Top Drops at Vintage Corks Tasting

Vintage Corks logoIf you have ever attended the Top Drop tastings in Vancouver, you will have experienced many 4.5 to 5 star wines according to my rating scale.  I recently attended a portfolio tasting by Vintage Corks, and this tasting was in that same quality range.  Vintage Corks offers premium wines from US, Italy, Canada and more.  You can find Vintage Corks’ wines at restaurants, hotels, as well as private wine shops.

In addition to tasting these wines, the added bonus is that money raised from this event went to help support the BC Hospitality Foundation; this foundation supporting its members who are in need of funding for example due to illness, as well as offering scholarships to upcoming hospitality workers and leaders.

Congratulations to both Vintage Corks on their 10th anniversary of this portfolio tasting as well as to the BCHF.  Below are a few of my favourite wines from this event.

My Favourite Wines

Australia and Canada

MacIntyre Heritage Reserve Astra Chardonnay 2014, Canada – Nice smooth, butterscotch nose.  Fuller body, smooth with medium acidity.  Apples, spice and a touch of butterscotch on the palate.  Nice.

Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016, Canada ($32.49) – 94% Syrah co-fermented with 6% Viognier.  This wine has a nice ripe raspberry, red cherry, nutmeg and meaty aromatic notes.  Fuller body, off-dry with fine tannins.  Flavours of blackberries followed by nutmeg spice.  A seductive wine.

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Australia ($44.99) – Medium translucent mix of ruby and garnet in the glass.  Capsicum, red fruit and vanilla on the nose.  Lifted aromas.  Medium plus body, round with medium tannins.  Flavours of red cherries and candied red cherries, along with light oak and sweet spices.  Capsicum on the finish.

Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016 and Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016 and Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

France

Gustave Lorentz Cremant d’Alsace Brut, NV, France ($28.99) – a sparkling wine from Alsace.  Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes.  This wine has a nice biscuity, citrus and bruised apple nose.  Red apples jump out on touching your palate, together with red cherries.  Creamy medium bubble.  off=dry but balanced with high acidity.  Wonderful.

Gustave Lorentz Riesling Reserve 2016, France ($25.49) – I am a Riesling fan as some of you may know, and this was an exceptionally fine example.  It has a rich, sweet tropical fruit nose, with more on the palate.  You also get some stone fruit flavours.  Soft and smooth with medium acidity.  The flavours vary between tropical fruit and stone fruit in waves.  Very nice.

Gustave Lorentz Cremant d'Alsace Brut sparkling and Riesling Reserve 2016

Gustave Lorentz Cremant d’Alsace Brut sparkling and Riesling Reserve 2016

Italy

Dievole Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Italy ($59.99) – Light smoky red cherry aromas in the glass.  Round and dry, with a medium body.  Red apples on the palate.  Light tannins.  An elegant wine.  Drink now.

Dievole Poggio Landi Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Italy ($59.95) – Nice red cherry and vanilla aromas.  Fuller body, round with medium tannins.  Red cherries and some candied red cherries on the palate.  Tart finish.  A wine to age.

Domini Veneti Verjago Valpolicella Classico 2015, Italy ($39.99) – I asked and was told that Verjago is the valley where the vineyard is located.  This wine is deeper ruby in colour, but still translucent.  Dusy, darker red fruit nose.  Full body with flavours of ripe sweet raspberries, red fruits, sweet spices, in particular nutmeg.  Medium tannins.  A tasty wine.

Domini Veneti Amarone Classico 2015, Italy ($51.99) – Amarone is the most full-bodied style of red wine from the Valpolicella region.  This wine had a medium intensity translucent ruby colour.  Light nutmeg and red fruit on the nose.  Off-dry, fuller body with a thicker mouthfeel and medium tannins.  Ripe red fruits and sweet spices on the palate.  A very tasty wine.

Domini Veneti Verjago Valpolicella Classico 2015 andDievole Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Domini Veneti Verjago Valpolicella Classico 2015 andDievole Podere Brizio Brunello di Montalcino 2013

Domini Veneti Jago Amarone Classico 2012, Italy ($78.99) – This Amarone is made from grapes from a single vineyard and the wine has undergone 4 years of aging before bottling.  It is medium translucent ruby coloured.  Nice sweet red fruit and spice nose.  Fuller body, round with firmer tannins.  Spicy,with ripe red fruit flavours and vanilla.  Very intense fruit flavours.  Quality.

Pio Cesare Classic Barbaresco 2014, Italy ($93.99) – Pio Cesare is a top quality winery from Italy, and everything they make is very enjoyable.  I could have listed all of their wines here that I tasted, but I list only a few for you today.  Barbaresco is made from the Nebbiolo grape, like Barolo, but it is made for enjoying now, while you age Barolo before enjoying it.  This wine is pale garnet in colour.  A nice nose showing red fruit, vanilla and nutmeg aromas.  Full-bodied, medium mouthfeel and firm tannins.  Red cherry and plum flavours supported with medium acidity. 

Pio Cesare Ornato Barolo 2014, Italy ($148.99) – Pale translucent garnet.  Light sweet spice nose.  Medium plus body, dry with firm tannins.  Red fruits, red cherries and vanilla, with a hint of spice.

Pio Cesare Bricco Barbaresco 2014, Italy ($133.99) – Medium translucent garnet.  Nice light red fruit, vanilla and nutmeg aromas.  Medium body, dry with a lighter mouthfeel and higher acidity.  Firm tannins.  Red fruit and red cherries, nutmeg spice and a whiff of capsicum. Very good.

