I look forward to the California Wine Fair when it comes to Vancouver every year. Beyond enjoying big Napa Cabs, there is a wide variety of other grapes that are being grown for wine in California.This evening there were 115 wineries presenting their wines to us. With each winery showing around 4 wines, that is around 460 wines to try in one evening. An impossible task, but at least you can try a wide range of ranges. Vintages ranged from 2005 to 2008.
I should mention that this event is hosted by the Arts Club Theatre Company. All proceeds from this event helps to provide exceptional live theatre, design and create their own sets and costumes, and maintain two of the cities most beloved theatres, the Granville Island Stage and the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.
What were some of my favourite wines this year? For the white wines a few were:
– Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2008
– Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2006
– Starmont Sauvignon Blanc 2008
– St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2009
The Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2008 was medium lemon colour. Fruity, oaky, vanilla nose. Round mouthfeel, quite oaky with nice pineapple flavour. A very full bodied Chardonnay.
The Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2006 had lots of lychee aroma. Medium body, with low acidity, very flavourful, flowery with nutmeg notes. $16.99
The second wine label of the premium producer, Merryvale Vineyards, is Starmont, but it doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there. Their Starmont line is a star with me. The Starmont Sauvignon Blanc 2008 is pale lemon colour. It has light lemon with gooseberry nose. Round mouthfeel with good acidity. Nice herbal flavour.
I can always count on St. Supery to deliver quality red and white wines. Their St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc 2009 continued to deliver. There was lots of gooseberry and green herbal aromas. Herbal flavour with good acidity. A very good example of Sauvignon Blanc.
California is more well known for their red wines, ranging from lighter bodied Pinot Noirs up to full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. I had many favourites but here are a few to whet your appetite. I’ll post all my favorites in my “Wine Reviews” page on the MyWinePal website. Some of the reds I enjoyed:
– Bennett Lane Turn 4, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
– Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
– Duckhorn Goldeneye Pinot Noir 2007
– Merryvale Pinot Noir 2008
– Scott Family Estate Pinot Noir 2007
– Laird Family Estate, Jillian’s Blend Red Wine 2007
The Bennett Lane Turn 4, Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was opaque purple in the glass. It had sweet ripe dark fruit, black chery aromas and flavours. Full bodied with strong tannins. It has a bit of Malbec in the blend, which I think gives it the purplish tinge in the glass.
The Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 comes from the Dierberg Family of wines. Opaque garnet in the glass. Vanilla and juicy red cherry nose. Cherry and plum flavours. Round mouthfeel and firm tannins. Their Dierberg Pinot Noir 2006 was also outstanding.
I really like pinot noir wine, and I found several at this event. The Duckhorn Goldeneye Pinot Noir 2007 was light garnet in colour. It had a very nice nose with aromas of raspbery, cherry and vanilla. Light bodied, with smoky raspberry flavours.
The Merryvale Pinot Noir 2008 is light cherry coloured in the glass. It has a beautiful raspberry / strawbery nose. Red cherry, vanilla and raspbery flavours. Medium acidity.
The Scott Family Estate Pinot Noir 2007 was a pale garnet in the glass. Smoky raspberry nose. Smoky, cherry and lots of spice on the palate, with a rose finish.
My last wine for this review is a blend. The Laird Family Estate, Jillian’s Blend Red Wine 2007 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah / Merlot, with Cab being the largest component and Merlot the smallest component. This wine was medium garnet coloured. Vanilla, cherry and walnuts on the nose. Lots of ripe red fruit and some vanilla. Very spicy. A bit of residual sugar with a long length.
There are many other wineries and wines which I did not have a chance to try during this tasting, but wished I had more time. I hope you enjoy trying a few of the wines I reviewed. Cheers.