Wine Review: 2009 Jim Barry “Cover Drive” Cabernet Sauvignon

18 06 2012

The second vintage of Cover Drive featured on PnP…let’s see how they stack up against each other.

I went to the Costco liquor store this week, and as always when I walk into Costco, I walked out with a bottle of the Jim Barry “Cover Drive” Cab from South Australia, one of my favourite New World value wines.  When I first grabbed the bottle, I thought it was the same wine that I had previously reviewed back in November, but on closer inspection it was in fact a brand new vintage of Cover Drive, the 2009 (my reviewed bottle was the 2008).  This provided a golden opportunity to examine a question that I’m sure many casual wine drinkers ask themselves:  how much does vintage impact the flavour and quality of a wine?  Is there really a discernible difference between the 2008 and 2009 bottlings of a wine made from the same grapes grown in the same spots?  Most inexpensive wines are made to reflect a consistent flavour profile and style year over year, but my bet was that a quality producer like Jim Barry wouldn’t try to make his ’09 Cover Drive a clone of his ’08 and would retain some of the vintage variation arising out of the changes in weather patterns, sunlight, temperature, harvest dates and more between the two years.  To find out, I wrote up tasting notes for the 2009 CD without re-reading my 2008 review, and now I’m going to retro-compare the two bottles by lining up my 08 notes side by side with my impressions of the 09.  Hopefully this actually proves interesting.  Here goes! Read the rest of this entry »

Wine Review: 2010 Dona Paula “Los Cardos” Malbec

1 02 2012

Marketing note: maybe don't name your wine after a weed.

Many apologies for the blog radio silence over the past few days:  after weeks of avoiding it, I finally ended up catching the sinus/chest cold that every single person in Calgary currently has, so I had to shut down my wine consumption until I was more or less healthy.  The worst has now passed, but I still have a bit of residual congestion, so be warned in advance that the following review could be completely inaccurate…but it’s free, so what do you care?

Malbec!  I have no idea how this is possible, but this is the very first Malbec that has been the feature of its own PnP review.  The grape that has been a part of the blend in red Bordeaux wines for centuries but that has taken the drinking world by storm in the last decade with its single-varietal Argentinian incarnation is definitely the Shiraz of the 2000s, the new red wine that offers such an inexpensive and enjoyable experience that it has put a previously-ignored winemaking country on the vinous map.  I haven’t been avoiding it on purpose — like everyone, I’m a fan of a good Malbec — but after a couple sips of this wine, I knew I was going to regret making it my initial foray into the grape.

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