wine calgary

Review: 2008 Aaron Aequorea Petite Sirah


A new addition to our shelves here at Vine Arts, the 2008 Aaron Aequorea is a bold, satisfying, stick to your ribs style of red from the region of Paso Robles, California.

The label is inspired by winemaker Aaron Jackson’s roots growing up in a surf town located 40 kilometers south west of Paso Robles. His love of surfing was second only to his interest in winemaking, and at the ripe age of 16 he produced his first vintage.

With only 200 cases produced, this is truly a rare gem. The combination of the bold character of Petite Sirah (with 4% Syrah blended in for good measure) and 24 months aging in French Oak give this wine a gregarious personality. This bursts from the glass with aromas of blackberry compote, fresh blueberries and toast. A surprising level of acidity keeps this big red from being clumsy and bold flavours of dark fruit and spice follow through from the nose.

The Verdict

A great choice for fans of rock & roll reds and an excellent pairing with a freshly seared steak or a chunk of dark chocolate.

Review: 2011 Elvio Cogno Barbera d’Alba “Bricco dei Merli”


The picturesque Elvio Cogno estate is perched in the hilltop town of Novello in the rolling hills of Piemonte. These fourth generation winemakers are combining the traditional grape varieties and historic vineyards of this legendary region with modern winemaking practices to produce wines that toe the line between contemporary and traditional styles.

There were roughly 10,000 bottles of the 2011 Barbera d’Alba “Bricco dei Merli” produced. In the glass this wine is so vibrant in colour it is practically glowing, bearing a striking resemblance to Hugh Hefner’s magenta silk pajamas. The nose is equally vibrant, bursting from the glass with aromas of black cherry cola, licorice, chewable Flintstone vitamins, lavender and fresh sage. The palate features mouth watering acidity followed by plush flavours of black cherry skin, fennel, raspberry and balsamic.

The youth of this wine is evident, requiring a short time in a decanter to open up and spread its wings. This screams for a hearty bolognese or roast quail with root vegetable mash. This would also improve with short term cellaring and will drink beautifully over the next 3-5 or more. 

Price: $32