The 39th Vancouver International Wine Festival starts on Feb 24, 2018. What an amazing success, for the Festival to be bringing us wines from around the world to our doorstep, along with a winery principal! There will be 1400+ wines to taste through all events, and more than 700 wines in the Festival Tasting Room. Our theme countries for this year’s Festival are Portugal and Spain; two countries with a long heritage of wine making. Who hasn’t tried Port or Cava? This week some media were invited to taste a sample of the wines we can expect to see at the Festival. The wines below stood out for me, and I recommend that you give them a try if you attend the Festival Tasting Room, or are fortunate to attend a dinner or a seminar. Cheers!
- Quinta do Crasto Vintage Port 2015, Portugal – This wine has a light intensity sweet, ripe dark fruit nose. Sweet on the palate, medium plus acidity with higher acidity that balances out the sugar. Ripe dark fruit flavours. A very balanced sip.
- Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal, Sottal Vinho Leve 2016, Portugal – An interesting white wine that is very aromatic, bursting with lemon and lime aromas. It is dry and has a light acidic prickle. Some sweetness comes through later. You get lemon and lime flavour up front with mandarin oranges later on. Off-dry finish. A fun wine.
- Heredade Das Servas, Sem Barrica Unoaked Red Alentejo 2015, Portugal – My surprise wine of this tasting, it is deep ruby garnet in the glass. Light raspberry nose. Raspberry on the palate along with a floral and a mineral component. Medium minus body. Dry. Firmer tannins on the finish.
- Symington Family Estates Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal – Copper penny colour. Toffee and bruised apple on the nose. Medium body and sweetness. More toffee on the palate, along with coffee and red cherry flavours. Thicker mouth feel, but has good acidity to keep this wine lively. –
- Juve Y Camps, Reserva de la Familia Brut Nature Cava 2014, Spain – Nice apple nose with a hint of cinnamon and floral. Off-dry with high acidity and small biting bubble. Apples and apple seed flavours, along with some bitterness. medium bodied and medium plus length. A quality wine.
- Muriel Wines, Rioja Reserva 2012, Spain – Cassis aroma. Medium plus body, with a round mouth feel. Medium acidity and tannins. Cassis and raspberry on the palate. Tasty! They will be pouring their Gran Reserva at the Festival.
- Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné, Penedés 2010, Spain – Deeper lemon colour in the glass. Toasty nose. Medium bubble with higher acidity. Citrus with a herbal edge on the palate. Tart finish with some creaminess from the bubble. Buy this bubble.
- Torres Mas la Plana Penedés 2012, Spain – This wine is always on my recommended list. This vintage continues my tradition of recommendation. This wine has ripe, dark fruit and cassis aromas. Full body, with sweet ripe cassis flavours and light sweet spice flavours. Some minerality as well. Medium plus tannins. –
Other Wines from Near and Far
Besides our theme countries, wineries from around the world from Argentina to the United States Australia to Italy will be in attendance. Here are a few additional wines for you to try.
- CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noir 2014, BC – Light violet nose. Medium body, dry with medium tannins. A mix of raspberry and violets on the palate. This wine is nice now but can also be cellared for future enjoyment.
- Grand Tokaj Tokaji Aszú 2013, Hungary – Tokaji is probably the most famous style of wine coming out of Hungary. This dessert style wine had an interesting nose with a mix of celery, honey, peach and other stone fruit aromas. Semi sweet, round, with medium acidity. Stone fruit, honey and marmalade flavours.
- J Vineyards & Winery Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015, California – Deep, translucent garnet colour. Flowery perfumed nose, along with red cherries. Medium plus body, smooth with medium acidity. Red cherries, floral, nutmeg and pepper on the palate. Tasty.
- Edge Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, California – Light ripe cassis and vanilla aromas. Medium plus body, round with firmer tannins. Cassis, black cherries, sweet ripe fruit, sweet spices, and some cocoa flavours. A lighter, elegant Cab from California.