deVine Thoughts

May 30, 2017

Rosé Season Is Upon Us

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:42 pm

roses_blog_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

As summer is here, it is time for the rosés to take center stage. We have more rosés for you to choose from than ever before, the section has practically doubled from last year. We have many selections from the hotbed of France of course, but Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Canada are all represented. Nothing is better for outdoor drinking than Rosés be it on the deck, a picnic, or a barbecue. Its nothing fancy or expensive, just something pink that gives great drinking pleasure.

Some of our favourites are listed below. First, pictured left to right:

2016 Domaine de Cristia Collection Rosé (Provence, France) – $21.99

2016 Rioja Vega Principe de Viana Rosa (Navarra, Spain) – $20.99

2016 Poplar Grove Blanc de Noirs (BC – Okanagan, Canada) – $26.99

2016 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Rose (Loire Valley, France) – $22.99

Other highly recommended (not pictured):

2015 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Goutte de Rosé (Loire Valley, France) – $21.99

2016 Agricola Tiberio Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo (Abruzzi, Italy) – $28.99

Have yourself a pink summer!

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May 28, 2017

Introducing Oppidan Spirits

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 6:01 pm

oppidan_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Oppidan Spirits is a trending ‘micro-distillery’ formed in 2015 and based in Wheeling, Illinois. Their focus here is a purists’ model, aiming to reveal all that make the whole. Two new award winning releases have landed in Alberta and we’re happy to present them to you.

First, the after dinner Solera Aged Bourbon, relatively unique in the bourbon world given the solera approach of drawing from casks which are never really emptied (alla Sherry or Tawny ports). Oppidan Bourbon is distilled from a rather unique five-grain mash bill consisting of corn, malted rye, chocolate malted rye, special B crystal malt, and 2 row barley. From there, it is aged for an undisclosed length time, according to the distillery, “across 3 different wood types: American oak, French oak, & Oloroso sherry casks. The French oak & Oloroso casks are never emptied, creating continuity & increased complexity over time.”

Second, the Barrel Reserve Old Tom Gin. Starting with their standard gin, a smoke element is added with barrel aging. Then, grapefruit peel was smoked over pecan wood, giving a nice smokey candied pecan note to the gin. From there, the gin was aged for 3 to 5 months in a combination of new and used cooperage to give a nice round oak flavor without dominating the spirit. Lastly, cold smoked maple and agave syrups transform the gin into an old tom gin and punch up the smoke profile. Sounds as good as it tastes.

Both of these bottlings were medal winners at the 2017 American Craft Spirits Awards:

Oppidan Distillery Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey – $76.99

Oppidan Distillery Barrel Reserve Old Tom Gin – $59.99

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May 16, 2017

Bordeaux Futures 2016 – Update #2

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 8:38 pm

bord_2016_2smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

The 2016 Bordeaux Futures Campaign is now underway with over a dozen offers open. A lot has happened since our first blog, predominantly a huge spring frost not only in Bordeaux, but Champagne, Burgundy and Cognac all suffering damage. The right bank of Bordeaux was hard hit with already formed flowers shoots destroyed anywhere from 10-90%.

The affect of all this was a rise in prices for the 2016 Bordeaux releases that had just started releasing their futures. The offshoot is we’re seeing an increase of 10-15% across the board in prices. This coupled with the slumping Canadian dollar has made it very difficult to keep pricing the same as last year. With the Petit Chateaux and Cru Bourgeois, we’ve held pricing pretty much with only small increases, and we’ll see next week when a lot of the Grand Cru Classés will start to be released.

The buzz is it is a slightly better vintage overall than the already spectacular 2015’s, with all appellations excellent. It is nice to have some St. Estephe wines on offer this year, as they were largely missing last year as the only not-up-to-par region in 2015. We will not likely have a third consecutive Futures campaign as the 2017 crop will be very small due to the devastating frost and likely very expensive.

