February 20, 2016 is the first day for the Vancouver International Wine Festival this year. We are just about a month away. Did you know that the tickets for events are open to the public? Many events are sold out already, but if you buy sooner rather than later, you still have a chance at other events.
One event that everyone likes is the Acura Tasting Room, which is held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. The large tasting room in the Vancouver Convention Centre will have 155 participating wineries, with principals attending, pouring selections from their cellars. This is your chance to talk to these winery principals.
Italy is the theme country, and approximately 60 Italian wineries will be here, so you can taste and compare wines from all corners of this fascinating country. Try some wines from indigenous grape varieties, such as Sangiovese, Falanghina, Catarratto, and Corvina. To get a peek at the Italian wineries participating, as well as wineries from other regions of the world, the Vancouver International Wine Festival invited me and other writers to come sample some Festival wines at CinCin Italian restaurant, located on Robson St.
Below are a few of my highlights of the tasting. If you want to read about some of the Italian wineries coming to the Festival, please visit my VanWineFest page.
The Festival Has Bubble
At the preview we had a chance to try 4 bubbles:
- Ruffino Prosecco DOC, Italy – A straight forward stone fruit and floral sparkler to sip anytime.
- Giusti Cuvee Extra Brut, NV, Italy – A quality sparkler, apples and lees nose, light citrus flavour, silkiness on the tongue mixed with biting bubbles.
- Gruet Blanc de Noirs Brut, NV, New Mexico, USA – Biscuity nose, almost creamy bubble, green apples and citrus with salty mineral finish. Excellence from New Mexico!
- Zonin 1821 Masseria Altemura Rosamaro Brut, NV, Italy – Pale salmon colour. Small creamy bubbles. Strawberries in a glass!
A Few Whites to Note
- Paolo Conterno Langhe Arneis a Val, 2014, Italy – Very light stoniness and stone fruit on the nose. Dry, medium minus body, salty minerality with light stone fruit flavours.
- Famille Perrin Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc AOC, 2014, France – This is not a shy wine. Ripe, tropical fruits and almonds on the nose. Dry, round, full bodied with nutmeg, baked apples and butterscotch. Peppery finish.
- Bonterra Organic Vineyards Chardonnay 2013, California – Woody, tropical fruit nose. Soft, medium minus body. Ripe apples and tropical fruit together with light sweet spices on the tongue.
Don’t Forget these Reds
- Allegrini Palazzo della Torre IGT Veronese, 2012, Italy – Light ripe sour red cherries and vanilla aromas. Dry with red cherries, light sweet spices and oak treatment. Elegant.
- Marchesi de’Frescobaldi Castel Giocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, 2009, Italy – Light roses and red cherries on the nose. Medium body, dry, with cherries and a fino-like quality. Firmer tannins and light woodiness. A quality wine.
- Monte del Fra “Lena di Mezzo” Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico, 2010, Italy – Nice nose with ripe black fruits, sweet spices and raisins. Dry, medium body, with black fruit and sweet spice. Gets peppery toward the finish. A nice Old World example.
There were many other wines at the tasting that rated 4 stars by me. I’ll leave you to explore the Acura Tasting Room to try these wines, and all the others. Enjoy.
CinCin was very gracious, offering us a wide array of charcuterie, cheeses, and pastries to finish off the evening. Grazie.