A Quick Visit to Church & State Wines on Vancouver Island

Church & State Wines banner at the entrance

Church & State Wines banner at the entrance

You never know what you will get to taste when you visit a winery.  During the long weekend, I visited Victoria and made a short trip over to Church & State Wines.  The tasting room and dining room is very spacious and modern.  Very nice.

When I sat at the tasting counter I was first offered a Sparkling Pinot Gris.  During my Trade tastings in Vancouver, I don’t think I ever had a chance to try this sparkling wine.  I believe it is only available at the winery.  That was a nice surprise.   A very enjoyable wine.

Wineries sometimes also open more limited production wines at the tasting room, which you may not get to try any other way; today I did get to try their Coyote Bowl Series Syrah and Petit Verdot.  You also get more time to speak with the pouring staff and they can give you more background about a particular wine, the design of the wine labels, or if the wines bottles are converting from cork to Stelvin closure.  I was told that all wines at Church & State Wines are under Stelvin closure, which I assured them was not a problem for me, and it should not be for other people.  You get less spoiled wines and you can store the wine bottles either standing up or on their side.

Below are the wines that I had a chance to taste at the Church & State Wines tasting room.  All the wines I tasted are good to excellent quality.

White and Sparkling Wines

Sparkling Pinot Gris 2017 – from 100% estate-grown grapes on Vancouver Island.  It has a nice fresh peach nose.  High acidity and tiny, almost creamy bubbles.  This sparkling wine is dry and has a medium body.  Long-lasting peach flavour with some tart bramble leaf mixed in. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rosé 2017 – Made from Syrah grapes that spent 48 hours on the skins.  It has a light translucent red cherry colour.  A light cranberry nose, which extended to the palate.  This wine is smooth and round with medium acidity.  You get red cherry flavours toward the finish. 4 out of 5 stars

Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – Pale lemon colour.  Lots of guava fruit on the nose and palate.  You also get green fruits and stone fruit aromas.  The wine is medium body, smooth with light acidity.  |besides guava you get green fruits later and there is a mineral character to this wine as well.  Nice! 4.5 out of 5 stars

Church & State Wines Sparkling, Rose, and Sauvignon Blanc 2017 wines

Church & State Wines Sparkling, Rose, and Sauvignon Blanc 2017 wines

Roussanne 2017 – It has a very light tropical fruit nose.  Lighter body, soft and round in the mouth.  Light intensity ripe tropical fruit flavours.  Very light acidity.  A touch of butterscotch. 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars

Trebella 2016 – A blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier; Rhone Valley grapes.  The wine has a light stone fruit, honey and stony nose.  It has deep rich tropical fruit and butterscotch flavours.  The wine is smooth with a thicker mouthfeel and medium minus acidity.  Very flavourful.  Tasty. 4.5 out of 5 stars

Church & State Wines Trebella 2016 and Rose 2017 wines

Church & State Wines Trebella 2016 and Rose 2017 wines

Red Wines

Winemaker Blend 2017 – a wine made to be enjoyed now, it is made with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  It is a medium intensity translucent garnet colour.  Nice fresh red fruit nose and sweet spices.  YOu also get black fruit on the nose if you let the wine breathe a bit in your glass.  It is fuller-bodied with a mix of capsicum, dark chocolate and black fruit followed by sweet spices.  It has lower acidity and fine tannins.  An easy sipper. 4 out of 5 stars

Merlot 2017 – Deeper garnet colour in the glass.  Light intensity aromas of cassis and oak.  It is off-dry, angular with slightly higher acidity and a light mouthfeel.  Juicy cassis fruit with touches of oak and sweet spices.  Fine tannins dry out your mouth a bit on the finish. 4 out of 5 stars

Merlot 2015 – A mini vertical of Merlots.  This wine overall is much rounder and thicker than the 2017.  It is a deeper garnet colour.  It has a nice nose showing cedar, vanilla, and red fruits.  It is dry, medium-plus body with a thick round mouthfeel.   Ripe cassis and red fruits to start with sweet spices starting on the mid-palate.  There is also a touch of candied red cherry flavour.  Fine soft tannins. 4 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars

Did you notice that the Merlot 2015 and 2017 have different labels?  The reason behind the change you can find out when you visit the winery.

Church & State Wines Winemaker Blend 2017, Merlot 2017 and Merlot 2015 wines

Church & State Wines Winemaker Blend 2017, Merlot 2017 and Merlot 2015 wines

Coyote Bowl Series Syrah 2016 – Deep ruby in colour.  Very aromatic; red apples, rich cassis and sweet spice aromas.  Round with a thicker mouthfeel.  Ripe cassis, rains and sweet spices on the palate along with ripe black fruit.  Lower acidity.  Soft tannins with a light peppery finish. Quality. 4.5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars

Coyote Bowl Series Petit Verdot 2016 – Opaque garnet in the glass.  It has a rich, dark black fruit nose.  Thicker, full-bodied mouthfeel.  Very silky.  Ripe cassis and black fruit flavours along with a touch of oak and vanilla.  Fine tannins and light acidity.  The wine finishes with black fruit and medium chalky tannins. I was hoping to get some floral tones from this wine as it is one of the characteristics from this grape.  4.5 out of 5 stars

Church & State Wines Coyote Bowl Series Syrah and Petit Verdot 2016 wines

Church & State Wines Coyote Bowl Series Syrah and Petit Verdot 2016 wines

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

They do have an online store when you can order their wines. You can visit either their Victoria or Oliver area tasting rooms.  Everything Wine carries some of their wines.  Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown also carries Church & State wines.

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.

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