I taste wines at all price points so that everyone has some wine that they can afford to enjoy. Recently I received a bottle of Pendragon Satin White and Velvet Red wines from Artisan Wine Co (from Vancouver). Both wines come in at a suggested retail price of $9.99 + tax. These two wines are a blend of imported and domestic wines. Typically the cost of wine production in BC is very high as we have limited land under vines. Other countries, such as USA (California and Washington primarily), Australia, and Chile for example have much more space to grow grapes and produce wines. It is not a secret that bulk wines from countries with large production are sent around the world. These wines could become the “House Wine” of a restaurant for example, or could end up in a blend with domestic grapes, such as we have with the two Pendragon wines.
Both wines I would classify as between off-dry and medium-dry, making them an easy entry for people that prefer sweeter wines. Other wines that you may think of that fit into the easy drinking, off-dry category would include Apothic Red and White.
The Pendragon wines are also non-vintage, meaning that the wines blended to produce this wine could be from the same, or different vintages. One good thing about non-vintage wines, is that the wine maker can blend different wines each year, to come up with a fairly consistent aroma and flavour profile that someone who likes their wine would enjoy every year. Both wines have soft, silky, velvety descriptors in their names, and I believe it is meant to tell people that they should expect soft, silky, velvety wines.
My Pendragon Wine Review
Pendragon Satin White Pinot Grigio – Medium straw in colour. It has a very soft, fruity nose, with stone fruit and pineapple aromas. It is as mentioned between off-dry and medium dry, soft and round with a slight acidic prickle on your tongue. Medium body, with lower alcohol and flavour intensity. Sweet pineapple and pears with a hint of citrus on the palate. It finishes sweet in conjunction with some pepperiness. I think a bump up in acidity would really help round out this wine.
Rating: A soft, fairly sweet, easy to drink wine with pineapple and pear flavours on the palate.
Pendragon Velvet Red Cabernet Sauvignon – Translucent medium ruby in colour. Ripe purple fruit, plums, smoke and tea leaves on the nose. Between off-dry and medium-dry with lower acidity, tannins and alcohol. Round with ripe sweet plums and dark fruit flavours. Hints of smoke and chocolate. It starts to dry up and show a bit more tannins starting on the mid-palate but it does not overcome the sweetness. A hint of sweet spice toward the finish. On the finish you get more sweet dark fruit on the finish. I think a bit more tannins and/or acidity would help give this wine a bit more structure.
Rating: A BC equivalent to Apothic Red, this wine has substantial sweetness, and lots of dark ripe fruit on the nose and palate.
If you like the Apothic wines, you may want to try these two BC Cellared By Artisan Wine Co wines.