Sometimes California gets pigeon-holed into being thought of only a place for high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines. But that is not true. There are many other wines available from California that are very enjoyable. I attended the latest California Wine Fair here in Vancouver, and spent time trying wines that were not one of those two grape varieties. I picked these 5 below as I thought they were exceptionally good, but there were several others that I could have added to the list. 5 is a nice number; you can count it on one hand. All of these wines have local agents, so you should be able to purchase them either at a BC Liquor Store or at a private wine shop in Vancouver.
The 5 Wines You Should Try From California
Birichino Malvasia Bianca 2014 – Malvasia Bianca is one of the most widely planted, light-colored grape varieties in Italy, but can also be found in California. In Italy it is higher in acidity and has aromas and flavours of white flowers, citrus, green or yellow apple, and herbs. This wine had a very pretty lychee scented nose. Dry, light body, medium acidity, with salty minerality. Floral, lychee, and some bitter almond flavours. Nice wine, and nice label too. Great for the patio this summer.
St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – I’ve been impressed with St. Supery for many years and always look forward to trying their wines. This Sauvignon Blanc has a very expressive nose with herbaceous, asparagus and gooseberry aromas. It’s off-dry, with medium plus acidity. Medium intensity green fruit flavour, with honey, some pepperiness and apricots on the finish. More wine to enjoy on the patio with seafood.
Silverado Vineyards Mt. George Vineyard Merlot 2013 – Nice ripe cherry and plum nose. Lighter bodied, dry with medium tannins. Red fruit and red cherry flavours, with tannins firming up on the finish.
Schug Carneros Pinot Noir 2015 – Schug makes one of my favourite Pinots in California. This vintage is no exception. The wine has a riper, red fruit nose. Dry, higher acidity with flavours of raspberries and other red fruits, along with some oak and sweet spices. Softer tannins. Top quality.
Calipaso Tempranillo 2013 – Lots of dill weed on the nose, together with a mix of black and red fruits. Medium body, with salty minerality and medium fine tannins. Sweet spices/nutmeg and red fruit flavours.
But What About Cabs and Chards?
Of course these are popular wines coming out of California and I will write about my favourite Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnay in my following article on the California Wine Fair. Stay tuned and enjoy these wines.