that” to “I’ll have to check those out”. Well, that day was last weekend.

On the 10th Anniversary of the planting of the first grapes that would eventually feed Whispering Horse Winery, the wife and I made the 10-minute drive to check out a special “new release” event. They were releasing three new wines, all made from hybrid grapes which thrive in a cooler climate and are planted at the Estate. They have only two vinis vinifera varietals planted: Dornfelder (which originates in Germany) and Pinot Gris. Neither of those were available to taste on this trip, so I guess we’ll just have to go back and try those next time they are available!

We are introduced to Melissa, who, along with her husband, are the whole damn show, running the winery from top to bottom. That’s not to say they don’t have friendly and knowledgeable staff helping them out, and we met some of them at the tasting event, but make no mistake, it’s a small, family-run operation. Melissa was delightful, and clearly very passionate about her product. So, let’s get to the wines and see just how good they are!

First up, a sparkling made from the only one of these hybrid varietals that I had ever tasted before, L’Acadie. I tasted some of these wines from Nova Scotia at the Vancouver International Wine Festival a few years back. I don’t remember them at all, which generally means they weren’t great and weren’t terrible. I tend to remember wines that fall into either of those categories!

Next up, a grape called “Epicure” that is normally found in Europe. Created by a Swiss geneticist.

Now here is the still version of the L’Acadie.

Last, but certainly not least, the “off-dry” member of the family, from a grape called La Crescent that was developed in Minnesota and is often found in the Eastern United States, particularly the Finger Lakes region of New York.

We bought a bottle of this and, along with the charcuterie box that we had pre-purchased (which was just fantastic, BTW), headed outside for a little picnic along with our pooch. They are dog-friendly, as all wineries SHOULD be by now. We were certainly very impressed with the quality of the wine, and the people. If you are in the Fraser Valley, you have to go check these guys out, and if you live elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, I recommend you make a day of it and pay them a visit. You won’t be sorry!

Next up: I’m starting to compile more 2021 rosés for the third installment of my annual rosé reviews, including a couple new ones from France! Also, we have been enjoying some good stuff lately that I will report on shortly. Stay tuned!

Full reviews and scores from SEVEN BC rosés features in my last vlog!

Last week I posted a vlog where I tasted through seven more 2021 rosés, all from BC. If you missed it, you can watch it at this link.

Below, I’ve given my full reviews and scores of all seven wines!

That’s it for today! There will be at least one more rosé blog and vlog (I haven’t had ANY from Provence yet, not to mention there are lots of BC ones still to come), but next up I have reviews of new wine from an Estate winery here in my hometown of Chilliwack! OK technically it’s in Yarrow, which is a few minutes West of Chilliwack, but close enough. Stay tuned!

Reviews of three NEW BC wines, plus a bunch of other good stuff we’ve been drinking!

Last week I posted a vlog where I tasted through three current vintage BC wines. If you missed it, you can find that video at this link.

Below, I’ve given my full reviews and scores for those three wines. All are of excellent quality, as expected.

I enjoyed making that video, and expect that I will do more of that in the future.

As a bonus, here are a bunch of reviews of wines we’ve been enjoying recently that I have not yet reported on:

That’s it for today! Coming up: The full reviews from part 2 of my “2021 BC rosés vlog” (if you haven’t yet seen that video, you can find it at this link) will be up shortly! Stay tuned!

Reviews of the Nebbiolos from my latest vlog, plus some other great (and not so great) stuff we’ve been drinking, including a 26-year old wine from Chile!!

If you missed my last vlog where I tasted through four VERY different examples of Nebbiolo, you can check it out here!

One of these wines was from Australia, and I had previously reviewed this wine when we tasted it at the Vancouver International Wine Festival a few years ago. You can see that review here. I am pretty happy with the score I gave it, but I was waffling between 93-94. My wife enjoyed it so much when we finished off the bottle the other day, I probably should have bumped it up a point. Maybe 93.5? LOL

Here are the reviews of the other three.

And, here is one more Nebbiolo that we enjoyed recently that was not a part of the vlog.

And as promised in the title, here are a few other bottles we’ve been enjoying, to varying degrees, recently:

That’s it for today! Coming up, part 2 of our 2021 rosé reviews will be done soon, and lots of other great stuff we’ve been drinking. Stay tuned!!

Full reviews from my latest “Cheap and Cheerful” vlog, some other good stuff, and some terrible news from the 2021 vintage @synchromeshwine.

If you missed my latest episode of the “Cheap and Cheerful” series, you can check it out here!

Below are the full reviews of these wines, along with a couple bonus reviews from some recent stuff we’ve enjoyed. But before we get to that, I have some disappointing news to share about the 2021 vintage in BC.

Following last month’s announcement by Blue Mountain that they would not be releasing any 2021 wines due to smoke taint from the terrible fires that swept across the Okanagan Valley last summer, today we received word that Synchromesh will also not be releasing the bulk of their 2021 crop. They had previously released two of their entry-level Rieslings (don’t let ‘entry-level’ fool you, these are great wines!), but the rest of their crop won’t be released as winemaker Alan Dickinson stated that they are just not up to the quality of wine they produce. From the release that was sent this morning:

“First off, we have some sad news to share with our wonderful supporters. The 2021 Thomas Creek Wildfire that burned within 1 km of our home property has left it’s stamp on most of the wine from Storm Haven Vineyard. Unfortunately, the continuous smoke exposure through a critical time in grape ripening has left the bulk of the wines from the home vineyard with significant smoke affect. After doing our best to mitigate this during winemaking, I am just not comfortable standing behind these wines and will not be releasing them.

