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Brent Gushowaty

Brent Gushowaty

73 days ago

Brent scored this wine: 88/100

In the glass, the wine is pale with a ruby rim. On the nose a quite aromatic blend of cherries and baking spices. The palate follows through nicely on the nose showing bright cherry fruit and baking spice, with some red currant. It's very well balanced, shy of medium in body and intensity and has a fairly long finish. The wine is made from up to five clones of pinot noir and aged in Nevers french oak. The winemaker is Giordano Venturi. Venturi Schulze is a small winery in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. It's total annual case production for all its wines is about 1500 cases. Since its creation in 1991, the winery has focused intensely on quality and organic practices, making wines only from estate fruit. They were the pioneers of "tenting" late ripening grapevines such as pinot noir in their very cool climate location to gain an extra two to three weeks of ripening. In some years their pinot noirs can ripen as fully as those in the Okangan Valley.

77 days ago

Brent scored this wine: 91/100

Pale with a ruby colour at the rim, the nose has a forward bouquet of spicy dark cherry, strawberry, red plum, tomato stalk and an earthy/charcoal note also drifts through it. The intensity here is medium, closer to something like a typical Oregon pinot noir levels. The palate follows well on the nose with long elegant fresh and dried cherry flavours along with some earthy/cherry pit notes. The texture is very silky and the balance is exemplary. The intensity is medium minus with a medium body, contributed to in part by the slightly high alcohol here at 14%. The flavours, including a note of pomegranate molasses remain steady and echo well into a fairly long finish. Lake Breeze was opened in 1996. Though it has had a number of owners since that time, it has only had one winemaker Garron Elmes. Elmes is a winemaker from South Africa who came to Lake Breeze to make it's first vintage fresh out of wine school. This continuity of winemaking, no doubt helps explain the remarkable consistency and high quality of Lake Breeze pinot noir over two decades. Until a few years ago, there was an entry level wine as well as a reserve. They now make just one pinot noir each year from the same grape sources. Awards: Silver, Cascadia Wine Competition, 2018 Silver, National Wine Awards of Canada, 2017 Bronze Medal All Canadian Wine Championships 2018 It was also named British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards Wine of the Year for 2018, besting over 700 other B.C. wines. bcpinotnoir.com @bcpinotnoirinfo

84 days ago

Brent scored this wine: 95/100

In the glass, the wine has a medium depth with some purple on the rim. The bouquet is a very engaging interfuse that includes floral notes of hyacinth and lilac as well as nuanced mulberry and loganberry. On the palate, the flavour follows the nose showing complex dark red and black berries in harmony with the florals and adds graphite/earthy notes, black currant and subtle tobacco/tomato leaf. The wine possesses an adroit, floating balance of all these elements. The body and intensity here are on the upper side of medium. The finish is very long with an intense retronasal quality that drifts around the palate. This is Napa Valley Cabernet but it does not fall into either of the oft encountered styles that Napa Valley can show i.e.swaggering & juicy, or fruit dense & oak palisaded. What comes through here is the craftsmanship and vision to tease out this particular Cabernet Sauvignon that is mostly from estate fruit from the winery's Hershey Vineyard at the 1800 foot level on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley. Though the flavour profiles would certainly be different,(and even the grapes) in terms of restraint, focused flavours, exquisite balance, imagination and sheer breed it bears comparison to Mas la Plana from Torres or Hill of Grace from Henschke. Overall, a remarkable and singular wine. Philippe Melka is the consulting winemaker here. He has received several 100-point scores from The Wine Advocate and been named by Robert Parker as one of the top nine wine consultants in the world. Born in France, his first job out of school was at Château Haut Brion. From there,he took a position with the Moueix Company and worked at Dominus Estate in Yountville to study soils in 1991. He returned to France in 1993 to deepen his expertise at Chateau Petrus. Melka has divided his time between soil study and winemaking at a number of wineries around the world. B+ to A- ~ 95 points $139.99 bcpinotnoir.com @bcpinotnoirinfo

87 days ago

Brent scored this wine: 89/100

The wine is very pale with a touch of garnet at the rim. On the nose it projects a lovely, heady billow of strawberry fruit. The palate follows the nose with simple strawberry fruit, a touch of forest floor and some ripening blackberry. Well balanced and supple, there is still a little bit of grip to the tannins which should relax over the next year or so. The body and intensity here are medium minus. The wine is made from twenty year old vines. 149 cases made. bcpinotnoir.com @bcpinotnoirinfo

88 days ago

Brent scored this wine: 93/100

The wine has a medium depth of colour with a cherry red rim. The nose shows definite cedar and black currant aromas but is not overly fruity and the intensity is medium. The palate mainly follows the nose. This is a very elegant, finely textured interpretation of Cabernet Sauvignon, refined with savoury fruit, harmonious and balanced. With six years of ageing, it is beginning to open up and show it's real potential and complexity. Waiting at least another three to five years would certainly be rewarded. Vinified in stainless steel, the 2012 Mas La Plana saw 18 months in mostly new French oak followed by extended time in bottle before release. $68.00 14.5%

Brent Gushowaty

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Memorable Wine

Faively Corton Clos de Corton 1971


Unusual Wine Experience

Buying wine for my son's wedding in St. Croix du Mont

Winner World's Best Drink Writer
Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award