CORKAGE: On Blue Mountain, Questionable BCLDB Stats And Three Cheers For Clerides

May 26, 2011.

Amorita Bastaja is a manager at Legacy Liquor Store, the largest liquor store in British Columbia (located in the Athlete’s Village), and the Wine Editor of Scout. Her love of imbibing steered her through courses from the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and has taken her to many wine regions, including Washington State, Napa and Sonoma, Piemonte, Veneto, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Provence and all over the Okanagan Valley. Her weekly column – Corkage – covers a bottle of note, something overheard and many words read…

Bottle: I’ve always been a huge fan of Blue Mountain Vineyards and Cellars, located near Okanagan Falls. IMHO they create some of the best wines coming out of the Okanagan (along with Tantalus and Joie, but that’s for another Corkage). I recently sipped through the line-up, and was once again thrilled at the quality and value the wines offer. This notion of value is something many BC wineries espouse to have, and sometimes I have trouble buying it. The non-vintage Blue Mountain Brut (private wine stores, approx. $30) was creamy in texture due to lots of lees contact. It exhibited lovely toasty, citrusy and apple notes. The 2009 Pinot Noir (private wine stores, $30) was also a standout. The wine was partially fermented with wild yeast native to the region, and it shows. It is funky in all the right ways, showing great potential to become quite complex. A true expression of Okanagan terroir!

Overheard: Three cheers for John Clerides and the Georgia Straight for continuing to push the conversation of liquor privatization here in British Columbia. According to the BCLDB Service Plan for fiscal 2011 to 2014 they completed a customer satisfaction survey where 90% of retail customers were satisfied and 86% of wholesale customers were satisfied. I’m really curious to know: have you received a satisfaction survey from the BCLDB lately? Please share!

Read: Liv-ex, an online trading platform for fine wine recently released their re-calculation of the original 1855 Classification, a ranking of Bordeaux wines based on trading price. On the top of the list was Chateau Lafite, at a whopping average of 11,043 pounds per case…Speaking of overpriced French wine, Christie’s Geneva auction house recently sold a single 750 mL bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1945 for $123,889 (US)…Just when you thought Constellation Brands had learned its lesson by cutting ties with the Australian wine market, CEO Rob Sands expresses an interest in Treasury Wine Estates, the behemoth formerly known as Fosters…Local winery Summerhill plans to launch bag in a box 3L wines even though they don’t constitute VQA (question for the sommeliers out there: does your by-the-glass program need bag in the box?)…Also worth celebrating with a glass of wine is the 35th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris, where a blind tasting of California versus French had the California wines on top…The winners of the All Canadian Wine Awards were announced this week (congratulations to Blasted Church on winning Best Red Wine of the Year for their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend)…Wines of Chile has partnered with the BC Hospitality Foundation for this year’s Dish ‘N’ Dazzle Fundraiser on June 17th, a see and be seen event with over 25 Chilean wineries participating, a cocktail competition with the city’s hottest bartenders and top restaurants providing the food.

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