You know when little things start to go well and then it seems like everything just starts to go well? Yeah. Me neither, but lately lots of great things have been happening. For instance, CBC Radio program Edmonton a.m. got in touch with me and Mister Mike Robertson to see if we might want to talk about our project The Dirt On Wine with Mark Connelly on air. We did.

You might know that this comes on the heels of a recent and rare showing of my art at Edmonton’s The Artery which was strangely well received. On top of meeting and connecting with some really cool people, I’ve been feeling quite spoiled.

As if all that weren’t enough, Jane from Bonvida wines came in last night with an all star line up of wines that were all rare in their own way. We tasted:

Ribolla Gialla Primosic

Not sure of the vintage, but it was a light clear golden colour. The nose was charged with honeysuckle, tangerine and a soapy frangiapani fragrance. There were some chalky/talcum powder notes too. On the palate, it was crisp, appley and freshly mineral. The fruit clung lightly to the inside of the mouth. Nice. Easy and good. Not yet available.

Hyde de Villaine, 2011 De La Guerra Chardonnay

From the Napa side of Carneros, it was a , clean straw color. (230 cases made) Bright honeydew apple and creamy Montrachet-like notes. Glistening bright attack. Made from younger vines carrying bright natural acidity. Clean and lovely. Sustainable farming. +745247 $$$ Really pretty.

A Tribute to Grace, 2012 Grenache Sta Barbara County, California

Light clear cherry. Smells like Cherries Jubilee, Clafouti… slick pretty mouthfull with squishy fresh fruit and a deep intensely fruity palate. It IS graceful! A wonderful example of Grenache. Natural winemaking using native yeast. Ghostly, intense finish. Only 500 cases made. +753334 between $$ and $$$

J Boutin, Cote Rotie Bonneveaux, 2012, Northern Rhone, France

#1943/2700. That’s 225 cases made. Just so you know. Perfect glistening mid-ruby hue. Nose of blackberry creme brulee and carmalized cherries with white pepper and roasted marshmallow. Lean bright, open attack. Lush fruit with good natural acidity and chewy back of the mouth penetration. Insanely intense. Heartbreakingly good. All gravity fed production using oval cement tanks. +737540 $$$

Aaron, Keola 2012 Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, California

This blend of 80%Petite Syrah, 11%Zinfandel and 3%Syrah is a clear black ruby shade. Lush raspberry notes with pink rose, dill and snapdragon. Big juicy attack. Lush and wild. Blackberry, blueberry and raspberry all surf on a solid, softly tannic backbone. Delicious and compelling. A blackberry dream. Gorgeous. 151 cases produced. +753271 $$

Paisajes y Vinedos, La Pasada  2010 Tempranillo made by Finca Allende, DOC, Rioja, Spain

The rebels that make this wine have stirred things up in Rioja, ignoring convention and relying on modern techniques.They are known for rare, single vineyard wines with tremendous aging potential. This one is a perfect mid-ruby tone. The nose gives perfect, plain creme caramel, red currant, wet stones and rain. Intensely fruity-dry attack riding on a rail of bright acidity. It plays and sneaks into all the corners of the palate. Feels like silk. More than fun. It’s seriously fun! Earthy and bright. 2500 bottles produced.(That’s just over 200 cases!) +745827 Between $$ and $$$

Lagarde, Primeras Vinas Malbec 2011

From 1906 plantings, this one displays a velvet mid-ruby curtain of colour. Mixed berry pudding, good rum and a hint of oak give up to wet black dirt. Intense vinous attack. Dry with chewy tannins that linger and cling to the teeth. Old world from the new world. Elegant with real length and finesse. A true beauty. +745955 $$

Vineland Vidal Icewine 2011 Niagara Penninsula

Clear glossy honey colour. Scented of Acacia honey, alfalfa and white rose. Clean honey’d almond notes on the palate display a bright candy-apple acidity. Awesome good. This is a bit of a revelation because I haven’t yet been a big fan of Icewine. I love it when I change my mind! +370031 $$ Merry Christmas!

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