Pio Cesare Bricco Barbaresco 2014 and Ornato Barolo 2014

Pio Cesare Bricco Barbaresco 2014 and Ornato Barolo 2014

Spain

Artadi Vinas de Gain White 2016, Spain ($53.99) – This wine is made from the Viura grape.  It has a light stony stone fruit nose.  Medium plus body, dry, with medium acidity. Light stone fruit flavour and stony texture. Elegant.

Artadi Vinas de Gain Tinto 2016, Spain ($56.99) – Made from the Tempranillo grape. This wine has ripe red fruit and nutmeg aromas.  Fuller body with flavours of raspberries, red fruit and sweet spices.  Dry with medium tannins and acidity.  Angular, not round.

Marques de Murrieta Capellania Blanco 2014, Spain ($42.99) – another white wine from Spain made from the Viura grape.  It has a very nice vanilla, oak, and tropical fruit nose, with more on the palate.  Fuller body with a thicker mouthfeel.  Medium acidity.  Sweet spices to complement the tropical fruit flavours. Awesome wine.

Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja Tinto 2014, Spain ($35.99) – Just as I mentioned the quality of Pio Cesare wines from Italy, the same can be said for Marques de Murrieta from Spain.  I could have listed all their wines from this tasting, but have limited myself to a few wines for this review.  This wine is translucent garnet in colour.  Balsamic, nutmeg and dark fruit nose.  Full body, soft wine fine tannins.  Ripe black cherries, vanilla and light sweet spices on the palate.  A youthful wine.

Artadi Vinas de Gain White 2016 and Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja Tinto 2014

Artadi Vinas de Gain White 2016 and Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja Tinto 2014

Marques de Murrieta Dalmau 2013, Spain ($96.99) – Deeper translucent garnet.  Nice vanilla, Old World oak aka cedar nose.  Full body, round, dry and soft, with fine tannins. Ripe red and black fruit flavours, along with vanilla and some spice later on. Seductive!

United States

Duckhorn Calera Central Coast Chardonnay 2015, USA ($36.99) – Nice, medium intensity tropical fruit and butterscotch aromas.  Round and soft, but fuller bodied.  Lower acidity. Tropical fruit, toast and butterscotch flavours.  Nice.

Frog’s Leap Winery Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2017, USA ($35.99) – Nice asparagus nose.  Tasty peach, asparagus and green fruit flavours.  Medium bodied, round with medium acidity. Tasty.

Frog’s Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016, USA ($41.99) – Light oak and flint on the nose.  Medium body, off-dry with an acidic prickle on your tongue.   Medium intensity stone fruit, citrus and toast flavours.

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fume Blanc 2015, USA ($55.99) – A nice nose, with aromas of melon, vanilla and stone fruits.  Fuller body with thicker mouthfeel and medium acidity.  Ripe stone fruit and butterscotch, along with a hint of oak on the palate.  Tasty.

Frog's Leap Winery Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fume Blanc 2015

Frog’s Leap Winery Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fume Blanc 2015

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015, USA ($80.99) – This Chardonnay was barrel fermented in French oak and did not undergo any malolactic fermentation.  It has a very ripe tropical fruit and butterscotch nose.  Full body, thick and round mouthfeel.  Mineral.  Tropical fruit, vanilla and butterscotch flavours.  Longer length. Top quality!

Heitz Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016, USA ($51.99) – This wine has a very light stonefruit nose.  Medium body, with higher acidity leading to some puckering of your lips.  Citrus and apple flavour with a hint of peach.  Dry.  This wine can age.

Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2015, USA ($54.99) – a white sparkling wine made with Chardonnay grapes.  It has a mix of lees and stonefruits on the nose.  Very high acidity, but off-dry.  Medium bodied.  Crab apples, and some floral.  A crisp wine.  Medium sized bubble.

Silverado Vineyards Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2017, USA ($38.99) – a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc that has a hint of Semillon added.  Fermented in stainless steel tanks.  This wine has a flowery, green fruit, and asparagus nose.  Medium body, round and soft with light acidity. Green fruit, and light asparagus, green pepper and jalapeno pepper flavours on the palate.

Silverado Vineyards Vineburg Vineyard Chardonnay 2016, USA ($49.99) – Very light lees nose.  Round with medium plus body and mouthfeel.  Light tropical fruit, stone fruit and vanilla flavours.

St. Supery Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2017, USA ($34.99) – Nice green fruit and herbal notes on the nose. More on the palate.  Crisp acidity but not overdone.  Jalapeno pepper flavour later on.  Lingering finish. Very good.

St. Supery Napa Valley Estate Virtu White Blend 2016, USA ($50.99) – A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.  It has toasty stonefruit nose.  Medium body, round with medium acidity backbone.  Very fruity; stonefruit and vanilla, and a hint of butterscotch. Quality.

St. Supery Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Silverado Vineyards Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2017

St. Supery Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Silverado Vineyards Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Trefethen Family Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016, USA ($47.99) – Nice lemon, pineapple and vanilla aromas in the glass.  Medium plus body, very smooth and silky on the palate.  Flavours of tropical fruit, vanilla and butterscotch.  Nice acidity to balance out the wine.

You may ask where are all the California Cabernets?  Shouldn’t they be premium wines?  Indeed they should, but I ran out of time to taste the California red wines.

As you can see, many top quality wines do have a higher price point, but with my tasting and recommending, should make you feel confident to purchase them and enjoy them with friends and family.  Maybe for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  Enjoy!

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings and restaurant reviews. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.