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News

 ...here are a few reports and unconfirmed rumours from various sources. Some credible, others,... well.


 

Neal McLennan
 
August 14, 2020 | Neal McLennan

Western Living Magazine - The Summer Trip to Europe is Happening in the Okanagan This Year

"Have your plans for the continent by Dreamliner morphed into the Interior by SUV? No worries, we’ve got you covered with a vinous road map, to lead you to the local bottles that take their cues from the best of the Old World.

...

Italy

You’re Wanting: Piedmont
You’re Getting: Moon Curser Arneis 2019, $23

Nebbiolo is off the table, but the great white grape of the land of Barolo sings with firm peach and mineral notes in the hands of Osoyoos’s Moon Curser. And it’s a sight cheaper than Italy, too.
mooncurser.com

..."

To read full article click here

Time Posted: Aug 14, 2020 at 4:45 PM Permalink to Western Living Magazine - The Summer Trip to Europe is Happening in the Okanagan This Year Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
April 22, 2020 | Neal McLennan

Vancouver Magazine - 3 Bottles of Okanagan Syrah that Would Cost Double (or Triple) If They Were From Washington State

"At $25, $35 and $50, respectively.

I come here to praise Washington Syrah, not bury it. When the world was reeling for the overproduction and overconsumption of fruit-bomby Aussie Shiraz, it was our neighbours to the south who filled the gap with a lifeline to the grape. With a style that looked a whole lot more toward France's Northern Rhone, more savoury, more spicey, much lighter of body producer's like Charles Smith of K Vintners, Christophe Baron of Cayuse and my fave, Greg Harrington of Gramercy Cellars reminded the wine drinking world that Syrah deserved to be on the podium for great red grapes.

I still love them—they've just gotten impossible to find and insanely expensive when you do. The Cote-Rotie wines that they emulated are now, in many cases, only marginally more expensive. Cue the inspirational music and pan the spotlight a few hundred kms north and you have our saviour—the syrah producers of the Okanagan. They're absolutely killing it with syrah using much the same playbook that the Washington growers used a decade before them. If anything our colder nights give our wines a bit more of an acidic backbone that, if anything, makes them more Rhone-like when they're done properly. And we're also far more likely to throw a small percentage of Viognier in the mix for lift, elegance and some floral notes on the nose—all of which means that we're now in the best position to be the true inheritor of the North American Hermitage mantle.

So why don't we snap them up? It truly beats me - if any of these wine were from one of the big Washington producer's they'd be double the price and be on such a strict allocation that getting your hands on them would be no small feat. But as it is - they're loved by a small few, enjoyed by a few more and ignored by most of us. Crazytown, population, us.

 

Moon Curser Syrah 2018 $25.99

I generally operate on the principle that even in the Okanagan, good Syrah starts at $30. This wine is the gloriously underpriced exception to that rule. Super fragrant on the nose, with lots of blue fruit and some secondary spicy notes. It's boozy, but it's never hot with alcohol and it falls into the realm of youthful exuberance rather than old souse. Just a steal of a wine and a great entry into what the South Okanagan can do with this grape."

To read full article click here.

Time Posted: Apr 22, 2020 at 12:28 PM Permalink to Vancouver Magazine - 3 Bottles of Okanagan Syrah that Would Cost Double (or Triple) If They Were From Washington State Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
April 2, 2020 | Neal McLennan

Vancouver Magazine - What Wine Folk are Doing (and Drinking) During the Great Shut In

"The wine world has had a whipsaw reaction to COVID-19. On the one hand you have the sommeliers, many of whom find themselves suddenly without a job. You have the retailers, who are busier than ever (some studies say that the BCLDB's sales are up 40%). And you have the producers, many of whom still need to bottle and sell their wine and who now have no restaurants to sell to. We wanted to check in with a cross-section of our fave people to see how they're handling this massive disruption...and what they're popping at the end of the day to help deal.

...

Chris & Beata Tolley, Moon Curser Vineyards

We had just finished bottling our ’19 whites and ’18 reds when the virus storm hit and so we count ourselves lucky to have the wines safe in bottle. Our Osoyoos East Bench tasting room is now temporarily closed. We have found ways to carry out our online sales, shipping and curbside pickups in ways that keep everyone suitably isolated, and are safe for both our employees and customers.

We are currently offering free shipping to all our online customers, and will be donating $10 per each case sold as a result to BC Food Banks, and our local Osoyoos Food Bank.

Our home wine cellar levels tend to fluctuate wildly and it just so happened that the virus caught us at high tide: samples of our freshly bottled Moon Curser wines had just landed, and were waiting to be tasted. Keeping our focus on these new releases has been a welcome reminder that, despite the current difficulties, the world has not come to a complete standstill, and some kind of return to normal is in the cards for us all eventually. We do miss what takes wine from delightful to life-enriching: sharing it, and delicious food, with friends and family. For now, we will compensate by using technology, and by pulling bottles from the cellar that remind us of good times and the many good people in our lives—here’s looking at you, B.C. wine."

To read full article click here.

