Sur­prise awaits in Black Tower

The Georgia Straight - - Food - By

AKur­tis Kolt case of wine sam­ples ar­rived at my of­fice the other day, a small hand­ful of Ger­man wines.

Now, I’m a bit of a Ries­ling nut, so it was maybe three or four sec­onds be­tween spot­ting the box and tear­ing into the thing. With vi­sions of cit­rus-laden, min­eral-driven wines that the pack­age po­ten­tially con­tained, I can­not tell you the speed with which my heart sank when I pulled out the first bot­tle: Black Tower Dorn­felder Pinot Noir 2016.

This must be a joke, yeah? I mean, Black Tower’s one of those wines only men­tioned when you’re look­ing for a laugh.

“Hey, thanks for hav­ing us over for din­ner. We brought wine for ev­ery­one; hope you like Black Tower!”

I mean, what’s next? Some­one try­ing their luck by send­ing me a bot­tle of Ma­teus Rosé?

It is no­to­ri­ously cheap and crazily ac­ces­si­ble, usu­ally on the bot­tom shelves of many a liquor store—and I can’t even re­call the last time I’d tried Black Tower’s ubiq­ui­tous red. Cer­tainly, it was many, many years ago, when I didn’t know much about wine. In my mind, I was imag­in­ing the wine would be aw­fully sweet—con­fected, even. Well, it couldn’t hurt to give it a whirl, could it? Know­ing it was a lighter style of wine, I threw it in the fridge for a quick 10 to 15 min­utes, as that’s the touch of chill I like to have on lighter reds like Ga­mays and Pinot Noirs.

Into the glass it went; I gave it a quick spin and then a hearty slurp.

Um… It was good.

Is that pos­si­ble? Maybe I was brac­ing for the worst, and when it wasn’t the worst, I mis­tak­enly thought it was pretty good?

Nope. Fur­ther sips con­firmed it was in­deed tasty. Violets and bak­ing spices filled the aro­mat­ics, while the palate car­ried some gen­tle red plums, black­ber­ries, dark cher­ries, and a fine dust­ing of co­coa. The acid made for lively juici­ness, and the af­fa­ble, lengthy fin­ish was quite dry.

I hon­estly felt the wine was so fresh, ex­pres­sive, and kinda geeky that they could slap on a quirky la­bel with a crude car­toon on it, charge twice the price, and all the cool mil­len­nial nat­u­ral-wine-fo­cused wine nerds out there would flock to it.

In fact, I ca­su­ally blind-tasted a cou­ple lo­cal som­me­liers

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