Yesterday Le Vieux Pin and sister winery, La Stella, opened their doors to select wine and food media in Vancouver to taste some of their newly released wines. There were 2 wines in particular that I concentrated on with notes, but there were also some nice Rhone style white blends that I would like to also describe to you.
La Stella’s La Sophia 2009
This is only the 3rd release of this very limited wine. La Sophia is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and only produced when La Stella deems that the grapes are ripe enough to produce this wine. Cabernet Sauvignon does have a hard time fully ripening in the Okanagan Valley, so do not expect a super full bodied wine like you would get from the Napa Valley. It would still be a cooler climate Cab. This wine has a medium to lighter ruby colour. Aromas of red fruit and cherries. Quite fruity. Also a little bit of vanilla and a hint of milk chocolate on the nose. Lots of milk chocolate on the palate and cherries, the tannins appear in the mid palate. They are quite fine, not harsh. Dry with long length. An interesting Cabernet Sauvignon. You would probably have a hard time guessing it is a Cabernet, and that it is from the Okanagan. Unique. You can listen and watch GM Rasoul Salehi talk about La Sophia on my youtube video.
Le Vieux Pin Retouche 2009
This is the inaugural vintage of Retouche. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine with 30% Syrah added to support/enhance the wine. They produced this wine in homage to the times in the 1800’s when some of the Bordeaux wineries would quietly bring in Syrah from the Rhone (aka “Hermitaging”) and use it to bolster their wines, especially when there was a poor harvest. The Syrah in this particular blend is meant to complement the Cabernet and not to compete with it. This wine is a lighter, translucent garnet colour in the glass. A very nice nose. Has a meatiness to it and tomato, almost a tomato sauce type aroma along with vanilla and ripe red cherries on the nose. Very ripe red fruit, very soft mouthfeel, and very fine, subtle tannins. Medium plus length with some minerality showing up on the finish.
Rhone Style White Blends
Le Vieux Pin also produces some Rhone style white blends. I was able to try their 2010 and 2011 vintages of Ava. It is a blend of Viognier/ Roussanne/ Marsanne. Both wines were very nice, medium bodied, with the characteristic aromatic profile, with lime, orange, flowers, spice and stone fruit aromas. The 2010 vintage was a bit more leaner and higher acid compared to the 2011. I did prefer the 2011. It was a bit more flowery perfumed as well as very soft, silky on your palate. A nice wine to share with your significant other during our winter season. Give Ava a try.
Not trying to hide their wines, Le Vieux Pin also had assembled other Rhone style white blends from around the world to compare with their wines. I can say that they all were quite distinct. The Treana from California, was much heavier in the mouth and was full of super ripe pear aromas and flavour, with a hint of orange. The Guigal La Dorian Condrieu from the Rhone Valley was light bodied, but full of smoke and sausage on the nose and palate, with orange and lime in the background on the palate.