California Wine Fair 2008

The California Wine Fair visited Vancouver on April 2. There was a wide range of wines from cheap and cheerful, up to collectible wines for special occasions to sample. There were at least 120 different wineries, each with several wines to sample. Just not enough time to visit them all!

A few personal observations. I noticed many good quality bottles of pinot grigio this year. I attended last year, but did not notice that I tried as many as I did this year. The Fetzer Vineyards, Valley Oaks Pinot Grigio, 2006 had peachy and perfumy aromas. The Cycles Gladiator, Central Coast Pinot Grigio, 2007 also showed peach aromas as well as pear aromas and flavour. This wine was listed at $15.99. A great summer sipper.

On the red wine side, I enjoyed many light bodied, strawberry and raspberry scented pinot noirs, and full bodied syrah. The Marimar Estate, Don Miguel Vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 2005 (Owned by Torres family of Spain) was a point in case, with beautiful strawberry and cherry aromas and flavours. On the syrah side, there was the Terlato Family Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley Syrah, 2004 with burnt match aroma. Black cherry and dark fruit flavours, and nice acidity for $44.99. Enjoy with a grilled steak this summer.

Also, not to be forgotten is petite syrah (or petite sirah, or other variations on the spelling that I had seen). If you enjoy big, extracted wines, try petite syrah. The EOS Estate, Paso Robles, Petit Syrah Reserve, 2004/05 was very deeply coloured, and had great dark fruit flavours ($32.99).

Some wineries that had a wide range of great wines to buy and try:
– EOS Estate
– Duckhorn Wine Company
– Treana Winery

There were many other wineries with wonderful wines. I hope these few notes will start you on your way to enjoy some California wines.