Time Posted: Apr 2, 2020 at 12:21 PM Permalink to Vancouver Magazine - What Wine Folk are Doing (and Drinking) During the Great Shut In Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
May 28, 2019 | Neal McLennan

Western Living Magazine - 5 Italian White Grapes You’re Mispronouncing

"For years I didn’t order wine made with the Ribolla Gialla grape in a restaurant because I wasn’t 100-percent sure how to say it. Ditto the grape Grillo from Sicily (which I love): do I pronounce either of the Ls? But never fear – we’re hear to knock of few of your fears from their perch.

...

Arneis The pride of Piedmont, this nearly extinct grape is now back in vogue thanks to its full bodied nature that channels soft pears and apricots. It’s pronounced Ahr-NAYZ

The Bottle Moon Curser Arneis $23 If you can find Vietti, it’s the pinnacle of the grape (and the winery was, along with Bruno Giacosa, the saviours of the grape), but it’s pricey and tough to locate. So let’s go for the wonderful homegrown version from Moon Curser – a treasure and a steal at the same time."

Read more click here

Time Posted: May 28, 2019 at 4:14 PM Permalink to Western Living Magazine - 5 Italian White Grapes You’re Mispronouncing Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
January 11, 2019 | Neal McLennan

Western Living Magazine - If You See This Bottle on a Wine List the Somm Has Impeccable Taste

"One of my tasks at our sister publication of Vancouver Magazine is to pour over the city’s wine lists and parse them up based on selection and price (mostly price) in a column called the Wine List Once-Over. And you quickly learn there are certain hallmarks on every list that are illuminating: How much do they charge for a bottle of Veuve Cliquot? Do their mark-ups go down as the wine becomes more expensive? And so on.

One thing you also see are a few sleeper bottles that end up finding their way on to a disproportionate number of lists. I’m not talking about the big names like Dom or Oculus that are there because people expect them. No, I’m talking about the small production gems that the somms hand pick out of love so that they can turn their customers on to something unexpected. That’s where this bottle comes in: I spied it most recently on the list at Yaletown’s Provence Marinaside (where it’s very well priced at $55).

For starters it’s an oddity—a Canadian wine, made with a Italian grape (and a relatively obscure grape at that). Arnies is native to Piedmont, the home of the great reds Barolo and Barbaresco, and it was almost extinct four decades ago until the producers Vietti and Bruno Giacosa brought it back from the brink. But it’s still a nice grape and given it grows in the very pricey real estate of Piedmont, when we do see it here it’s quite pricey.

Enter Moon Curser. I think it’s fair to say the Osoyoos-based to team of Beata and Chris Tolley push more varietal boundaries than almost anyone in Canada (Okanagan Falls-based Stag’s Hollow would be up their too). In addition to their Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons they grow Tempranillo, Tannat, Petit Verdot and Touriga Nacional. Wine writers love the experimentation, but I can’t imagine it’s an easy road to hoe—each one of those grapes require them to educate most consumers about them before they’ll make a sale.

Which brings us to their Arneis. It’s a magical wine: it’s both bone dry and juicy at the same time with citrus skin and citrus pith and what seems like a daily dose of minerals thrown in. It’s serious but still quite approachable and most importantly it doesn’t taste like anything else on most wine lists. And the price—$23 at the winery—is a steal, much less expensive than any Italian import we can get our hands on out here.

For a producer or a somm, selling any wine is hard. But selling a wine that almost no one has heard of—that’s where the heavy lifting comes in. In some cases that heavy lifting is worthwhile. So when you see this wine—at the winery, the store or a restaurant—give it a whirl. It’s the product of the road seriously less-travelled."

 

Read more Click Here

Time Posted: Jan 11, 2019 at 9:49 AM Permalink to Western Living Magazine - If You See This Bottle on a Wine List the Somm Has Impeccable Taste Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
February 3, 2016 | Neal McLennan

Western Living Magazine - Wine Reviews: Use With Caution

I look at wine reviews all the time. If it’s a wine I’m not familiar with, or if it’s a bottle I’ve set down for a few years and I want to see how it’s drinking, often the first thing I do is Google it. It doesn’t govern what I’m going to do or think, but it’s a useful starting point. The problem starts when you start taking them as gospel because all a wine review is, is a certain person’s take at a certain point in time—that’s it.

"A pretty darn magnificent bottle of Moon Curser Tempranillo reminded me of the need to always put critics’ take in the proper perspective." Read more Click Here.

Time Posted: Feb 3, 2016 at 1:27 PM Permalink to Western Living Magazine - Wine Reviews: Use With Caution Permalink
Neal McLennan
 
August 20, 2013 | Neal McLennan

Wine Picks - Moon Curser Touriga Nacional

by: Neal McLennan, Western Living Magazine, Aug 20, 2013

Wine geeks love nothing more than the experimenting winemakers who plant all sorts of off–the–wall grapes in unexpected places. Partly, it’s respect for their pioneering spirit, and partly it’s because after a day of tasting perfectly crafted Syrahs from Washington State, you’re just happy to have an imperfectly crafted Sangiovese from Washington State. But even within this group of rule breakers, there are guidelines. Never take on Portugal’s signature grape—Touriga Nacional is one...

"But there's always some wizard who thinks he can beat the system..." / Read more. Click Here.

Time Posted: Aug 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM Permalink to Wine Picks - Moon Curser Touriga Nacional Permalink
Moon Curser: Brand Elements