In the first part of my notes on the 31st Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival I talked about BC wines as this was the featured region. But there was more than just BC wines at the festival. I will spend some time talking about the International wines that I was able to try.
Some of the international winery tables I visited and wines I really enjoyed are:
– Estates of Antinori (Italy),
– Vina Bisquertt (Chile),
– Champagne Deutz (France),
– Evans & Tate (Australia),
– Bodegas Muga (Spain),
– Miguel Torres (Spain & Chile),
– Bouchard Pere & Fils (France),
– Sokol Blosser (USA),
– Maison Albert Bichot (France).
From Antinori, I was able to try their iconic Tignanello Toscana IGT. Before Tignanello if you had a quality wine in Italy it had to be of a specific varietal for a specific region of the country. Antinori, the maker of Tignanello, rebelled and added French varietals to the mix. The resulting wine, Tignanello could only be classified as a “Table Wine”. But was a premium wine and cost more than some of the DOC wines from Italy. To solve this problem, the government agency overseeing wines came up with a new level called IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). It was garnet in colour, with some earthiness on the nose. It was very smooth, with red and black fruit and medium tannins. From Vina Bisquertt I enjoyed the La Joya merlot Gran Reserva 2007, Carmenere Gran Reserva 2007, and Malbec Reserva 2007. Nice carmenere and Merlot. Full bodied, good balance, dark fruit. Carmenere by the way is a signature red grape of Chile. It was thought to be Merlot until a few years ago.
If you go to the MyWinePal blog, you can get some quick reviews of the international wines that I tasted.
I also attended several workshops:
– Bourgogne: Tour de Terroir
– Vino Verde: The Fresh Taste of Spring
If you have never been to a wine workshop at the wine festival, I strongly suggest attending in the future. One of the nice things about these workshops, is that many of the wines are brought in specially for the wine festival so this may be the only time you get to try them, or they are available but very expensive. On the pinot side I was able to try for example the Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris Grand Cru Mambourg 2000. This is an aged pinot gris. Most people do not consider white wines to age well, but this was an outstanding wine and quickly shows you how well some white wine can age. Deep lemon colour with lychee, peach and apricot aromas, and lush mouthfeel, with some spice and honey flavours. Another example is the Bouchard Pere & Files Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus 2006, a pinot noir, which had wonderful cherry blossom aroma, soft on the palate with cherry and strawberry flavours. Very well balanced and $130 a bottle.
On the Vino Verde side, most of the wines I tasted are not available in BC. Vino Verde is primarily a white wine that has a bit of effervescence to it, from Portugal, but there are also reds. One wine was the Arca Nova Loureiro 2007. Loureiro is one of the native white grapes of Portugal. I enjoyed this one as it had a tangerine and lime aromas, which continued on the palate, and good acidity. Consider Vinho Verde wines as a summer sipper.
I would like to finish off this brief introduction to the wine festival with anaudio interview I did with Vina Bisquertt from Chile.
Interview with Nicolas Montes Bisquertt from Vina Bisquertt.