Some of you may have already noticed that our volumes were pretty low across the board, this is because a large contributor to our entry level Riesling is usually Storm Haven Vineyard. We had to supplement the volume with wine from our other single vineyard offerings so everything is in short supply. We will also not have any further releases from Storm Haven later in the year, usually the second release for us would be our individual block selections of our highest quality wines (Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir).”

Although I applaud Alan’s commitment to quality, this is a devastating blow to a small winery like Synchromesh. They have limited quantities of the two previously-released 2021 Rieslings available as of this writing. If you are interested in getting some of them, they can be purchased from their website. They also mentioned they will open up the library later in the summer to release some aged offerings.

We visited Synchromesh last year and had a terrific experience, so we wish them all the best going forward.

Now, to the wines from my latest vlog:

And here are a couple other reviews of some nice stuff we’ve tasted in the last couple weeks.

That’s it for today! Coming up soon: Lots of more reviews, including part 2 of my annual “Rosé” series! Stay tuned!

Reviews of the first rosés of 2021!

If you missed my last video where I tasted through and discussed the first few rosés of the new season, you can check that out here. If you just want the “Coles-notes” version, well, here are the reviews and scores of the wines in that video!

That’s it for today! Next up: Still a lot of great stuff we’ve been drinking over the past few weeks to update you on, and I’ll be posting full reviews of the wines featured in my latest episode of ‘Cheap and Cheerful’, which dropped yesterday. You don’t want to miss those ones! Stay tuned!

Goodbye, Sidra. You were real, and you were spectacular.

Our baby girl is at peace now. Today, our sweet Sidra went to join her brothers and sisters who predeceased her, crossing over the Rainbow Bridge. We’ve had an amazing pet family over the years, and I’d like to think there is one helluva reunion going on at The Farm right about now.

Sidra had so many nicknames.

“Worst Cat Ever”
“Big Eyes”
“Sidzilla”
“Siddy the Kitty”

How did she get the nickname Sidzilla? Well, before she started to slip a bit, she was an amazing jumper; and at Xmas time, she would manage to jump from the couch to our Xmas village (no mean feat!!) and terrorize the villagers akin to Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo.

And she really was the Worst. Cat. Ever.
Loud, defiant, obnoxious….the only cat I’ve ever had an actual conversation with.

“Sidra, get off the counter!”
“RRRRAAAAAAAWWWR”

“SIDRA! I said get down!”
“RRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWRRRR”

“SIDRA ENGEMOEN! GET OFF THE COUNTER!!!”
“RRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!”
(I believe this is ‘cat’ for “SCREW YOU, DADDY!”)

What a character.

But her little body has been giving out for a while now. We took her to the vet almost exactly a year ago for a battery of blood tests, and although they didn’t find anything at the time, we knew something was wrong. The first thing that went was her ability to jump. She went from being able to jump up to, or off of, almost anything, to being afraid to jump on anything at all. She has been slipping since then, and the fall has been precipitous over the last few weeks. When a cat loses their litter box and self-cleaning habits, you know it’s time to let them go. I hope she has not been suffering. She seemed to still be in good spirits, as talkative as ever, which made the decision to let her go even harder, but we could no longer overlook the physical issues that she was having. For the last few months we joked that she had moved into “waterfront property” because she spent most of her time laying at the water fountain, even going so far to rest her chin on the lip of the fountain, to make it easier for her to drink. And drink. And drink. And drink. No cat has ever drank that much. And ate that much. And pooped that much. You would never think that much waste could come out of such a little creature.

At her Oasis, where she spent so much time over her last few months.

Tracey is going to miss her “Bath Buddy”, and we are both going to miss our Toilet Snuggles. Yes, that is pretty much what it sounds like, although it really didn’t matter what you were doing on the toilet – you could have just come out of the shower and sat down on the lid to put socks on or something – but once your butt hit that spot, if the door was open, she’d come bounding in from anywhere in the house. And even some times when the door wasn’t open, you’d sit down and suddenly hear “thump thump”, and here she was, coming out of the bathroom closet you didn’t even know she was hiding in. It was just her “thing”, and it seemed to make her so happy. What a weird cat she was 🙂 .

Siddy, thanks for keeping us laughing and showing us so much love in your 12 years with us. We mocked you and made fun of you incessantly, but we loved you so much, and I know you know how loved you were. We will miss you very much.

Our home will be a little sadder now. A little quieter. A little less fun. A little darker. But we wouldn’t trade the time we spent together for anything.

In keeping with her tendency to talk back to us, after it was over and her heart had stopped, she still managed a couple last gasps. I am sure if she had the strength it would have been one more “RRRRROOOOOOOWWWWWRRR”. How fitting.

Give your brothers and sisters a big kiss from us, and tell them we miss them all as well. Rest now, my baby girl. We love you, Sidra.