Here are four great 2016 Cru Bourgeois to consider, they represent excellence at a reasonable price and good for short-term cellaring. Quantities are limited and can be purchased online, get some before they are all gone! Pictured left to right:


2016 Ch. Siran (Margaux) – $64.99

2016 Ch. Lanessan (Haut-Medoc) – $37.99

2016 Ch. Lilian Ladouys (St. Estephe) – $49.99

2016 Ch. Labegorce (Margaux) – $70.99

To see all the current offerings, click here.. Come back often as this page will be updated as new purchases are made.

Also, learn about Bordeaux Futures and taste some wines from seven different appellations in our Bordeaux Futures Tasting, scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd – you can register here….

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May 3, 2017

Bordeaux Futures 2016

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:46 pm

Author: Dirk Chanbordeaux_futures_2016_small

Bordeaux is one of the few wines in the world where they present their wines for sale long before it is even finished or bottled. It is called En Primeur (or Futures). deVine has had a tradition of offering the great wines from great Bordeaux vintages in our Futures program since the store’s inception. We have presented large Futures offerings for the heralded 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 vintages, with smaller offerings in 2008 and 2011. The 2016’s will rank with 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 as the best since the new millennium, so those of you wanting a great Bordeaux vintage in your cellars will want to participate in this years Futures offerings that we will be offering very shortly. Where the Northern Medoc was not at its best last year, the 2016’s are uniformly excellent in both left and right banks – St. Estephe is excellent in 2016 while St. Julien is the star.

The pair of 2015 & 2016 is being compared to other great pairs of the past, namely 2009 & 2010 and before that 1989 & 1990 – that’s pretty awesome company. This is early yet, but it looks like prices will be very close to 2015 pricing with perhaps a small (<10%) increase. That's good news when compared to the extravagant 2009 & 2010's. Open tastings for critics has just finished and offers have begun with the small so called Petit Chateaux. The Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate scores are out now and the the entire campaign will run till mid June.

Our process will be the same as last year, we will be consulting with you beforehand to get a good idea of what wines and appellations you’re interested in and purchasing only what has been committed by you. Thus please email us or drop in to the store to speak with us, and we’ll help you pick wines and offer our opinions in whatever budget or classification of wines you are looking for. Thus, we are asking you to contact us as soon as possible to let us know:

1) what your total budget is
2) what your average price per bottle
3) class of wine (First Growths, Seconds, Third-Fifths Growths, Cru Bourgeois or Petit Chateaux)
4) desired appellation(s) (Left Bank – St. Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien, Margaux, Pessac, Haut Medoc, Medoc) or (Right Bank – Pomerol, St. Emilion, Satellites)
5) if you know of specific Chateaux you definitely want, please let us know ahead of time
6) if you have a vertical of a particular Chateau going, please let us know


Based on our discussions with all of you, we will offer wines to those who we’ve consulted with first (so you have first dibs), with whatever remaining that’s unsold then going onto the website for general sale, thus we offer wines first to those who’ve communicated their requirements to us beforehand.

Beware who you buy futures from – this is like the stock market, wines are purchased years before they are even bottled and a lot can change in barrel – it is wise to consult with experts prior to purchasing and from those with a proven track record in En Primeur. We have been doing this for awhile and have delivered on every single bottle purchased from us En Primeur. Our free consultation will help you weed out from the masses of supply out there and provide you with some great Bordeaux for your cellar at the budget that suits you. Note we only offer wines for sale that we’ve actually purchased, so there is no speculation at play where every chateaux is on sale and are only purchased when someone wants it (at which point in time those wines may be already be sold out or the prices have escalated in second or third tranche pricing).

As last year, we require full payment upfront (this locks the wine in irrespective of exchange rate fluctuations) and the wines will arrive in the store mid to fall of 2019. What is not sold in Futures program will be put on the shelf for sale upon their arrival at a 20% premium thus it is wise to buy now to ensure you get your hands on some and at a better price.

This year, we’re also doing a Bordeaux Futures Tasting on Saturday, June 3rd at 7pm at the store – for those of you who want to learn about the Futures process, but more important to let you taste different wines from seven different Bordeaux appellations and from several vintages.

More information and to register for the tasting, click here….

Also keep coming back to our website for futures offerings real soon.

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