Reviews/ Wine

Wine Review: LaStella Fortissimo, 2012

What do you crave when the weather turns a wee bit chilly?

Okay, I’ll go first: Cardigans and fuzzy tights. Evenings tucked up in front of a fire with your Grandmother’s knitted blanket. Jeff Goldblum. Err…. Yeah. Jeff Goldblum. Circa 1993. Red wine. All of the above.

2012 La Stella Fortissimo Review -

It’s no secret that I like my bourbon. But man alive, does red wine hold a place in my heart. Or my mouth, rather. Especially as the days get shorter (is there even daylight right now at all?) and I start craving comfort food like Balsamic Braised Short Ribs, Autumn Mac & Cheese, Cheesy Oozy Butternut and Cauliflower Gratin, Sweet & Sultry Sauteed Cabbage and Saucy Slow Braised Beef Stew.

Yep. I like my comfort foods. And even more, I like my comfort foods with red wine. Or any wine, really. To me, wine isn’t exactly drinking. Unless of course you knock back a few bottles – in which case, try to convince your liver of that. When I think wine, I think food. When I think food, I think yum… Uhh, I mean, I think wine. So to me, they’re all part of the experiential meal. One influences the other and makes up a dining experience. Sure, not every supper has to be a “dining experience”, but if I can make that grilled cheese sandwich just a little bit special by throwing on some apples (recipe to come) and pair it with a glass of grape juice, why the heck wouldn’t I?

2012 La Stella Fortissimo Review -

I used to talk a lot more about wine on the blog, so I’ve been thinking: Why not start again? Do what you love, right? Or drink what you love. Whatevs.

2012 La Stella Fortissimo Review -

Say hello to my little friend: LaStella Fortissimo (2012)

I’ve recently teamed up with LaStella and Le Vieux Pin – two of the very best wineries in British Columbia if you ask me – to share with you the latest and greatest coming out of their vineyards. Why would I pimp out my blog like that? Because their wine is damn good. They practice small batch production methods. And they celebrate fine food, wonderful wine, great music, and the good things in life. Can you blame me? And I thought you might dig that. So while they may be partnering with me to talk about their wines, they certainly aren’t telling me what to say. They’re a part of my local food and drink community and if I can help them out, score a bottle or two for me, and point you in the right direction when you’re looking for something good to serve your guests – or yourself – I’m down with that.

 2012 La Stella Fortissimo Review -

The Wine: 39% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Sangiovese (aka their Tuscan blend – because all the grapes are Italian).

Region: Osoyoos Lake District, North Oliver and Black Sage Bench

Price: $35.00

Tasting Notes: This is what dessert would taste like, if it was a savoury course. The wine is pungent and full bodied with chocolate covered maraschino cherries and vanilla. Juicy, fruit forward on the front, dry tannins on the back make this wine particularly enjoyable and well balanced. The oak is subtle but present. This vintage is by far the highest volume of cab franc they’ve offered in their Fortissimo blend and you can taste it. It also has a high alcohol content (14.9%) which was cut short by the addition of the cab franc = a nicely balanced, full bodied, bold red wine.

Meal Recommendations: …Drink it? You could easily pair this wine with any strong cheese – as I did – or with a heavy meat course like pastured veal, lamb or beef. Don’t be afraid to go heavy on the herbs and spices, this wine can handle it. Drink it now or allow its flavours to nuance for up to 15 years.

Overall Thoughts: I probably wouldn’t uncork this bad boy on a Monday night. Unless Monday night I made a homemade pasta with rabbit ragu or something. The 2012 La Stella Fortissimo a bit on the higher end of my weeknight wine budget as an every day drinking wine. However, if you’re serving a nice dinner, it’s well worth the value. The fact that it can be cellared (or in my case, laid down in a giant tupperware container in the back of my closet) for a few years makes it something I’d be curious to taste in a decade. Whether or not I have the patience for that is a whole other matter.

What do you crave when the weather turns a wee bit chilly? Do you like red wine? Have a particular favourite one? Do we like the wine reviews? Is this something you’d enjoy more of? What’s your preferred drink of choice? Spill it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Entoecca Wineries & Resorts DID provide me a review bottle of wine at no cost. Regardless, I only recommend, giveaway or share products or services I use personally and genuinely believe will be of interest to my readers. All opinions, words and information here are entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and were not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products or companies. Opinions and views are my own. Because that’s how I roll, yo. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth – I’m not going to start now. If something sucks, why would I waste your time? I wouldn’t. Cacpiche?

  • Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    November 28, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Sounds like a good red and perfect for a chilly evening. Interesting about the small batch method. I’ve mde a note of it:)
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently published…Thanksgiving…Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      It couldn’t be better Jacqueline. Unless of course I had a second bottle πŸ˜‰ Though better and messy can get a wee bit convoluted in my house πŸ˜‰

  • Jayme
    November 29, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Like I’ve said before, I wish that I had access to more wines of Canada! Great review, Kristy! I say “yes” on the more wine reviews conundrum.
    Jayme recently published…cucumber + melon + white grape sangriaMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      Hm. I wonder if between you and I we could get you a bottle of this bad boy? I’d be curious what your fav 5 are so I can see if I can find them here!

  • Becky
    December 1, 2014 at 5:11 AM

    Interesting. I know nothing about Canadian wine. Italian, yes. Virginia, yes. California, a little bit. France? Trying to. Although unless it was gifted to me, there’s no way I’d get a bottle of this. At the most, I’ll spend $20 on a bottle. I am constantly on the prowl for the best wine under $10.
    Becky recently published…The real deal.My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      I dig it Becky. I’ve love to hear what you find for under 10$!!! My typical bottle averages around 25 but I’d definitely be open to finding great stuff for less. Tell me more. πŸ™‚

  • Meaghan
    December 5, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Well between your love of bourbon and now Le Stella Fortissimo I really think we must be kindred spirits πŸ˜‰ Le Stella is one of my favourite BC wines. Sadly it is hard to come by here in Alberta. It is a little pricey but a high quality wine and you’d pay much more for an Italian wine of this caliber… Or at least that is my justification! I love the Fortissimo in a big ballon glass. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this great wine!

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Oh Meaghan! It’s true – this particular wine is a bit on the higher side when it comes to every day drinking wine. Do you ever make it out to the Okanagan valley?? Hopefully the new liquor laws will make it easier for vino (or other spirits) to cross provincial borders. Fingers crossed. #Kindreds

  • jess meddows
    December 5, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    I love red wine, too. But if we’re talking vintage men, I’m more of a Harrison Ford circa the Indiana Jones era (better hair than the Star Wars era!). πŸ˜‰

    I really do love wines, but it’s become a bit of a gauntlet being vegan. I find winemakers and sommeleirs are fantastic with answering questions, and very happy to discuss on email or phone. But the LCBO has no idea about what’s suitable. So I have so much research to do before I can go out and buy a bottle of wine, or order a glass at a restaurant!
    jess meddows recently published…Vegan Christmas Gift GuideMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      Oh Jess. The LCBO has no idea PERIOD. That was one of the worst things for me living in Toronto for 2 years. They not only don’t know what’s suitable for vegans, they don’t know what’s suitable for good wine! I kept thinking “am I in the discount liquor store??” because so much of their stuff was utter crap. I’m so sorry to hear it’s a process for you at the store. At least the winemakers and sommeliers are helpful.

      PS. HAHAHA – your Harrison Ford comment just made my day πŸ™‚