Friday, February 15, 2013

Report from … British Columbia Wine Tasting - January 15, 2013

British Columbia comes to Ontario
Just finished reading an article by Rick Van Sickle about his take on the BC promotion of their wines in Ontario … I was part of the walk around tasting and lunch on January 15, where 21 BC wines were tasted and would have to say they did not have to stoop to these levels and hire questionable wine-personalities to get their message out.  Ontarians are already very much interested in wines of the west (just ask California) and British Columbia is of special interest because they are so rare in our part of the world (you’d think they’d be plentiful because we’re in the same country – but that is not the case).  BC wines speak for themselves, the high prices might be a bit of a turn off, but the wine in the bottle is very enticing and exciting.  The good news, I did find some really good bargains while wondering about, but below is my list of my favourites from this afternoon of wine and food:

Eau Vivre 2010 Buddhafull ($36.95) – a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah blend that’s lovely and smooth yet with nice tannins and spice … there’s also a lovely strawberry / black cherry streak running through it. (****)

Gray Monk 2011 Gewurztraminer ($19.95) – soft soapy nose with earl gray tea and rose petal also making an appearance; this one’s not over the top, it’s delicate and very approachable. (****+)

Mission Hill 2008 Quatrain ($44.95) – this is one heck of a wine from Mission Hill, a red blend that shows power and elegance: dark fruit, cocoa, spice and good tannins; delicious. (****+)

Meyer Family Vineyards 2010 Reimer Pinot Noir ($49.95) – those who believe BC isn’t a place for the delicate Pinot Noir grape hasn’t tried the Pinots of Meyer.  A nose of spiced cranberry and cherry, while the palate has nice fruit and spice with gentle tannins; easy drinking and ready to drink yet with the stuffing for aging 5+ years. (****+)

Sandhill 2010 Small Lots One ($35.00) – from the premium Phantom Creek Vineyard; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Syrah; leather, coffee with toasty notes, smooth dark fruit and great acidity for balance. (****+)

Osoyoos Larose 2008 Le Grand Vin ($45.00) – a Vintages essential product; this vintage of the icon BC wine is 60% Merlot and aged in 60% new barrels.  Black cherry, strawberry with touches of vanilla, cedar and cinnamon – nice acidity helps keep things clean on the palate. (****)

Quail’s Gate 2010 Pinot Noir ($24.95) – nice and approachable with cherry and spice. (*** ½+)

Sperling Vineyard 2010 Old Vines Riesling ($34.00) – the surprise under the table wine; great dry citrus with peach notes and fabulous acidity that balances the touch of sweetness; a lovely dry wine that’s incredibly food friendly. Vines for this wine were planted in the 70’s and 80’s. (****+)

As for the lunch here are some pictures …

Citrus Cured Salmon - cantaloupe & sweet onion pickle, Daikon salad, chamomile scented creme fraiche, lemon balm

Parsnip Creme - spiced roasted pear & lemon biscotti, chestnut espuma

Port Cured Boneless Braised Beef Short Rib - roasted beet, mascarpone polenta, walnut & Brussel sprout

Thunder Oak Gouda - fig & filbert, cranberry chocolate sour dough

1 comment:

Dean Tudor said...

My take...

**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Eau Vivre Pinot Noir 2008 [organic] LCBO Vintages +308353, $24.95

-Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Okanagan 2011, $33.95 Terroir Wine

-Meyer Family Vineyards Reimer Vineyard Pinot Noir Okanagan 2010 LCBO Vintages Online, +312645 $49.95

-Sandhill Chardonnay 2010, $17.95 Small Winemakers

-Sandhill Small Lots One 2010, $35 Small Winemakers

-Quails Gate Chardonnay 2011, +377770, $21.95

-Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2010, $34 Trialto

-Sperling Vineyards Sparkling Pinot Blanc Brut 2008, $40 Trialto

***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Eau Vivre Chardonnay 2010 Similkameen Valley, $23.95 Terroir Wine

-Eau Vivre Buddhafull 2010 Similkameen Valley, $36.95 Terroir Wine

-Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Okanagan 2011, $29.95 Terroir Wine

-Mission Hill Quatrain 2008, +218636, $44.95

-Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2010, +545004, $19.95

-Sandhill Cabernet Merlot 2010, $19.95 Small Winemakers

-Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin

-Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling 2011, +134486, $34

*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Eau Vivre Malbec 2010 Similkameen Valley, $33.95 Terroir Wine

-Meyer Family Vineyards Gewurztraminer McLean Creek Vineyard Okanagan 2011, $27.50 Terroir Wine

-Gray Monk Estate Gewurztraminer 2011, +321588, $19.95

-Gray Monk Estate Chardonnay Unwooded 2011, +303745, $19.95

-Sandhill Small Lots Sangiovese 2009, $30 Small Winemakers

-Quails Gate Pinot Noir 2010, +585760, $24.95