MyWinePal’s Picks from the Import Vintners & Spirits Association Tasting – Feb 2011

This week I attended the IVSA‘s latest tastings of new wine and spirits in the Vancouver area. There was at least 70 different tables from my quick count, with each table offering 5-10 different wines. As such, I was not able to try everything offered, but hopefully I was able to find a few gems, which I can pass along to you.   Another interesting observation is that there is beginning to be a wider selection of organic wines.  You will see a few listed in my selections below.

White Wines

Tommasi Pinot Grigio, Italy ($19.99). Pale lemon in colour with a citrusy nose.  Medium body with citrus and red apple flavour.  Good acidity.

Wither Hills Pinot Gris 2010, New Zealand ($18.99).  Most New Zealand wines are in the $20+ range.  This one, by Wither Hills, is sub $20.  Wither Hills is a premium producer.  I suggest trying all their different wines.  This wine is pale lemon in colour.  White peach and apple aromas.  Very pretty nose.  Round mouth feel on the palate with a balance of acidity.  Apple, flowers, and lime flavours.  One of my favorite whites of this tasting. Delicious.

Lafazanis Winery Selection Lafazanis White 2009, Greece. We do not get many new Greek wines in Vancouver, so I had to try it out.  This wine is made with one of Greece’s indigenous grapes, Roditis. This wine was medium lemon in colour.  Lemon and flowers on the nose.  High acidity with oaky and pineapple flavours.  An interesting wine to try.

Alasia Sec dry Muscato NV, Italy ($18.99). Here is a wine you may want to consider for Valentine’s Day.  The muscat grape is one of the aromatic grape varieties around. This one had a very flowery nose, with some spice and orange notes. Round mouth feel, medium body with orange peel flavour and a bitter almond finish.

Sandalford Classic Dry Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Margaret River, Australia ($20). This was my other favorite white wine of the tasting.  This is a classic white Bordeaux blend. It was pale lemon in colour.  Waxy, mushroom and lemon aromas.  Bright acidity on your palate with lots of herbal flavour and a citrus finish.

Red Wines

Miguel Torres Salmos 2007, Spain ($38.99). This is a red blend of Garnacha Tinta, Syrah, and Carinena. This was my wow wine for this tasting.  Ripe cherries, raspberry, jammy aromas and flavours.  Soft tannins in your mouth.  Medium length with vanilla and cherry finish.

Hewitt Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California ($79.99). Deep purple coloured.  Vanilla, oak, ripe plum, currant, and cedar notes on the nose. Very smooth on the palate with ripe plums, red and black cherries and vanilla flavours.  Dry tannins with a medium length.  Quite pricy, but if you have a special occasion, you may want to splurge.

Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Ruffina “Basciano” DOCG 2007, Italy ($19.99). This wine is made from a single vineyard of Sangiovese. Tarry, oaky, dark fruit nose.  Dark chocolate, black cherries, raspberries and a bit of vanilla aromas and flavours.  A bit of spice on the palate too. Very nice!

Tarapaca Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Chile ($19.99). Deep purple coloured.  Capsicum and black berry aromas.  Medium body with quite drying tannins.  Capsicum and ripe fruit flavours.

1884 Reservado Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina ($16.99).  This is my red wine deal of the wine tasting. Drink now. Raspberry and cocoa on the nose.  Full body with full ripe cherries and raspberries.  Juicy!  Long finish.

Sorrento Dry Grown Grenache 2008, McLaren Vale, Australia ($16.99). Grenache in my opinion doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.  it is a lighter bodied wine with lots of red fruit flavours. This wine was light garnet in the glass.  Nice raspberry and toffee on the nose and on the palate.  Medium acidity to make this wine bright.  Soft tannins. Highly recommended.

Serafino Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale, Australia ($25.99). Dark chocolate and vanilla aromas.  Ripe black cherry, vanilla and chocolate flavours.  Nice round mouthfeel with a long finish.  Enjoy with a steak on the barbie.

Sur Andino Siete Soles Malbec 2009, Argentina ($9.97).  Another value deal here.  This wine is light purple in colour.  You can see through the glass.  Most Malbecs are quite heavy and opaque.  This one is a lighter style.  Cassis and raspberry aromas and flavour.  Also a bit of herbal, vanilla and cherry mid palate.  Medium tannins with a long dry finish.

Ruffino Modus 2006, Italy ($34.99). A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  Deep purple in colour.  Licorice, oak, and black fruit aromas.  Licorice, oak, ripe black cherries, bull bodied, and full of flavour.  Very dry finish.  An outstanding wine.

Perrin Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau 2007, France ($21.99).  Kirsch cherry nose.  Medium body with cherry and sweet black fruit flavours.  Soft tannins.  Very nice.

Sparkling Wines

La Jara Prosecco Extra Dry Organic, Italy ($19.99). Watery lemon colour.  Citrus and light almond aromas.  Almond, apple and citrusy flavours.  Medium bubbles.

Joan Raventos Rosell Cava, Spain. Deep lemon colour.  Citrus and nutty nose.  Citrus and pineapple flavours with a very fine bubble.

Fortified Wines

Fonseca N/V Terra Prima Organic Port ($31.99).  Rich black fruit nose.  Medium body in your mouth.  Spicy with plums, cherries, and chocolate flavours.  Medium sweetness. Very nice.

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Some people prefer red wines. Some only like Cabernet Sauvignon. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I met many great wine makers. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.